The Bronx Defenders Hosts Fifth Annual Community Day of Action in Albany to Redefine Public Safety  

The Bronx Defenders Joined Community Activists and Elected Officials to Rally for the Passage of Treatment Not Jail, Informed Consent, New York for All, and others

Contact: Michael Paul Jackson, 

The Bronx, NY – The Bronx Defenders traveled to Albany today with community leaders, supporters, and advocates to demand legislation that will redefine public safety by reducing mass incarceration, keeping families whole, and giving marginalized communities in the Bronx the freedom and opportunities they need to thrive.   

For five years, The Bronx Defenders has hosted a Community Day of Action to push for systemic changes to eliminate the racially discriminatory and oppressive systems that have torn New York communities apart; hurt families through mass incarceration, immigration detention, and family policing; and have caused housing instability and lasting harm to millions of people.  

“Families in the Bronx have faced decades of unjust policies designed to dehumanize them and destabilize their communities,” said Wesley Caines, Interim Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders. “These policies don’t keep people safe. As public defenders, we know that true community safety must come not only by eradicating oppressive systems, but by elevating the voices and lived experiences of Black, Latine, and other marginalized people who call the Bronx their home. We are proud to use our proximity to the halls of power to do this each year.” 

“For too long, the voices of people in the Bronx have been silenced,” said Brittany McCoy, Managing Director of Policy at The Bronx Defenders. “We must do more than advocate for a series of bills. We must continue to champion the community members who are fighting every day for their families, their children, and their well-being. This Day of Action is dedicated to uplifting the people of the Bronx and supporting them in making sure they have the resources and power they deserve.” 

The Bronx Defenders rallied on the Million Dollar Staircase to call for the passage of several bills this year that together would ensure true community safety for all New Yorkers: 

  • Justice & Opportunity for All: After decades of racist and oppressive sentencing laws, it’s time to end them and create real pathways of opportunity for all New Yorkers.  
  • Treatment Not Jail (S1976 / A1263)  
  • Second Look Act (S321 / A531)  
  • Eliminate Mandatory Minimums (S06471 / A2036)  
  • Earned Time Act (S774 / A1128)  
  • PromPT Stability Act (S3066 / A3750A)  
  • Youth Justice and Opportunities Act (S3426 / A4238)  
  • Freedom and Dignity for All: We must end the inhumane caging of immigrant New Yorkers and reunify families.  
  • Dignity Not Detention Act (S306 / A4354)  
  • New York For All Act (S987 / A5686)  
  • Family Unity and Fairness for All: Parents and families have rights; they deserve to know them.  
  • Family Miranda Rights (S901 / A1980)  
  • Informed Consent (S320 / A109)  
  • Anti-Harassment in Reporting (S902 / A2479) 

Assembly Member Yudelka Tapia said: “As we gather in Albany today, it’s with a profound sense of urgency and determination, recognizing the pressing need for transformative change in the Bronx and underserved communities across New York. For too long, unjust policies have inflicted harm on our communities, perpetuating cycles of poverty and incarceration. The Bronx Defenders has been a steadfast ally in this struggle, amplifying the voices of the marginalized and advocating tirelessly for justice and equity. Their Community Day of Action embodies the resilience of the Bronx community and serves as a powerful call to dismantle oppressive systems and create pathways to opportunity. Together, with The Bronx Defenders, we stand united in our commitment to building a more just, equitable, and compassionate society for all.”