June 2022 – New Yorkers for a Fair Economy passes the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, tackling exploitative productivity quotas at companies like Amazon.
Injuries increased by 64% at Amazon warehouses in New York as the company reinstated its grueling quotas after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, ALIGN organized labor unions, community organizations, and advocates in the New Yorkers for a Fair Economy (NYFE) coalition to draft the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA), sponsored by Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Latoya Joyner and introduced in Spring 2022. The legislation brings transparency to secret quotas in the warehouse industry, ensuring that workers at companies like Amazon know what quotas they are being judged against and that those quotas do not interfere with legally protected breaks. The coalition organized quickly to build support in the legislature and win its passage. Next, Governor Hochul will need to sign the bill for it to become law.
May 2021 – The NY Essential Workers Coalition wins the NY HERO Act, the first-in-the-nation airborne infectious disease standard in the country.
ALIGN brought together workers and allies from across the state to form the NY Essential Workers Coalition to fight for the protections and voice in the workplace that were routinely denied to workers throughout the pandemic. After a tireless year-long fight, the NY HERO Act was signed into law. The first law in the country to create permanent, enforceable health and safety standards to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases in the workplace, the NY HERO Act ensures that workers will have real, lasting protections and a stronger voice in the workplace. The standards cover basic protocols around areas including PPE, social distancing, and airflow. The legislation also allows for workers to form groundbreaking Health and Safety committees in order to monitor, review and collaborate with employers on all workplace health and safety policies. This historic legislation will provide the tools needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and whatever may come next. Read more about the NY HERO Act at protectnyheroes.org.
February 2021 – Climate Works for All wins the fight against the real-estate backed budget provision that would have undermined NYC’s landmark Local Law 97
In January, Governor Cuomo revealed a real-estate budget proposal that would have undermined the landmark Local Law 97, a law fought for and won by the Climate Works for All coalition, and designed to significantly reduce building emissions and create tens of thousands of good, green jobs. Due to a statewide organizing effort, the final budget omitted Governor Cuomo’s disastrous proposal that would have allowed building owners to buy renewable energy credits, instead of performing retrofits that will create thousands of green jobs in New York City and help address the climate crisis.You can read more about this victory here.
November 2019 – Transform Don’t Trash NYC Wins Commercial Waste Zones Law for a safer and more equitable Commercial Waste Industry
A six year struggle in the making, the successful passage of the Commercial Waste Zones law is critical in overhauling how trash is collected from businesses across the city, improving safety, cutting pollution, protecting workers, and establishing fair prices for businesses. Due to the relentless organizing of our Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition, we are now on a pathway to move from the current chaotic race-to-the-bottom system to a more efficient zoned system that can be used to greatly improve standards for commercial fleets, improving safety for sanitation workers and for everyone on NYC streets. You can read more about this crucial law here.
July 2019 – NY Renews successfully pushes for the passage of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate law in the country
New York passed the boldest climate law in the country because of 4 years of organizing, lobbying, and advocacy by the powerful NY Renews coalition, where ALIGN is proudly a co-founding member and serves as a part of the steering committee. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) states that New York must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 85%, and be completely carbon-neutral, by 2050. Moreover, this law mandates that 40% of state climate and energy funding be invested in environmental justice communities. This groundbreaking law sets the path in our transition away from fossil fuels, investments in clean, renewable energy projects that will move us toward our climate goals while creating thousands of good jobs across the state. Read more about the CLCPA here.
February 2019 – Grassroots coalition successfully pushes back against Amazon HQ2 in New York City
With a large coalition of labor, community, and grassroots organizations, we defeated Amazon’s push to win a $3 billion economic development deal for a new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Throughout 2019, we worked with a long standing alliance of community and labor to protect our communities and our city from giving away public money to a trillion dollar corporation that is harmful for workers, communities, immigrants, and the environment. We told Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s leaders something they aren’t used to hearing: no. We organized relentlessly — not just against Amazon but for a better, more just vision of economic development that will redirect the billions currently spent on corporate tax subsidies toward community-led investments in our neighborhoods and in unionized workplaces that will create sustainable livelihoods full of dignity and joy. Our lead role in this fight against Amazon generated national headlines, and was covered in numerous media outlets.
June 2018: City commits to high labor standards in installation of solar panels on public buildings
ALIGN’s Climate Works for All coalition won a commitment for strong labor standards as New York City installs solar panels on public buildings, as well as a process for prioritizing installation in neighborhoods most impacted by climate change. To find out more watch as Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director at ALIGN speaks to Benny Aranja from IBEW Local 3 and Dave DeMaio from Unity Electric at Junior High School S.A. Halsey in Rego Park, Queens. The school is one of the first of 88 sites to have new solar panels installed, using union labor.
August 2016- Transform Don’t Trash NYC wins city commitment to Zero Waste and commercial waste collection zones
New York City agrees to groundbreaking reforms of private sanitation industry through adoption of commercial waste zones. After four years of campaigning by the Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition, ALIGN and its allies achieve an agreement with the Mayor and Department of Sanitation to implement commercial waste zones that will reduce harmful truck emissions as much as 64%, increase recycling and landfill diversion, and improve working conditions and wages for over 3,000 workers. Read more here
March 2016- ALIGN joins Real Affordability for All campaign and wins City study of new tool for more just housing development
The “floor area affordability bonus” policy, which ALIGN led in developing, would allow builders more density for new developments in rezoned areas and, in exchange, developers have to provide more below-market-rate, deeply affordable housing and commit to strong labor standards such as local hiring, apprenticeship programs and a prevailing wage for construction work. Read more here
December 2014- Forming Climate Works for All and launching a Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs
Climate Works for All unites labor, community, and environmental justice around an agenda for planet and people. ALIGN, NYC-EJA, and the NYC CLC co-convened and launched in December of 2014 as a broad coalition of over 40 worker, community, and environmental organizations united to ensure that efforts to address climate change also create good, career-track jobs and prioritize low-income, climate-vulnerable communities. The coalition released Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers which was highlighted by the New York Times and Capital New York. This agenda offers a roadmap for reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, while creating nearly 40,000 good jobs a year. ALIGN is a member of the Mayor’s 80 by 50 working group to design New York’s implementation plan.
September 2014- Winning the City’s 80 X 50 Climate Goal
The People’s Climate March sparked New York City’s groundbreaking “80 x 50” climate goal. ALIGN co-chaired the regional host committee of the People’s Climate March with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA), contacted over 30,000 individuals in Zone-A communities, worked with our partners in the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding to mobilize over 700 Hurricane Sandy survivors, and helped galvanize over 10,000 union members to join the march. Working alongside NYC-EJA and New York City Central Labor Council, AFL CIO, we developed a People’s Climate March policy agenda for New York City that led to the City’s 80% carbon reduction goal by 2050. The 80×50 plan will create 3,500 new construction jobs and train 7,800 workers in energy efficiency and renewable energy; improve the sustainability of city-owned building through energy efficiency retrofits, solar, improved operations and “carbon-zero” new construction; create a citywide plan for Bus Rapid Transit; and develop a Green Jobs Corps for unemployed people. Mayor de Blasio named ALIGN to the Mayor’s 80×50 Technical Working Group. Read more here
March 2014- Winning the Build It Back local hiring program through Alliance for a Just Rebuilding
Alliance for a Just Rebuilding launched in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath, and achieved the Build It Back local hiring program. This program set a national climate resiliency precedent. The $850 million dollar Build It Back program works to repair and rebuild 10,000 homes and climate resiliency with career training and job opportunities. The Build It Back Local Hiring initiative targeted at least 20% local hiring to disadvantaged people, funded over 100 Sandy impacted persons and placed them in construction apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. The Alliance for a Just Rebuilding also won the “Sandy Tracker” policy that monitors both rebuilding and climate resiliency investments. It includes important public disclosure requirements such as listing program allocation, the number of jobs created, where workers live by zip code, and posting let contracts to monitor both rebuilding and future resiliency investments. Read more here
September 2012- Winning a High- Road Retail Facility as part of the Walmart-Free NYC coalition
Walmart-Free NYC coalition stopped Walmart and won high-road retail in East New York. This hard fought campaign kept out Walmart from the biggest retail market in the US while Walmart was successfully breaking into Chicago and Los Angeles. In keeping out Walmart, the coalition secured a union ShopRite store at the redevelopment site in question located in East New York Brooklyn. Read more here