- 1 Updates
- 2 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 3 Elected Officials
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Obamacare / ACA
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
- 3/3/2017: Governor Cuomo announced a pilot program to provide increased public housing opportunities for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers. 
- 2/24/2017: Spokesperson for New York's attorney general Amy Spitalnick stated that transgender students will continue to be protected by the Title IX regulation in the State as specified by the guidance issued by the Obama Administration, despite the recent Trump Administration's order to rescind that guidance. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a directive to state education officials stating that public schools in the state must abide by the state statute protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying based on gender and gender identity.
- 2/23/2017: NYPD police commissioner James O'Neill said that his department will not comply with ICE detainer orders, out of concern that doing so would threaten the safety of people coming to the NYPD for help.
- 2/13/2017: New York City plans to put 23,000 body cameras on its police officers. None of those cameras are now on the street.
- 2/12/2017: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commits to passing legislation that mandates access to legal representation for low-income tenants in housing court, also known as The Right to Counsel Coalition.
- 2/9/2017: New York City has 1.5 million low-level warrants on file, all of which involve an escalating number of tickets for minor infractions and are the result of aggressive policing policy. The city’s district attorneys are considering purging (or throwing out) up to half of these warrants, in part out of concern that the warrants make people vulnerable to immigration enforcement.
- 2/8/17: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman held a press conference introducing the New York Votes Act, which introduces early voting, same-day registration and automatic voter registration, among other measures designed to improve New York State's poor voter turnout. This bill would also end disenfranchisement of citizens on parole and allow electronic voter registration.
- The New York Health Act, a bill passed by the New York State Assembly (but not the Senate) in 2015 and 2016, would introduce universal health coverage for all New Yorkers.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by New York lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- A 4876 would raise the age of criminal responsibility in the state of New York to 18 years old. Currently, NY is one of two states where the age is 16.
- A3049B would make New York a "Sanctuary State," prohibiting law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
- SB 26 / A 4072 would require candidates to release their tax returns from the past five years to appear on the state's ballot.
- SB 3894 would amend the NY constitution to guarantee the right to vote and prohibit voting restrictions.
- SB 4079 would prohibit SUNY and CUNY employees from inquiring about a student’s immigration status to assist in their removal by the federal government.
- A 4884 would prohibit state and local agencies from participating in any federal program that requires the registration of individuals based on race, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, etc.
- A 5962 would allow undocumented immigrants to purchase unsubsidized health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace.
- A 3358 would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
Harmful bills proposed by New York lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- S1114A designates offenses against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel as hate crimes.
- A 1652 Designates certain offenses against law enforcement officers as hate crimes.
- A 2962A Designates offenses against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel as hate crimes.
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Executive / Administrative Actions
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D, WF, I)
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you're registered to vote. Register to vote here. The deadline is 25 days before Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. No document is required to vote.
2018 Senate Midterm Election
The midterm election will be held on November 6, 2018.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate seat is up for election in the 2018 midterm elections. Gillibrand (D) will be running for reelection.
2018 Competitive House Districts
The midterm election will be held on November 6, 2018.
- New York District 18 is a competitive district with the potential to flip to red. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D) won the 2016 election with 55.2% of the vote. Trump won the district in the 2016 presidential election with 49% of the vote.
- New York District 24 is a competitive district with the potential to flip to blue. Representative John Katko (R) won the 2016 election with 61% of the vote. Clinton won the district in the 2016 presidential election with 48.9% of the vote.
- The gubernatorial election will take place in 2018. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic incumbent, is eligible to run for re-election.
- Nassau and Westchester counties have Republican county executives who will be up for reelection on November 7, 2017.
- In Oyster Bay, the Town Supervisor and Town Councils will be up for reelection on November 7, 2017.
- 2017 New York City Mayoral Election: The mayoral election will be held on November 7, 2017. The current mayor, Bill de Blasio, is set to run for reelection.
- 2017 Buffalo Mayoral Election: The mayoral election will be held on November 7, 2017.
St. Lawrence County: District Attorney Mary E. Rain campaigned on promises to “fast track” felonies to get people out of local jail and into state prisons, because this would supposedly save money. She claimed in local televised interviews that she would avoid plea bargains and letting the accused out on bail. She also opined in these interviews that the “drug problem is getting much worse” because the punishment people are receiving” “is too light” and “takes too long,” which she argues increases property crime. In Oct. 2016, a judge had to dismiss old larceny and burglary cases, and even a rape case, for speedy trial violations. A St. Lawrence Criminal Court judge asked to be removed from any case that involves DA Mary Rain after she knowingly allowed a junior attorney, who had yet to pass his bar exam, to prosecute a felony assault case. St. Lawrence County legislators voted 12–2 on a resolution that demanded that Mary Rain resign as the county’s District Attorney “as soon as possible.” Frank Cositore, Jr., her former Chief Assistant DA, resigned from her office with a scathing letter printed in the media.
Orange County: District Attorney David Hoovler has been Orange County's DA since 2014. He has a record of seeking harsh sentences for juvenile defendants, particularly those who are black. For example, he took a 17-year-old Black teenager to trial over an alleged threat with a gun and refused to use his discretion to plead down to a lesser charge or use the "safety valve" allowing for a sentence lower than the mandatory minimum, instead obtaining a conviction of seven years of prison time. He advocated for and obtained a 25-to-life sentence for a 17-year-old Black girl, Jennifer Molyneaux, for murder, despite the evolving national consensus against natural life sentences for kids. He's also prosecuted sex workers for soliciting undercover cops, despite the fact that many area prostitutes are homeless, poor, and otherwise marginalized. Hoovler is highly active on his public Facebook account. He regularly posts on the so-called "war on cops" and left a friend's comment on an article about a shooting of a police officer that blamed "BLM scum" for the tragedy.
Suffolk County: District Attorney Tom Spota is currently subject to an ongoing federal corruption investigation that has so far cumulated in a federal prison term for the disgraced former Suffolk County Police Chief (and Spota’s personal friend), James Burke. Burke received four years in federal prison for beating Christopher Loeb, a criminal suspect, then threatening to kill Loeb, and finally ordering his fellow officers to cover it up. Burke’s case also revealed “illegal monitoring activities on perceived enemies of the D.A., including wiretapping, placing tracking devices on cars and physically following suspected foes of Spota.” Suffolk County prosecutors have refused to reveal potentially exculpatory evidence as required by Brady v. Maryland in at least two second-degree murder cases: those of Mark Garrett and Gabriel Hubbard (who was only 15 years old when he committed the crime). In another case against Terrell Gray, prosecutors struck the only Black potential juror out of 18 people.
- Nassau County City Council Elections will be held on November 7, 2017.
- New York City Council Elections will also be held on November 7, 2017.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 3,087,000 people in New York (or 15.6% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 1,139,000 people (or 5.8% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. New York partially expanded Medicaid before the ACA with waivers that are now expired. (Retrieved 1/28/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.)
- The number of uninsured people in New York is predicted to be 1,532,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 2,416,000, a 57.7% increase.
- New York is among the many states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- On January 21, 2017, New York issued a regulation that will require insurers to provide contraception free to patients.Full text of the regulation
- New York is estimating a $3.7 billion loss in the event of a repeal.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 131,000 jobs could be lost in New York in the event of repeal. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is up for reelection in 2018, voted to keep the ACA.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in New York could pay $897 more in 2018.
Report Finds Stop and Frisk is Ineffective and Racially Biased
- A NYCLU analysis dispels the myth that the massive, discriminatory stop-and-frisk program was necessary to keep New York safe. Four years after stop-and-frisk’s peak of nearly 700,000 stops in 2011, an analysis of NYPD data shows that serious crimes have fallen significantly as stop-and-frisks have declined drastically.
- 118 people have been killed by police in the state of New York from 2013 through 2016.
- 47% of the people killed by police were black.
- Rochester Police Department has a homicide rate of 14.25 for all people, and 24.00 for black people. New York Police Department has a homicide rate of 7.34 for all people, and 19.88 for black people..
- In 2014, New York had 4.4 million immigrants, which is 22% of the overall 19 million population of the state.
- Immigrants in New York represent more than 150 nations.
- In 2014, 141,000 immigrants received green cards.
- In 2014, there were 850,000 undocumented immigrants in New York.
- If undocumented immigrants were given lawful permanent residence, they would pay in $1.3 billion in state and local taxes and $375.8 million in property taxes.
- Undocumented immigrants in New York paid $1.1 billion in state and local taxes in 2012.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- New York does not currently allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.
- New York allows undocumented immigrants to attend public college at the same in-state tuition rate available to legal residents and citizens.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In New York, 61,862 people have benefited from the order.
- In 2015, the New York City Mayor’s Executive Order 41 encouraged New York City immigrants to seek benefits they are eligible for. Rights under this order also included that police cannot inquire about immigration status if the individual is a victim or witness to a crime, unless the police suspect illegal or criminal activity; that individuals do not need to disclose their immigration status while applying at a city agency for services or benefits; and that if individuals share their immigration status with city employees, the employees will not disclose this information.
- Individuals in New York City have a right to translators if they cannot read or are not proficient in English.
- Local Law 73 requires that Human Resources Administration (HRA), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), and Department of Homeless Services (DHS) in New York City provide language access services.
- Executive Order 120 requires that New York City agencies provide free translation and interpretations for direct public services.
- Legal resident immigrants can receive food stamps, cash assistance, public housing, Section 8 Housing vouchers, and non-emergency Medicaid in New York City.
- Immigrants, especially children, can apply for public health insurance in New York City. Undocumented immigrants are eligible for certain health insurance under emergencies.
- Every child age 5-21 has the right to attend public school in New York City.
- By 2014, there were 796,000 undocumented immigrants eligible to join the work force.
- According to a 2008 Pew Hispanic Center study, if New York state deported all undocumented immigrants, the state would lose $28.7 billion in economic activity, $12.7 billion in GSP (Gross State Product) and 137,013 jobs.
- New York City officials and NYPD have stated that minor offenses (e.g. jumping turnstiles) will not lead to deportation. NYPD's decision to not issue detainers for minor offenses does not, however, stop ICE from arresting undocumented individuals that they find to be guilty or for whom they find probably cause.
- In view of the recent executive orders pertaining to immigration, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill has reiterated that New York City will not enforce warrants issued by ICE officials for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
- New York City police officers under Laws 58 & 59 since 2014 have restricted honoring detainer requests from ICE. The NYPD and the Department of Corrections (DOC) will only honor immigration detainers in the event that ICE presents a warrant by a federal judge with probable cause and if the individual was convicted of a violent or serious crime or is a possible match to someone on a terrorist watch list.
- Laws prohibits ICE from being stationed on Rikers Island Correctional Facility.
- If detained, individuals are not obliged to disclose their immigration status or give up their rights.
- The New York State governor is able to grant pardons for criminal offenses, which may avoid deportation.
Legislation Introduced to Include Immigration Status in Bias- and Discrimination-related Crimes
- Senator Michael Gianaris introduced legislation that would add immigration status to the list of protected classes in the state’s Human Rights and Civil Right Laws.
- New York City was declared a sanctuary city by Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2016. The City Council passed a resolution "reaffirming its commitment to keeping the five boroughs a safe haven for all people, regardless of their legal status." The term "sanctuary city" is used to describe places that limit how much they help federal law enforcement (usually ICE) with removals (also known as deportations). If the Trump administration followed through on its pledge to strip sanctuary cities of funding, New York would lose $7 billion. Various city officials have spoken out against Trump’s decision to strip funding.
Ithaca, NY will continue to be a Sanctuary City
- Mayor Svante Myrick has pledged that Ithaca, New York, will continue to be a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with attempts to remove undocumented immigrants for no reason other than their status. He stated: “They will have to carry me out of this office in handcuffs before I cooperate with their unconstitutional and immoral attempts to remove these people from our homes.”
- New York has resettled more than 35,000 refugees over a decade. In 2016 alone, 5,026 refugees were resettled in the state.
- The Bureau of Refugee and Immigration Assistance exists within the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. There is also an Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services assists refugee as well.
- Voluntary Agency Affiliates throughout the state offer a range of services, such as short-term cash, medical assistance, ESL services and career development. Refugees are eligible for assistance for up to five years.
- Governor Cuomo issued a statement in support of refugees, and he has directed various offices to explore all legal options in assisting those detained at New York airports.
- Governor Cuomo's platform also includes a program to protect the rights of immigrants in New York state.
- For several years, New York has had one of the lowest voter participation rates of the 50 states and Washington DC, ranking 44th in turnout in the 2012 federal election. This low ranking can partially be explained by New York’s paper-based registration system, early registration deadline and other outdated voter registration policies, including the state’s long waiting period for changing party affiliation.
- New York also one of only fourteen states that do not allow either early in-person voting or no- excuse absentee voting.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a package of reforms to change many of these things in 2017, but the Republican-controlled State Senate needs to be brought on board.
- In New York, voting rights for people with felony convictions are restored upon the completion of incarceration and any parole (people on probation may vote). More than 44,000 New Yorkers are barred from voting despite living and working in their communities. In 2016, a bill that would end disenfranchisement of citizens on parole passed two state Assembly committees, the farthest progress such a bill has had in recent memory.
- New York is also one of a number of states that have introduced bills to implement automatic voter registration.
- In 2014, New York had 79,349 incarcerated people, plus a probation population of 107,730 and parole population of 45,039.
- 0 people are incarcerated in private prisons in New York.
- 1,650 juveniles are in custody in New York.
- Of the prison population, 10,245 people were serving life sentences, and 246 were serving life sentences without parole.
- In New York, a black person is 8.0 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.
- Corrections Expenditures in 2014 were $3,132 million.
- Black people make up only 14% of the state’s population but almost half of its prisoners.
Racial Bias in New York State's Prisons A New York Times investigation drew on nearly 60,000 disciplinary cases from state prisons and interviews with inmates to explore the system’s inequities and the ripple effect they can have. The analysis found:
- Black people and Latinos were disciplined at higher rates than white people—in some cases twice as often.
- They were also sent to solitary confinement more frequently and for longer durations.
- The disparities were often greatest for infractions that gave discretion to officers, like disobeying a direct order. In these cases, the officer has a high degree of latitude to determine whether a rule is broken and does not need to produce physical evidence. In those that require physical evidence, the disparity is lower.
- A Times analysis of first-time hearings before the State Board of Parole over a three-year period ending in May found that one in four white inmates were released, but fewer than one in six black inmates were.
- While New York's overall incarceration rate is 44% below the national average, in 2015 New York incarcerated the second-highest number of juveniles nationwide.
Endangering Children in Syracuse Prison with Use of Solitary Confinement
- The NYCLU and LSCNY filed a lawsuit in September against the Justice Center, where children locked up in solitary confinement are sexually harassed by adults, held in disgusting conditions, denied education and even pushed to contemplating suicide. Children are routinely sent to solitary for “offenses” such as speaking loudly, wearing the wrong shoes or uniforms, or for other typical teenage behavior. Under New York law, children can be housed in adult facilities starting at age 16. Children at the Justice Center are placed in solitary cells next to adults who threaten them with violence, sexual harassment or other abuse. This lawsuit is supported by the Department of Justice.
Continuing the Fight to Raise the Age to 18 for Adult Offenses
- The Raise the Age bill is designed not only to raise the age from 16 to 18 for individuals to be charged and incarcerated as adults, but to reform other elements of the criminal justice system concerning juvenile offenses. It would keep children under the age of 18 out of adult prisons, ensure the presence of a parent or guardian during questioning and sentencing, and ensure that a juvenile will not be imprisoned for breaking parole—assuming that they are not a danger to others—as well as require family support centers and special care for children with significant behavioral health issues.
Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
- New York residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 553,000
- Adults and children: 1,515,000
- Children: 862,000
- In 2015, an average of 1,665,683 households and 3,039,108 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in New York. In 2011, approximately 15% of the population of New York was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per New York household was $255 per household and $138 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 244,480 households, including 106,518 families and 179,904 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in New York was $789 in 2014. Average benefits in New York have fallen in value by 10.3% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 108,302 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In December 2015, there were 118,445 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received $419.94 per person on average, for a total of $49,740,000.
- 904,500 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, New York had 32 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In New York, there were 86,352 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 15,499 families, 1,248 veterans, 2,701 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 5,368 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- New York received $5.425 billion in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In New York, more than 578,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all New York households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- New York's infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015.
- This study gave the state “good” scores for solid waste and parks, and identified bridges, roads, and wastewater as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 38.8% of New York's bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 60% of New York's roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $403 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), developing a new planned system of mass transportation is a major infrastructure goal for New York.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- New York has 58 Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, 36 centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health-provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 69,587 women of reproductive age.
- There were 218 abortion providers in New York in 2015.
- In 2014, 11.7 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in New York had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
- Abortion is prohibited after 24 weeks except in cases of life or health endangerment.
- New York does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.
- The Reproductive Health Act, A1748, passed the Assembly in January 2017 and is waiting to be introduced into the State Senate. The law would protect reproductive rights in New York state, even if such rights were changed or eliminated on the federal level.
In response to the possible threat of Roe v. Wade's being overturned by a conservative-majority Supreme Court, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a New York State constitutional amendment that would protect the decision.
Women and Wages
- In New York, 15.3% of women live in poverty. 38.3% of single mothers live in poverty, as do 12.7% of women age 65 and older.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.89, which is nine cents above the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.66 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.56 for every dollar made by white men.
- In 2013, there were 284,660 domestic violence incidents reported in New York City, and 187,710 incidents outside of the city.
- The number of domestic violence homicides increased by 16% between 2012 and 2013 in New York State, even though the total number of homicides in the state decreased by 6.5% over the same period.
Religious freedom law
New York has not passed any state religious freedom laws. Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
New York lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in insurance and jury selection.
New York also lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in parenting laws, including surrogacy laws, foster parent training, consent to inseminate, and de facto parent recognition. It also has a law preventing surrogacy.
Hate crime laws
New York does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, though only based on sexual orientation, not gender identity, and doesn't have required reporting of hate crimes based on gender identity.
New York does not have certain laws protecting youth, such as requiring school suicide prevention policies, transgender inclusion in sports, laws to address LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, and LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws.
Health and Safety Laws
New York does not have certain laws protecting the health and safety of its LGBTQ+ citizens, including nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and gender-neutral single-occupancy restrooms. It does ban insurance exclusions for trans health care, includes trans health care in state Medicaid, has trans-inclusive health benefits for state employees, and allows gender marker changes on drivers' licenses and birth certificates. It also collects data on LGBTQ+ health.
- New York is ranked first in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $13,756 per student.
- As of 2013, New York's teachers are the highest-paid in the nation, earning an average of $75,279 per year.
- 85% of students in New York attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 61% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 3.4% of total public school enrollment.
- 88% of White students, 64% of Hispanic students, 65% of Black students, and 84% of Asian/Pacific Islander students graduate from high school in four years. This is slightly above the national average for White students, but below the national average for other races.
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- New York has a minimum wage of $9.70.
- New York has no state law for paid sick leave, but New York City does have its own law. Employees whose place of business has five or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, and they can accrue and use up to 40 hours. All others receive equivalent unpaid time. Employees in certain industries can accrue and use two paid days after one year of employment regardless of employer size. The law covers sick time for employee or family members’ care and closures due to a public health emergency.
- New York has a state law for paid family leave. Workers can begin receiving benefits on January 1, 2018. Most private-sector workers are covered, subject to several exceptions. Full-time domestic workers are covered. Most employers that are not required to provide coverage, including public employers, can opt in. People who are self-employed can opt in to coverage. Unions covering public workers can opt in through the collective bargaining process.
- New York is a state with no Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can not prohibit unions that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. Such laws are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- New York is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- New York does not have a public policy exemption. A public policy exemption means that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- New York does allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- New York support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- About 37% of New York’s electricity generation is from natural gas, 35% is nuclear, and the remainder is from renewable sources.
- New York has 85 sites on the National Priorities List.
- Approximately 0.75% of New York’s land is federally owned.
- In 2014, the Black, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices—of 79, 80 and 82—compared to an overall index of 59 and a White index of 44.
- In 2012, mixed-race adults in New York were most likely to have asthma—14.5%, compared to 9.5% overall.
- The environmental agency in New York is the Department of Environmental Conservation, which has 24 divisions and offices and is further organized into bureaus to fulfill the functions and regulations established by Title 6 of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
- New York City also has its own Department of Environmental Protection.
- New York has a climate action plan, which includes a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York State by 80% below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050.
- In 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo established a renewable energy goal of 50% by 2030.
- The “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City” plan was adopted by New York City in 2015. It includes an emissions reduction goal of 80% compared to 2005 by 2050, and of 30% by 2030.
- Approximately 11.3% of non-institutionalized New Yorkers have a disability. The national average is 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Approximately 14.2% of eligible voters in New York have one or more disabilities.
- The employment rate among disabled adults in New York is 33%, compared to the national average of 35%. People without disabilities in New York have a 76% employment rate. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811 & B18120]
- Of adults (aged 21-64) with disabilities in New York living in the community, 30.1% live in poverty, as opposed to 12.8% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024]
New York State
- The Anti-Violence Project fights violence and hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
- Naturalize NY: Helping US green card holders eligible for naturalization become citizens.
- The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.
- New York State Prisoner Justice aims to build our individual and collective strength and to challenge and change New York’s criminal injustice system. The Network’s purpose is to explore, plan, strategize and implement organizations and individuals working collaboratively to change the criminal injustice system, to bring our collective strength to bear on changing the intolerable system of mass incarceration, injustice, and disrespect for the lives of our loved ones and the survival of our families and communities that now prevails, and to reverse the culture of racism, inequality, and scapegoating that sustains it.
- Raise the Age NY is a public awareness campaign that includes national and local advocates, youth, parents, law enforcement and legal representative groups, faith leaders, and unions that have come together to increase public awareness of the need to implement a comprehensive approach to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York State, so that the legal process responds to all children as children, and services and placement options better meet the rehabilitative needs of all children and youth.
- The Right to Counsel Coalition provides access to legal assistance for low-income tenants in housing court.
- Rise and Resist unites diverse people from different causes and individuals with different interests, passions and skill sets so they can work together to directly assist and protect the individuals and communities whose lives and liberty are in danger following the 2016 election. The group is connected to a weekly meeting in New York City committed to peaceful direct action that opposes the oppressive politics that Trump, Pence, and their many advisers represent. Fill out this form to sign up for group emails and get more involved.
- Worker Justice Center of New York
- Working Families Party, New York State
Environmental Justice Groups
- Environmental Advocates of New York
- New York Environmental Law & Justice Project
- WE ACT for Environmental Justice
- Western New York Environmental Alliance
Albany/Capital Area/Upstate Organizations
- Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI) seeks to challenge and dismantle mass incarceration and the systems of oppression that sustain it. We do this through coordinated actions and by opening the dialogue about mass incarceration and the criminal injustice system in a way that is empowering to all individuals and communities affected by them. CAAMI defines “mass incarceration” as both the excessive quantity of people caught in the criminal justice system, and the racially discriminatory and cruel quality of the current punitive model of social control.
- Hudson Valley Justice Center
New York City Organizations
- African Services Committee: dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community in New York City and beyond
- Arab American Association of NY
- Audre Lorde Project, "a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color community organizing center"
- CAAAV, organizing Asian communities
- Central American Legal Assistance
- Civic Hall, a collaboration center for tech and social justice
- CLEAR, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (a project run out of CUNY Law School)
- DRUM NYC: Desis Rising Up and Moving
- Families for Freedom
- Get Organized BK
- Groundswell, art and social change
- The League of Women Voters of the City of New York is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote informed and active participation in government. The League neither supports nor opposes candidates or political parties. The League is supported by public-spirited individuals, businesses, and organizations. Help support our work on such issues as the environment, voting rights, campaign finance, and women's health!
- Make the Road NY
- Mission: FIERCE: building the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color in New York City
- Netroots Nation NY, online organizing
- New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
- New York Immigration Coalition
- Organizing 2.0, a collective of communicators and online organizers working for unions and social justice activists with an annual conference in New York City
- Personal Democracy, conference exploring and analyzing technology's impact on politics, government, and society; a project of Civic Hall
- We Are New York Values: find an organization to volunteer with
Events in New York City
See also New York Upcoming Events/Opportunities.
- Ithaca Welcomes Refugees (IWR) is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that provides aid and resettlement assistance to refugees in Ithaca, NY.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Ithaca is a local chapter of SURJ, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.
- #BuffaloResists #BuffaloResists embodies the spirit of the "City of Good Neighbors" by applying the driving principles of diversity, tolerance, and kindness in pursuit of a Country of Good Neighbors.
Local News Sources
WBFO, local NPR station