North Star Fund has dozens of grantees running campaigns on issues affecting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. We share up-to-date news of grantee progress and victories on our Facebook page and on Twitter. Then periodically we publish round-ups of victories here on our website.
Here’s a rundown of grantees’ successes from the second half of 2018, plus a bonus section of more recent January 2019 victories.
January 2019 Legislative Victories
The start of the 2019 state legislature has seen a wave of bills that have long been held up—the culmination of years of organizing. As of January 2019 we’ve seen progress on reproductive rights, new protections from discrimination based on gender identity and gun safety laws. There’s more in the pipeline as the gridlock of many years lifts, at least in the short term.
Following years of intense lobbying and pressure, the New York State Dream Act has passed in Albany, making financial aid and scholarships available to New Yorkers entering college. Many grantees have worked on that for years including New York State Youth Leadership Council.
We’ve also seen the passage of congestion pricing as a means of funding mass transit thanks to a sustained campaign led in part by the Riders Alliance. Congrats to all who have worked hard to get the legislature to pass bills supported by New Yorkers. We look forward to other policy wins in 2019!
Fall 2018 – Immigrant Justice Progress
After nearly 19 months in detention, Udoka Nweke, a gay Nigerian immigrant, was released thanks to organizing from Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project. He was detained in Adelanto Detention Facility, an immigration detention facility notorious for its human rights violations.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson‘s organizing has led to Middletown, yet another city in the Hudson Valley, approving municipal IDs for its residents, joining Beacon, Poughkeepsie and Kingston. Government-issued IDs make people less vulnerable to exclusion or exploitation because of their status. The city of Newburgh is expected to approve municipal IDs in 2019.
ADELANTE Student Voices held the first Annual Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference which centered stories of resilience and resistance.
Jahajee Sisters was honored by Comptroller Scott Stringer for their work addressing gender-based violence in the Indo-Caribbean community. They were also honored by Pandit Balgobind and his team at the Arya Spiritual Center during the Hindu observance of Navratri.
Columbia County Sanctuary Movement worked with attorney Jim Milstein and Yonkers Sanctuary Movement member Diana Sánchez to successfully dismiss all charges against her father. They also participated in the Immigrants Vote! campaign, which focused on registering people to vote.
Masa received a huge grant of $60,000 from the New York Women’s Foundation to support their programming on economic security for immigrant mothers.
Fall 2018 – Housing and Economic Justice Wins
After more than three years of base-building, strategic relationship creation and hard-nosed advocacy, Community Voices Heard secured a big win. The Village of Ossining Board of Trustees voted to enact the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). The adoption of ETPA in Ossining represents the largest expansion of rent stabilization in New York state in more than a decade.
Brandworkers led an effort to get a prominent NYC restaurant group to stop serving and buying bread from Tom Cat Bakery in solidarity with Tom Cat workers and their campaign to demand that Tom Cat put protections in place for their immigrant workers.
Many groups across New York City including New York Civic Engagement Table coordinated a strong voter education campaign related to the citywide participatory budgeting ballot measure, which passed resoundingly in November 2018, bringing participatory budgeting to the whole city.
2018-19 Leadership Development
Women’s Organizing Network (WON) wrapped up their 2018 WON Leadership Circle. The participants made huge strides advancing gender equity in their organizations—close to a dozen grassroots organizations.
If you’re a grantee and want to share your victories and progress with us, email email@example.com.