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How We Can Reform IDAs

Achieving meaningful economic development in New York means reforming New York’s 116 IDAs, which are the drivers of economic development in every part of the state. We need a better solution for economic development in New York. Statewide IDA reform-- rooted in business standards, accountability measures, and transparency reforms—can lead the way.


Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities

This National Unemployment Law Project report shows how America's workplace laws are failing to protect our country's workers. In industries ranging from construction and food manufacturing to restaurants, janitorial services and home health care, workers are enduring minimum wage and overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination, and retaliation for speaking up or trying to organize. They have little recourse because of their need for work, especially during the recession. Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers is the first study of its kind, exposing systematic and routine violations of employment and labor laws in core sectors of the economy.


Residents Speak Out for a Coney Island for All

As the City moved its redevelopment plan through the zoning process, we joined with community residents and activists to ensure that the City’s plan would benefit the entire community and bring opportunity to residents. Several community residents were active during the campaign, raising their voices at public hearings and meetings with elected officials.


Primer on Cap-and-Trade Policy

Under a cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a limit is set on the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) – carbon dioxide and five others - that can be emitted by regulated entities – e.g. the power plants that produce electricity, chemical refineries, and other carbon emitting industries.  This is the cap.

Regulated entities purchase, or are given, allowances equal to the amount of GHG they will be emitting over a given period of time.  For example, a power plant could be given x number of allowances for the x metric tons of CO2 they will be emitting through their operations.  Entities that purchase more allowances than they need may sell additional allowances to entities that are unable to keep their emission level under the cap. This is the trade.

A cap may be set slightly higher than the existing level of GHG emissions across the participating sector.  This limit is then gradually lowered, making allowances more expensive over time and reducing emissions – the ultimate goal. Cap-and-trade enables emitters to choose whether to reduce their emissions at the source, or, if this is prohibitively expensive, to purchase allowances from other emitters that have been able to reduce their own emissions.

Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas produced by human activity, followed by methane, then ozone.  Because greenhouse gases are carbon based, plans that monetize GHG emissions are considered to be “putting a price on carbon.”

Continue reading more on the elements of Cap-and-Trade, an alternative to cap-and-trade, existing cap-and-trade initiatives, and additional resources.


What’s Wrong with the City’s Plan to Redevelop Coney Island?

In 2008, the City of New York proposed to rezone 47 acres in Coney Island and set the stage for a massive redevelopment project. Although the City’s plan promised thousands of new jobs and housing units would arrive in Coney Island, residents feared they had more to lose than to gain from the proposed revitalization. The Coney Island for All coalition developed a policy platform and pushed for the plan to include guarantees for good jobs, increased affordable housing, a stronger amusement area, and the creation of much needed public amenities.