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For Immediate Release: January 31, 2022

Media Contact: Lisa Thomas,, (347) 415-6431


ALIGN to NY State Legislature: Protecting Workers from COVID-19 Must be Top Priority,

Requires $50 Million Investment in NY HERO Act


NEW YORK – Today, advocacy group ALIGN testified to the New York State Legislature about the urgent need to fund the NY HERO Act, transformative legislation that provides workers with critical protections against COVID-19 and future airborne infectious diseases, and a voice in the workplace.

According to testimony ALIGN delivered today at a joint budget hearing on workforce development, “We cannot ignore the harmful impact of this pandemic on essential workers, largely communities of color. Fighting COVID in the workplace must be the state’s top priority, and the NY HERO Act is the only law that safeguards workers and gives them a voice on the job.”

“But to truly protect them, New York must invest $50 million in robust NY HERO enforcement, deep outreach and education, training, and support for small business ventilation upgrades. We all want our economy to get back on its feet, and NY HERO is a crucial tool for our state’s recovery. We must honor the sacrifices of essential workers by protecting them and all workers, throughout this pandemic and for whatever comes next,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN.

ALIGN leads the New York Essential Workers Coalition, a statewide group of over 75 labor unions, worker centers, advocacy groups, and community organizations that won the fight to pass NY HERO last year.

About New York Essential Workers Coalition

The Essential Workers Coalition is composed of unions, worker centers, immigrant rights organizations, legal service providers, health and safety organizations, and community-based organizations. The coalition saw that working people were denied the basic right to a safe and healthy workplace, and together moved to build a statewide movement to protect our NY heroes. After a year-long fight, this coalition celebrated a monumental victory with the signing of the NY HERO Act into law, enshrining a worker-led vision of health and safety for our communities.


ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) is a longstanding alliance of labor and community organizations united for a just and sustainable New York. ALIGN works at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity to make change and build movement. Our model addresses the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions, shaping the public debate through strategic communications, and developing  policy solutions that make an impact.