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weekly update – september 27, 2019

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In this issue…

Katal Joins #LessIsMoreNY Bill Sponsor Sen. Brian Benjamin to Discuss NY’s Parole Crisis

In Buffalo: Exploring the Intersection Between Harm Reduction & Social Justice

October 8th SCOTUS Action to Defend LGBTQ Workplace Rights

Katal joins #LessIsMoreNY Bill Sponsor Senator Brian Benjamin to Discuss NY’s Parole Crisis

New York reincarcerates more people for technical violations than any other state except Illinois. A person on parole cannot miss an appointment with their parole officer or even be late for curfew without being locked back into a cell. With our partners, we launched the #LessIsMoreNY campaign to fix New York State’s deeply broken and racially unjust parole system.

Our legislation to fix this problem introduced this year, but lawmakers in Albany failed to deliver on this transformative reform.

On the latest segment of Represent NYC, Katal Leader, Tara Cobbins and Community Organizer, Cedric Fulton, joined our dedicated bill sponsor, New York State Senator Brian A. Benjamin, and Tyler Nims, Executive Director of A More Just NYC to discuss parole issues and our effort to get Less Is More passed in the upcoming session.

Watch the full parole reform segment of Represent NYC, here.

About Represent NYC

“Represent NYC” is a weekly program produced by Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) that gives local elected officials and candidates the chance to update voters about the issues shaping the future of the city, and how they’ll deliver on campaign promises.

If you’d like to join us for our upcoming Capital Region #LessIsMoreNY Meeting on Thursday, October 10, from 6-7pm, contact Cedric Fulton at or at 518.965.6771 for more details and to RSVP.

In Buffalo: Exploring the Intersection of Harm Reduction and Social Justice

Keith Brown facilitating the “Intersection Between Harm Reduction and Social Justice” Panel at Friday’s WNY Harm Reduction Conference.

On Friday, September 20th, Katal participated in the second annual Western New York Harm Reduction Conference in Buffalo, NY. Around 200 people joined the gathering – including our members and leaders. People in attendance included those with lived experience, service providers, community leaders, public health officials and more. Topics included low threshold access to medications to treat addiction, social determinants of health, the history and future of harm reduction in New York, and social justice.

Katal Leader, Marketa Edwards, alongside her mother, Jackie, at last Friday’s Harm Reduction Conference.

During this day-long conference, Keith Brown, our Director of Health and Harm Reduction moderated a panel titled, “The Intersection Between Harm Reduction and Social Justice”. The panel featured lively discussions about marijuana legalization, stigma, the dangers of an opioid-specific focus among rising stimulant use, criminalization and health, the conflation of sex work with trafficking, and other topics. The Katal team congratulates our End Overdose NY partner Evergreen on another successful conference, and we thank them for including our organization in making this powerful event a success!

October 8th SCOTUS Action to Defend LGBTQ Workplace Rights

On Tuesday, October 8th, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in three separate cases to determine whether it is illegal to discriminate against people in the workplace for sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The use of “sex” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and later legal precedents has long been understood to include these and that is now being challenged.

Housing Works and its allies are calling for mass civil disobedience in front of the Supreme Court in DC to send a message to the Court, to the Trump Administration, to all 2020 presidential candidates and to the American people that we will fight for our rights and for the rights of our loved ones and communities.

RSVP for the October 8 protest in Washington, D.C. here.

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