Public Power “Week of Action” Launches Across New York State

New Yorkers demand public control over utilities, a Green New Deal and climate justice 

A coalition of grassroots organizations across New York State has begun a “Week of Action” to expose the greed of the for-profit energy industry and to demand public control of our public utilities. Following a second consecutive summer of rolling blackouts and shut-offs, combined with constant rate increases by utility companies and reckless environmental destruction, the statewide coalition will be pressuring local and state leaders to ensure that our grid works for, and is accountable to, all New Yorkers. 

Public Power Organizer Patrick Robbins said: “Energy is essential to modern life, yet New York’s deregulated energy market allows utility companies like NYSEG, Con Ed and National Grid to extort sky-high rates from their customers while poisoning our planet. In 2020, despite record blackouts across the state, private utilities have raised rates even more, and shut off power to people who can’t afford their bills in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. We need an energy system that’s accountable to the people it serves.” 

This week of action has been organized by a statewide coalition of organizations from New York City, the Hudson Valley, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, and Buffalo. The still-growing coalition includes NYC-DSA, Food and Water Action, Sane Energy Project, Energy Democracy Alliance, UHAB, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, Mid-Hudson Valley DSA, Syracuse DSA, Alliance for a Green Economy, Metro Justice, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, and PUSH Buffalo.   

Week of Action

Monday, October 19 

All day: New Yorkers statewide called the Governor’s office to demand Public Power in a special edition of Food and Water Action’s “Call Cuomo Monday”. 

6:00pm: Food & Water Action held a statewide teach-in led by NYC-DSA Ecosocialist Organizer Gustavo Gordillo.

Thursday, October 22

9:30-10:30am: NYC-DSA, Sane Energy Project, UHAB, and Food & Water Action will rally at National Grid’s HQ in downtown Brooklyn to protest Governor Cuomo’s failure to stand up to National Grid and to demand Public Power. 

5:00-6:00pm: Syracuse DSA will rally at the Niagara Mohawk Building, National Grid’s headquarters in Syracuse to call attention to the company’s ecocidal pursuit of profit. 

Saturday, October 24

1:00-3:00pm: NYC-DSA, Sane Energy Project, UHAB, and Food & Water Action will host a teach-in in Brownsville, Brooklyn and then will canvass the neighborhood to talk to residents about their experiences with the natural gas industry and private utility companies like National Grid, which is currently rejecting the community’s wishes and constructing a fracked gas pipeline in the heart of their neighborhood.

2:00-4:00pm: Progress in the Park Fest will bring together over a dozen grassroots organizations in Mansion Square Park in downtown Poughkeepsie to promote progressive legislation, racial and economic justice, and a truly democratic Hudson Valley. Mid-Hudson Valley DSA will talk to Poughkeepsie residents about the need for public power and the struggle against the fossil fuel industry in the Hudson Valley. Other organizations present at the Progress in the Park Fest include Pawling Dover Speaks, Industrial Workers of the World/General, Defensive Committee, Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance, Mothers Out Front, Upstate NY SRA, Food & Water Watch, ENJAN, ACLU, Dutchess County Pride, The Trans Closet, Ulster Activists, and NAACP.