Advocates on Thursday are set to launch a new campaign calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers in New York to aid immigrants and people of color who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 10 months.
The push for the 2021 Respect and Dignity Platform is being launched by Make the Road New York in a virtual press briefing at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, winning backing already from more than 20 state lawmakers.
The agenda includes tax increases for upper income New Yorkers, providing aid for undocumented workers who have been excluded from pandemic unemployment support, a rent cancellation, a repeal of the “Walking While Trans” ban, and an expansion of immigrant access to health care.
The full platform can be found here.
The pandemic has exposed and in some instances widened a gap between white people and people of color: Black and Brown people are more likely to contract and die from COVID-19 and have suffered higher job losses.
The effort comes the same week Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a budget plan that could see steep spending reductions and tax increases in order to close a budget gap, unless $15 billion in federal aid is sent to New York.
“Our platform offers a different vision — one that puts the needs of workers and tenants first, one that calls on the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay more taxes, and one that demands justice for immigrant, Black, Brown, and trans communities,” said the group’s co-executive directors, Javier Valdés and Deborah Axt.