The New York Foundation looks to connect its grantees and other nonprofit organizations in New York City with resources useful in achieving our common goals. With our Knowledge Center we collect reports, case studies, policy briefs, and other knowledge assets produced by New York Foundation grantees and affiliated organizations. While some of these works were funded by the Foundation, our goal in providing this collection is to put a spotlight on the contributions that Foundation grantees have made to social issue analysis and problem solving.
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Public Action Public Value

November 1, 2019

The Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, known for its unique mix of industrial, artistic, and commercial activity is poised for significant changes driven by public actions and planned neighborhood investment. The polluted Gowanus Canal, designated as a Superfund site1in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is in the process of being cleaned up. The responsible parties, which include the City of New York and National Grid, are required to contribute to remediation costs currently estimated at $1.257 billion.Despite this public housing crisis, the City has not meaningfully linked its Housing New York and NYCHA Next Generation strategies to preserve public housing as part of the Gowanus rezoning. By excluding Gowanus NYCHA developments from the rezoning boundary, the City prevents NYCHA from directly benefiting from the land use action and therefore risks exacerbating the existing inequalities between residents of public housing and the community's wealthier and white neighbors.The City is missing an opportunity to address the public housing crisis that deserves its full attention, especially given NYCHA's extensive capital needs and the amount of property value being created through the City's land use actions. In New York, when regulatory actions such as zoning changes increase land values, landowners or speculative investors disproportionately reap the benefits. Property values increase, rewarding landowners while soaring rents often displace longstanding businesses and existing residents.

Climate Justice in a State of Emergency: What New York City Can Do

April 20, 2017

NYC Climate Justice Agenda – Climate Justice in a State of Emergency: What New York City Can Do is a roadmap with policy recommendations for how a progressive city can lead the way on environmental and climate issues while challenging the reactionary policies of the Trump administration.

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Barriers to Immigrant Financial Empowerment in Northwest Queens

February 1, 2015

Every day, immigrants in Northwest Queens struggle to find work, obtain legal status, and manage their finances. While immigrant consumers are an integral part of the New York City economy -- spending and saving money and paying taxes -- many face multiple barriers to financial empowerment. This means that many immigrants struggle to build the kind of wealth that could enable them to buy a home, pay for higher education, save for retirement, and lead to overall long-term economic stability and security. While many immigrant consumers do save money, many do not trust mainstream financial institutions because they do not provide linguistically or culturally competent services. Others are concerned about hidden or excessive fees. As a result many immigrant consumers utilize fringe financial services that tend to be predatory and exploitative.

We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help Debunking the Myth of the Model Minority

February 1, 2012

Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest growing population in New York City. Over one million constitute 13% of the population and nearly 14% of the city's public school students. Education experts concur that the public school system faces significant challenges in effectively serving the growing Asian Pacific American community in New York City. The Model Minority Myth homogenizes the diversity of cultures, languages, economics, and unique histories of Asian Pacific American communities. This stereotype trivializes the academic and developmental needs of Asian Pacific American children. While mainstream media focuses on the Asian Pacific American students who attend New York City's specialized high schools, "We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help": Debunking the Myth of the Model Minority focuses on the other 95% of Asian Pacific American students. "We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help" addresses the issues faced by Asian Pacific American students striving and struggling to get an education in New York City public schools. This report provides data about the challenges in school climate that Asian Pacific American students are facing as well as the effects of poverty on Asian Pacific American students' education.

Doing the Work that Makes All Work Possible: A Research Narrative of Filipino Domestic Workers in the Tri-state Area - Executive Summary

October 23, 2010

DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, in partnership with the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center, engaged in this multi-year study to understand the plight of Filipino domestic workers living in the tri-state area. The study utilized a community-based participatory action research approach (CBPAR). From inception to release, domestic workers, their children, staff members and volunteers have been involved in multiple levels of this research. Domestic workers were purposefully involved in the analyzing, writing and designing of the report. While there are volumes of literature written about the conditions of Filipino domestic workers worldwide, few studies focus on the migration and labor of Filipino domestic workers in the US; and none have made Filipino domestic workers comprehensively integral to the CBPAR process such as this one.

Supporting Our Parks: A Guide to Alternative Revenue Strategies

June 1, 2010

"Supporting Our Parks: A Guide to Alternative Revenue Strategies", a study carried out by New Yorkers for Parks during 2008 and 2009, presents a flexible strategy for addressing the chronic maintenance and operations budgeting shortfall in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) system. This study offers "reforms in action": a menu of strategies that exist in various parks across the country and can be mixed and matched to develop a broader portfolio of revenue sources than is currently available to DPR. These strategies are suited to the system level, to categories of parks, and can also be creatively and meaningfully applied to individual parks.

The Open Space Index

April 8, 2010

This report establishes the 15 Index standards and provides a detailed methodology for assessing open space in New York City neighborhoods. We piloted the OSI methodology on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which was chosen because of its variety of open spaces, rich residential diversity and vibrant history of park and garden advocacy. The pilot found that the Lower East Side performs very well with regard to community gardens, acres of active recreation, and access to parks. It also found, however, that the neighborhood has an urban tree canopy cover of only 14%, far below the US Forest Service's 44% recommendation for that community. And the assessment found that the Lower East Side parks have very little green, natural ground surfacing within its parks.

Educate! Include! Respect! A Call for School System Reform to Improve the Educational Experiences of Students with Disabilities in New York City

April 1, 2009

In this report, the ARISE Coalition calls upon the Department of Education (DOE) to build a school system that educates, includes, and respects students with disabilities. We review the Children First Reforms of Mayor Bloomberg as they apply to this population and examine their effects on the progress and day-to-day experiences of these students and their families. We conclude with concrete recommendations and with a plea for the DOE to commit at least the same system-wide attention and resources to students with disabilities as have been devoted to developing, implementing and fine-tuning programs for students in the general education population.

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