This country is being devastated by a global pandemic and unemployment crisis while facing hurricanes, droughts, and heatwaves in what is likely to be the hottest year on record. The climate crisis and the pandemic are hitting Black and Brown communities the hardest. In the face of multiple crises, survival leaves us no choice but to continue the struggle to rewrite the rules of the economy and create a more just and equitable society for all. In the summer, a multiracial, cross-generational movement for Black lives poured into the streets to fight for racial justice. In November, the election season has shown that a progressive wave is here to stay, led by BIPOC women in the frontlines. We are riding this wave of progressive energy into 2021, and our communities will come out stronger as ever.
You can support our movement for economic, racial, and climate justice by donating to ALIGN.
Jeff Bezos Profits Billions while Workers are Getting Sick
Health and safety has always been an issue for Amazon workers especially during the holiday season, and the dangers have only been exacerbated during the Covid pandemic. We rallied with Amazon workers and community members at CEO Jeff Bezos’ apartment to deliver the Pandemic Profiteer award. The Amazon CEO has made $90 billion so far in the pandemic, yet failed to protect workers. Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell told Fox Business:
“New York legislators have a chance to stand up for essential workers at Amazon and other large corporations by passing the NY HERO Act and ensuring that workers are protected and have a real say in the safety of their workplace.”
Workers Speak Out while Battling the Covid Second Wave
The second wave is here, and New Yorkers are demanding a plan to keep them safe for this pandemic and whatever comes next. On December 17th, health aides, food workers, farmworkers, sanitation workers, domestic workers and more came together to demand for the NY HERO Act to pass so that workers and communities are protected. Douglas Washington, sanitation worker, and Teamsters JC 16 member, caught Covid in early March and shared: “We don’t have a proper justification and security to say: I can go to work and feel safe and protect my family when I get home.” Robert Williams, a cook at an assisted living facility, and shop steward of UFCW 2013 shared his story: “We were saving PPE, we were making PPE, basically risking our lives. We should be protected… we need this HERO Act to pass, because without it, there are no heroes.” You can watch the virtual rally on this link. You can also support this campaign by sending a letter to your NY state legislator urging them to pass the NY HERO Act.
Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell on City and State NY’s List of NY Energy and Environment Power 100
We our proud to have Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell as part of City and State NY’s Energy & Environment Power 100. This list highlights the advocates, executives, academics and government officials shaping New York’s transition to sustainability. At ALIGN, we remain committed to an energy transition that is just and equitable for all frontline communities. We are proud to be joining a list that highlights the work of climate justice advocates who have been fighting for frontline communities for decades. The number of NY Renews coalition members represented on this list reflects the power and organizing that is happening to ensure that frontline community voices are at the table. Check out the full list here.
Save the Date:
Climate, Jobs, and Justice Candidate Forum
The upcoming mayoral race is upon us, and addressing our climate crisis and unemployment is a top priority for New Yorkers. On Thursday, March 18th, 2021, the Climate Works for All coalition will be hosting the Climate, Jobs, and Justice Candidate Forum which will give incoming 2021 Mayoral candidates an opportunity to share their plan for racial, economic, and climate justice. Save the date to listen to the mayoral candidates discuss their plan to navigate crises, and move towards a more just and liveable New York City. Click here to RSVP.
Good Labor Policy is also Good Climate Policy
Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell joined COVID Straight Talk, a network of scientists, labor unions, worker centers that is coming together to pass national and local indoor air-ventilation policy to keep frontline workers safe from Covid. Maritza discusses the NY HERO Act, as well as the intersection between energy efficiency to tackle greenhouse emissions and health and safety protections in the workplace and homes: “Retrofitting buildings and upgrading buildings means that we have to upgrade HVAC systems. It is not only: the climate here and workers here. There is something to think about in terms of that intersection.” You can watch the town hall here.
#CovidStraightTalk Virtual Townhall
Thank you to Foundations that supported ALIGN’s mission and work
From all of us at ALIGN, thank you for standing with us this past year and continuing to be an important partner in our work.
The Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, New York Women Foundation, New York Foundation, Gimbel Foundation, Overbrook Foundation, Scherman Foundation, Windward Fund, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Unitarian universalist Veatch Foundation, New York Community Trust and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Solutions Project, and Amalgamated Foundation.
An Alliance in Action
– New York labor unions including ALIGN board members RWDSU, DC 37, CWA signed an open letter calling for increased taxes on the rich for this year that would add $7-9 billion in revenue.
– Make the Road NY along with a hundred community members unveiled a three-block-long scroll (650 ft) to show the massive gains of NY’s billionaires during the pandemic while hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers can’t afford rent, food, and basic necessities.
– Nurses from NYSNA at Albany Medical Center and Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital went on strike in early December for abysmal working conditions, unsafe staffing ratios, and lack of PPE. Read more on the strikes here.
– The New York Renews coalition wrapped up their year with a week of art activism, which included art actions across the state, including this incredible banner to #MakePollutersPay led by 350 Brooklyn and Peoples Climate Movement NY. You can take action with NY Renews here.
This year has shown us what can be done when we are united for a common cause, and we hope we can count on you. You can make an online donation through our website at this link or by sending a check to ALIGN at 50 Broadway, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season.