January 8, 2013

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Petitions delivered to governor’s office

uupdate 1-9-13

Dozens of Brooklyn-area clergy hand deliver petitions with more than 10,000 signatures to a representative of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The signatures—collected over the last few months by a coalition of faith, labor and community organizations, including UUP—urge the governor to halt a cost-cutting plan at SUNY Downstate Medical Center that has targeted health care services and hundreds of jobs.

The Bishop Orlando Findlayter of the New Hope Christian Fellowship presented the petitions to Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi outside the governor’s Capitol offices on Jan. 8.

“We, as faith-based leaders, community leaders and small business owners who live and work in Brooklyn, urge you to intervene,” the petition reads. “Downstate is a vital community asset and we are committed to working together to keep it open and serving the thousands of patients who pass through its doors each day.

“We respectfully ask that you rescind the more than 400 job cuts already ordered at Downstate and stop any further job reductions at the medical center. We agree with you, Gov. Cuomo: we believe that New York should be creating jobs not cutting them. Brooklyn needs these jobs!”

The clergy members came to Albany by bus to participate in a rally at the Legislative Office Building. Nearly 700 Downstate employees, community advocates, faith-based leaders and union members from around the state joined together to protect the public mission of Downstate, and to ensure that central Brooklyn continues to have a viable medical facility open to all residents.

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