Central New Yorkers to Deliver Petition Signatures to Rep. Katko

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2016 at 10:01 am

CNY Solidarity Coalition

N E W S   R E L E A S E

December 20, 2016

For further information:
Andy Mager, 559-7058

Central New Yorkers to Deliver Petition Signatures to Rep. Katko

A new coalition of Central New York residents will deliver hundreds of petition signatures to Rep. John Katko’s office on Wednesday, December 21 at 4 pm at the Galleries, 440 S. Warren St, Syracuse. The petitions call on Rep. Katko to fulfill his campaign promise to “represent all Central New Yorkers.” Reminding Rep. Katko of his repeated opposition to Donald Trump’s campaign, the petitioners call on him to commit to eight specific points and demand that he work “to help Central New York and the United States to remain a place where all people can live freely and flourish.”

Aly Wane, an organizer with the CNY Solidarity Coalition and an undocumented activist in the community, said, “Central New York has such a rich history of standing up for human rights — the abolition and women’s suffrage movements and much more. Now is a time to build on that tradition to resist the worst impulses of the incoming administration.”

The petition was drafted by the CNY Solidarity Coalition, a new community-based effort to protect all Central New Yorkers from the dangers of President-elect Trump’s rhetoric, cabinet appointees and proposed policies. The Coalition grew out of an emergency rally on November 9 in Clinton Square to protest Trump’s election. Its members come from many segments of our community — unified by the need to stand up to the ever-evolving Trump-Pence-Ryan agenda and work in solidarity with those most likely to suffer increased discrimination, violence and oppression.

The CNY Solidarity Coalition welcomes new people to join its efforts. It can be reached at 315-472-5478 or


Full Petition Text

Dear Representative Katko:

During your re-election campaign you promised to represent all Central New Yorkers.

You also regularly distanced yourself from Donald Trump, saying “there’s absolutely no way I can support him.”

As part of following through on the above, we ask you to commit to:

  • meet with concerned Central New Yorkers regularly to hear about the ways that the President elect’s rhetoric and proposed policies threaten Muslims, refugees, African-Americans, Latino/as, Women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people and others in our community.
  • oppose legislation that would deny fundamental rights to people in our community
  • support access to contraception and a woman’s right to choose
  • actively promote meaningful federal action to combat climate change
  • oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act and expand access to health care for all Americans
  • condemn extreme rhetoric, hate speech, and violence
  • support free and fair elections by defending the Voting Rights Act and opposing any effort to deny any American the right to vote
  • demand a foreign policy based on human rights, diplomacy and cooperation, not threats and intimidation

We oppose any agenda that threatens to turn us back on these issues. As our representative, we demand that you work with your party’s leadership and Democrats to help Central New York and the United States to remain a place where all people can live freely and flourish.


On Hiatus

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

Independent Media CNY is now on indefinite hiatus.  As Founder and Producer of this blog for 30 months starting in November 2013, I have created 120 posts counting this one (plus many additional social media only posts at Facebook) – that’s one every week – including original writing, political cartoon satire, exclusive audio and video documentation of events, and publication of relevant social and environmental justice press releases to inform about local actions and news happening (many of which went unpublished by our current media outlets).

But I have not created the necessary interest nor activity of additional contributors and collaborators in order to form a working and stable collective that can provide an alternative grassroots media source in CNY.  An idea is worth less without the implementation. My implementation has been to the extent I can muster, but it has been part of the spreading thin of my contributions in various media and topics of interest.

I can only hope that my efforts may inspire others in the future to take up a similar mantle and to work on taking the legs out from corporate media locally and regionally while at the same time working on growing a media vision that relies on contributions by everyday people to a limitless publication platform which is not hindered by space restrictions and advertisements.

This hiatus includes “Art Show On A Vine” which recently merged from an independent project to be under the umbrella of Indy Media CNY.  “Art Show On A Vine” was my experiment in using the Vine video app platform for sharing and promoting local art by broadcasting a snippet of all artworks on display at various shows throughout the city, encouraging in-person visits and patrons.  It was fun to produce and is fun to look back upon.

That having been said, I hope you will join me in supporting and developing two local media sources that I find to be extremely valuable to our community.

First, SPARK!, Syracuse’s new independent FM radio station to be broadcast at 93.5 on the dial (103.3 in Liverpool).  In addition to a focus on local music, and original topical programming, there is room for a daily news program reporting the peoples’ news that goes uncovered locally.

Second, The Peace Newsletter, a publication of the Syracuse Peace Council, which doesn’t shy away from taking on the toughest topics to continue to educate and instigate us about the ravages of neo-liberalism, the war economy, and social injustices.

Simplicity, Sharing, and Stability to all ~ Frank Cetera


BLM Upstate NY Meets With Senator Bernie Sanders

In politics, Racial Justice on April 12, 2016 at 10:41 am

April 11, 2016

Today, organizers from the Black Lives Matter chapter of Upstate NY had a private meeting with Presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders. The meeting occurred shortly before the Senator addressed an over-capacity crowd at The Washington Avenue Armory in Albany. We were joined by family members of Donald “Dontay” Ivy—a Black man who was unconstitutionally stopped and killed by the Albany Police Department last April.

Our decision to meet with Senator Sanders is not in any way an endorsement of his candidacy for President. This was, however, an opportunity to use the Senator’s platform and influence to further our demands for racial justice on a national level. We appreciate that the Senator has continued to fine tune his message regarding existing racial disparities, and we believe that is a direct response to the tactics employed by dedicated activists and communities of color around the country.

Senator Sanders also took the time to speak to the family of Dontay Ivy. The family explained—often through tears—how Dontay was racially profiled and stopped, before being tased to death mere feet from his home. Sanders, like many other Democratic candidates, conveyed his regret that Black Americans are routinely and disproportionately brutalized, harassed, imprisoned, surveilled, and scrutinized by law enforcement. During the exchange Sanders stated, “What we don’t have yet is a culture in this country that says to the police department that lethal force […] is a last resort—not a first resort. Clearly in [Dontay’s] case that could have been dealt with in a hundred different ways.” Although we are disappointed that the Senator did not specifically reference Dontay Ivy in his address today, we intend to hold Senator Sanders and his team to their agreement to look into the Ivy case and be more purposeful and vigilant in amplifying the issues facing Black and Brown citizens. We expect to have further dialogue with the Sanders campaign, and look forward to meeting with the national staff for a follow up conversation.

It’s worth noting that Sanders did address several of our grievances during his speech. However, we also take note of what was not addressed. In addition to excluding Dontay Ivy, Sanders did not mention to our satisfaction a meaningful redistribution of resources—specifically to communities of color. He did not mention that even the most well-intentioned police officers are complicit in causing harm to Black and Brown people, and are rarely (if ever) held accountable when they do. He did not mention the limitations of police reform, and that trainings and “safer” weapons won’t undo the systematic oppression of Black neighborhoods. He did not mention that Albany, like most cities, lack any multi-service community centers or significant resources serving the most marginalized. He did not mention that New York is one of only two states where children over the age of 16 are automatically treated as adults, and how that disproportionately impacts children of color. He did not mention Black Lives Matter.

While we understand that words are a far cry from action, we agree with Angela Davis’ recent sentiment acknowledging the merits of Black activists “participating in this electoral period” and “forcing candidates to speak on issues which they might not speak.” Only a massive shift in our national consciousness will create a climate where ANY candidate or elected official will be have no choice but to unapologetically defend and uplift Black lives.

In solidarity,
Black Lives Matter, Upstate NY