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Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
Money bail continues to divide New York States' criminal legal system into two tiers: one for those who can pay, and one for those who can't. Unfortunately, this means if you can't afford to pay bail, you go to jail.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
In 2019, New York enacted historic pretrial reforms that will result in a dramatic reduction in pretrial detention populations across the state by eliminating bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanors and non-violentfelonies. That means, in most cases, a person's liberty will not depend on how much money they have.
Center for Community Alternatives;
On January 1st, New York's new bail reform law went into effect. This law, fought for by communities across the state, was designed to reduce the number of people and families harmed by pretrial incarceration, protect the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence, and address the criminalization of poverty and of Black and brown communities.Before the passage of bail reform, New York's fifty-seven counties outside of New York City spent $705.5 million jailing legally innocent people each year.This system of mass pretrial incarceration coerced plea deals and destabilized individuals who were often in dire needof support, not pretrial punishment. By some estimates as many as 84% of people in New York jails had a substance use disorder or mental illness. National surveys show that 20% of people incarcerated in local jails have a "serious mental illness" like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Without bail reform, New York's local jails would have continued to function as warehouses for people failed by social services and social policy, including people struggling with mental health needs, substance use, and homelessness.Bail reform is already working. Each day, there are 6,000 fewer people incarcerated pretrial in New York's local jails.Thousands of people can thus return to their families and receive the treatment and care they need as they await their date in court. With the state budget deadline fast approaching, this is a critical moment for New York's legislature to protect the new law from regressive changes, and instead commit to shifting resources to the services - education, healthcare, mental healthcare, and housing - that keep communities safe and thriving. To do so, we must re-examine the staggering sums counties have historically spent on jailing compared to community-based resources.
Coalition for the Homeless;
Modern mass homelessness in New York is now entering its fifth decade. New York's catastrophic affordable housing crisis continues to fuel record homelessness throughout the city and state, devastating the lives of tens of thousands of men, women, and children. The number of single adults sleeping each night in New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelters increased by a staggering 143 percent, from 7,700 in December 2009 to 18,700 in December 2019. While the number of families sleeping each night in DHS shelters has levelled off in the past three years, that figure remains stubbornly high: In December 2019, 14,792 families slept in shelters each night, a 7-percent decline from the all-time high of 15,899 in November 2016, but a 46-percent increase compared with December 2009. Shockingly, 1 in every 100 babies born in New York City last year was brought "home" from the hospital to a shelter.As disturbing as these statistics are, they constitute just the tip of the iceberg. The depth of the crisis goes far beyond what is reflected in nightly shelter census figures. State of the Homeless 2020 analyzes the institutional forces that drive record homelessness, highlights the plight of those sleeping unsheltered on the streets and in the subways, and illustrates how the City's bureaucratic shelter application process for homeless families may actually conceal the true scope of family homelessness in New York.
In the same spirit of striving for change within one's community, Laal conducted a thorough needs-based assessment in Norwood, from March to August of 2019, where we surveyed 200 Bangladeshi and South Asian womxn. These surveys asked qualitative and quantitative questions to determine what resources the community needed and what the most prominent problems facing the community were. These surveys were also imperative in establishing a rapport with the local community members and laying a foundation within a community that has historically been overlooked and underserved for over 30 years. Through programming and resources, Laal aims to create an active community of womxn who can empower themselves and one another through direct action and deliberative dialogue. Historically, immigrant Bangladeshi womxn in New York City have lacked the necessary space and resources to learn English, obtain a job, or vote because they have been treated as second-class citizens-- culturally, systematically, and institutionally. Laal is eradicating a stigma that has been culturally, traditionally, and religiously interwoven into this community's foundation; in following Septima Clark's legacy, we too, believe that Bangladeshi womxn will find liberation through literacy.
African Communities Together;
Hair braiding is a profession largely by and for Black women. It represents an integral part of many African cultures and is a part of cultural heritage for African women. For many African immigrant women, hair braiding is also the most marketable skill and accessible employment to support their families here and back home. However, working as a hair braider is not as simple as one might think. African immigrant hair braiders are a marginalized workforce facing numerous challenges, including regulatory and structural barriers to practicing their craft. Most have not been able to obtain the Natural Hair Styling license, which is required by the State to do their work. Our report sheds light on these issues and lays out recommendations to make the license more accessible.The report is the culmination of a Participatory Action Research project that centered on the leadership of African hair braiders. ACT conducted nearly 350 surveys, three focus groups, and interviews with braiders. Our research found that surveyed hair braiders want licenses and feel the pressure and fear of being unlicensed: they are concerned about the fact that they are unlicensed, which leaves them vulnerable to theft of services and penalties from authorities for license violations. Our data also show that the State licensing process imposes significant barriers on braiders who want to obtain a Natural Hair Styling license. Most braiders lack information about the requirements to apply for the license. Barriers like language access, literacy, and the time and cost of training programs put the license out of reach for most braiders. The report details policy recommendations to improve African hair braiders' access to licensure, including improving access to information about the license, revising the course and examination requirements, streamlining the process by which braiders can document prior experience, and more.
New York Renews;
For NY Renews, our hundreds of allied organizations, and tens of thousands of supporters statewide, the answer is clear: we rebuild our economy by jumpstarting the just transition to renewable energy and investing in our communities--especially disadvantaged communities hit first and worst by both Covid-19 and the climate crisis; we enact the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) in New York and pass the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act in Congress.Just as the CCIA will cut climate and air pollution, it will send ripples of investment throughout the economy. By supporting worker training, fueling small and large-scale infrastructure projects, electrifying our state's energy production, providing direct rebates to up to 60% of New Yorkers, and jump-starting community-driven climate solutions, the policy will invigorate many sectors of New York's economy.To be conservative in its estimates, this report analyzed two areas of the CCIA's spending that will create significant calculable new jobs in New York either because they replace expenditures out of state for fossil fuel or because they replace or expand employment in more labor and value intensive sectors of the economy: the CCIA's Climate Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and the Community Just Transition Fund.
New York State Health Foundation;
Food insecurity is a secondary crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, millions of New Yorkers have lost employment or are living on a reduced household income, straining their ability to afford food. For many New Yorkers, savings are depleted, stimulus checks have long since been spent, and enhanced unemployment benefits are not sufficient to meet food needs. Furthermore, social distancing measures have disrupted previous pathways to food access, such as meals provided in community settings (e.g., houses of worship) or schools.This report reviews self-reported survey data related to food scarcity in New York State during the coronavirus pandemic. It presents food scarcity rates by race and ethnicity, age, and household income, and compares New York State with neighboring states. Rates are also shown for child food scarcity. It assesses how frequently New Yorkers are accessing free meals and groceries and from which access points (e.g., school programs, food pantries). Finally, it measures which methods food-scarce New Yorkers are using to meet their household spending needs. Unless otherwise specified, results in this report are among adult New Yorkers.Data from this report come from the COVID-19 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product designed by the U.S. Census Bureau in collaboration with multiple federal agencies. The survey, which is ongoing, is providing near real-time data on household experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Prior NYSHealth reports described trends related to food scarcity through July 2020 and through December 2020. This most recent report extends the analysis through March 2021, covering a full year since social distancing and stay-at-home orders were enacted.
New York Foundation;
This report shares the lessons learned from two 2019 statewide campaigns that were led by grassroots organizations working in coalition with broader policy and advocacy networks. Housing Justice for All and Green Light NY won significant changes for low-income renters and driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, respectively. The campaigns challenged the model of traditional top-down advocacy by centering directly-impacted people from low-income communities of color in leadership and decisionmaking. Both campaigns also demonstrated that community power can be leveraged between grassroots electoral organizing and issue-based legislative campaigns. Finally, by centering member-led organizations from rural, suburban and urban communities, the campaigns demonstrated how progressive policy changes require long-term investment in groups that build people power across regional difference through shared mass mobilization strategies.
New York Foundation;
As a long time supporter of the city's vibrant community organizing and advocacy groups, often in their earliest stages, we wanted to illustrate how these organizations — large and small—are often the connective tissue between community members and campaigns to win significant public policy change. We wanted to capture the rich complexity of our grantees' experiences and suspected that the most interesting, compelling parts of what we knew to be true couldn't be easily explained by turning them into data sets.
Human Services Council (HSC);
This report outlines the role of nonproft human services organizations during the pandemic, analyzes the state of the sector today, and provides recommendations for strengthening New York's post-pandemic recovery by ensuring a strong and sustainable human services delivery system.
Human Services Council (HSC);
This executive summary of the report "Essential or Expendable?: How Human Services Supported Communities Through COVID-19 and Recommendations to Support an Equitable Recovery" summarizes the role of nonproft human services organizations during the pandemic and provides recommendations for strengthening New York's post-pandemic recovery by ensuring a strong and sustainable human services delivery system.