community equity agenda

As low-income communities and communities of color across the state continue to reel from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19, this year’s budget presents an historic opportunity to make bold investments that will drive equitable local economic development for years, and even decades, to come. We urge both houses of the Legislature to allocate $100 million for the NYS CDFI Fund and $100 million in matching funds to help local governments capitalize public banks, and to adopt, as part of the budget, the NY Public Banking Act (S1762A/A8290), which creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for local public banks in New York.

With yesterday’s Executive Budget proposal, Governor Hochul had the opportunity to present a bold community economic development agenda that addresses long-standing racial and economic inequality that the pandemic has exacerbated. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, this budget proposal offers more of the same.

This afternoon the NYS Community Equity Agenda, a coalition of more than 40 community, labor, and civil rights groups, cooperative organizations, and community development financial institutions from across New York, released its policy priorities for 2022.

“Thanks to this important legislation, debt collectors are now prohibited from siphoning New Yorkers’ COVID-19 stimulus payments. The new law ensures that federal relief funds actually provide relief to New Yorkers, not windfalls for the debt collection industry. New Economy Project is proud to have worked on this crucial bill with ally organizations, as we continue the fight for racial and economic justice and a just recovery for all New Yorkers.”

New Economy Project writes to register its vehement opposition to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposed “true lender” rule. In one fell swoop, the proposal would effectively obliterate New York’s longstanding usury laws and legalize, for the first time in our state’s history, predatory payday lending. The proposed rule is consistent with the Trump administration’s broader efforts to dismantle critical protections and benefit corporate interests–in this instance, facilitating the systematic extraction of wealth from people and communities.

New York has successfully fought to keep predatory payday lending out of our state, as a matter of racial and economic justice. Now, the Trump administration is seeking to gut New York’s longstanding consumer protection laws, and open the door to high-cost lenders that exploit people who are struggling financially.