Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) VOCAL New York is a statewide grassroots membership organization building power among low-income people who are living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, drug use and incarceration working to create healthy and just communities.

VOCAL New York is a grassroots membership organization building power among low-income people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, drug use and mass incarceration to fight for healthier and more just communities. VOCAL was formerly known as the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN). We became VOCAL in fall 2010 to better reflect our multi-issue, multi-constituency organizing work in New York’s most marginalized communities.

Operating as usual

CALL TO ACTION TODAY 12/15: Sign a petition & make a call to Cuomo! Demand Cuomo grant #ClemencyNow and #FreeKimBrown! (...
12/15/2020

CALL TO ACTION TODAY 12/15: Sign a petition & make a call to Cuomo! Demand Cuomo grant #ClemencyNow and #FreeKimBrown! (Please read whole post!)

Use this social media toolkit: bit.ly/free-kim-brown or
Watch this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/xWsSeLjwkJ0 or read Kim's story In Her Own Words (attached) and then please do the following!

1) Sign the petition to Free Kim Brown: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/freekimbrown

2) Call Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office: 518-474-8390
Phone Script:
“Hello, My name is ______________. I live in ___________ and am contacting you in regard to a clemency application that is pending for an individual by the name of Kim Brown (DIN# 95G1508), a survivor of sexual assault, who is incarcerated at Bedford Correctional Facility. Kim Brown deserves to be free. As COVID-19 continues to make any period of time of incarceration a potential death sentence, it is more important now than ever that you put your clemency powers to use. Kim Brown holds multiple higher education degrees and is an incredible person. As a leader of New York State, I am imploring you to use your clemency powers to release Kim Brown. It is the holidays: have a heart. She deserves to be at home with her family and to be able to access the job that is awaiting her upon release - a job she has secured due to the incredible transformation she has made over the last 23 years that she has been incarcerated. Free Kim Brown (DIN# 95G1508). [Insert personal commentary if you wish] Thank you.”

3) Post her photo on Twitter if you have an account & tag Cuomo!

Sample Tweets:
Governor Cuomo’s Twitter Handle: @NYGovCuomo

RT/Uplift our Tweet and make one of your own: https://twitter.com/VOCALNe.../status/1338341224667901953...

Sample Tweet #1: @NYGovCuomo we demand you use your powers to grant clemency and #FreeKimBrown! (DIN# 95G1508) #ClemencyNow

Sample Tweet #2: @NYGovCuomo There are 1,800 clemency applications pending on your desk right now. We are asking that you please look at Kim Brown’s application (DIN# 95G1508) and #FreeKimBrown with #ClemencyNow!

12/10/2020

Unified Black Caucus Presser

Take 1-2 minutes to sign this petition to demand housing & life-saving services for people living with HIV/AIDS!bit.ly/h...
12/01/2020

Take 1-2 minutes to sign this petition to demand housing & life-saving services for people living with HIV/AIDS!

bit.ly/housing-is-healthcare

#WorldAIDSDay2020 #HousingIsHealthcare

World AIDS Day is 1 week away!Do you have 1-2 minutes to spare to sign this petition to demand housing and life-saving s...
11/24/2020
A People's Petition

World AIDS Day is 1 week away!

Do you have 1-2 minutes to spare to sign this petition to demand housing and life-saving services for people living with HIV/AIDS? Please share this petition with your Facebook networks to help us gain more support and show NYS legislators the PEOPLE POWER that WE *know* we hold!

Housing = Healthcare! Geographic borders should never dictate whether someone qualifies for support, yet that is the reality in NYS. We demand equitable statewide (and global) support for people living with HIV/AIDS!
bit.ly/housing-is-healthcare

If you're interested in being invited to the next PLU (Positive Leaders Union) meeting, please click here: bit.ly/join-plu
#WorldAIDSDay #WAD2020 #PositiveLeadersUnion

We the undersigned are New York based public health and social justice organizations. We are doctors, social workers, harm reductionists, advocates, lawyers, and most importantly People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and together we are committed to ensuring the health, safety, and wellness of the HI...

10/20/2020
BREAKING: Advocates Slam Governor Cuomo on Stalling Funding on Lifesaving Healthcare

Services Providers and Advocates Call out Governor Andrew Cuomo's Administration for Willfully Misleading on Critical Life Saving Policy, Calling Out his Legacy of Negligence on the Overdose Crisis in Virtual Press Conference

After over a year of negotiations on policy to remove barriers to opioid treatment for people enrolled in Medicaid, coalition denounces a systemic lack of transparency and overt actions to misinform

Overdoses and hepatitis C are skyrocketing while services and drug user health supplies have diminished because of state withholding of funds

#EndOverdose #EndOverdoseNY

10/13/2020
Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

As part of our District Attorney accountability work we have been engaging with other organizations around the election for the next Manhattan District Attorney, which will take place in 2021.

The current Manhattan DA, Cy Vance, has sent more people to Rikers Island during the past 10 years than any other DA in NYC. He was a primary opponent in our efforts to pass legislation in Albany such as the repeal of the Gravity Knife ban, as well as bail and discovery reform. He refuses to hold his own prosecutors accountable and has done nothing to promote police accountability, allowing officers who have previously lied in court to continue to bring cases to
him.

On Tuesday evening, [TONIGHT] October 13th @ 6:30PM WNYC and Gothamist are hosting a candidate forum for the Manhattan DA election, where we will be able to hear from the candidates. VOCAL-NY is going to host a watch party for the event and we are inviting you to join us.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US ON ZOOM AT 6:30PM TONIGHT

We are hoping to learn more about the specific candidates so that we know more about the race, and how to push our issues into the mix. No matter who wins the election, we know that we will be facing off against the winner for years to come, as low-income people of color will remain in the crosshairs of the racist criminal legal system in NY.

Here are the full details for the watch party:

Topic: Manhattan DA Candidate Forum
Time: Oct 13, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://vocalny.zoom.us/j/88420957865

Meeting ID: 884 2095 7865
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,88420957865# US (New York)
+13126266799,,88420957865# US (Chicago)

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...

In response to today's scheduled court appearance of Joseph T., a homeless NYer brutalized by NYPD officers, the Homeles...
10/13/2020

In response to today's scheduled court appearance of Joseph T., a homeless NYer brutalized by NYPD officers, the Homelessness Union is demanding immediate action be take by Mayor Bill de Blasio & Manhattan District Attorney's Office whose inaction to address homelessness & violence has failed those without homes.

https://t.co/R4s2zVvVaJ

10/10/2020

Rally for wrongfully convicted. At SDNY

10/06/2020

Hey Everyone!

Sending a reminder for you to join for part 5 of Health GAP (Global AIDS Program)'s Organizing Together training series. Tonight discussion will be on How to Build Your Political Power Through Civic Engagement.

We are excited for tonight's facilitator Andrea Sosa, Co-Director of Young People For (YP4). See you tonight at 8PM!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8534172011

Sending a reminder for PLU folks to join for part 4 of Health GAP's (Global AIDS Program) training series where they wil...
10/01/2020

Sending a reminder for PLU folks to join for part 4 of Health GAP's (Global AIDS Program) training series where they will get into a discussion on direct action organizing. Tonight's presenter will be Fresco Steez, Trainer and Cultural Manager at BYP100.

See you tonight at 8:00 PM!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8534172011
Meeting ID: 853 4172 0119

09/26/2020

Community Honors the life of Elizabeth Owens

Please join us today to memorialize our beloved Elizabeth Owens at 1PM.We will livestream here a potion of the gathering...
09/26/2020

Please join us today to memorialize our beloved Elizabeth Owens at 1PM.

We will livestream here a potion of the gathering if you’re unable to join.

Join us as we honor our dear friends in Western NY Evergreen Health at our digital gala on Wednesday, Sep 30th at 4PM: h...
09/24/2020

Join us as we honor our dear friends in Western NY
Evergreen Health at our digital gala on Wednesday, Sep 30th at 4PM: https://bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNY

Evergreen Hs was founded in 1983 by a handful of volunteers dedicated to caring for people living with HIV and AIDS. Almost 40 years later they have expanded their services with the same commitment to compassionate care, primarily to those underserved by our healthcare system.

Our Buffalo chapter wouldn't be possible without Evergreen Hs's support. Not only do they provide life-saving services, they join us for 4AM bus departures to Albany to block streets in protest, march through the halls of the capitol, & confront power for justice, compassion, & care.

Join us next Wednesday, September 30th at 4PM as we honor Michael Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All Coa...
09/23/2020

Join us next Wednesday, September 30th at 4PM as we honor Michael Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All Coalition at our digital gala: bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNY

For over 30 years Mike has been in the fight for justice. He has organized countless civil disobediences and direct actions to end AIDS, win housing, eradicate poverty, and build a just economy by demanding taxes on billionaires and the corporations they own.

Mike is part of the VOCAL-NY family. He has stood with with us during critical fights. He has put his body on the line when we've called on him to engage in civil disobedience. He quietly supports our staff, leaders, and organization in innumerable ways.

We’re honoring Mike with the Bob Kohler Award. Bob was our earliest and most ardent supporter who spent nearly 2-years showing up nightly to ensure low-income HIV+ New Yorkers were not left homeless during the Guiliani Administration.

We hope you will join us at our virtual gala next Wednesday, Sep 30th at 4PM as we honor Ms. Flowers, and her fight to e...
09/22/2020

We hope you will join us at our virtual gala next Wednesday, Sep 30th at 4PM as we honor Ms. Flowers, and her fight to end homelessness, with the inaugural Elizabeth Owens Award for Justice, Compassion & Love: bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNY

Flowers is no stranger to the fight for justice. In 1963 she attended the historic March on Washington. Today, she wears her March on Washington button to every protest.

In 2018 she made national headlines when she confronted Mayor de Blasio at the gym to demand housing for herself & 80K homeless NYers. That confrontation - and her fire and commitment - helped fuel the movement to end homelessness in our city & state. It continues today.

Every year we award our honorees with awards named in memory of our founders Joe Bostic & Joe Capestany, and Bob Kohler our most ardent and early supporter. For her decade of labor and love, we will add Elizabeth Owens to that history and celebrate her for years to come.

We are devastated to share that our beloved Elizabeth Owens has passed away. Elizabeth joined VOCAL-NY in 2010 as an out...
09/19/2020

We are devastated to share that our beloved Elizabeth Owens has passed away.

Elizabeth joined VOCAL-NY in 2010 as an outreach worker and soon became a full-time community organizer, where she built the power of our organization for the last decade.

If you’ve met Elizabeth you’ll remember her. She greeted you with a loud “thank you for coming to work today!” and gave you a big hug, never a handshake. She talked to everyone on the street or the subway, breaking the monotony of a commute to work with her infectious smile and laugh.

Elizabeth always showed up as her full self -- a drug user, formerly homeless, “gay as hell” and a powerful advocate for her community. She was never afraid to be on the front lines of a protest and spent most days knocking doors across the city to recruit and inspire others to join our campaigns.

She was particularly proud of She’s So VOCAL -- the women’s organizing project she spearheaded for the last several years. She created a beautiful, affirming space for women in our organization to come together to strategize on campaigns, and to lift each other up.

She will be deeply missed and we will celebrate her life soon. We love you Elizabeth!

Our HU Leaders, Felix Guzman, Reginald Brown, and Nathylin Flowers will be a part of this evening's discussion with PA J...
09/17/2020

Our HU Leaders, Felix Guzman, Reginald Brown, and Nathylin Flowers will be a part of this evening's discussion with PA Jumaane Williams & others!

Tune in and watch: Facebook.com/NYCPublicAdvocate

Or register at: NYChomeless.eventbrite.com

Did you know that 58,736 displaced New Yorkers are currently living in the municipal shelter system?

Join us for Homeless in New York: Falling Through the Cracks to hear from community advocates and New Yorkers directly impacted by housing insecurity.

RSVP for this critical conversation: NYCHomelessness.eventbrite.com

09/08/2020

Membership Meeting Happening Now

08/20/2020
VOCAL-NY: When We Fight, We Win

September 30th: Celebrate our stories and our power at our annual gala!

All proceeds from this year's gala will go to our campaign for A Permanent Home for Justice, Compassion and Love. You can contribute to our gala & work: https://bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNY

Take a minute to hear from some of our leaders about their stories and our fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtgIYCfbLmw

VOCAL-NY is building a people's movement to end AIDS, homelessness, the overdose crisis, and the war on drugs, by building power across the state and providi...

It's been over a month since this incident was brought to the public's attention and there has been no justice for our h...
08/13/2020
JUSTICE FOR THE HOMELESS: CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE FIRING OF NYPD OFFICER LONG & SAHA FOR BRUTALIZING HOMELESS NYER | VOCAL PowerBase

It's been over a month since this incident was brought to the public's attention and there has been no justice for our homeless brother. We must continue to send a strong message that policing poverty and brutalizing the homeless is not tolerated.

Don't forget to sign and share this petition. These officers still have a job, we want them fired!!!!!

https://vocal.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=42&reset=1

BackgroundThis month, The City that broke this month (HERE) detailing yet again another horrific story of police abuse and elected power against a homeless member of the community.

07/24/2020
07/24/2020
07/20/2020

HALT RALLY IN WEST CAPITAL PARK

07/13/2020

Holding Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz accountable you her campaign promises.

It is our honor to invite you to our annual gala, on Wednesday, September 30th! RSVP: bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNYAfter 20 yea...
07/08/2020

It is our honor to invite you to our annual gala, on Wednesday, September 30th!

RSVP: bit.ly/2020GalaVOCALNY

After 20 years, we are moving due to rampant gentrification of our neighborhood. But we are seizing this moment to secure ourselves a larger space and permanent home only blocks away from where we are today.

Our theme this year is "A Permanent Home for Justice, Compassion and Love," as we launch a capital campaign to renovate and own a permanent space where we can expand our life-saving harm reduction services, and grow our capacity to build the power of low-income people dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic, homelessness, mass incarceration and War on Drugs.

Whether indoors, outside, or online, we will celebrate the continuous work of our organization and the broader movement, over the past year.

We can’t wait to see you!

Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)
07/02/2020

Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

06/30/2020
NYS Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

NYS Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Eviction = Violence! Many of New York's 10 million poor and low-income people are at an increased risk of eviction right now. We can't return to the pre-COVID normal of 90,000 homeless New Yorkers. We need a #NYHomesGuarantee NOW!

Video of last week's housing justice rally in Albany, NY by the NYS Poor People's Campaign Media Team.

#CancelRent #PoorPeoplesCampaign

The true financial cost of the largest most militarized police army in the US - $11 billion every year  94% paid with ou...
06/19/2020
A Look Inside the New York City Police Department Budget

The true financial cost of the largest most militarized police army in the US - $11 billion every year 94% paid with our tax money.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is by far the biggest and most expensive police department in the country: The overall cost of the NYPD is actually…

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