citizen action of new york

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that hospitals, local governments and schools may face a 20% cut in state aid without more help from the federal government. 

In the case of education, Cuomo has four windows to assess state revenue and perhaps take back some money from this year’s budget.

Citizen Action of New York’s Stevie Vargas said that schools can’t handle any more cuts

WXXI photo

Several activist groups, including VOCAL New York, Citizen Action of New York, NYACLU, and the Rochester Citywide Tenant Union, held a virtual town hall focused on the well-being of Rochester’s underserved communities during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jasmin Reggler from the tenants' union chastised Monroe County and the city of Rochester leadership for their treatment of the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. She said the homeless population is very vulnerable to the virus, but has been an afterthought.

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

Immigration advocates and local officials celebrated Greyhound's policy change to not allow Border Patrol searches on their buses unless officers have a warrant. 

The change hits home for Stevie Vargas with Citizen Action of New York. Her stepfather is undocumented. She said the change will mean more people will have the freedom to board buses and visit loved ones in other cities without fear of persecution.


Three busloads of people headed from Rochester to Albany on Tuesday to demand an increase in education funding.

Rochester City School student Maya Adams led a chant,“Whose money! Our Money! Our Schools! Our Schools!” from the well of the state Capitol. She’s part of a group including students, teachers, and Rochester residents hoping to prevent further layoffs in the district. The district laid off about 100 teachers mid-year because of an estimated $65 million budget shortfall.

Provided / Citizen Action of New York

Parents, students, school officials and community groups in Rochester are asking for the city school district to be fully funded in the next state budget. Organizers from Citizen Action of New York are leading the effort by encouraging personalized letters and holiday cards to state lawmakers.

The state education department said the Rochester City School District is owed $86 million in state funding and Mercedes Phalan from Citizen Action said those funds would help bridge the district’s $65 million budget gap.