In This Section

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

The NYC election results are in and we will have our most diverse City Council in history.  For the first time, the majority of City Council members will be women, among them the first Muslim woman, first Korean American, and first out LGBTQ Black woman. For centuries, Black, brown, queer, and immigrant New Yorkers have led the movements on the ground, and it’s a huge victory for our government to finally follow suit. This is the result of a multiracial and multigenerational movement that formed at the bottom to hold the white power structures at the top accountable, often at great sacrifice. This is the same multiracial grassroots leadership that make up our coalitions who demand no less than clean air and water, aggressive investments in green infrastructure, fair wages, safe work conditions, and a voice on the job. Our newly elected leadership can do their communities justice by listening to the demands of the people and embracing the class, racial, and gender solidarity that we have been building in our movement for decades.

You can support our movement for economic, racial, and climate justice by donating to ALIGN.

An Unprecedented Coalition Fighting for Corporate Accountability

New Yorkers are witnessing big corporations like Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, Apple, and Google moving aggressively into our neighborhoods. And they are not being very neighborly. Corporations are abusing their power to lower workplace standards and drive down wages for workers across industries, create an unfair and abusive climate for small businesses, and increase truck pollution as more delivery warehouses are rapidly expanding across the state and country. We know firsthand through our fight against Amazon HQ 2  that our communities can come together in powerful coalitions to fight and win against the corporations who abuse their power. That is why we are excited to formally launch New Yorkers for a Fair Economy (NYFE), our new statewide coalition made up of the workers, small businesses, and community organizations uniting to safeguard New York from the abusive practices of big corporations and achieve an economy that works for all of us.

At our coalition launch and press conference last week, we rallied outside of Amazon’s Manhattan bookstore and offices to let abusive corporations know that our communities are here to hold them accountable. Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell told AM NY, “It is no secret that one of the main sources of racial injustice and economic justice is the power that corporations have in our country and in our state. Corporations across the state, whether it’s Amazon, Google, Apple, anybody on tech for E commerce, have made billions out of the suffering of our communities.”

Our first step as a coalition is to pass the 21st Century Antitrust Act, which makes it illegal for abusive corporations to use their market power to harm their competitors, customers, and workers. Antitrust laws give individuals the tools to hold harmful corporations accountable. The 21st Century Antitrust Act is the first major update to New York’s antitrust laws in over a century and would establish the strongest antitrust law in the nation, providing a national model for the ongoing discussions happening at the federal level. Are you a worker, small business owner, or community member that wants to hold corporations accountable for abusive practices? Join our coalition and a network of corporate accountability activists here.

The Promise and Power of Worker-led Health and Safety Committees

The essential workers who kept us healthy and safe through the worst of the pandemic have been applauded and called heroes, but too often they are not heard when it comes to their own health and safety. Through the NY HERO Act, the NY Essential Workers Coalition established health and safety worker committees, a groundbreaking new tool to help workers organize in their workplaces, build democratic structures, and bring issues concerning health and safety to their employers.

Private sector workplaces with 10 or more employees are able to create these worker-led committees to ensure that their health and dignity is prioritized over profit and productivity. Workers can do this regardless of immigration status, or whether you are union or nonunion. New York is the first state to allow workers across industries to form employee-initiated workplace safety committees that employers are required to participate in. The implementation of worker committees is just the beginning. Workers will now begin organizing with this powerful tool, ensuring that businesses are accountable when endangering their communities. The call for dignity and health of workers will only get louder from here. Sign up here if you would like to know more about organizing worker committees or would like to support worker committees throughout New York state!

After COP26, NYC Leaders Must Step Up

Over the past two weeks, world leaders met in Glasgow at COP26 to discuss the global fight against the climate emergency. But we know too well that climate action is not a spectator sport. Scientists and advocates continue to sound the alarm for our world leaders that the time is now, not later, for aggressive measures to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is a global fight as much as it is a city fight. Our Climate Works for All coalition is an NYC-based organization fighting to ensure that we move toward a City that is sustainable, healthy, and provides good, union jobs to build the clean infrastructure needed to tackle our climate crisis. We believe that local power matters, and it will take a powerful, grassroots coalition to set the standards for climate justice across the globe.

With the election of Eric Adams as Mayor and a new slate of City Council members, we are preparing to hold our legislators accountable to tackle the monumental challenges of climate change. This starts with a strong implementation of solar and HVAC air control systems for green, healthy schools. It also includes a strong implementation of Local Law 97, the most aggressive climate and jobs policy in the nation that will cut building emissions and create thousands of green jobs. With a powerful grassroots coalition of labor unions, environmental justice groups, and community organizations, we will be able to win and implement the policies that will save our planet from climate destruction and economic inequality. Check out our new website on how you can get involved in our work. 

Climate Justice = Union Jobs

This past week, hundreds of members of the statewide NY Renews coalition came together outside of Governor Hochul’s offices to demand the passage of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) and funding for climate justice in her 2022 budget proposal. As steering committee members of NY Renews, ALIGN was a key player in driving the passage of the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which set aggressive climate goals such as hitting 85% reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050. But we need money to make that happen. Here is where the CCIA comes in. This groundbreaking legislation is estimated to create $15 billion dollars for climate infrastructure and 150,000 good, green jobs for frontline New Yorkers. Who pays for it? The corporate polluters who have been destroying our neighborhoods. No one stands to benefit more from this funding than the low-income, Black and brown communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. These rallies show that there is popular support and broad public pressure for aggressive climate policies like the CCIA and CLCPA. Will you take a minute to call Governor Hochul now to make climate justice a priority in next year’s budget?

Welcome our new team members!

Karolina Gomez is our new Campaign Coordinator with ALIGN. Karolina has previously worked on electoral, labor and immigrants rights campaigns. Most recently, she has been heavily involved in the ongoing battle to win Citizenship for All.  Born and raised in Queens, Karolina is dedicated to the betterment and advancement of New York City, its people and its workers. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Scranton. 

Lisa Thomas is our new Director of Communications for ALIGN, overseeing media relations, digital strategy, and branding for the organization. Lisa has more than a decade of communications experience at nonprofit arts institutions in NYC including the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Film at Lincoln Center. At FLC, she was proud to help unionize her workplace, serving on the organizing committee and managing social media for the FLC Union. She also worked on the campaign communications teams for New York State Senator Jabari Brisport and New York City Council candidate Michael Hollingsworth, and she is passionate about building worker power for a more just New York. Originally from California’s Central Coast, Lisa currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

ALIGN in the News

amNewYork: Trust busters: Labor coalition rallies in Midtown seeking wage reform and end to corporate monopolies

NY1: Coalition of Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen the State’s Anti-Trust Laws

Times Union – What employees need to know about the NY Hero Act and workplace safety

Labor Press: Teamster Warns: ‘Soon, We’ll All Be Working for Amazon’

DC Report: New York on the Verge of Passing Tough Law Curbing Giant Corporations

Western NY Labor Today: Labor Unions Join With Small Businesses & Community Organizations To Form A New Coalition – New Yorkers for a Fair Economy, Leaders ‘Call For State Legislation To Combat Corporate Power In New York’

Spectrum 1 – NY Renews advocates for Climate and Community Investment Act in Rochester

CBS NY – Activists March Through New York To Call For Passage Of Climate And Community Investment ActNews 10 ABC – Capital Region activists to rally for climate justice in Albany

An Alliance in Action

Teamsters JC 16 – John Catsimatidis is not paying the legal prevailing wage to workers who deliver heating oil to NYC schools and Teamsters are fighting back. Read more about their fight on the Daily News. 

Make the Road NY – The pandemic isn’t over, but the Excluded Worker Fund is closed to thousands of working families who still have no other lifeline. Make the Road is calling on Governor Hochul to to finish the job urging a $3 billion commitment in the executive budget to fully #FundExcludedWorkers. Read the stories of excluded workers who need this fund.

NYC Environmental Justice Alliance – NYC-EJA Executive Director Eddie Bautista joined the Climate Museum on a panel to examine what kind of labor organizing and worker protections are necessary for this moment, and what it means to work in coalition with labor leaders on climate. Watch here.

NYC Central Labor Council – Wirecutter continues to bring in record revenue for the Times, which is sitting on over $1 billion in cash. Yet, Wirecutter union members have seen next to no financial benefit from their vital contributions to this success. That’s why over 90% of their members are prepared to walk out if a deal cannot be reached before Black Friday. Here’s why they’re fighting to secure a strong contract.

DC 37 – NYC marathon is union strong. DC 37 members helped prepare New York City for its biggest comeback event to date, the 50th NYC Marathon. Read more about how union labor made this renowned marathon happen. 

New York Communities for Change – NYCC is joining the movement for #CommunitiesNot Cages. Across New York, this coalition is standing together to eliminate mandatory minimums, end extreme sentencing, and support transformation. Follow this campaign here

CWA District 1  – Strike Victory! After a year of difficult negotiations and a month-long strike, healthcare workers at Catholic Health’s Mercy, St. Joseph’s, and Kenmore Mercy hospitals overwhelmingly voted by a margin of 94% to 6% to ratify a new four-year contract. Read more here.

You can support our movement for economic, racial, and climate justice by donating to ALIGN