NY State of Politics — State lawmakers in New York want to lay down the regulatory framework for municipalities to create local public banks in order to extend and expand access to communities of color in the post-COVID-19 economy.
Today, community, labor, and cooperative groups from across the state joined NYS Senate Banks Chair James Sanders Jr. and NYS Assembly Banks Chair Victor M. Pichardo to rally for the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782). The bill creates a regulatory framework for New York cities, counties and regions seeking to establish local public banks—financial institutions created by cities and counties, and accountable to the people.
The Appeal — Across New York State, millions of tenants are at risk of eviction and property values are falling. A recent analysis found that New York City renters in neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19—largely Black and Latinx communities—face nearly four times the number of eviction cases as less hard-hit areas. Local housing justice advocates fear a repeat of the 2008 housing crisis, when properties fell into distress and investors bought up 100,000 rental units across New York City, which, advocates say, led to displacement and worsened living conditions for many tenants.
Today, more than 100 community, labor, and cooperative groups and community development financial institutions from across New York State delivered a letter to state legislative leaders, urging swift passage of the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782) as an urgent strategy to advance racial equity and ensure a just recovery for all New Yorkers.
The pandemic has placed the MTA at the center of the news, but its violations of New Yorkers’ civil rights have gone on for years. Through our NYC Financial Justice Hotline, New Economy Project has helped dozens of New Yorkers presenting the same disturbing facts: Without any notice, MTA took their tax refunds to pay old, alleged tickets they didn’t recognize.
The City Council has passed legislation charting the course for ending New York City’s tax lien sale, and replacing it with an equitable municipal debt collection system that preserves affordable housing and stabilizes Black and brown NYC neighborhoods.
Thank you to those who joined us for our 2020 holiday party!
New Economy Project was thrilled to connect recently with Africatown Community Land Trust in Seattle, WA, to learn about its work on community land ownership as a tool for reparations and racial justice. The conversation was the latest in a series of learning exchanges we are organizing between NYC Community Land Initiative partners and CLTs around the country.
The City — New York’s pandemic pause on a program that sells unpaid city property debts to investors has community advocates calling to scrap the Giuliani-era approach altogether.
ProPublica — Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector.