The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club is organizing a trip to Mount Kisco on the evening of Saturday, September 6 for an event called “Candles for Clemency.” It will involve us gathering in the town of Mount Kisco and marching with lit candles to the home of Governor Cuomo because he has issued zero clemencies to any inmate in our prison system. There will be some speakers when we first gather. The march with be orderly, silent and dignified. We will initially gather by Kisco Park Town Hall or one of the other government buildings and have some speeches from civil rights activists and celebrities.
Our group will march from the town along the road which is about half a mile and then turning left to gather with our lit candles. We have no desire to block traffic or cause a disruption. We just want to express our constitutional freedom of speech in a respectful manner. We will make a left on Bittersweet Lane which is where the governor lives, and hold vigil.
There will be buses leaving from Manhattan sometime between six and seven p.m. Details on time and location to follow.
We feel strongly that we have the right to express ourselves in this manner as vigils have been long used in our country’s fight for civil rights and reform.
Our organization’s attorneys are former Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman and civil rights attorney Tom Shanahan. The event organizer is attorney Justin Carroll and myself.
The event is also supported by the Village Independent Democrats, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Coalition for a District Alternative (CODA), Ansonia Independent Democrats, McManus Democratic Club, Greater NYC for Change, RAPP (Release of Aging People in Prison) Sheila Rule and Think Outside the Cell, Hour Children and Village Zendo.
Kathryn Erbe, star of Law and Order: Criminal Intent will be participating. Others participating or supporting the vigil include Congress Member Nydia Velazquez, State Senators Brad Hoylman, Liz Krueger, Gustavo Rivera, former State Senator Tom Duane, former Public Advocate Mark Green, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Members Ritchie Torres, Helen Rosenthal, Laurie Cumbo and Mark Levine, State Senate Candidates Robert Jackson, John Liu, Oliver Koppell, Rubain Dorancy, Dell Smitherman and Gary Carsel, Assemblymember Dan Quart, Assembly Candidates Jo Anne Simon, Rodneyse Bichotte, Marybeth Melendez, Rebecca Seawright and Ceasar Zuniga, legendary activist Ronnie Eldridge, Bill Samuels, Jessica Mates, and District Leader James McManus. James Duff Creator of The Closer and Criminal Minds, Phillip Keane from The Closer and Criminal Minds, HIV/AIDS activist Andy Velez and gay civil libertarian Bill Dobbs have also agreed to participate.
We would appreciate your endorsement and participation. Please reserve your seat on the bus.
We will be asking for a voluntary contribution of $13.00, more if you can, less if you can’t. The money will pay part of the costs of the buses.
If there are any questions please contact me.
Thank you for your consideration.
Clemencies granted as governor:
Gov. Hugh L. Carey: 155
Gov. Mario Cuomo: 37
Gov. Pataki: 33
Gov. Spitzer: 1
Gov. Paterson: 3
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: 0
Contrast with California: Gov. Ronald Reagan (CA): 575
Gov. Jerry Brown (CA): 127 clemencies in December 2013 alone