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

2021 was a huge year for ALIGN in moving New York toward worker, climate, and racial justice. We continue to see powerful coalition building as essential to the movement for a sustainable economy that works for all. Our work begins first and foremost with the people on the ground. This year, workers in New York and across the country were fired up and demanded better wages and benefits, safer working conditions, and a stronger voice on the job. The rapid and intensifying climate crisis continues to inspire millions across the globe who have been impacted by record-breaking hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, tornadoes, floods and more.

This year, we continued to build bridges between these movements who seek greater justice and equity in their communities. In this newsletter, we will review how the power of our coalition building can bring monumental victories toward a just and equitable New York.


We could not achieve our wins without your support. Please consider donating to ALIGN so we can continue our work for a more equitable and just New York.



A Giant Leap for Worker Power

Throughout the pandemic, employers failed to provide adequate protections to prevent workplace COVID-19 outbreaks and community spread. We knew that calling frontline workers “heroes” was not enough. Our NY Essential Workers Coalition came together because we recognized that if workers across industries organized to fight for what they deserve, we could shift the conversation on how New York treats essential workers during and after the pandemic. We were right. We built and won the NY HERO Act from the ground up, the first-in-the-nation airborne infectious disease standard that provides a model for this country to protect workers from COVID-19 and whatever may come next.

Through the NY HERO Act, workers will also be able to create worker committees, a groundbreaking new tool to help workers organize in their workplaces, build democratic structures, and bring their employers to the table on issues concerning health and safety. Two years into this pandemic, we are seeing the transmissible Omicron variant spreading across the country. Our victories this year make our communities more empowered and prepared to slow the spread. This is just the beginning for the NY Essential Workers Coalition in building a new vision of how we can protect and empower workers across the state and country. 

Creating Thousands of Green Jobs for NYC

When our Climate Works for All coalition proposed the Climate and Community Stimulus Platform last year, it was seen as the blueprint forward for New York City’s recovery, getting support from leading mayoral candidates, including the soon to be elected Mayor Eric Adams. But we didn’t wait for a new mayor to take action. This year, we were able to immediately win millions of dollars in climate justice in the FY 2021-2022 City budget, including $240 million for solar on schools, $4 million for Commercial Waste Zones, and $15 million for organics collection.

In addition, the coalition will be continuing our work to ensure that Local Law 97 is properly implemented to radically cut building emissions and create tens of thousands of jobs. This past summer, we brought together unions and community organizations to kill a real-estate backed provision in Governor Cuomo’s budget that would have undermined this groundbreaking law. We demonstrated how the people, not special interests, will decide the fate of our communities. 

Lastly, the Climate Works for All coalition is also making sure that our school infrastructure is resilient to the public health and climate crisis all New Yorkers face. In our Green Healthy Schools report, we argue that installing solar panels and HVAC air control systems within schools will help us move towards equitable, healthy communities for our students and teachers, lower our city’s emissions, create good green jobs, and help prevent COVID spread in the classrooms. We cannot talk about a just transition without talking about our school infrastructure. Green Healthy Schools is our next step in winning cleaner, healthier communities. 

The Vanguard of the National Movement to Rein in Corporate Power

Big corporations like Amazon, Walmart, Google, Facebook, and Apple are rapidly expanding in New York and our communities are being left behind. We refuse to let them take our power away from us. In November, we launched New Yorkers for a Fair Economy, a new coalition that brings together the frontline workers care and provide for our communities, the small businesses that provide essential services that we need, and the community organizations that protect the environment and the dignity of Black, brown, immigrant and gender-oppressed communities that make up our diverse state.

We are coming together to stop the corporations that continue to abuse our communities for the benefit of the wealthy few.  At our coalition launch, 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, the most progressive piece of legislation in the country to rein in the power of abusive corporations. Earlier this year, the Senate passed it overwhelmingly. This upcoming session we are working hard to get the Assembly and Governor Hochul to stand with our communities and pass this historic legislation.


 We could not achieve our wins without your support. Please consider donating to ALIGN so we can continue our work for a more equitable and just New York.



The Fight for Climate Justice at All Levels of Government

We are taking the fight for climate justice to all levels of government. As part of the statewide NY Renews coalition, we marched, rallied, lobbied, and called and emailed our legislators for healthy communities, and good green jobs for all. With enough movement power, we can ensure the legislature and the government hear our demands loud and clear: protect our communities by investing in climate this budget season. Next year, we have the chance to win $15 billion to fund a just transition and win climate justice for our communities. From upgrading public housing energy to expanding unemployment benefits, this $15 billion will jumpstart a just transition and put power back in our communities’ hands.

At the national level, the NY Renews coalition also supported the work of the national Green New Deal Network, which is ensuring that federal legislators are prioritizing investments in climate, jobs, care, and justice. This powerful coalition will be continuing to push the Biden administration to pass a Build Back Better Act that delivers transformative investments to uplift communities across the United States, create jobs, and combat the climate crisis.

The Tide is Turning Against Amazon

Amazon workers and their communities are fed up and fighting back. Our board members Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) organized a historic union drive in Bessemer Alabama. Most recently, they successfully pushed back on Amazon’s hideous union-busting tactics, and moved the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold another election this coming year to ensure that workers get a fair chance in forming a union. Here in New York, Amazon workers joined our fight for the NY HERO Act so that warehouse workers and delivery drivers have access to protections and a voice in the workplace. In this report, we show how Amazon’s e-commerce warehouse employees in New York will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the workplace health and safety protections the NY HERO Act will create.


At the national level, we are part of the 50+ grassroots organizations that make up Athena. This year we helped organize workers and small businesses, brought bills before Congress to rein in Amazon’s power, and built a movement to fight Amazon’s worker abuse and racist surveillance tech across the nation. We’ve seen Jeff Bezos forced to testify before Congress, historic bills in the House and Senate challenging Amazon’s domination, antitrust leaders reclaiming seats of federal power, historic worker and small business movements across the nation, Amazon retreat on facial recognition and be forced to acknowledge worker safety with state laws, and a public who has learned to see through its propaganda and demand justice.

The First-in-the-Nation Excluded Worker Fund

While many New Yorkers could rely on financial relief during the pandemic such as unemployment or federal stimulus checks, immigrant and undocumented communities were excluded, despite their essential contribution to caring and providing for New York. After fighting relentlessly throughout the pandemic and mounting two hunger strikes, the Fund Excluded Workers coalition won the first in the nation Excluded Worker Fund: $2.1 Billion that will provide direct cash assistance to workers ineligible for state unemployment benefits or federal COVID-related income relief. The fund was fully allocated after just nine weeks—clear proof of how much New Yorkers need this lifeline. Their fight continues to ensure that this fund is expanded so more workers receive their fair share. We congratulate the Fund Essential Workers Coalition, especially our partners Make the Road NY and New York Communities for Change, for leading the charge for this incredible victory. This win shows that when it comes to building a movement for the dignity and health of our communities, no one is excluded.


We need to maintain this momentum in 2022 to hold elected officials and corporations accountable, to implement our victories, and to achieve even more audacious goals. With your support, ALIGN can enter the new year with the capacity to keep our work moving forward!

Help us to maintain our momentum in 2022!

We look forward to spending 2022 growing, collaborating, and winning the fight for a just and sustainable New York!

Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season and a peaceful New Year.