This is a historic moment.
After a year-long fight that culminated in a 23-day hunger strike led by our members, the state’s leaders reached a deal that includes a $2.1 billion fund for excluded workers. This is the first fund of its kind in the US.
It means that immigrant New Yorkers who lost income during the pandemic will finally get the cash aid they need and deserve. These New Yorkers kept our state running through this crisis. Most lost income and relied on food pantries. Many put off basic needs like medicine and have mounting debts.
New York has the resources and could have provided even more for excluded workers and it is shameful that formerly incarcerated New Yorkers will not be included in this relief.
Still, for the 200,000 excluded undocumented workers, we celebrate this massive victory! We will work to get this relief into their hands as quickly as possible.
Thank you to all of our partners in the Fund Excluded Worker Coalition and to lead bill sponsors Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa. Most of all, thank you to the brave hunger strikers who put their bodies on the line for this victory. We are honored to celebrate with you.
This was the hardest-won, but by no means only, victory that we are celebrating.
Today’s deal also establishes a $2.4 billion emergency rental assistance program that will help tenants across the state, including undocumented people, to pay off rent debt accrued during the COVID crises. This will help the estimated 1.2 million New Yorkers who have not been able to pay rent this year to keep their homes. Thank you to all of our partners in the Housing Justice for All Coalition. We will continue to fight alongside you to expand tenant protections, stop unjust evictions and eliminate homelessness in New York State.
We also won a tax increase on the ultra-wealthy to fund public education and other vital services. This will ensure a 3-year phase-in of the more than $4 billion owed to New York’s high-needs public schools after 15 years of organizing for equity in school funding. Thank you to all of the members of the Invest in Our New York Coalition and the Alliance for Quality Education for partnering with us on these measures.
Governor Cuomo and his remaining allies tried to block many of these common-sense policies that aimed to provide relief and equity. We commend Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who listened to the demands of excluded workers and tenants to hold the line against the Governor’s callous disregard, and delivered strong relief measures for New Yorkers.
And thank you for your support – whether you donated to our organizing efforts, made calls to elected leaders, or shared our hunger strikers’ powerful stories.
There are more fights ahead – help ensure we keep winning with a one-time or recurring gift today!
Si se pudo,