We, as Theatres and Artists for Budget Justice*, write you today to urge you to spend 15 minutes before you close this email to take easy yet powerful actions for the well-being of ALL New Yorkers. We are working on bringing our theatre back to you, but we desperately need to make sure the New York State budget is supporting us all. The Invest in Our New York Act offers a way to raise $50 billion by ending tax breaks only for the absolute wealthiest New Yorkers. It is backed by an impressive coalition of community organizations, and it is gaining momentum. It’s now time for us to voice our support so we urge you to call, tweet, email, etc. as many times as you can before the budget is due on April 1st!
If each of us make the following three easy calls, and read the calling script to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker of the New York Assembly Carl Heastie, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, it could make an unbelievable difference for ALL New York workers, including everyone in the theatre community.
Governor Andrew Cuomo: 518-474-8390
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: 914-423-4031 or 518-455-2585
Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie 718-654-6539 or 518-455-3791
My name is [ ], I am a voter in [ city/town ]. I call to urge you to support Invest in Our New York by holding firm for a significant increase in the revenue of their progressive tax initiatives in the final NY state budget. The $7-8billion now proposed in the one-house budgets is well below what is possible to raise from these initiatives. As we all know, a budget is also a moral document. But in this past year, millions of New Yorkers — including TOO many artists who we work with — cannot make rent or put food on the table, while the wealthiest New Yorkers have grown $87 billion richer. This is the result of policy choices by the legislature and governor that protect the richest citizens at the expense of the middle class, working class, and excluded workers. You were elected to see to it that ALL New Yorkers are treated with fairness; we CAN take care of each other and rebuild our economy by ending tax breaks for the wealthy few.
As you enter this crucial final phase of budget negotiation, please remember that the revenue currently proposed is a floor, NOT a ceiling. We need you to raise the revenue that will allow all New Yorkers survive this past year and to thrive beyond it.
If you’d like to do more, please amplify on social media using: https://investinourny.org/amplify
Invest in Our New York can easily raise $50 billion to rebuild New York’s economy by ending tax breaks for the richest New Yorkers — but right now, the NYS one-house budgets only include $7-8 billion. Our theatre’s artists, audiences, and staff are New York workers, and our economy will only recover when working people are well-supported. The next New York State budget is due on April 1st, and legislators must ensure full investment in our housing, healthcare, schools, and transit. We must invest in ALL New Yorkers, including workers excluded from state unemployment benefits and federal stimulus checks. Inspired by community-based organizations with the Invest in Our New York and Fund Excluded Workers campaign – we urge you to take 15 minutes NOW to make these easy calls to make sure our representatives know what we need.
The live theatre community of New York thrives when our entire community thrives. Join this movement with us!
* Theatres and Artists for Budget Justice – Abrons Art Center, The Acting Company, Amas Musical Theater, Bushwick Starr, Rachel Chavkin, Clubbed Thumb, Lear deBessonet, Mallory Catlett, Downtown Art, En Garde Arts, The Foundry Theatre, Garden Players, Harlem Stage, HERE, JACK, Aaron Landsman, Morgan Jenness, Ma-Yi Theatre, Mabou Mines, Taylor Mac, MAP Fund, Emily Morse, The Movement Theatre Company, MultiStages, New Georges, New Group, New Ohio Theatre, New Perspectives Theatre Company, Noor Theatre, Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, Primary Stages, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Red Bull Theater, Soho Rep, St Ann’s Warehouse, Talking Band,Target Margin, Teatro SEA, Shanta Thake, Theater of the Oppressed NYC, Basil Twist, Waterwell, and WP Theater
P.S. If you’re looking to do more, you can join New York theatermakers in weekly calls to amplify these and other progressive campaigns with Amplifying Activists Together every Friday from 1pm-2pm at https://tinyurl.com/AmplifyingActivistsTogether.