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A Newsletter for the Movement for Economic, Climate, and Racial Justice

Our movement for a just and equitable New York is only growing bigger and bigger. In the face of climate catastrophe and widening economic and racial inequality, everyday New Yorkers are coming together to demand a sustainable economy, power for working people, and accountability for big corporations. This movement is coalescing as we are inaugurating  New York’s first female Governor, Kathy Hochul, and we look forward to working with her to protect workers and build clean infrastructure. Make no mistake, without a movement to keep her accountable, we will not see the bold, progressive changes needed for our communities. We are proud to honor the leaders who are at the forefront of those movements at our 2021 Movement Builders Awards on September 21st, a night of celebration of our movement’s accomplishments of making our communities healthier, safer, and more just! Check out this video which previews some of the work that we have been throughout the pandemic. We hope you will join us so we can continue to carry on the work needed to build  a stronger, united New York.

You can support our movement for economic, racial, and climate justice by attending the Movement Builders Awards on September 21st!


Get Your Tickets 

Governor Hochul must stand with frontline, essential workers

On Labor Day, the NY Essential Workers Coalition and elected officials celebrated the NYS Health Department and Governor Hochul finally designating COVID-19 a threat to public health, triggering the implementation of the NY HERO Act. This crucial law is the first-in-the-nation airborne infectious disease standard that will protect and empower workers across New York State to fight this ongoing surge.

This action comes after we rallied at NYS DOH’s office and the coalition sent a letter to Governor Hochul calling her administration to issue the designation when the previous administration did not. In an op-ed in the NY Daily News, Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell, called the designation a Labor Day duty for Hochul: “The coronavirus may well be here to stay. But that doesn’t mean that we should resort to unnecessary sickness and death, especially when we already have the tools in our disposal to reduce spread.” Hours after publication of the op-ed, Hochul held a press conference announcing the designation, including signing a package of critical worker rights bills, including a wage theft bill that we supported


Now that the Department of Health and Governor Hochul has made the designation, workers now have clear, enforceable standards on common sense protections that have scientifically proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. We thank bill sponsors Assemblymember Karines Reyes and Senator Michael Gianaris for fighting alongside our movement to get this done. Their leadership with the NY HERO Act is the reason why we are proud to honor them at our 2021 Movement Builders Awards. 

This win is a concrete and transformative way to celebrate workers on Labor Day. Yet, we know that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over. The implementation of the NY HERO Act law is the right first step to protecting the dignity and safety of workers and our communities.

Resilient Schools for Future Generations

PS 62: Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability.

The flooding that hit New York last week is another tragic wake up call for our state that there is still so much more work to do. Nine years after Superstorm Sandy, our City is still not resilient to the climate devastation that will continue to harm all New Yorkers. We must invest in green infrastructure in our city, built by good, union jobs, and continue to move away from fossil fuels.

We cannot talk about green infrastructure without talking about our schools. In less than two weeks, millions of school students and staff will return to full-in person learning after a traumatic and tumultuous school year. After a summer of Covid surges and record-breaking storms and flooding in New York City, we must ensure that our school infrastructure is resilient to the challenges we continue to face. This is especially the case for the frontline communities that have been hit first and worst by our multiple crises.

That is why our Climate Works for All coalition has been urging the City to commit to building Green, Healthy Schools to ensure that our schools are safe environments for students and school staff as we return to in-person learning. In our report, Climate Works for All has shown that the city has already committed to invest energy efficiency upgrades in our buildings. Now we urge Mayor de Blasio to use those funds to begin installing solar and HVAC air control systems in schools, prioritizing black and brown communities. These critical investments will move us towards equitable, healthy communities for our students and teachers, will lower our city’s emissions, and will create good green jobs for our communities.

As New Yorkers approach electing a new Mayor, we must continue our pressure so that the next administration builds on this  of this current investment toward green just infrastructure. Join us in demanding Mayor de Blasio end his term fighting for our communities by building Green, Healthy Schools now! 

Expanding the Most Aggressive Climate and Jobs Policy in the Country

This past summer, our Climate Works for All coalition successfully mobilized against a real-estate backed budget provision that would have undermined New York City’s landmark climate law. Our coalition led the passage of Local Law 97 in 2019, which is designed to drastically slash building emissions which accounts for approximately two-thirds of our City’s total greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to cutting substantial emissions, this law will create tens of thousands of good, green jobs to do building retrofits.

This month, we are able to celebrate an expansion of Local Law 97 through Intro 2283, which addresses two major deficiencies in Local Law 97: the lack of an enforcement mechanism for City-owned buildings and the exclusion of public housing developments. Thanks to the leadership of Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the nation’s most aggressive City climate and jobs policy in the country is only going to get stronger. In a statement, our Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell said, “Expanding the reach of Local Law 97 by requiring publicly-owned buildings to follow rigorous emission standards will make significant inroads towards addressing racial inequities, fight climate change, and set New York City on the right path toward a just recovery for all.”

Congress: #SealTheDeal On Climate, Jobs, Care, and Justice

Hundreds Gather at the Citywide #SealTheDeal Action at Battery Park

We have a once in a generation opportunity to tackle some of the most pressing challenges our communities face through bold and big investments in the infrastructure and jobs plan. As part of the Green New Deal Network, the statewide NY Renews coalition joined the National Day of Action to #SealTheDeal on a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that will invest in climate solutions, the care economy, jobs, and justice. With 68 actions nationwide and 8 actions across New York state, we sent a loud and clear message to Congress: the budget reconciliation bill must prioritize the climate, care, and community investments that our communities need! In our state, at least 400 people, 25 organizations, and 39 speakers came together, making New York one of the driving forces in the fight for a just budget that prioritizes a renewable future. Read more on this historic day of action here.

Ban Amazon Surveillance

Unregulated and pervasive surveillance is entrenched in Amazon’s monopoly. Products like Amazon Ring — which include doorbells, floodlight cameras, mailbox sensors, car cams — can survey millions of people for their consumer data and personal information. This network of surveillance and data collection leads to increased racial profiling of Black and brown people, dangerous use of facial recognition, collection of personal information from children under 13, and dangerous partnerships with thousands of police departments across the country.

In response to the corporation’s harmful surveillance systems, the Athena coalition organized over 50 civil rights and advocacy groups to send a joint letter to the Federal Trade Commission, urging them to exercise its rulemaking authority by banning corporate facial surveillance technology, banning continuous corporate surveillance of public spaces, and protecting the public from data abuse.“The harms caused by this widespread, unregulated corporate surveillance pose a direct threat to the public at large,” the letter reads. You can sign Athena’s petition to say we’ve got #EyesOnAmazon’s Police Surveillance.

Welcome Katie to the ALIGN Team!
We are proud to welcome Katie Hayden as our new Campaign Coordinator at ALIGN! Katie started her organizing career in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, creating a state-wide political and legislative education program for union members and working on a successful ballot initiative to keep the cap on charter schools. Since then she has organized in various labor, community, and electoral spaces, most recently as the Deputy Director of Distributed Campaigning for Senator Ed Markey’s reelection campaign. Katie received her MPA from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Katie lives in Crown Heights and is passionate about building community with her 


ALIGN in the News

City and State NY – Calls for NY Hero Act’s implementation lack follow up

NY Daily News –  Unions, politicians to incoming N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul: take action on COVID HERO Act

Yale Climate Connections – Wind farms off Long Island, New York, to create new jobs

Spectrum 1- Hochul urged to enact COVID-19 worker protections

Spectrum 1 – Hochul sworn into office, faces unique challenges as new governor

Gotham Gazette –  The Major Challenges and Decisions Facing Kathy Hochul as She Becomes Governor of New York

City Limits – Climate Stakeholders on What the IPCC Report Means for New York

Queens Daily Eagle – Leaders call on Hochul to ensure HERO Act goes into effect

The National Herald – NYSDOH Has Not Declared COVID a Serious Risk, Delaying NY HERO Act

Pix 11De Blasio attempts to further explain how vaccine pass will be enforced

An Alliance in Action

Teamsters JC 16 – The essential workers who supplied New York with heating oil, diesel, and gasoline through the pandemic are paid as much as 50% less than workers doing the same job at other companies, and receive inferior health and retirement benefits. In response, the Teamsters went on strike on April 19 after the company’s owner, billionaire John Catsimatidis, refused to agree to a fair union contract despite two years of negotiations. Follow Teamsters JC 16 on their strike which is now going on for 100+ days!

Make the Road NY – After a year of organizing, workers across the state who were excluded from all government relief won the historic $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund. The applications for this fund are now live! You can apply here:

NYC Environmental Justice Alliance – New Yorkers are asking Governor Hochul to act now to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck rule. Pollution-free trucks will benefit ALL of New York, especially communities dealing with unhealthy air and cumulative environmental burdens. Read the joint letter to Gov. Hochul here:

NYC Central Labor Council Join the NYC Labor Movement for a Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The Mass will both celebrate Labor Day as well as commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks. While this will be a Catholic Mass, people of all faiths are welcomed. RSVP here.

DC 37 – District Council 37 announced a tentative contract agreement that will raise wages for over 4,500 FDNY employees, improve recruitment and retention, and expand the mental health response pilot program. Workers impacted include EMTs, Paramedics, EMS Lieutenants and Captains, and Fire Protection Inspectors – many of whom were on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the press release here. 

New York Communities for Change – We are building a statewide network of tenant unions that can fight evictions, build tenant power, and end homelessness! Help support Housing Justice for All work by joining a NYC Happy Hour on September 9th! RSVP here.CWA District 1 –  Healthcare workers at Catholic Health Hospitals in Western New York – including Mercy, St. Josephs, and Kenmore – have spent the past 18 months tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, working longer hours and harder than ever before – but the problems of understaffing began long before March of 2020, and will continue beyond this current crisis. Please sign the petition to tell Catholic Health: Protect Healthcare Workers & Our Patients!