Make your voice heard!
Submit a comment to the City Council by 5pm on Thursday, August 6th to email@example.com. CC firstname.lastname@example.org and send us a copy -> email@example.com
The Troy City Council is meant to serve our community and now more than ever city officials still need to hear from Troy residents.
This action will not take much time but plays an important role in keeping pressure on city officials regarding police violence, the suppression of reports in the cases of Edson Thevenin and Dahmeek McDonald, and our demands. Please encourage others to also write letters. The city’s inaction thrives in silence. If you need assistance crafting a statement, see guidance and template below.
The city has done nothing to address our demands. We must speak up!
The City Council is slated to approve $10k for the Neighborhood Improvement Program through Ordinance 44. While we appreciate and support this program, we cannot stay silent when a few minutes later they will consider Ordinance 46 to amend the budget to accept an additional ~ $197k ~ from New York State for the Troy Police Department. $195k of that amount will go towards salaries, overtime and consultant fees for police, detectives, and crime analysts. The remaining $2k is for “Gun Involved Violence Reduction-related training.”
You read that right. The City is investing $10k in improving our neighborhoods and $197k in controlling and policing them (this is *in addition* to the $20.7 million dollar TPD budget).
IN ADDITION, in Ord. 53 they will consider “various transfers within the Police Department to provide additional funding for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year” and in Ord. 73 +74 they will accept $16k from Rensselaer County to increase DWI screenings on holidays.
Are your values being fairly represented by your Council member?
ALSO. We would like your opinion on two other ordinances. Ord. 72 would institute a $20 penalty on any bounced checks received by the city. During the Finance Meeting 2 weeks ago, it was established that this would affect a handful of payees who regularly have insufficient funds.
This poverty tax hurts and exploits those most in need of city support, despite their efforts to pay back the city.
Finally, in Ordinance 83, we learned that in February, 2020, the City became aware that the Norlite Plant in Cohoes has burned over 2 million pounds of firefighting foam containing “PFAS compounds.” These compounds have been identified thru various scientific studies to increase the rate of ulcers, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and prostate, testicular and kidney cancer. The compounds have also had demonstrated impacts on human fertility, fetal growth, and development of immune responses in infants and children. The EPA has identified these compounds to be bioaccumulative and immunosuppressive.
The wind patterns in the area typically blow emissions from the Norlite Plant into North Central Troy just across the river. While we support the City Council in encouraging the Governor to ban burning these foams, we also DEMAND REPARATIONS for the environmental racism and potential irreparable harm that the Norlite Plant may have caused to North Central Troy residents. We DEMAND the City Council take direct action in identifying and repairing the harm caused by years of dangerous pollution. How are North Central residents being compensated for years of immuno-compromising injustice leading up to a global pandemic that disproportionately affects people with compromised immune systems?
WE CALL ON THE CITY COUNCIL TO:
– Reinvest the additional funding for the police into social service programs that directly service people in overpoliced neighborhoods.
– increase budget to ensure that 100% of our youth that are eligible participate in summer and fall youth employment
– increased budget in our parks and recreation to ensure ALL POOLS are open and safe for our families and children.
– restoration of abandoned properties to ensure housing for our low income and houseless population.
– funding to ensure Youth Mentorship and Apprenticeship.
Comments will be read into the public record by our excellent City Clerk, Mara Drogan. You can also attend the livestream on Youtube and post comments that we will save and send to all city council members after the meeting.
Things to keep in mind when writing your statement:
- please include your name and street address so that the record shows that you are a Troy resident. These comments hold particular weight when they come from constituents and they want to make sure you are a constituent*.
*feel encouraged to include information about the ways you are invested in Troy, be it work in service to the beings and earth, home or business ownership etc …
- write in your own words in response to these issues. A personal comment holds more weight than something duplicated.
- keep in mind that remarks ought not to exceed 7 min when spoken aloud.
- Refer to our Demands and the Dear Mayor Madden letter for inspiration and to amplify our collective voice.
- If you would like to build off a template, check out ours here.
For example, you can ask the council and mayor why they are still withholding information from the public regarding the 2016 murder of Edson Thevenin and the official coverup by Mayor Madden and D.A. Joel Abelove. Refer to this recent editorial from Casey Seiler, Times Union editor. Ask the city council and mayor how they intend to respond with substantive action to the recent protest for Black lives attended by over 11,000 people. Ask how they intend to respond to Cuomo’s executive order with implementable change. Ask how the mayor intends to make good on his recent letter where he states “Troy should be proud to add its voice to that outcry – that Black lives do matter.” What is the City actually doing to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter?
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you’d like help writing or editing your letter. Please share with your fellow community members. There will be more city council meetings to come and we intend to keep these demands and concerns at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Consider putting the city council schedule in your calendar and writing letters to each of them. If you would like to receive email reminders for this, please join our mailing list below!
Schedule for upcoming 2020 Regular City Council meetings:
- August 6th
- September 10th
- October 1st
- November 5th
- December 3rd