This blog post was written by NYSUT Communications intern Johnalyn Scarati, a senior at the College of Saint Rose in Albany
Faith leaders and community members from all different backgrounds came together this week at the Capitol for the third Moral Monday of March. Outside the Senate Chamber, Executive Director of the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition Sara Niccoli led the group in a circle of prayer in hopes of a fair and moral budget for New York State.
“Dollars that are cut are cuts to our teachers, music, and technology. When
we cut these dollars, it means our kids can’t compete. If they can’t compete, we take away their futures,” said Niccoli.
Moral Monday is a grassroots social justice movement organized by Faith for a Fair New York, which originated in North Carolina. Participants come together from different religious backgrounds to urge legislators to make the fair and moral decision for all of the people they represent — not just the 1 percent.
The faith leaders and community members spoke about the effects of the immoral budget on the community. Many of them criticized Governor Cuomo for standing up for the rich, instead of the middle class and the poor. They also recommended the governor and legislators judge the success of our state based on how the worst of us are doing, rather than the best.
“Each line item of the budget, and each dollar has a human impact,” added Niccoli. “Dollars that we spend or don’t spend are dollars that fund our children’s education; it allows them to go to school, to learn and grow.”
Faith for a Fair New York, which is across the state, is a project of the Labor-Religion Coalition. The Albany, Binghamton, New York City, and Utica groups will hold a Moral Monday on March 24. Special guest, retired Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and the Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocamp from Albany Presbytery will gather in the War Room on the second floor of the New York State Capitol at 12 p.m. The Labor-Religion Coalition invites all community members to join them in their peaceful protest for a fair and moral New York.
For more information you can visit their website:
www.labor-religion.org or their Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LaborReligion .