Everyday people coming together.
We are building a grassroots movement of everyday people to transform New York so it works for all of us. For too long, greedy corporations, billionaires, and political elites have rigged our country to work against us. We are coming together across race and age to fight for laws and win elections that put the power back in our hands and create lasting change.
We win with our inside/outside strategy.
Most groups either fight to win elections or laws. But doing both at the same time is how we win. We elect representatives who will fight for us inside the halls of power and organize our communities on the outside to hold them accountable.
WE’RE HERE TO WIN.
This is life and death for millions of people. Just showing up isn’t good enough. It is our duty to win. Our battles come from the concrete needs of our communities. Then we fight as smart and as hard as we can.
All our problems are connected together at the roots. So we’ve always taken on whatever fights are most strategic for building people power and creating lasting change. The world shifts and our numbers grow, so we’re always adapting to best meet the moment. That’s why we’ve added and changed campaigns over the years.
2012We started the organization together as an all-volunteer group of everyday people. In the wake of Occupy Wall St, we began meeting on weekends in a church basement to figure out how we could organize to win concrete and lasting change.
2013Coming out of the financial crisis, we and our neighbors were being foreclosed on and evicted from our homes, so we decided to make our first campaign about protecting our homes.
2014We took our first step into fighting for laws to create lasting change by winning a law requiring banks in Poughkeepsie to post a $10,000 bond to the city for each foreclosed or vacant property they owned. We also raised the money to bring in our first two staff.
2015Even if we were able to stay in our homes, utility companies were making us pick between paying huge energy bills, our rent or mortgage, or medicine and food - all while destroying the climate - just to line their pockets. So with the greater resources of having staff for the first time, we added our campaign for climate & energy justice. We kicked off that fight by defeating the Mid-Hudson Valley utility company’s proposed 17% monthly fee increase.
2016We won a $69 million expansion of a statewide utility assistance program, designed to help people afford their bills and avoid their lights and heat being shut off due to debt. We also got an expansion in the criteria for the program - making 550,000 more households eligible.
2017After Trump’s election, and the increased scapegoating of new immigrants for problems caused by greedy corporations and billionaires, we began our immigration justice campaign. We began organizing for statewide driver’s license accessibility, municipal IDs, and meaningful protection for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. We also continued to build our climate & energy and racial justice campaigns by winning a state mandate that the Mid-Hudson Valley utility company end its discriminatory practices of disproportionately shutting off the lights & heat of families of color.
2018We won Municipal ID programs in four cities to help trans, undocumented, and homeless people - and others that lack accurate forms of official identification - access medical care and prescriptions, pick their kids up from school, and de-escalate encounters with the police. We also won a reduction in the Mid-Hudson Valley utility company’s monthly fee. This was the first time a utility in New York State has reduced its flat fee charge in over a decade. We also registered 1,067 new voters in just three months.
2019We won our first statewide legislation by passing Driver’s Licenses for All in New York, which guarantees equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of NY State, regardless of immigration status. This made over 750,000 New Yorkers newly eligible to drive to be able to get to work, the hospital, grocery store, and school without fear. We also won Municipal IDs in three more cities, registered 1,722 new voters in just five months, and collected over 1,000 surveys from our members to determine our campaigns for 2020 and beyond.
2020We passed the Protect Our Courts Act in the State Legislature to block thousands of deportations by limiting ICE’s ability to detain people in and near courts. We also knocked on thousands of doors to build support for a state single-payer healthcare system before COVID forced us to organize remotely. Despite the pandemic, we made over 320,000 calls to voters for the general election in 3 months, and we sent over 1.5 million texts in 5 months. We flipped a key, rural state senate seat, New York State Senate District 46, which had been held by a conservative for six years. This victory helped secure a historic democratic supermajority in the State Senate.
2021By organizing our community to put pressure on and hold accountable the new supermajority we helped elect: we ended tax breaks for corporations, millionaires, and billionaires to raise $4.3 billion per year to invest in our communities; won $2.35 billion for renters; won $2.1 billion for undocumented New Yorkers who had been excluded from pandemic relief; and helped pass a bill to curtail solitary confinement. And the year’s not over! For the rest of 2021 we’ll be fighting for local laws and to win local elections for the many!
Building people power.
Our work is powered by thousands of individual donors who chip in what they can to create lasting change.
The heart of our organization is the thousands of people who turn love into action by dedicating their time, energy, and passion.
We are having conversations with millions of people in order to transform New York.