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Protesters get push back from officials in Catskill, Greenville, and Rosendale

Jul 02, 2020 6:33 am
On July 1 President Donald Trump said that painting the phrase "Black Lives Matter" on New York's Fifth Avenue would be "a symbol of hate." The Village of Catskill Trustees, the day before, agreed the phrase was not right for their Main Street with a vote against such a display. Elsewhere in Greene County, Azraelle Story said she got push back initially from the Town of Greenville, as she is organizing an "Equality Protest in support of Black Lives Matter" there July 18. She spoke with WGXC this week about the town's reaction to her protest. CLICK HERE TO PLAY BRIEF EXCERPT OF THE INTERVIEW. On June 30 the Town of Rosendale put out a letter about how they were going to take action on police reform after a recent protest in the Ulster County town. The town says they will commit to "[beginning] the process of forming a committee... This Committee will work closely with our Town Board and Police Commission to actively review and revise our law enforcement policies." What the letter does not say is that this is mandated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent executive order. The "New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative" Executive Order requires New York cities, towns, and villages to develop plans that reinvent and modernize police strategies and programs by April 1, 2021. In Hudson, officials are working out how they will cut 10 percent of the police budget there, after Mayor Kamal Johnson's June 15 executive order. Johnson said the budget cuts will be worked out after he soon names members of the Reconciliation and Advisory Commission. Sgt. Christopher Filli, president of the Hudson police officers’ union, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Council 82, Local 3979, would only say that the budget cuts will be detrimental, even though what is being cut has not been announced. “Defunding the police also means reinvesting in programs for the mentally ill, for senior care programs that have been slashed, the youth program, social programs and housing,” said Michael Hofmann, from the group Hudson for Social Justice. Meanwhile, 4th Ward Alderperson Malachi Walker and 2nd Ward Alderperson Tiffany Garriga want a 20 percent police budget cut. Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said he wants the force to remain the same size. “The size of the department is not something we pull out of thin air,” Moore said. “We are at a capacity to handle what is placed on our doorstep.” Protests continue July 2 in Saugerties with a 5 p.m. "Together as One" event at Cantine Field.