2021....What a Year!
2021 was an incredibly difficult year for our community and our country. Even with the long-awaited release of the vaccine, we are still battling the effects of the pandemic, Covid-19, and its variants. However, where there is darkness, there is also light. We have seen that aspects of Universal Healthcare can work in our country with the evidence of the rollout of free vaccines, testing, N95 masks, home tests, and paid leave for those that do fall ill with the virus. As a result of this, and ongoing realizations of the holes in our current healthcare system that more often than not fails the most vulnerable of our communities, calls for Universal Healthcare are gaining momentum. The marginalized and young generations are joining the fight in droves to better their communities, and fight for equality. Our community Teachers’ Unions stood in solidarity with students and families to fight for better protections for teachers, staff, and students as reopening plans for schools were rolled out amidst the ever-present pandemic. We have seen progress in Union organization across the nation. Due to the increased demand on “essential” workers, Covid health risks, understaffing, and overwhelming conditions, locally we have seen Foodlink and Starbucks employees unite to form Unions, and demand more from their parent organizations. Upstate NY now has the only Starbucks Unions in the country, and all with the help of Union organizations that we are proud to call partners combined with the incredible support of community like our tireless members.
And then there is the progress of our own initiatives in Metro Justice.
With our proactive member support, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together,
Past…. Present …. and FUTURE!Read more
Metro Justice has accomplished so much in the first half of 2021! Read on for a review of our year so far.Read more
On the night of March 23rd 2020, the Rochester Police Department brutally murdered Daniel Prude. Mark Vaughn, Frank Santiago, and Troy Talladay killed him while several more cops stood by, watching and laughing. In the city of Frederick Douglass, they lynched a black man naked in the snow for the crime of experiencing a mental health crisis.
City Hall and the Rochester Police Department then maintained a months-long cover-up. They got caught when Daniel Prude's family filed legal documents accessible to the public. Then we saw the video, erasing all doubts. If not for the bravery of Prude's family, we might never have known about his murder.
Mayor Lovely Warren suspended the cops with pay, instead of firing them. She also let the RPD use rubber bullets and chemical weapons against protesters demanding justice.
This week, almost a year after Daniel Prude’s death, Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office failed to make their case to the grand jury. No charges. James repeatedly used the racist pseudo-scientific dog-whistle term “excited delirium,” and ultimately passed the buck to the state Legislature.Read more
(Photo sourced from Newsweek)
The suffering and turmoil we’ve witnessed in Texas is a stark reminder of how vulnerable all of us are when we are reliant on inadequate and inequitable energy infrastructure. The Texas energy system is a failed experiment with deregulation—that much is obvious. But the failures of a privatized energy infrastructure are disproportionately borne by the most vulnerable and historically disenfranchised members of our communities. The consequences of natural disasters are not shared equally, and the priorities of investor-owned utilities are reflected in the prioritization of wealthier and whiter communities across Texas. Until we have transparent and democratically governed utilities, we will remain vulnerable not only to the rapidly destabilizing weather patterns of a warming planet but also to the unjust and racist decisions made by those who control our infrastructure.Read more
With COVID cases on the rise again, our members re-affirmed their commitment to meaningful, equitable relief for all and a more just world in the long-term. Read on to learn more about everything we did in November and December to close out 2020 as a stronger community!Read more
Our movements must be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect our communities and build a just world ourselves, regardless of what happens in the November election. Read on to learn more about big plans to end the year strong and enter next year even stronger!Read more
In August, Metro Justice joined the BLM protests demanding justice for Daniel Prude, had our first Virtual Annual Dinner featuring a keynote address from Steve Williams (recording included), and continued our movements for universal healthcare, energy democracy, workers' power, and elder justice to do our part in making sure it is our communities that are funded, not police. Read on to learn more about these activities and more in our August recap!Read more
Episode 4 of our podcast Rochester Public Power Hour by our Rochester for Energy Democracy Campaign is here! We discuss the connections between Black Lives Matter, racialized police violence and militarism, and public power. We share how more people in Rochester are getting involved in our campaign for a public utility to replace RG&E, exciting steps forward towards building a community owned and operated solar farm in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood, and an interview with Jonathan Koehn with Local Power in Boulder, Colorado. Click below to listen!
If we want to see a community-driven energy system that is better for all of us, we have to take action together. Do you want to join our local movement? Take the first step by signing our petition at https://www.metrojustice.org/energydemocracypetition!
Also, if you have questions about RG&E, public utilities, energy democracy, climate change, or how our energy system works in general, email us at [email protected] or Tweet as at @MetroJustice with #RocPublicPowerHour.