Rally at Capitol on Thursday for the common people

It’s still summer and the call to be outside remains loud and clear. But  even though the lazy, hazy days of summer have their own lure, issues of concern to the common people — the 99 percent — are still demanding our attention. This coming week, there is an opportunity for you to get outside and to support some vital causes at the same time.

If you are tired of being taken advantage of by the very wealthy in this country, then get out your magic markers, make a sign and come to the “Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears” rally, Thursday, Aug. 28, at noon. It’s being held on the lawn and  the western steps of the beautiful, stone New York State Capitol building. Your building. The event is part of a nationwide movement recognizing the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, supported by rallies being held at capitols throughout the country. The “ask ” now has the same roots as it did then:  We need more labor rights, living wages, quality public education, criminal justice reform and access to health care.

“New York has the highest (income) inequality of any state,” said Sara Niccoli, director of the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition, which is organizing the rally.

As a result, “Public schools are underfunded, and hunger and homelessness grow,” added Paul Pecorale, NYSUT vice president overseeing the union’s social justice activism. Pecorale will be marching at the rally.

“Job creation remains limited to the low-wage sector,” said Niccoli. “We deserve better from our representatives and we must demand better.”

The demands from Thursday’s rally — also called the “Moral March to the Polls” rally in some social justice circles — are for good jobs for all, quality education and a strong social safety net.

“We want to change political possibilities toward representative leadership,” said Niccoli. The goals are to gain a  representative leadership known for its morality and compassion, rather than for its corruption and greed. Community leaders, clergy, union members, laborers and average citizens are invited to attend.

The rally is part of the Moral Week of Action, going live in places like Tennesee and Washington, where the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists is hosting a seven-day prayer vigil each evening around the Capitol building. The nationwide movement is being led by Rev. Dr. William Barber and the North Carolina NAACP, where events will also focus on registering voters.

For more details on the Albany rally, contact Emily McNeill at emcneill@labor-religion.org.

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