Newsletter for the Movement for Economic, Climate, and Racial Justice
Governor Hochul’s budget speech signals that our calls for labor and climate justice are being heard. But there is still much more work to be done. Hochul’s proposal to link the minimum wage to the rising cost of living is the right step forward, but 2.9 million underpaid workers can’t wait for a living wage; we must raise the minimum wage to over $21.25. The cap-and-invest climate proposal gives New York a huge opportunity to raise billions of dollars for climate investments, but it must provide clear legal protections for frontline and disadvantaged communities, and center the needs of workers. If the budget is to strive for dignity, justice, and equity, we must demand unprecedented investments that will fully serve working people and the planet. The moral character of our budget is only as strong as the success of our movements.
Together, we can win a stronger, more resilient New York in 2023. Please consider donating to ALIGN so we can continue building coalitions fighting for economic, climate, and racial justice.
Raise Up NY has the Momentum to Win
The Raise Up NY coalition occupying Capitol Dunkin Donuts and rallying at the Million Dollar Staircase.
The budget season is in full gear and the #RaiseUpNY coalition has been busy building a statewide movement to raise the minimum wage. Governor Hochul’s proposal to link the minimum wage to rising inflation is simply not enough to address the cost-of-living crisis facing low-wage and underpaid workers. That’s why we’re going to keep fighting for what our communities deserve. To kick off the budget season, workers, businesses, elected officials, and union members rallied in Albany to call on Governor Kathy Hochul to raise the minimum wage to $21.25, then link it to inflation. Our coalition made its presence known by occupying the Capitol Dunkin Donuts—a central meeting place for legislative staffers where workers make close to minimum wage—to make our message clear: $15 is not enough. And we’re on the ground too. Teamsters held their first of many canvasses in Long Island to garner support for raising the minimum wage. Popular support for raising the minimum wage is evident and growing, and now we have an active movement across the state to turn our demands into a reality.
Teamsters canvassing in Long Island to raise the minimum wage.
Climate Investments are a Moral Imperative
The NY Renews coalition rallied in Albany to call on NYS legislators to pass the Climate Jobs, and Justice package (CJJP), a comprehensive plan to decarbonize New York, make our state healthier and more equitable, ensure a just transition for workers, and help create an accessible green economy for all. For this budget, we are fighting for the Climate and Community Protection Fund – a critical piece of the CJJP – which would direct $10 billion towards workers and small businesses, empowering our communities to build a renewable energy economy. 80+ member organizations with 150+ advocates attended the kick-off event, and together, we conducted over 40 lobby visits. And this is just the beginning! You can join NY Renews members in Albany every two weeks throughout the legislative session to ensure that we fund climate justice in New York.
Introducing ALIGN’s Interim Executive Director
After a stellar 12-year tenure at the organization, Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell departed ALIGN this month, leaving behind a legac
y of movement building and dedication to winning transformational change in New York. We are proud to announce that Deputy Director Lucas Shapir
o will assume the role of Interim Executive Director following Maritza’s transition!
As a nonprofit leader in NYC for 20 years, Lucas has organized with member-led groups such as the West Side Neighborhood
Alliance and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality to win affordable housing and good jobs through local development; led experiential study abroad programs in New York City and Barcelona connecting students to grassroots advocates, union workers, and progressive elected officials; and served in the leadership of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the People’s Plan, and as the co-founder of Mayday Space before joining ALIGN last year. We are so excited for his leadership as ALIGN’s board leads the search for our next Executive Director.
ALIGN in the Press
Alliance in Action
Updates from ALIGN’s Board of Directors
Retail Wholesale Department Store Union – Cleveland REI workers seeking to unionize went on strike after their employer insisted that they were not allowed to vote in a union election. As a result of the strike, REI relented and will let those workers vote.
NYC Central Labor Council – After thirteen weeks on strike, members of the HarperCollins Union announced that they have reached a tentative agreement that includes increases to minimum salaries across levels and a $1500 lump sum bonus to all union employees. Huge win! Keep following the union on Twitter for more updates!
Teamsters Joint Council 16 – As the climate crisis worsens, more and more workers get exposed to extreme weather temperatures that can risk serious injury and even death. We need the Temperature Extreme Mitigation Program (TEMP) law to set a temperature standard to protect workers from extreme weather conditions!
Make the Road NY – We are calling on Governor Hochul and state legislators to repair the holes in our safety net and prevent the most vulnerable workers in our state from being excluded again. Unemployment insurance is an essential labor right. Tell the Governor and NYS Legislature: Pass The Unemployment Bridge Program! #ExcludedNoMore
DC 37 – Unions sent a letter to Governor Hochul backing the Access to Representation Act, which would afford low-income New Yorkers the right to an attorney for immigration proceedings.