With all the bad news, let’s celebrate our victories!
by Michael Kane
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE spent a lot of time getting our followers to stop a bill in Albany that would have created a state-wide adult vaccine database. That bill DIED in committee and did NOT become law! This was a big win, and happened over 2 weeks ago. So much is happening so fast we haven’t found the time to report on it until now.
This victory is largely due to the thousands of calls and emails our followers put in to Albany Assembly reps. We are now safe until January of 2022, when the next legislative session begins. At that time the bill may be brought back, it may not. If it is brought back it needs to start the same process all over from the very beginning once again. Please stay tuned to our platform for updates.
In addition to this win, the legislative session of 2021 in Albany was actually a big success for us and our issues because we didn’t lose any ground. You may recall Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) had brought a bill that would require mandatory COVID vaccination for every New Yorker if “public heatlh officials” deemed it necessary. After activists protested outside of her Manhattan apartment the bill recieved no co-sponsors and was never reintroduced.
With Cuomo recently rescinding his emergency powers, yet trying to make some of his dictates permanant through regulations that bypass the legislative process, I think I smell lawsuits in the near future challenging some of this. We shall see.
Additionally I have heard of not one county or city in New York that is requiring the COVID vaccine for public school teachers or students in September, and there currently is no state-wide law requiring the vaccine. It is highly unlikely that there will be a state-wide law forcing the COVID vaccine on teachers or students this fall. That is directly from all of the hard work TEACHERS FOR CHOICE, our supporters, and you have put in to this fight. I can’t thank you all enough for all you have done!
Charter schools and colleges are mandating the COVID vaccine, however we have heard of a great many successes where students and teachers apply for a religious exemption to vaccination and it is accepted without any resistance.
Lastly we just saw Local 1199, the largest union of Healthcare workers in America, stand up firmly against Columbia Presbyterian Hospital’s forced COVID vaccine mandate. The union, headed by President George Gresham is publicly threatening to take the hospital to court if a deal can’t be worked out that does not involve forced vaccination. 1199 is the most powerful union in New York State; possibly most powerful in the country! I seriously doubt anyone in Albany is going to stand against them and their enormous voting bloc of mostly Black and Brown voters.
Anyone remember who 1199 endorsed in the NYC mayoral election?
It’s good to see my brothers and sisters in organized labor coming out on the right side of informed consent and choice for medical procedures.
These are some of the successes of our efforts from the 2020-21 school year. There are other victories as well not mentioned here, and more victories as well as defeats still ahead of us. Don’t let the defeats scare you, that is just part of the process of any war – sometimes you lose one battle to win another. Don’t believe anyone who says you (and WE) can’t make a difference. We already have.