WHAT WE DO
The ACTS Rally for Justice was a SUCCESS! There were nearly 300 people in attendance.
Elected officials showed up to listen to the public's demands and participants left feeling energized and ready to work!
Coverage of the event can be found here!
Additional coverage of the ACTS Rally for Justice can be found using the links below!
Power Perspectives interview with Earl and Barry: http://bit.ly/2eCPH1e
Emily NaPier w/ Dan Cummings: http://www.localsyr.com/news/newsmakers-charging-16-year-olds-as-adults
Time Warner coverage on Rally: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2016/10/30/acts-rally-for-safer-syracuse.html
Channel 9 coverage on Rally: http://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/rally-to-raise-the-age-for-charging-teens-as-adults-in-ny
ACTS TASK FORCES:
COMMUNITY VIOLENCE & YOUTH
In response to a demand from the Criminal Justice Task Force of the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (“ACTS”), County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced changes which will relocate all minor youth currently held at the Onondaga County Correctional facility in Jamesville to the Justice Center downtown.
It is expected that the transfer of these incarcerated youth will be completed on Monday, October 19th. Her response was given at an ACTS press conference held on Sunday, October 18, 2105 at Grace Episcopal Church.
Coverage can be found on our ACTS Faceboook and Twitter pages!
The Box is Banned!
At the December 8th Syracuse Common Council meeting, the ACTS Criminal Justice Task Force achieved a hard-fought victory when the Councilors passed Ban the Box legislation by a vote of 8 to 1! Councilor Chad Ryan cast the lone opposing vote. Councilor Jean Kessner, who introduced the bill, summed up its intent by saying, "Banning the box is a way for Syracuse to invest in itself and the people and the families who live here - to allow them to have opportunities where they presently have no opportunities. Syracuse, with its documented and spirit-depleting racial and economic divide needs to ban the box, not just to allow individuals with criminal backgrounds a fair shot at a good survival, but to allow the very same thing for our City." The bill prohibits the City and any of its vendors and contractors from including a question about criminal history on their job applications so that applicants can have a fair chance to compete for employment based on their merits.
As an active member of the Ban the Box steering committee, ACTS was instrumental in drafting the legislation, meeting with Councilors about it, and turning people out in support of it at Common Council meetings. Thank you to all who have supported this effort! The Criminal Justice Task Force will meet after the New Year to welcome new members and plan for the coming year. Please check back periodically for a date!
ACTS PUBLIC ACTION MEETING:
HENNINGER HIGH SCHOOL .
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COMMUNITY
Gamaliel is pleased to present this update on our community organizing as jobs creator report. As described here our impact is significant, but there’s more to do. Too many Americans are suffering from a winner-take-all economy with huge income inequality. We must spread the wealth wider. Many of the jobs our advocacy won in recent years, as described in this study, connect to infrastructure construction or redevelopment. Our country badly needs more infrastructure investment, as news reports document every day – and building the country, builds jobs.
To read more about what affiliates are doing around the country and/or download a copy of Jobs And More Jobs, visit http://www.gamaliel.org/Portals/0/Documents/JobsandMoreJobs2015.pdf
Settlement Begins Historic Reformation
of Public Defense in New York!
The Justice Task Force began work to address concerns about poor quality of legal representation for those who can’t afford
a lawyer. We made some incremental progress in improving phone communications with the Assigned Council Program (ACP) and the lawyers they manage. When the NYCLU lawsuit was filed, the County and ACP informed us that they could no longer meet with us, because of the lawsuit. Our initial raising of the awareness of the issue, and our regular contact with the local NYCLU leadership played a key role in the settlement outlined below.
To read more about the history of the case or download a copy of the settlement, visit http://www.nyclu.org/news/settlement-begins-historic-reformation-of-public-defense-new-york-state.
ACTS Closing the Pre-K Gap!
SCSD grant for $1.6 million has come through to support approx 200 additional full-time seats, either by extending some previous half-day slots to full day, and/or creating new slots. In addition, the school district has rewritten contracts with many of the community agencies that provide UPK services to substantially increase the reimbursement (thought to be $150/week for each UPK child).
ACTS Food Task Force Conducts Corner Store Surveys!
ACTS has been working on the Corner Store Initiative (CSI) and needs your help surveying!
Please contact ACTS Food Task Force Chairs, Mable Wilson & Robin Braunstein for more information!
Mable can be reached at
Robin can be reached at
SCSD Code of Conduct
35% of all students were removed from class and sent to a principal to be disciplined in the 2011-2012 school year. 45% of black students were taken out of class and referred for discipline compared to 26% of white students. Blacks were recommended for superintendent's hearings, a precursor to long-term suspensions, at twice the rate of whites.
The Syracuse City School District will host its Syracuse Community Summit: Keeping Kids in School to address the importance of implementing discipline practices that keep kids in schools while changing undesired behaviors on Saturday, October 25th, 2014 from 9:30am-4:00pm.
Please join us! Registration and breakfast will be begin at 8:30am.
For more information, please call (315) 435-4161 or RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.