Moral Mondays call for change

By Michelle Costanza

March 10, 2014 Updated Mar 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Community members are pushing for a state budget that works more for the middle class.

Opposition for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget extended Monday from religious leaders and labor groups to parents and working families.

"We gather today and we call it a Moral Monday. We remind our government to think and vote with their conscious," said Kate Murray, Vice President of Broome-Tioga Federation of Labor.

According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, 30 percent of New York's income goes to the top 1 percent of state earners.

The idea of Moral Mondays began in North Carolina, but The Rev. Fred R. Brooks, Jr. said spreading it to New York could help the community take action.

"By our presence here, we encourage all in the Greater Binghamton area to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully in essential budget discussion with our elected officials," said Brooks.

Those who met on Hawley Street Monday afternoon discussed the need for tax breaks for the poor and middle class, along with greater job opportunities, help for the homeless and funding to keep a stable educational system in New York.

Local groups said equality has not been secured for many of the state's families and the state budget needs to be re-worked to benefit our communities.

Moral Mondays will be held for the next several weeks at 5 p.m. on Hawley Street.

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