July 4, 2020

Background on jail conversation

Attached is an info sheet providing more background on the jail conversation, as well as a link to the most recent Democratic Caucus 'Dutchess Voice' newsletter that focuses on the jail issue. We'll continue to provide updates via the 'Dutchess Voice' as the issue progresses.  Link below--you can sign up for news at www.dutchessvoice.com/subscribe .
Thank you!
Members of the Democratic caucus, Dutchess County legislature

Call out the hypocrisy of the town hall

On Tuesday July 7th from 5:30-6:30pm there will be a Dutchess County Town Hall for people of color to share their experiences. The event is hosted by county executive Marc Molinero, congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and the Dutchess County commission on human rights. We, the Vassar College Black Student Union, need to mobilize speakers to call out the hypocrisy of the town hall while Julissa and Jamelia’s family continue to be aggressively prosecuted and the police officers who assaulted them have not been fired and held accountable. We will not fall for political stunts. Register for the town hall so we can continue to apply pressure on their cases. If you are comfortable speaking please do and demand justice for Julissa and Jamelia now. 

Link to register.

Facebook Event

July 2, 2020

July 5th, 6pm back at Mansion Square Park

I have just learned from Rasonia that this event is POSTPONED to Sunday, July 5, same time and same place.

On Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 7:31:42 PM UTC-4, Bill Rubin wrote:
Tracy sent the following announcement from Black Lives Matter -- Hudson Valley seeking leaders to take an active role in facilitating community conversations. Anyone who is interested should email Tracy at thgivens@gmail.com to get training information.

Peace  family,

As many of you might know, Dutchess County issued a $200 million bond back in 2016 for building a new jail. At this moment, as we have the momentum to fight for Black lives, we recognize that this is a gross misuse of funds in Dutchess County.

The national call for defunding the police is about addressing the prison-industrial complex as a whole. Police are just one tier of this multi-tier, multi-million dollar industry that disproportionately targets Black and Brown communities for incarceration. This industry has deep roots in education, setting our youth up by taking away crucial funding in schools, after-school programs, and youth employment opportunities.

On July 9th the DC legislature will be voting on how they are going to spend this money. We are at a crucial moment when we need to lift our voices and show that we, collectively, do not want another prison in our community but we want that money reinvested into the community.

We are gathering again. We are congregating again, this time to talk about how this money SHOULD be invested into the community and planning actions to take to ensure that our voices and demands are heard.

We will be gathering Sunday, July 5th, 6pm back at Mansion Square Park. We NEED YOUR HELP to facilitate small group conversations on that day. We will be hosting a prep call on July 2nd from 7pm-8pm so that everyone is prepared to dig in and facilitate the conversation.

Thank you for your time and energy – in solidarity.

Silent Protest Before DC Legislature Meeting, July 9

Public objection to the Dutchess proposed jail project continues to grow. The issue of a proposed new county jail has been a major issue since 2017. Right now there is an opportunity to stop investment in a jail and improve investment in social services and community support.

A silent protest is planned on July 9. Many area activist groups and organizations are sponsoring, including DCPAA. Social distancing will be observed. If you feel you can participate, the details are below.
Read this letter from Rebecca Edwards and Nick Page:
The Dutchess County Legislature will meet on July 9, at 5:30 pm. Two resolutions from the Democratic caucus concerning the proposed jail project will be on the agenda. Those are at the end of this message, along with a fact sheet outlining why we passionately believe the county should rescind the remaining bonds, reconsider the jail project, and invest in alternatives to incarceration. Changing our criminal justice system is essential for racial justice and for the health and security of our community. In addition, the county's financial situation amid the COVID crisis is dire. The county's fund balance will be drained by September, and if direct federal aid does not come through, we are facing up to 200 layoffs. If we want to have any capacity, over the next few years, to invest in jobs, affordable housing, addiction treatment, mental health support, youth empowerment, environmental protection, and other essential goals, we need to NOT build a $200 million jail.

To demonstrate public support for new priorities, a group of organizations are planning a silent protest at 22 Market St, Poughkeepsie, from 4 to 5:30 on Thursday, July 9, just before the legislature meets. If 200 participants space ourselves 6 ft. apart, we can stretch a quarter-mile along Market Street, from Tubman Park all the way to the post office, with participants holding signs with a million dollar bill on them (200 people x $1 million = cost of the jail--the protest organizers will provide those signs). Other participants could bring signs with alternative policy priorities they envision: "fund youth summer jobs," "fund mental health support," or whatever priorities people want to express.

Sponsoring groups so far are ENJAN, DCPAA, the Progressive Black and Latino Caucus, Beacon Prison Action, Stop the Violence, ACT18 Indivisible, and the Democratic Caucus of the legislature. Other groups are still being contacted about co-sponsoring.

In the meantime, it would be incredibly helpful if people would PLEASE contact their county legislators and urge them to vote to rescind the bail bond and recommend a commission to consider alternatives. A phone call could have the most impact.
If you want to write to all: countylegislators@dutchessny.gov  
with a cc to: cmorris@dutchessny.gov (Legislature Clerk) with Public Comment in the subject line.
Here’s a link to information on the issue https://mailchi.mp/948afa0aecbb/kn2xv6uev8

July 1, 2020

Radical Women, the National Comrades of Color Caucus

Activist Radio has the following guest on this week:

GUESTS: Emily Yamasaki and Nga Bul, members of Radical Women, the National Comrades of Color Caucus, and the Freedom Socialist Party, talk about the psychology of oppression and the NYC Campaign for an Elected Civilian Review Board.  

Activist Radio is broadcast: Thursdays 5-6 pm from WVKR 91.3 FM at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Sundays 4-5 pm from WIOF 104.1 FM in Woodstock, NY; and Sundays 5-6 pm from the Progressive Radio Network at PRN.FM. It will also be posted on the ClassWars website for the next ten weeks. Simply click on the date to hear it.


Activist Radio

June 29, 2020

Rally for Black Trans Lives on Tuesday, June 30

Thanks to Matlyn Drucker for sending the following announcement:

There will be a Rally for Black Trans Lives on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 PM at Mansion Square Park in Poughkeepsie. Attendees are asked to wear white. Note: Trans & non-binary meetup at 6:00. Supporters can donate $ for H2O and mask distribution by Venmo to @Mattie-Drucker.

For more information, contact Ezra Weissman at ezraweissman67@gmail.com.

June 23, 2020

Let the Dutchess County Legislators and County Executive Molinaro know that we, the taxpayers, don't want or need a new jail!


Here’s something concrete, useful, and simple we each can do locally on the issue of reimagining public safety in the wake of George Floyd’s murder: Let the Dutchess County Legislators and County Executive Molinaro know that we, the taxpayers, don't want or need a new jail.

The money for its cost was not justifiable to begin with.  Now with repercussions of the COVID pandemic and the call for defunding the police, this money can be used to pay for community needs.  

Making your voice heard here ranges from “quick and easy” to “more effective”. Please consider adding your voice either way or both! And, please share with a couple friends.

Best regards,
Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance (DCPAA)
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson (NLMH)
E.N.J.A.N. (End the New Jim Crow Action Network)

Quick and Easy: Add your name to the letter shown below as an individual or as an organization by July 8 to be sent to our Dutchess County legislators by clicking on the link here: 

More effective: Write your own email or letter, (or copy and paste this one), and send it to your County Legislator and County Executive by July 9th.
If you want to write to all: countylegislators@dutchessny.gov  with a cc to cmorris@dutchessny.gov (Legislature Clerk) with Public Comment in the subject line.