The "Moral Mondays" movement that began in North Carolina and has inspired activists around the country has finally come to Albany. Labor, community and faith groups held a vigil at the Capitol Monday to call on lawmakers to pass a significant raise in the state's minimum wage, increasing support for public schools and an end to what they say is a "prioritization" of the wealthy by strengthening the state's social safety net.
"This year, this group is calling on our legislators to start paying attention and start listening to the people of New York who need them to create good jobs, institute systems of fair taxation and invest in public education and a social safety net," Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State Executive Director Sara Niccoli said.
They weren't beyond invoking recently passed former governor Mario Cuomo either.
During the vigil, Mark Dunlea of the Hunger Action Network used the memory of former Gov. Mario Cuomo and his belief that it was "government's responsibility to take care of the most needy" to argue for a minimum wage increase.
"Never once during his tenure did he blame the poor for being poor," Dunlea said.
I'm really glad to see this movement spread to New York. And this is just the beginning. Lord knows it's long overdue here. They will be gathering at the Capitol again next Monday as well with a very special guest. The second Moral Monday gathering in Albany will be joined by the Rev. William Barber himself.