NYS Community Equity Agenda

NY Community Equity Agenda

The NYS Community Equity Agenda sets forth practical steps New York can immediately take to ensure economic justice and self-determination in New York’s low-income and immigrant communities and communities of color. By adopting this platform, New York will expand access to fair and affordable financial services, advance cooperative ownership, and ensure strong local economies throughout the state.

The Agenda was created by a statewide coalition of community, labor, civil rights, and faith-based groups, along with community-based financial institutions. Click here to view the list of coalition members and endorsers. 

The platform has three core objectives: (1) Build individual and community wealth; (2) Hold banks accountable to the public; and (3) Zero tolerance for predatory lending. Click on each policy priority to learn more.

I. Build Individual and Community Wealth

  • Commit at least $25 million in the FY’19 Budget to the first-in-the-nation state Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to invest in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods not adequately served by mainstream banks.
  • Facilitate the chartering of community development credit unions (CDCUs).
  • Expand and strengthen worker cooperatives, as part of a broader effort to advance cooperative ownership across all sectors of New York’s economy.
  • Create the NYS Office of Community-Wealth Building to document financial services needs and to promote fair and affordable financial services around the state.
  • Ensure a living wage and a collective voice on the job for all New Yorkers, and raise tipped workers to the full minimum wage.
  • Eliminate all asset tests for public assistance eligibility.

II. Hold Banks Accountable to the Public

  • Publicly identify banks’ performance in meeting financial services and community reinvestment needs state-wide.
  • Divest public deposits from banks that the proposed Office of Community Wealth-Building and DFS determine are not meeting the State’s financial services and community reinvestment needs.
  • Facilitate the establishment of public banking in New York, at state and municipal levels.

III. Zero Tolerance for Predatory Lending

  • Reaffirm that the policy of this state is to prohibit payday and other high-cost predatory lending through (1) our strong state usury laws capping interest rates at 25% and (2) strict enforcement of our consumer protection laws.
  • End the exploitative, for-profit commercial bail bond industry in New York.
  • Strengthen New York’s Consumer Protection Law by adding a ban on unfair, abusive, and unlawful acts and practices.


Endorse the NYS
Community Equity Agenda

Please complete the form to endorse the NYS Community Equity Agenda. Endorsing as an organization means you give permission to be listed publicly on coalition materials. Endorsing as an individual means you will receive action alerts and other communications.

For more information, please contact Andy Morrison at New Economy Project.