In The News

Labor Groups Rally in Liverpool for $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Upstate

September 28, 2016, WRVO Public Media

Local and state labor groups rallied in the Village of Liverpool outside of Syracuse Tuesday for a $15 an hour minimum wage in upstate New York. The state approved an increase to the minimum wage earlier this year that will bump it up to $12.50 an hour in upstate in five years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he eventually wants upstate to reach $15 an hour.

But included in the plan is a break to examine if the upstate economy can sustain the increase. Joe Paparone, with the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition, said while the fight for $15 movement has been going on for years, it will not go away just because legislation passed this year.


Workers Rally for Fair Wages, Fair Work

September 28, 2016, TWC News

The fight to raise the minimum wage in New York continued in Liverpool Tuesday. The New York State Labor-Religion Coalition joined local workers to spread their message.

Members of organizations like the Workers’ Center of CNY shared their stories. Rally leaders say their fight is about more than just raising the minimum wage. They also hope to stop wage theft and empower farm workers to form a union.

“The minimum wage is just part of a lot of things we can do as a society to make sure that we’re taking care of each other,” said NYS Labor-Religion Coalition Acting Director Rev. Emily McNeill, “that folks have the chance to provide for themselves and participate in the life of our communities.” WATCH…

Moral Monday Comes to Capitol in Albany

September 12, 2016, WAMC

Religious and labor advocates rallied at the state capitol in Albany Monday as part of a nationwide movement known as Moral Mondays, to urge state lawmakers to take more progressive stances on issues.

The Reverend Emily McNeill, who heads the New York Labor-Religion Coalition, says her group is not as concerned about the topics promoted by evangelical right, including opposition to abortion and gay marriage. She says instead, the groups are focusing on helping the poor, battling global warming, increasing voter participation, and rights for immigrants.


Moral Day of Action at Capitol

September 12, 2016, Times Union

Dozens gathered outside the Capitol on Monday as clergy and activists joined their counterparts in 27 other state capitals for a “Moral Day of Action.”

The rallies were held to deliver a “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” to governors and other elected officials, organizers said, calling on them to respond to the urgent needs of the poor, people who are ill, children, immigrants, communities of color and religious minorities.


Dog-Whistle Politics

September 7, 2016, Capital Pressroom, WCNY

Rev. Emily McNeill, the Lead Organizer with the Labor-Religion Coalition, and Charles Khan, the Organizing Director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition, discussed the need to talk directly about race in order to battle economic inequality. LISTEN…

Moral Mondays Move Outside the Capitol

August 15, 2016, Capitol Tonight

Moral Monday rallies are continuing even with the legislature out of town. This Monday, religious and community groups headed to Honeywell Aerospace in Green Island outside of Albany to show support for workers who, for several months, have been locked out of their jobs following a dispute with the company over health care costs and pensions. Joining us to talk about that situation and this part of the Moral Monday movement are Mark Emanatian of the Capital District Area Labor Federation, Tim Voght, President of UAW Local 1508 and Emily McNeill of the Labor-Religon Coalition. WATCH…

#MoralMonday for Locked Out Green Island Honeywell Workers

August 15, 2016, WAMC

Today marked the 99th day 41 workers were locked out of their jobs at Honeywell Aerospace in Green Island after they refused to accept dramatic increases to their health care costs and the elimination of their pensions. There was support and solidarity present at a noon picket line rally outside the Honeywell building. READ MORE…

Klein: Supportive Housing MOU Not Likely to Come By Session’s End

June 15, 2016, Times Union

After advocates pleaded Tuesday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to corral legislative leaders into signing a memorandum of understanding on the allocation of $2 billion to fund supportive housing units, a top lawmaker said Wednesday an MOU was unlikely to be signed by session’s end. READ MORE…

Capitol Pressroom

June 14, 2016, WCNY

Faith leaders and stakeholders are calling for the release of promised funding for 6,000 supportive housing units. We will hear from Asm. Andrew Hevesi (D – Forest Hills), Laura Mascuch, executive director of the Supporting Housing Network of New York, and Rev. Emily McNeill of the Labor-Religion Coalition of NY. LISTEN…

Reactions to NY’s $15 Minimum Wage Deal Couldn’t Be More Different

April 1, 2016,

The reaction to New York’s state budget deal, which includes a $15 an hour minimum wage and paid family leave, as well as a middle class income tax cut, couldn’t have been any more extreme, ranging from anger to euphoria. READ MORE…

Medicaid Joins Minimum Wage As Complication in Budget Talks [PHOTO]

March 29, 2016,


Cuomo, lawmakers down to the wire on budget agreement

March 29, 2016, North Country Public Radio

Lawmakers in New York worked toward a budget deal Monday as Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated he will make some concessions on the minimum wage. READ MORE…

Upstate New York faith leaders push for minimum wage increase

March 25, 2016, NCC News

Yesterday faith leaders from across New York state came together in the capitol to urge lawmakers to include Governor Cuomo’s plan for a gradual minimum wage increase to $15/hour in this year’s budget. READ MORE…

Central NYers among 125 clergy backing $15 minimum wage

March 21, 2016,

Four ministers from Central New York were among the 125 who signed a petition calling on the state Legislature to approve a $15 an hour minimum wage. Dozens of the clergy leaders gathered at the Capitol in Albany for a ‘Moral Monday’ news conference and vigil. READ MORE…

Capitol Pressroom

March 21, 2016, WCNY

On this Moral Monday, Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard of Albany and Rev. Emily McNeill, the Lead Organizer of the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, make the case for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. LISTEN HERE…

Preventing Homelessness in New York

Jan. 11, 2016, TWC News

Local governments and shelter operators are still figuring out the details of Governor Cuomo’s executive order on homelessness, but advocates say there’s a bigger question than whether someone can be forcibly taken off the streets. They want to see a more long-term approach to dealing with homelessness that focuses on getting individuals and families into affordable housing. Michelle Sandoz-Dennis from CARES Inc. and Emily McNeill of the Labor Religion Coalition joined us to discuss. WATCH…

National Homeless Memorial Day

Dec. 21, 2015,

Religious advocates for the homeless gathered in the Capitol today for National Homeless Memorial Day. The annual event, held when we experience the longest night of the year, is in memory of the homeless who have died in the past year. Participants also encouraged government leaders to refocus on ending homelessness. READ MORE…

Paid Family Leave Advocates Look to New Year

Dec. 17, 2015, WAMC

Advocates for paid family leave in New York say they hope 2016 is the year that the state finally provides a program to allow workers to take time off to care for a child, or a sick elderly relative. READ MORE…

Dozens protest Walmart worker’s firing as company changes story again

Nov. 27, 2015, Albany Times Union

As 50 demonstrators marched and carried signs in support of fired Walmart worker Thomas Smith in front of the East Greenbush store at the height of the Black Friday shopping rush Friday morning, company officials continued to change their story about what prompted the Nov. 6 firing. READ MORE…

It’s time to take back moral language from the right: New York adopts Moral Mondays from North Carolina

March 9, 2015, Salon

The ceiling of the “War Room” in the New York State Capitol in Albany is decorated with elaborate murals of the wars New Yorkers have participated over the history of the United States. The one that draws the eye the most is a Native American man wrestling with a white colonist.

In the middle of the room, a group of about 40 people stand in a circle, holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Parole Reform Now,” “Racial Justice” and “Faith Stands Up to Pharoah.” Most of them also contain the hashtags #MoralMondays and #MoralNY. READ MORE…

Labor and Religious Leaders Hold Vigil at NY Capitol for Minimum Wage Increase

Jan. 5, 2016, New York Daily News

A coalition of faith and labor leaders launched a “Moral Monday” campaign at the state Capitol with a vigil outside the Senate chamber calling for an increase in the state’s minimum wage and end to what they called the “prioritization” of the wealthy. READ MORE…

Groups Call for Moral Legislation in 2015

Jan. 5, 2016, Albany Times Union

Community, faith and labor groups took advantage of the silence at the state Capitol on Monday to hold a brief vigil calling on state politicians to concentrate on what they say is morally sound legislation. READ MORE…

Religious Leaders Hold Minimum Wage Vigil at NY Capitol

Jan. 5, 2016, WAMC

Nuns, ministers and other religious leaders have held a prayer vigil at the New York state Capitol in support of a wage increase for tipped workers. READ MORE…