We’re sending you energy, power, and love as the pandemic stretches onward. With the inundating news and analysis around the coronavirus crisis, it can feel as though there is little left to say.
We want to focus on what we’ve been able to do, together. Over the past few weeks, we’ve brought hundreds of people together to build power. We’ve reached out to thousands of people to support each other. And we’ve partnered with organizations across New York State to fight for a recovery that works for all of us.
We intend to come out of this crisis stronger than we entered it. Our approach remains threefold:
- Helping people meet their day-to-day needs
- Advancing transformative demands
- Building long-term power
We’ve called over 6,700 community members in six weeks. We’ve trained dozens of members and interns to check in with people, connect them to resources for food and financial assistance, and ensure they fill out the census.
We cannot afford to lose sight of the census in this pandemic. The census will determine political representation and federal funding for our hospitals, schools, and public services for the next ten years. In other words: our needs will be even harder to meet if we are undercounted. That’s why we must work to get our people counted!
We’re excited to welcome Mark Sanchez-Potter as a Community Census Ambassador. The New York Civic Engagement Table is sponsoring Mark’s outreach with us to thousands of community members through texts and phone calls.
We will also be launching a project to text over 100,000 people about the census! If you’d like to join the text team for this project, sign our interest form here!
From distributing hundreds of masks across the Hudson Valley, to connecting members to emergency financial assistance from the National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus Care Fund, we’re supporting our members to meet their day-to-day needs in the ways that we can.
To be clear: this burden should not fall on us. We should be able to expect more from the state. Public relief packages should be directed to regular working people whether Black, Brown, or white instead of corporations. That’s why we’re fighting for solutions at scale.
COVID-19 has made it clearer than ever – all our health is bound together. And while people lose their health insurance and healthcare workers don’t have proper PPE, insurers are posting record profits. It’s time to have healthcare for people, not for profit. That’s why on Wednesday we and the rest of the Campaign for NY Health held a virtual rally to hear from frontline healthcare workers, nurses, seniors, small businesses, legislators, and patients demanding that the NY Health Act be a central part of a just recovery for New York State! Contact your representative here.
Undocumented people are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 while being barred from relief. Undocumented workers, through their employment, have invested $1.4 billion into the Unemployment Insurance System over recent years – the very system that they are now blocked from accessing. They’re also barred from $1,200 checks from the IRS. Foundations and charities are establishing modest funds to get some cash to families, but our communities need government-scale solutions. That’s why we’re working with allies around the state to demand a $3.5 billion Excluded Worker Fund. We’ll be hosting virtual town halls around the state in the coming weeks. Sign the petition here!
Today, millions of New Yorkers are out of work. That means millions of us will be unable to pay the rent. The 92,000 New Yorkers who were already homeless before COVID-19 are struggling to survive in an overburdened and under-resourced shelter system. For New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, calls to “shelter at home” are cruel and meaningless. That’s why in the weeks since Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency in New York, we and the rest of Housing Justice for All have been calling on our state leaders to #CancelRent and invest in housing and life-saving services for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. You can join us and sign the #cantpay2020 pledge here: bit.ly/cantpay2020
We and 50 other environmental, labor and community organizations recently urged New York Attorney General Letitia James to sue the Trump administration over its new policy to stop enforcing EPA requirements under a wide range of federal environmental laws due to COVID-19. Our AG heard our call and is leading a coalition of nine attorneys general in a lawsuit!
We are resolved to come out of this stronger than we came into it. And the growth of our volunteers and interns over this period are any indication, we are on track to meeting this goal.
We built the largest fundraising team we’ve ever had with over 450 volunteers! We trained over 360 of them in one meeting and in the process crashed Zoom.
We received over 100 applications for our remote summer “Organizer-in-Training” internship program! The most we’ve ever received — and we’re so excited to report back on the incredible work we are able to do together.
Thank you for making all of this work possible. We are so grateful to share this work with you.