Saturday, July 29, 2017

Protest Against Trump's Transgender Military Ban in New York City

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New York, NY - On July 29. 2017, a group of New Yorkers gathered at Columbus Circle across the Trump International Hotel and Tower New York in Central Park to raise their voices in protest against discrimination towards the LGBTQ community, in the aftermath of the Trump/Pence regime decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The Trump/Pence regime banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. This comes on top of Trump revoking federal guidelines that mandated transgender students have the right to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity and a host of other measures that demean, victimize and deny transgender people their fundamental rights. 

Activists groups stated that the ban of transgender people in the U.S. military forms part of moves by the Trump/Pence regime to consolidate fascism in the U.S., one part of which is to attack the LGBTQ community for how they choose to live their lives and to aggressively re-institute oppressive “traditional values" in U.S. society. This ban also contributes to whipping up a dangerous, violent lynch mob atmosphere targeting transgender people in society as a whole. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#Activism #BlackTransLivesMatter #Community #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #EndTransphobia #Equality #FakePrez #GayRights #GenderEquality #GenderNonConforming #GNC #GOP #humanrights #LGBTQ #LGBTQLivesMatter #LoveTrumpsHate #MangoMussolini #march #NewYork #NotMyPresident #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Protest #rally #RejectPresidentElect #resist #ResistTrump #revolution #‎Solidarity #StopTheHate #TGNC #Trans #TransDayOfAction #Transgender #TransJustice #TransLiberation #TransLivesMatter #Transphobia #TransRights #TransWomenBelong #trump #trumpvsallofus

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Millions Marching for Medicare" rally in NYC

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New York, NY - On July 24, 2017; hundreds of New Yorkers joined a grassroots alliance of health care advocates in a rally on the steps of Union Square to demand a universal, single payer, improved and expanded Medicare healthcare system and an end to for-profit healthcare. Coordinating rallies have been organized in communities across the country, with the founding rally being held in Washington D.C. 

Healthcare is a burning issue that affects every person, young and old, every family and every community that bears the skyrocketing weight of foreclosures and bankruptcies that result from medical bills that cannot be paid, as well as failing businesses that come from an unsteady economy and a growing poverty class.

With the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) looming on the horizon and the two disastrous & cruel Republican replacement proposals, that political analysts deem more of a tax break for the one percent than a viable health care for anyone, a large majority of Americans are demanding universal healthcare. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center poll shows that 60% of the population now favors a Medicare for All health care system over both the GOP proposals & the ACA.

Nearly 45,000 deaths are associated with lack of health insurance every year in the United States, according to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health. New Yorkers gathered together on Monday, July 24th to demand that our elected officials put the health and well being of the people of this country over the wealth of the few and guarantee healthcare for all.

“It's time for the people to speak with one crystal clear voice to demand from our elected representatives the justice of a fair, non-profit healthcare system.” - Millions Marching for Medicare co-founder Michael Rushnak.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The NYC rally will feature testimonies from private citizens as well as esteemed speakers from the medical and political arenas, including the sponsor of NY state’s single payer bill, the NY Health Act, Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Dr. Roona Ray & Dr. Steve Auerbach of Physicians for a National Health Program, RN Peter Pacheco of NYSNA, Kenneth Shelton of Black Lives Matter of Greater NY, and policy director Heidi Siegfried of the Center for
Independence of the Disabled New York.

Co-hosted by a grassroots alliance of health care advocates.
Single Payer Health - Long Island
Long Island Activists
HEAL NY: Healthcare Equity Action League of NY
Campaign for New York Health
Center for Independence of the Disabled New York
New York Health Act
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York
The People For Bernie Sanders
RefuseFascism.org
New York Progressive Action Network - NYPAN
Action Blitz
Women's March on NYC
Resisters

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#ACA, #Activism, #AffordableCareAct, #AHCA, #CareNotCuts, #DefendHealthcare, #Dying4Care, #HealthcareForAll, #HealthcareIsAHumanRight, #HealthcareNotWealthcare, #KillRepeal, #KillTheBill, #Medicaid, #Medicare, #Medicare4All, #MedicareForAll, #NewYork, #NYC, #Obamacare, #PeacefulProtest, #PeacefulResistance, #rally, #ResistTrump, #SinglePayer, #TrumpCare, #TrumpCareKills, #trumpvsallofus, #UnionSquare, #UniversalHeathcare
© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Access Denied: a campaign led by New York Elected Officials, transit experts and advocates for disabled New Yorkers, seniors, parents, and veterans demanding to the MTA: “Let us ride”

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New York City - Disability rights groups, New York Elected Officials, parent advocates, aging groups, and transit advocates in New York City launched a campaign on July 20, 2017, calling on Governor Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to adopt clear, ambitious plans to make the NYC subway system fully accessible and to address long-term dysfunction in MTA elevator maintenance operations. The groups marked the release of a TransitCenter report entitled “Access Denied: Making the MTA Subway System Accessible to All New Yorkers.” The report chronicles the short and long term policy failures that have rendered the MTA the least accessible subway system in the country, and presents actionable recommendations to remedy the problem. 

The report notes that while the MTA will achieve accessibility at “100 key stations” identified in a 1994 legal settlement in its current cycle of capital investments, the agency has no clear plans for expanding the number of accessible stations going forward. “Having no strategy, plan, goal or set of benchmarks to significantly expand accessibility — let alone make every station in the system accessible — is unconscionable nearly 30 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Chris Pangilinan, a transit expert, subway rider, and wheelchair user who works at TransitCenter.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The report also documents how limited subway trip-making is for people who can access only 110 of 472 subway stations, and that this limitation is compounded by the daily roll of the dice that subway elevator users face in terms of elevator breakdowns and inaccurate alerts regarding outages.

NYC subways are the least accessible major subway system in the country for people who require stair-free access. Only 23% of the city’s subway stations have elevators. The elevators break down often, rendering even fewer stations accessible to those with mobility impairments. In contrast, Boston’s “T” and Chicago CTA urban rail networks have more than twice the station accessibility, and thus vastly greater trip-making opportunities for people requiring accessible stations despite being 100-plus year-old systems like the NYC subway. After city and transit leaders empowered agency staff to tackle the issue, 71% of Boston’s subway stations and 69% of Chicago’s rail stations have been made accessible. Both cities have concrete plans to reach 100% accessibility.

In 1994, the MTA agreed to make 100 “key stations” accessible by 2020. This was part of a settlement that exempted the agency from full compliance with the ADA and the state’s Public Buildings and Transportation Laws. The MTA is currently working to complete the final 11 of these 100 stations. But beyond fulfilling this 25-year-old agreement, neither the Cuomo Administration nor the MTA has an articulated plan or policy for making the system more accessible in the future.

"Transportation access is the second biggest barrier to employment for people with disabilities. We need reliable transportation like everybody else," said Monica Bartley of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Governor Cuomo and the MTA leadership have the power to remedy today’s unreliability and vastly accelerate progress on system-wide accessibility for the NYC subway. “Access Denied” calls on the Governor and transit leaders to incorporate detailed ADA accessibility improvements into the MTA’s Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment and the 2020-2024 Capital Program, with a strategic goal of 100% accessibility and clear targets and benchmarks on the way to full accessibility. The investment strategy and focused policy attention should allow a faster pace of new elevator construction, such as 15 newly accessible stations a year. This would result in 100% accessibility in 25 years. As an example, Chicago has set a deadline of 20 years to achieve 100% accessibility in its system.

In the short run, the MTA needs to completely overhaul subway elevator maintenance and management practices, with a focus on employee retention, better training, tracking, reporting and accountability for performance. If the agency cannot accomplish better elevator reliability in-house, the MTA should contract out for elevator maintenance operations to a private company that specializes in the field, like tens of thousands of elevator buildings in the city do already. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

“We cannot continue to tell those unable to get up and down steps on their own that the subway system is not for them,” said City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “There needs to be a real plan to tackle the lack of accessibility in the city subway system. This not only means more elevators must be built, but those that are already in place must be maintained. Far too often I get calls from constituents furious that elevators at the uptown A and 1 train stations are down. It is unacceptable. This is an issue that troubles thousands across our city and I am proud to join TransitCenter in demanding a change.”

#AccessDenied #Accessibility #ADA #ADAcompliant #AmericansWithDisabilitiesAct #AndrewCuomo #BrokenElevators #Cuomo #Disability #ElectedOfficials #GovernorCuomo #LetUsRide #Lhota #mobility #MTA #NewYork #NYC #NYCSubway #NYCTransit #PressConference #rally #RiseAndResist #safety #StrandedByCuomo #straphangers #SubwayStation #TransitCenter #transportation #wheelchair

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More than 500 constituents occupy offices of all 52 GOP senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal resulting on 175 arrests

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Washington DC - 175 people were arrested after a massive civil disobedience on July 19, 2017; in Senate offices around Capitol Hill. In the wake of the health care bill collapse, constituents from across the country flooded Capitol Hill to protest Republican senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal and demand universal, affordable, quality healthcare for all.

People with disabilities and life-threatening chronic illnesses, cancer survivors, Medicaid recipients, Affordable Care Act (ACA) policyholders, registered nurses, doctors, and others directly impacted by the potential repeal of ACA traveled from all states represented by Republican Senators to descend upon Capitol Hill to send one clear message: Stop trying to kill Obamacare.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The Republican healthcare bill may not have enough votes to go forward, but GOP senators have signaled they will still proceed with a vote to repeal the ACA. Dozens of people will risk arrest in acts of civil disobedience—a sign of just how critical it is to them that their Senators hear their pleas not to put their lives and those of people they love at risk by stripping protections for preexisting conditions, essential health benefits, and other key features of the ACA that have allowed 20 million Americans to access coverage since its implementation. The protesters will call for Senators to instead support a single payer, Medicare for All system, that would ensure guaranteed health care to every person living in the United States.

Prior to the action, the Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, National Nurses United, Rise and Resist, Positive Women’s Network – USA, ACT UP, and Health Care for America Now, and a nationwide network of 500+ constituents of all 52 Republican Senators, including many with serious health conditions and disabilities held a National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care, open to the press at St. Mark’s Church 301 St St SE, Washington DC.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Speakers included patients and providers from states that would be hurt by repeal, as well as the Presidents of National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Plan, as well as speakers from Hoosier Action from Indiana, Positive Women’s Network, and Housing Works in New York. The panel is moderated by Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, host of the podcast “Dr. America”, who also practices general pediatrics in southeast Washington.

After the town hall, around 2 p.m., hundreds of constituents from almost every state in the country step off to hit the offices of every senator who has not come out against repeal, and participate in civil disobedience to demand health care for all.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote next week on the ACA Repeal bill that would:

* End the Medicaid expansion and all premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies while ending the individual mandate
* Leave 18 million Americans uninsured during the first year it takes effect
* Leave 32 million Americans uninsured by 2026
* Increase premiums by 25% within the first year and 100% by 2026

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#ACA #Activism #AffordableCareAct #AHCA #arrests #CapitolHill #CareNotCuts #DefendHealthcare #Dying4Care #HealthcareForAll #HealthcareIsAHumanRight #HealthcareNotWealthcare #humanrights #KillRepeal #KillTheBill #Medicaid #Medicare4All #MedicareForAll #Obamacare #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Protest #ResistTrump #SinglePayer #‎Solidarity #TownHall #TrumpCabinet #TrumpCareKills #UniversalHeathcare #USSenate #WashingtonDC 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Friday, July 14, 2017

A resident blockade of Competitive Power Ventures Gas-Fired Power Plant results in a 7-day jail sentence for Oscar-nominated actor and activist, James Cromwell, Grandmother and actress Madeline Shaw, and Mother Pramilla Malick in Orange County, NY 

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Orange County, NY  - Local residents - Oscar-nominated actor and activist, James Cromwell, Grandmother and actress Madeline Shaw, and Mother Pramilla Malick - began their 7-day jail sentence in Orange County, N.Y. on July 14, 2017; for their action taken at the construction site of the Competitive Power Ventures Gas-Fired power plant in Wawayanda, NY. The three residents staged a blockade at the site on December 18, 2015 stating this project creates unacceptable health and safety risks to the public. 

The defendants argued the "Defense of Justification" sections 35.05 through 35.30 of the Penal Law, but were found guilty. They refused to pay their fines in protest of the unjust punishment and were sent to Orange County Jail. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Grandmother and actress Madeline Shaw announced at the press conference prior to reporting to jail, “As more and more of us come here to protest...I am more optimistic that we can shut this down.”

Actor James Cromwell said, “What we did is all heart, what the people of  Standing Rock did is all heart. The people people we oppose are not bad people, but they have lost touch with their heart. Our prayers should go out to them, but we must not stop.”

Mother Pramilla Malick had a message directly to New York State: “Give Governor Cuomo the message to protect our air and protect our water. You cannot deem entire communities expendable. We have a governor that banned fracking citing health implants. But this plant will require 100-150 fracking wells per year. That’s frack-your-neighbor energy policy.”

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Background on the CPV Power Plant:

Currently tied up in a scandal with former Cuomo aide, Joseph Percoco, charged with extortion, bribe solicitation, honest services fraud conspiracy and extortion conspiracy as part of the energy company allegations.

CPV is slated to be 22 acres and be around 130 feet high (13 stories). Two emissions stacks would each be about 275 feet high (over 27 stories high). There would also be storage tanks on the site. These would include a 965,000-gallon  diesel fuel oil storage tank, a 15,000-gallon aqueous ammonia storage tank, and a 400,000-gallon demineralized water tank.

An underground transmission line running from the CPV site to an existing New York Power Authority line has been constructed.

Construction of a new switchyard adjacent to this NYPA line has already been completed.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

CPV Valley would need to be connected to the Millennium Pipeline approximately 7 miles south of the site. This connector pipeline, which has been named the Valley Lateral, is subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. (FERC approves 98% of the projects that come before it.) If approved this pipeline could be forcibly located using eminent domain to feed the plant fracked gas from Pennsylvania.

On August 2nd, at the Paramount Theater in Middletown, the DEC will hear public comments about the 401 Water Quality Certificate for the the Valley Lateral Pipeline that aims to connect the Millennium Transmission System to the CPV Power Plant. Residents are determined to stop the lateral project. 

#Activism #ActOnClimate #cleanenergy #ClimateChange #climatejustice #CompetitivePowerVenture #CPV #FossilFree #JailSentence #JamesCromwell #KeepItIntheGround #MadelineShaw #MakeREVreal #Methane #NewYork #NoCPV #NoPipelines #OrangeCounty #PeacefulResistance #PeoplesClimate #PowerPlant #PramillaMalick #REV #Solidarity #StandWithCromwell #StopCPV #Wawayanda6 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

RefuseFascism.org engaged in 100 Hours Of NO! at FOX Fascist News Network headquarters in New York City

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New York, NY - On July 11, 2017; outside Fox News Network headquarters in New York City, RefuseFascism.org engaged in 100 continuous hours of protesting, calling on people to come testify and protest against the Trump-Pence Regime and the hate-filled narrative from their mouthpiece FOX News.

FOX is the Fascist News Network, the Goebbels of the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime. This is not hyperbole. This statement is based on actual facts, unlike the steady stream of lies and threats spewed from the regime's mouthpieces at FOX.

RefuseFascism.org says that this must be stopped and can only be stopped by the mass action of the people.

For 100 hours beginning at high noon on July 11, 2017; building towards and culminating in nation-wide protests on Saturday July 15 to demand, “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Sunsara Taylor, RefuseFascism.org, and many others will deliver a living indictment of the Fox Fascist News Network and the Trump/Pence Regime. For 100 Hours, day and night, they will call on people to come testify and protest against the Trump/Pence Regime and the hate-filled bullshit from the mouthpiece of FOX.

Mexicans are “rapists.” Punch protesters “in the face.” Grab women by their genitals. This is Trump. This is what FOX promotes. The Trump/Pence Regime is using the full force of the state to terrorize and tear apart immigrant families; to ban Muslims; to pour gasoline on the flames of a climate in crisis; to deprive women, LGBTQ people, disabled people, and Black, Latino, Native American people of basic rights; to menace the world with nuclear weapons; and to fire, bludgeon, threaten, and unleash violence against all opposition. The Trump/Pence Regime is a fascist regime. Fox is their biggest bullhorn. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

In the name of humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

It starts on Tuesday July 11. The truth about this regime will be spoken. The lies of Trump/Pence/FOX refuted. We are calling on people to come down and testify. 100 hours of getting ready for July 15 Nationwide Protests to Demand: The Trump-Pence regime must GO!

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#100HoursOfNo #Activism #DefendDemocracy #DumpTrump #FakePrez #FoxNews #FoxNewsLies #humanrights #impeach #J15TrumpPenceMustGo #LoveTrumpsHate #MangoMussolini #manhattan #MikePence #NewsCorporation #NewYork #NotMyPresident #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Pence #rally #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #revolution #‎Solidarity #StopTheHate #TrumpCabinet #TrumpCare #trumpvsallofus

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Yorkers and healtcare advocacy groups protest outside Rep. John Faso's fundraiser in Manhattan

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New York City - The NYS Nurses Association, Health Care for America Now-NYC, Caring For Us Indivisible, We Make America, Get Organized Brooklyn, Saving Affordable Health Insurance, Citizen Action of NY, 199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and members of Rise and Resist are mobilizing and organizing a protest outside Rep. John Faso's fundraiser as donors arrive at the Park Imperial at 230 West 56th St. in Midtown Manhattan

Freshman Rep. John Faso (NY-19, Hudson Valley) held a fundraiser in midtown Manhattan July 10, 2017. His Collins-Faso amendment to the GOP’s health care bill would cost residents of New York City a lot of money so Faso could give it to his fat cat donors. The groups were protesting outside the fundraiser to let him know New Yorkers are not going to stand for his dirty tricks. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Not only did Faso vote for the House Trumpcare bill in May, he coauthored the notorious Collins-Faso amendment to both the House and Senate bills that would shift New York Medicaid funding from counties’ budgets to the state budget. 

However, it would exempt NYC from this new arrangement, so that while local taxpayers upstate and on Long Island might benefit (if their counties kept taxes low after the Medicaid break - no guarantee), residents of NYC would most likely be doubly taxed. They would have to participate in the State tax increase to fund upstate Medicaid expenses, while continuing to pay the New York City share though their local taxes.

The tax burden would weigh heavier on lower income folks, and on NYC. And the money would end up lining the pockets of his donors. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#ACA #Activism #AffordableCareAct #AHCA #CareNotCuts #DefendHealthcare #DumpTrump #Dying4Care #GetOrganizedBK #HealthcareForAll #HealthcareIsAHumanRight #HealthcareNotWealthcare #humanrights #JohnFaso #Medicaid #MedicareForAll #NewYork #NewYorkHealthAct #NYC #NYHA #Obamacare #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #refusefascism #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #SinglePayer #‎Solidarity #TrumpCabinet #TrumpCare #trumpvsallofus #UniversalHeathcare 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963
Rally outside the CUNY Graduate Center after CUNY fired Labor Organizer

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New York, NY - Well-known New York City movement organizer and employee of The City University of New York, Marisa Holmes, is fighting for her job.

On July 10, 2017, she was joined for the second week by the support group, Resist CUNY TV, in a rally outside the CUNY Graduate Center demanding that she be rehired and that CUNY respect the right to organize.

Marisa Holmes is a CUNY alumni, and for the last four has been working as a Broadcast Associate at CUNY TV, the country’s largest university television station housed at the CUNY Graduate Center. Together with her coworkers she produced, shot, and edited video content for broadcast and the web. She was a key organizer for better working conditions and a delegate for her union, DC 37.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

On the morning of Monday, June 26th, Holmes received an email from CUNY Central Office with a letter attached from Sonia S. Pearson, Director of Human Resources, which informed Holmes that her appointment would end on June 30th. Holmes' union, District Council (DC) 37, was not notified. She was not given notice or cause for her termination. This action by HR is clearly in retaliation for her organizing efforts. If this move is tolerated, it sets a precedent for how CUNY manages those who speak out.

“The right to organize must be exercised or we will lose it. This is not only a fight for my job. It is a fight for everyone at CUNY and every worker,” says Marisa Holmes
The same week that Holmes was terminated the CUNY Board of Trustees voted to increase salaries for top administrators to over 400K. There is money at CUNY, but not for the workers, who make the university run. This is the kind of issue that Holmes was drawing attention to, and why she was silenced by CUNY.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#Activism #CUNY #CUNYcontracts #CUNYretaliation #CUNYrising #CUNYstruggle #CUNYtv #DC37 #LaborRights #MarisaHolmes #NewYork #NYC #PSCCUNY #RehireMarisa #‎Solidarity #StopStarvingCUNY #UnionWorkers #WorkerRights #WorkingWomen 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Third annual New York City Disability Pride Parade 

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New York, NY - New York celebrated the third annual Disability Pride with a colorful parade, marching from Union Square Park to Madison Square Park on July 9, 2017. The event promotes inclusion, awareness, and visibility of people with disabilities, and redefine public perception of disability by participating in an annual Disability Pride parade in New York City and to show support and solidarity with people with disabilities. This year ‘Speechless’ Actor Micah Fowler was the Grand Marshall at the 2017 Disability Pride NYC Parade

 ‘Speechless’ Actor Micah Fowler was the Grand Marshall at the 2017 Disability Pride NYC Parade
>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

On Valentines Day 2004, Mike and his wife, Margaret, had a daughter – Mary. She was born with a very rare syndrome called Prader-Willi and was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Through her, Mike and Margaret started to learn what life is like for a person with disabilities. They began to see the misperceptions and injustices surrounding this group of people. In 2012, through his love for his daughter, Mike started the wheels in motion towards creating Disability Pride Day in New York City, which would be an annual event like any other ethnic parade in the city. After 4 years of hard work and dedication, Disability Pride NYC is up and running as a bonafide non profit organization, and the first parade will take place on July 12 2015, which is also the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.

While the signing of the ADA placed immediate legislative demands to ensure equal access and equal treatment of people with disabilities, deep-rooted assumptions and stereotypical biases were not instantly transformed with the stroke of a pen. People with disabilities still face prejudice and bias with the stereotypical portrayal of people with disabilities in the movies and in the media, physical barriers to schools, housing and to voting stations, and lack of affordable health care. The promise of the ADA is yet to be fully realized, but the disability rights movement continues to make great strides towards the empowerment and self-determination of Americans with disabilities.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Mike LeDonne, creator of Disability Pride NYC is a world renowned jazz pianist and Hammond organist. Oscar Peterson named him as one of his favorite pianists of this era. Since moving to New York City in 1978 he has worked with a wide spectrum of Jazz greats from Benny Goodman to Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson and many others. He spent 11 years as pianist and musical director for vibes legend Milt Jackson, and has been working with Benny Golson since 1997. He was nominated for “Best Keyboards” 2012 by the Jazz Journalists Association and won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll as “Rising Star” on organ that same year. Mike’s on over 100 recordings and has 18 out under his own name. He also spent 4 years on the faculty at Juilliard. He left Juilliard to continue playing, recording and touring around the world.

"My 10 year old daughter Mary was born with a rare syndrome that left her with multiple disabilities. It is through her that I became aware of the truth about what being disabled means. Even though she faces different challenges because of her disabilities she is the most beautiful creature on God’s green earth. It’s through my love for her that I started to want the rest of the world to see what I see and know what I know. One day a few years back, right after NYC celebrated Gay Pride Day, I asked myself why there isn’t a Disability Pride Day? Little did I know at the time that Disability Pride was already a national movement and an international one as well. I found that Chicago and other places already had a parade but not New York City? That just seemed wrong so I started making calls and taking it one step at a time learning as I went. I’m glad to say that we now have a 501(c)(3) non profit called Disability Pride NYC. We’re planning our first parade for July 2015. I’m hoping for a big party that not only celebrates people with disabilities but includes all people. A day to reject able-ism and worn-out stereotypes and replace them with a feeling of pride in who and what people with disabilities really are – just another diverse and beautiful aspect of humanity." Mike LeDonne – Founder, President/CEO 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#awareness #Disability #DisabilityParade #DisabilityPride #DisabilityPrideNYC #festival #inclusion #march #MicahFowler #NewYork #NYC #Parade #visibility

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New Yorkers Bring Body Bags and Coffins to Koch’s Door, Protesting Plan to Destroy U.S. Healthcare for Tax Cut Benefiting the Wealthy

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New York, NY - Over a hundred activists in New York City held a “Death March” to David Koch’s Park Avenue home on July 6, 2017; to protest the influence of “dark money” on the Republican healthcare bill that is currently being crafted in the U.S. Senate.  

David Koch and other wealthy Republican donors recently sent a clear message to Congress: "We are cutting all campaign contributions until you repeal Obamacare and eviscerate Medicaid."

The protest made clear that the driving force behind the so-called "healthcare" bill is the need to give massive tax cuts to the billionaires who donate millions to Republicans.  Protesters from several cosponsoring groups delivered body bags, coffins, and tombstones to Koch's doorstep to emphasize the simple, stark truth: people will die in order to increase his already obscene wealth.  

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Mike Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All, said, “We shouldn't destroy lifesaving programs to pay for more tax breaks for greedy billionaires like David Koch.” 

Josh Daniel of Indivisible Harlem added, “Dark money is fueling so much of the hard-right legislation we're seeing in America today, and perhaps none are so openly insidious about this trend as the Koch brothers." 

Elizabeth Jones, a nurse practitioner, added, "My patients depend on Medicaid and Medicare. I'm angry that the Republicans want to take care away from millions of people and transfer that wealth to their rich friends."

Pam Griffith of Women's Health and Reproductive Rights, said "Trumpcare is devastating to women's health and reproductive rights. The Republican bill will make the Koch brothers richer while making women across the country poorer and sicker."

Hannah Greene of Caring for Us Indivisible, added, “The Koch brothers’ assertion that they will withhold all funds until Republicans repeal the ACA and eliminate Medicaid renders plain the fact that we already know: Republicans care more about lining their pockets and maintaining their power than the lives and welfare of the constituents who elected them to represent their best interests.”

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Ann Rubin of Indivisible Nation BK noted, “Healthcare is a human right – tax breaks for the Koch brothers and other wealthy Republican donors are not!"

Laura Myers of Indivisible Brooklyn, said, “We stand for access to quality health care – the interests of the Koch brothers must not be prioritized over the interests of Americans.”

#ACA #Activism #AffordableCareAct #AHCA #DefendHealthcare #DieIn #DieIn4TheACA #DumpTrump #Dying4Care #GetOrganizedBK #HealthcareForAll #HealthcareIsAHumanRight #HealthcareNotWealthcare #humanrights #KochBrothers #KochKills #LoveTrumpsHate #Medicaid #MedicareForAll #NewYork #NewYorkHealthAct #NYC #NYHA #Obamacare #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #refusefascism #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #SinglePayer #‎Solidarity #tombstones #TrumpCabinet #TrumpCare #trumpvsallofus #UniversalHeathcare 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Socialist Feminists in New York rally against the Republican Healthcare “Reform”

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Upper East Side, NYC - The Socialist Feminists of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) organized a protest outside of the New York County Republican Office in New York City on July 5, 2017; to tell Republicans that is it despicable and undemocratic that they are trying to ram “Trumpcare” through the Senate without debate or public hearings. 

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Republican’s War on Women: Not New, Still Despicable

The so called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” would cut Medicaid by $772 billion over the next decade with 16% of Medicaid recipients estimated to lose coverage.1 This would do tremendous harm to the millions of women and children who rely on Medicaid for healthcare. 48% of all U.S. births are financed by Medicaid, and in New York State it’s over half of all births.2 Women are the majority of Medicaid beneficiaries with almost 1 in 5 of all U.S. women being covered by Medicaid.3 This is because women tend to have higher rates of poverty, are more likely to work at low paying jobs or be employed part-time, and have dependents such as children.

Two-thirds of the adult women on Medicaid are of reproductive age. If they are kicked off of Medicaid coverage, they would be subject to insurance plans that are no longer required to cover maternity care or birth control. They would be unable to get federally subsidized insurance that covered abortion,4 making abortion financially inaccessible to low-income women. The defunding of planned parenthood would another barrier to care for millions of low-income women. Studies show that higher-income women will find alternatives. But a sizable minority of Planned Parenthood's patients, particularly low-income women, would lose access to medical services. 130,000 to 630,000 women would lose access to care.5

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Tax Cuts for Rich = Early Death for Poor

In our current market-based healthcare system, how much money you have is the main indicator of how long you will live. People born in the Upper East Side will, on average, live 9 years longer than people born just 10 blocks north in East Harlem.6 BCRA would fund a large capital gains tax cut for people earning more than $200,000 per year by removing millions of low-income and disabled people from Medicaid.7 The working class must not allow such a blatant redistribution of wealth to be paid for with our health and our lives.

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#ACA #Activism #AffordableCare #AffordableCareAct #AHCA #DefendDemocracy #DefendHealthcare #demonstration #DonaldTrump #DSA #DumpTrump #GOP #HealthcareForAll #humanrights #LoveTrumpsHate #Medicaid #MedicareForAll #NewYork #NewYorkHealthAct #NYC #NYCDSA #NYHA #Obamacare #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Protest #rally #RejectPresidentElect #Republicans #ResistTrump #SinglePayer #TrumpCabinet #TrumpCare #trumpvsallofus #UniversalHeathcare

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963