Thursday, March 7, 2013

NY Women's Equality Coalition Launch, Budget March Madness

Lots of excitement this week in women’s equality –
The New York Women’s Equality Coalition officially launched our campaign with a press conference on Monday at the start of Women’s History Month.  Our own Barbara Bartoletti was one of the many amazing speakers at the conference speaking on the need for New York to continue its history of being a leader in the fight for women’s equality.  The press conference highlighted all ten points of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda, from pay equity to reproductive health to stopping human trafficking, and beyond.  Of course, questions from the press focused almost entirely on the reproductive health portion of the agenda, as was expected.  However, Barbara and the other speakers skillfully drove home that this is a much broader agenda, aimed at breaking down multiple barriers for women across many essential areas life.   
After the press conference, the governor invited the coalition to meet with him and his senior staff to celebrate the official kickoff of the campaign.  We also got a tour, led by the governor, of the new Women’s Equality exhibit in the War Room – definitely go check it out if you get a chance!  Also check out the New York Women’s Equality Coaltion website, facebook page, and twitter feed to stay up to date on the most recent news out of the coalition!  And visit LWVNY’s facebook page to see photos of the press conference and the tour!  League members will be hearing from us very soon about how you can help get the Women’s Equality Agenda passed this session!
Other happenings this week –
Budget season is nearing its end, which means its March madness here in Albany.  The halls of the legislature were completely clogged this week, as organizations and constituents came to lobby for funding/against cuts.  Tuesday the capitol and LOB were filled with SUNY students, school aid advocates, immigrant rights advocates, transportation advocates, public employees, and farm interests and business groups.   The capitol deli was so crowded that people were eating in the hallway outside of it.  A rally for school aid organized by the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) included a parade down Washington Avenue, led by the Cohoes High School marching band.  The AQE rally highlighted the plight of schools beginning to really feel the impact of the property tax cap.  Wednesday saw lobbying visits from the American Cancer Society and AARP, amongst others.  All the budget chaos will culminate next week when once-house budget bills are voted on and the legislature then moves into joint budget conference committees.  The budget is expected to be acted on the week following that.

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