Activists hold Capital Region telephone town hall amid shutdowns

Albany County

(Photo: Big Stock Image)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A statewide progressive coalition will hold a telephone town hall on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m, pushing for a tax on billionaires amid COVID-19 outbreak closures.

Thousands of community activists across New York will meet virtually—by calling (540) 409-4375, ext. 57082#—in order to continue self-isolating.

Organizers of the call want state leaders to pass a wealth tax on 112 billionaires who live in New York. That tax revenue could fund the health and safety of communities by investing in schools, fighting homelessness, granting health care for all, and creating alternatives to incarceration.

The call will address budget justice demands, including rejecting proposals that cut Medicaid and roll back bail reform. Advocates say that even as lawmakers rush to pass emergency bills, the pandemic has not changed the chronic underfunding that leaves vulnerable communities exposed in a health crisis.

Planned speakers on the call include State Sens. Jessica Ramos and Gustavo Rivera, chairs of the Labor and Health Committees in the State Senate. The coalition of activists includes Citizen Action of New York, the Fiscal Policy Institute, PSC-CUNY, and VOCAL-NY.

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