GrowingTogetherNY Coalition Rallies at West Capital Park

Groups Call Upon State Leaders to Not Give Wealthy New Yorkers a Tax Cut

ALBANY, NY (03/01/2011)(readMedia)-- Over 500 members of the GrowingTogetherNY Budget Coalition rallied at the State Capitol today to call upon the Governor and the Legislature to continue the income tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers. They urged our Leaders not to give a nearly $5 billion annual tax cut to New York's wealthiest citizens while at the same time cutting services to those who are in desperate need.

GrowingTogetherNY, Hunger Action Network of NYS, NY Library Association, NY Statewide Senior Action, Public Employees Federation, Empire State Economic Security Campaign and many others joined forces to send a strong message to Legislators. They reminded Legislators that the public is squarely behind the continuation of the "millionaires tax" as poll after poll has shown.

"We want a New York for all of us. A New York we can all be proud of. We need to preserve vital services in this state at a time when people need them more than ever. The majority of people are suffering through no fault of their own. The Governor wants to give a tax cut to many of the people that caused this financial crisis while saying to the rest of us 'Let them eat cake.' The wealthiest New Yorkers also need to share in helping close our state's budget deficit," stated Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

"It seems everyone, except the wealthy, is feeling the pain of the proposed state budget. It's not the men and women who get up and go to work every day that caused this fiscal crisis. It's not the fault of state employees who dedicate their lives assisting those with disabilities, the elderly and the sick. Let public employees, who also are taxpayers, continue to do their jobs. This is not a time for blame or punishing the working people of this state. It's a time to find solutions. Allowing millionaires a tax break is not the solution," stated Patricia Baker, Vice President of the Public Employees Federation.

Circling the Capital in their Limousines during the rally were the Billionaires for Budget Cuts (aka "The Committee to Scam NY") to let us know that "Only the Little People Pay Taxes." Mr. Robin M. Blind came to the podium to let the crowd know that he did not care about the cuts to education because his kids went to private school. The crowd reacted with loud booing.

"The continuation of the surcharge on high income taxpayers is a fair and progressive measure that will prevent devastating cuts to essential public services like schools and libraries that benefit a majority of New Yorkers", stated Marcia Eggleston, President of the New York Library Association.

"The Governor says there are no new taxes and fees in the budget, yet his proposal on EPIC will cost older New Yorkers hundreds of dollars more in prescription drug costs. It would be better to keep the tax on millionaires so that those with under $25,000 can pay their drug bills," stated Priscilla Bassett, Vice President of Statewide Senior Action.

"New York, like the rest of the country, is mired in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Now is the time for courageous political leadership to set forward to put New Yorkers back to work and to put money into the hands of low and middle income people to help stimulate the economy. Governor Cuomo's budget will only make unemployment and the recession worse. We need the state to take at least $100 million of its extra $1.5 billion in federal welfare dollars and create real jobs for the poorest New Yorkers. We need to put more food on the dinner tables of low-income New Yorkers. And rather than more tax cuts for the rich, we need the wealthy and Wall Street to start paying their fair share of taxes," said Mark Dunlea, Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network

GrowingTogetherNY: A Better Choice for a New NY

Campaign Info

Steering Committee Member Organizations:

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, AFSCME NY, Alliance for Quality Education, Environmental Advocates of NY, Coalition for the Homeless, Community Voices Heard, Fiscal Policy Institute, PEF, VOCAL-NY, NYS Episcopal Public Policy Network, NYSUT, Empire Justice Center, Citizen Action of NY, NYS AFL-CIO, NYS Community Action Association, Hunger Action Network and Statewide Senior Action Council of NYS

Groups Signed on to Campaign:

ACCORD Corporation

AFSCME Council 35

AFSCME Council 82




Albany Presbytery

Altamont Prog. Inc

American Baptist Churches, Rochester/Genesee Region

American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1151

Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger

Bensonhurst COJO


Broadway Community Inc.

Center for Children's Initiatives

Center for Independence of the Disabled of New York

Chemung County Housing Coalition

Chemung County Labor-Religion Coalition

Children's Defense Fund-NY

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition- Chemung County

Civil Service Bar Association

Citizen Action of NY

Class Size Matters

Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect

Coalition for Economic Justice

Coalition for the Homeless

Commission on the Public Health System in NYC

Communication Workers of America, District 1

Community Action of Greene County

Community Advocates, Inc.

Community Voices Heard (CVH)

Crossover Baptist Church


Downtown East

Economic Justice and Social Welfare Network (NYC)

Elmira Community Kitchen


Empire Justice Center

Empire State Economic Security (ES2) Coalition

Environmental Advocates of NY

Faith and Hunger Network

Fiscal Policy Institute

FOCUS Churches of Albany

Food Bank of WNY

Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition

Green Education and Legal Fund, Inc.

Greenpoint Reformed Church Food Pantry

Health and Welfare Council of Long Island

Housing Works

Hunger Action Network

Institute for the P.R.-Hispanic Elderly

Interfaith Impact of NYS

Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America

Jubilee Center

Justice for Farmworkers Campaign

Let Justice Roll-Rochester

Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc

LIFT-The Bronx

Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services

Loaves and Fishes

Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives

Medicaid Matters New York

Metro Justice of Rochester

Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign

MORE THAN FOOD INC Region) (Saratoga)

Mt Vernon United Tenants, Inc.

Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights

Neighbors Together

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

New York Library Association

New York State Alliance for Retired Americans


New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness

NYS Assemblyman Peter Rivera

NYS Assemblyman Richard N Gottfried

NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton

NYS Assemblyman James Brennan

NYS Coalition for the Aging, Inc

NYS Community Action Association

NYS Episcopal Public Policy Network




Prevent Child Abuse New York

Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

Public Employee Press

Rochester Episcopal Public Policy Committee

Schenectady Community Action Program, Inc.


Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy

Social Justice Council First Unitarian Church of Rochester

SR Barbara Lenniger, Dominican Sisters

St. Mary's Food Pantry

Statewide Senior Action Council of NYS

Supportive Housing Network of NY

The Bridge Foundation of Westchester

The Interfaith Alliance of NYS, Inc

The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester

The Rt. Rev. Michael Garrison, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Western New York

Troy Area Labor Council

Ulster County Community MoveOn Council

VIBS Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center



Welfare Rights Initiative

WESPAC Foundation

Westchester Community Opportunity Program

Westchester for Change

Westhab, Inc

Westminster Presbyterian Church