As the largest community-based, membership organization representing immigrants and working-class people of color in New York State, with 25,000 members, Make the Road New York (MRNY) is uniquely positioned to identify and address pressing community needs. Through its network of community centers in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, MRNY employs a multi-faceted approach to supporting immigrant, communities of color, and working-class New Yorkers, providing a full range of legal, educational and survival services. The communities we represent and serve have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now facing rising housing, food, and other costs, while wages have not kept pace. Meanwhile, many of our members remain unjustly excluded from key safety net programs like unemployment and health insurance, as well as tenant protections.
Our 2023-24 state policy platform centers on smart solutions to address the persistent inequities across our state and improve the lives of immigrant, Black, and brown families across New York State. The Legislature and Governor Hochul should enact the following to help ensure that all New Yorkers are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.