The NYC Fair Economy Fund
Justice for Immigrants; Hourly and Gig Workers; Artists, Performers, Creators, and Beyond
The NYC Fair Economy Fund would be the City’s first-ever publicly-funded training, employment, and organizing program dedicated to achieving justice for those New Yorkers who have been historically excluded from the economy and who have disproportionately suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on the Census Complete Count Fund model Amit pioneered and starting with dedicating just .1 percent of the City’s budget - $85 million - in the first year and building from there, A NYC Fair Economy Fund would:
In addition, the Fund could possibly serve as a possible Portable Benefits Fund pilot, allowing gig and freelance workers access to the benefits that State-defined “employees” otherwise often receive, and through which workers can achieve greater degrees of economic stability.
- Publicly fund linguistically and culturally competent community organizers to provide workplace rights trainings, directly connect un- and under-employed New Yorkers to skills trainings, and organize around key local issues (climate change, transportation, participatory budgeting, civic engagement, local elections)
- Publicly fund immigrant small business organizers at Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) so that they can meaningfully help mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar, immigrant-owned small businesses get access to loans, grants, and capital designed for them but that never reaches them because of massive government failures to communicate effectively;
- Publicly fund artists, performers, and creators for specific projects or for employment through existing arts & culture organizations, thereby helping to economically stabilize New Yorkers who are the very soul of the city and the heart of the economy;
- Partner directly with labor unions and informal labor groups (such as those working with day laborers) to train unemployed New Yorkers on new skills, such as those required to retrofit buildings, replace electrical and heating sources, and install renewable energy sources;
- Work to provide direct financial transfers to undocumented families who by law are largely ineligible for most federal and state assistance and to whom the City cannot provide City tax dollars as a result of a State prohibition; this would build on the model pioneered by the Open Society Foundation in 2020.