This week, after a year of organizing, our movement won a $2.1 billion fund for excluded New Yorkers.
This is the first fund of its kind in the country. It will provide the lost income our community members desperately need. It is a recognition of the imperative to include undocumented immigrants in our safety net.
We won this fund after a 23-day hunger strike led by excluded workers, after a year long organizing fight and after decades of fighting for undocumented New Yorkers to be included in the social safety net.
Now, we turn towards ensuring that this money gets into people’s hands as quickly as possible. We have launched community resources in English and Spanish to share updates on the fund. We are planning a mass outreach and enrollment operation, and we will be in daily contact with government agencies to ensure efficient and fair implementation.
Thank you to our incredible partners in the Fund Excluded Worker Coalition who fought alongside us. Special thanks to New York Communities for Change, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, New York Immigration Coalition, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Street Vendor Project, Worker Justice Center of New York, Community Resource Center of New York, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, Long Island Jobs with Justice, and Fiscal Policy Institute.
We extend our deepest gratitude to our champions in Albany, Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Carmen de la Rosa. Thank you also to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for holding the line against the Governor’s attempts to undermine the fund. We also thank Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes for courageously joining the hunger strike for 12 days alongside our members and allies.
And of course, thank you to all of our members who fought for this every day for the past year even as they faced incredible challenges. Not everyone who started this fight with us lived to see it come to fruition and we honor the lives of all the caminantes we lost to COVID.
Finally, thank you for helping us make this win happen. Together, we will also ensure that those who desperately need this aid will get it.
¡Sí se pudo!