I would like to share with you and comment on an email I received from the New York State Council on the Arts as I believe it should be read by all New Yorkers:
We are down to the wire on budget negotiations.
We MUST get our legislators to speak out in support of arts funding and against the 40% cut in CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TODAY!!!!!!!
Get in touch with your democratic legislators directly or their chief of staff, in both the Assembly and Senate.
YOU NEED TO DO IT NOW.
We must get a critical mass speaking out in conference committees TODAY. The Speaker and Majority Leader will respond to that pressure.
If we do not get a significant number of members speaking out, we will fall through the cracks. The smallest state agency is facing the biggest cut.
Call your electeds NOW. Speak with them directly or their chief of staff....do not leave a message with the receptionist.
(NYS ARTS Advocacy HQ is your directory for all legislative contacts)
We are really down to the wire and it is NOT looking good. You probably know that Paterson put his health care cuts ($775 million) into the weekly extender that was passed this week. He has threatened to put education cuts in next week's extender bill and then said he'd put it off a week to give the legislators time to come to final agreement on a budget. If there isn't progress on the budget, NYSCA cuts could also end up in the extender because it's part of the Education, Labor and Family Assistance bill. !!!!!!!!!!!
So you really have to kick this can hard NOW. We are all busy and crazed, but take a few minutes to do this NOW.
Update on action taken: We now have almost 19,000 emails to legislators, and the leadership in Albany. A letter was sent to all Senate and the Assembly members asking for a restoration of arts funding. It was signed by 21 statewide and regional service organizations and was delivered by courier to every legislator on TUESDAY, June 8 in the am. On Thursday June 10 a group pf advocates will troll the halls and meet with legislators.
FORWARD THIS MESSAGE! WE MUST MAKE IT VIRAL.
Judith Kaufman Weiner
Folks, times are TOUGH! Our state is standing on the brink of total and utter chaos with everything that is happening in Albany right now. In the midst of a state shutdown threat I am further disappointed to hear that nobody spoke up for the arts in the democratic Assembly conference committee yesterday!
I urge you to please call your members or their chief of staff and tell them that you heard nobody is advocating for the arts and so you want to remind them of the job and program losses they will face in their district should the 40% cut to NYSCA be approved.
Not sure who exactly you should call? Use this tool here to put in your zip code and find out!
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!