ALBANY, N.Y. - The people held their State of the State demonstration Tuesday, a tradition happening every year the day before the Governor's address.
The annual demonstration outside the Capitol brings together several groups - anti-hunger, faith, community, income inequality, and labor groups - that seek to lobby for the issues they would like state legislators to take on as top priorities in 2013.
Protestors wanted to make their concerns known as Governor Andrew Cuomo
prepares his State of the State speech
outlining his legislative priorities for 2013 on Wednesday.
Increasing the state's minimum wage was at the top of the agenda of the 23rd annual People's State of the State on Tuesday, held annually day before the Governor's official address.
Ralliers say the $8.50 proposed minimum wage is too low. They would like to see a $10 minimum wage proposed, saying families aren't able to survive on a "minimum wage" the need a "living wage."
The event also outlined the problems of hunger, specifically childhood hunger, asking the governor to keep funding for food stamp programs, food pantries, and soup kitchens.
After the rally, the groups delivered the "People's Litmus Test" to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos which responds to the set of indicators issued by Governor Cuomo last year designed as a gauge for good governance and accountability.
In addition to raising the minimum wage, the need for campaign finance reform, tax fairness and equity in rebuilding NYC post-Sandy were additional key issues included in the test.
Groups participating in this year's rally included Hunger Action Network of New York State, Faith and Hunger Network, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS, FOCUS Churches, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness and Occupy Albany.