February 13, 2012
Re: Runaway and Homeless Youth Funding
To New York State Senators and State Assembly-members:
We, the undersigned, call upon the New York State Legislature to restore the level of funding for Runaway and Homeless Youth services to $4.7 million, with at least $2.25 million of that amount to be allocated to youth shelters in New York City, where the need is greatest. This level of funding would be $1.5 million more than the $745,000 the city received from the state in last year's budget. The proposal by Governor Cuomo to maintain the current, inadequate funding levels is unacceptable and will have dire consequences for the nearly 4,000 homeless youth in New York City.Â We urge you to provide adequate funding to ensure the survival and well-being of those young people who are all too often left without a voice in the budget process.
New York State has provided funding to support shelter for homeless youth since 1978. In 2007, NYS provided $6.8 million to support 70 youth shelter programs across the state. By 2010, that amount of funding had been reduced to $4.7 million. In the budget passed last year, the amount was further reduced by 50% to $2.35 million, only $745,000 of which goes to shelters in New York City.ÃÂ This level of funding is grossly inadequate.
The LGBTQ community is especially concerned about these cuts because 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.Â Runaway and homeless LGBTQ young people face a disproportionate risk of violent abuse, family rejection, mental illness, HIV infection and suicide.
In 2008, The Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services released the results of a census of New York City's homeless youth which found that every night 3,800 youth go without shelter. In 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg established the New York City Commission on Runaway and Homeless LGBTQ Youth, whose report included recommendations on prevention strategies, family reconciliation and ways to improve New York City's Infrastructure in order to meet LGBTQ youth needs.Â This report included the recommendation for a five year plan to increase dedicated shelter beds for LGBTQ youth by at least 200.Â Despite these findings, the city and state have chosen to maintain or cut funding for youth shelter beds, while shelters have reported a 40% increase in demand for them.
While we fully recognize the need to balance the state budget and to cut unnecessary spending, we should not do so at the expense of our stateâs most vulnerable citizens. By investing in the well-being and safety of runaway and homeless youth we can work to ensure that they become productive members of our great state and nation. Restoring total RHY funding from $2.35 million to $4.7 million is a small price to pay when weighed against the probability that homeless kids, left to fend for themselves, will engage in risky, unhealthy and criminal activities in order to survive. As a result, they will become even bigger burdens to taxpayers in the long run if they end up in prison or if they contract HIV.
We call upon your leadership to restore funding for Runway Homeless Youth services to its 2010 level of $4.7 million, and we look forward to working with you in the future to ensure that New York's children are no longer left out in the cold.
Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats
Independent Neighborhood Democrats
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens
New Kings Democrats
Stonewall Democrats of New York City
Bay Ridge Democrats
Brooklyn Young Democrats
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
Bronx Rainbow Independent Democratic Association
[LIST IN FORMATION]
For additional comment, please contact the co-presidents of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Matthew McMorrow (917-696-1781) or Erin Drinkwater (646-643-8132).
For President of the United States, we endorse Barack Obama. President Obama has done more for the LGBT community than any other president in American history. In addition to winning the repeal of Don't Ask Donâ't Tell, President Obama hosted the first White House LGBT Pride Reception, ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same-gender partners of federal employees, created a National Resource Center for LGBT elders, signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, ended discrimination based on gender identity in the federal government, launched a government strategy to combat human rights abuses against LGBT persons abroad, and declared DOMA unconstitutional and ordered the Justice Department no longer to defend the law in court. While much more remains to be done, President Obama has demonstrated in his first term that he is committed to LGBT rights and is, therefore, deserving of the LGBT communityâs full support.
In 2008, LID endorsed Barack Obama and enthusiastically volunteered for his campaign. LID members and representatives registered voters, made phone calls, canvassed and traveled to swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, Virginia and Ohio for GOTV efforts. LID looks forward to offering our resources to the effort to re-elect President Barack Obama.
For the United States Senate, we endorse Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand strongly believes in equal rights for all. She was a leader in the fight to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, and she worked aggressively behind the scenes last spring to persuade New York State lawmakers to vote in favor of the marriage equality bill. Senator Gillibrand became one of the first members of the U.S. Senate to favor full marriage equality, and she is leading the fight to repeal DOMA by sponsoring the Respect For Marriage Act and by launching a national online campaign at http://repealDOMA.com. In addition to her stellar record on LGBT issues, Senator Gillibrand has also been a strong advocate for womenâs rights and has launched a campaign to encourage more women to run for public office. Over the past three years, Senator Gillibrand has proven herself to be a strong, progressive and pro-equality leader. She deserves to be re-elected.
In 2010, LID proudly endorsed Senator Gillibrand in both the primary and general elections and worked throughout Brooklyn and New York City to ensure her re-election.Â We intend to do the same in 2012.
LID Elects Officers and
Executive Board Members
At the January 26th Annual Meeting, LID's members elected the following individuals to serve as officers and executive board members for 2012:
Matthew McMorrow, Co-President
Erin Drinkwater, Co-President
Brian Kenny, Co-Vice President
Carlos Menchaca, Co-Vice President
Scott Klein, Treasurer
Renée Cafiero, Corresponding Secretary
Michael Cairl, Recording Secretary
2012 Executive Board Members
Ryan J. Davis
Daniel W. Tietz
Executive Board Interns' Spring 2012
Bryan John Ellicott Justin Simmons
If Brooklyn and Queens voters want to use this race to send a real message, let it be a rebuke of the radical and reckless Republican members of Congress who have damaged our nation’s credit rating, refused to compromise, and advocated for the dismantling of our nation’s services, infrastructure and social safety net without entertaining even the most modest proposals to increase revenue or to implement fairness in the tax code. It is this agenda that has stalled our recovery, and it is this agenda that Republican Bob Turner fully supports.
As we have seen over the past several months, House Republicans either are not serious about governing or have the wrong solutions for the problems our nation faces. Either way, they are obstructing the implementation of smart economic policies that would heal our economy and put more Americans back to work. In the recent debt debate – a crisis manufactured by Congressional Republicans unwilling to pay for wars, tax cuts and entitlement programs for which they voted – they played chicken with our nation’s credit rating. Despite President Obama’s willingness to compromise, Republicans refused to accept sensible, fair and popular proposals to increase revenue by closing tax loopholes for big oil companies and hedge fund managers. Instead, they demanded a cuts-only bill that now threatens to eviscerate programs and services many Americans cherish and rely upon, including Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Clean Air Act, funding for public education, unemployment insurance, Pell Grants and services for veterans. Moreover, S&P’s decision to lower the nation’s credit rating anyway, largely because Republicans decided to hold our debt ceiling hostage, will now likely cause interest rates on credit cards and loans to rise and the values of 401K accounts to fall. Clearly, Republican policies are destructive to the middle class, yet they are exactly the same policies Republican Bob Turner promises to support should he be elected to Congress.
A Congressman Weprin will fight hard for the middle class and the social safety net that generations of Americans have paid into, depend upon, and value. He will advocate for fair and smart tax and economic policies that ensure growth, invest in our future and protect Social Security and Medicare for generations to come. Republican Bob Turner, on the other hand, will be just another rubber stamp for radical, right-wing Tea Party Republicans who want to privatize Social Security, dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, de-fund the SEC, de-regulate the EPA, and continue the unsustainable tax cuts and tax loopholes for large corporations and the wealthiest one-percent of Americans.
Outside Marty Golden's Office
7408 Fifth Avenue
Monday, June 6
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Not only does Senator Golden vehemently oppose marriage equality, he now wants to stop New York State from recognizing same-sex marriages that were performed outside of New York.Â Golden boldly told reporters that the people in his district "don't give a rat's ass about social issues."
Come down and let him know how you feel!!
Contact Matt McMorrow at email@example.com or 917-696-1781 for more information.
Want to do even more to secure the right for ALL New Yorkers to enter into legally recognized civil marriages?Â Contact your state senator and encourage others to do the same.Â Visit this link to find out the best ways you can become involved and make a difference:Â http://nymarriageequality.wordpress.com/
Bay Ridge Democrats
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
Lambda Independent Democrats
New Kings Democrats
(list in formation)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:ÃÂÃÂ ÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂAs the Egyptian people demand freedom and a democratic form of government, we call on President Obama and all elected officials to denounce the violence and to pressure President Mubarak to order the Egyptian army to protect the pro-democracy demonstrators.ÃÂÃÂ Mubarak then must step aside immediately and clear the way for a new and democratically elected government.ÃÂÃÂ The United States and the United Nations ought to provide the necessary assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition to democracy.ÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂ
Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID) has been closely following the recent developments in Egypt. For over a week, a national movement, with peaceful demonstrations calling for democracy, has galvanized the entire country.ÃÂ It was initially fueled by youth but has grown to encompass citizens of every background - Muslim and Christian, man and woman, young and old - calling for the end of the Mubarak regime. In the last several days, an anti-democracy force has been unleashed on the peaceful demonstrators, which has made the situation dangerous and violent.
For more than thirty years, LID has been fighting for peace, justice, reform and equality in our own society - sometimes in the face of fierce and violent opposition.ÃÂ Because our democracy supports and defends the basic rights of assembly, speech and press, it has been possible for us to make extraordinary progress.ÃÂ In the exact same period of time, Egyptians have lost equality, justice and human dignity, largely because of a despotic regime that undermines dissent and ignores the needs of its people.
At this historic moment, LID stands with the people of Egypt and with the Egyptian-American community of Brooklyn whose family members will be directly affected by the outcome of this democratic uprising.ÃÂ As the Egyptian people demand freedom and a democratic form of government, we call on President Obama and all elected officials to denounce the violence and to pressure President Mubarak to order the Egyptian army to protect the pro-democracy demonstrators.ÃÂ Mubarak then must step aside immediately and clear the way for a new and democratically elected government.ÃÂ The United States and the United Nations ought to provide the necessary assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition to democracy.
We are hopeful that the end of the Mubarak regime would lay the foundation for a democratically elected government that would promote human rights, economic opportunity and universal inclusiveness, including for our LGBT brothers and sisters in Egypt.
We encourage everyone to support President Obama's policy to facilitate a peaceful transition to democracy. We also call upon all of our elected officials to stand up and publicly support the pro-democracy movement in Egypt.
If you have any questions or wish to comment on our statement, please contact us at LIDBrooklyn@gmail.com or 917-696-1781.ÃÂ Visit our website at www.lidbrooklyn.org.ÃÂ Follow us on Twitter @lidbrooklyn.
Let your leaders know how you feel:
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Sign the Petition: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/democracy_for_egypt_m/?fp