Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers announce a statewide advocacy campaign Yonkers, N.Y. —
The Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers of CLUSTER announce a statewide, online advocacy campaign to restore funding for New York’s mediation programs. The campaign can be found at https://www.cfsbny.org/programs/mediation/postcard.aspx. We are asking supporters to visit this webpage to electronically sign a postcard that will be sent to Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York requesting that mediation fundingbe restored in the upcoming State budget. The entire network of mediation centers is simultaneously asking supporters in all 62 counties to join in the call to action. Last year’s State budget crisis forced the Unified Court System to make deep cuts, and funding for the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program was slashed. Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers, which operate this program in both counties, received a 40% cut in funding.
This campaign asks the Court to consider whether reducing funding for mediation centers is cost effective. The cost of a mediation case at a local center averages $300. Even the most minor court action will far exceed that cost making the choice to fund mediation a cost-saving measure for the Court.
The goal of this campaign is to collect more than 5,000 electronic signatures statewide. Child & Family Services in Buffalo, NY is coordinating this effort on behalf of participating mediation centers and the link to the postcard is located on their website at https://www.cfsbny.org/programs/mediation/postcard.aspx. Last year, the Community Dispute Resolution Centers assisted close to 100,000 people resolve conflicts that could have otherwise resulted in increased conflict in the community and increased cases for an already overburdened court system.
Contact: Jenny Besch, (914) 963-6500 ext. 207