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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Streets to Statehouse: Harnessing the Power of the New Electorate

October 19, 2021

This brief builds on Streets to Statehouse: Building Grassroots Power in New York, a report released jointly by North Star Fund and New York Foundation in 2020. Streets to Statehouse documents the crucial role of grassroots organizing in achieving progressive policy wins in New York and sowing a more inclusive and responsive democracy. The report calls on funders to resource these movements more deeply to ensure we build upon the progress that has been made. This brief serves as a companion to Streets to Statehouse and lifts up the ways in which grassroots organizing is building electoral power by engaging new constituencies and seeding a new cadre of progressive elected leaders.

Real Money, Real Power: A Report on the First Five Years of the Participatory Budgeting Project

April 1, 2014

Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives. PB has been used for cities, counties, states, schools, universities, housing authorities, and other agencies.

A Proposal for an NYPD Inspector General

October 9, 2012

This report focuses on oversight of the NYPD's intelligence operations. Although a number of substantive legal rules set the boundaries of these types of programs, history has shown that it is exceedingly difficult to ensure that intelligence agencies adhere to these limits. Intelligence gathering, by its very nature, is clandestine and details of operations often cannot be publicly revealed. And while law enforcement agencies should be proactive in their approach to crime and terrorism, broad powers to collect intelligence in pursuit of these goals can, and have historically, bled into abuse.

Protecting Patient Privacy: Strategies for Regulating Electronic Health Records Exchange

February 13, 2012

The report offers policymakers 10 recommendations to protect patient privacy as New York state develops a centralized system for sharing electronic medical records. Those recommendations include:Require that the electronic systems employed by HIEs have the capability to sort and segregate medical information in order to comply with guaranteed privacy protections of New York and federal law. Presently, they do not.Offer patients the right to opt-out of the system altogether. Currently, people's records can be uploaded to the system without their consent.Require that patient consent forms offer clear information-sharing options. The forms should give patients three options: to opt-in and allow providers access to their electronic medical records, to opt-out except in the event of a medical emergency, or to opt-out altogether.Prohibit and sanction the misuse of medical information. New York must protect patients from potential bad actors--that small minority of providers who may abuse information out of fear, prejudice or malice.Prohibit the health information-sharing networks from selling data. The State Legislature should pass legislation prohibiting the networks from selling patients' private health information.

Executive Orders: Promoting Democracy and Openness in New York State Government

November 23, 2011

This joint report outlines 11 executive actions Gov. Andrew Cuomo can take to open up New York State government, increase the accountability of state agencies and reduce barriers to voting. The orders are centered on the basic goal of empowering the citizenry with more and better information about what its government is doing, and how it is spending tax payer dollars.

A Report on New York's Civic Literacy

April 13, 2011

Without civic literacy we cannot maintain a vigorous democracy, but as multiple national studies and our findings in this report all demonstrate, few Americans have the requisite knowledge to engage in a democratic policy discussion.

Building the Mekong: Healing the Wounds of War and Forging the Future of the Southeast Asian Community in the Bronx

March 1, 2011

Since 1995, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities has been organizing the Southeast Asian community in the Bronx to fight against systemic injustice. As the only pan-Asian organization in New York City focused on organizing, CAAAV has been successful at building multi-generational community leadership that both works on the local level as well as participates in the broader social justice movement. In the Bronx, CAAAV created the Youth Leadership Project (YLP) to train young people in the Southeast Asian community as organizers. CAAAV members have led several successful campaigns and inspired a generation of Southeast Asian organizations across the country, including Khmer Girls in Action, PRYSM, and Freedom, Inc. Over the years, as vital social services for Southeast Asians in the Bronx have been systematically cut, CAAAV began to engage other community leaders and key stakeholders to strategize how to address these issues.In 2009, youth members of CAAAV's Youth Leadership Program (YLP) worked with the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center to create a survey that would be used to identify community needs and priorities. CAAAV members then spent several months in 2010 conducting those surveys. This report is the result of that survey project.

Jim Crow in New York

February 12, 2010

More than 108,000 New Yorkers cannot vote because of a conviction in their past. Almost half of these disenfranchised citizens have completed their prison sentence and are living and working in the community.

The Power of the Latino Vote in America: They Tipped Elections in 2008; Where Will they be in 2010?

February 1, 2010

Over the past decade, Latino voters have steadily increased their political power, and made a decisive impact in races at all levels, including the Presidency. In 2010, Latino voters are poised to play a crucial role in key House and Senate races across the country.Many analysts have noted that as the Latino electorate grows in size and power, candidates from all political parties must take their views into account to remain viable in an increasing number of House and Senate races as well as future Presidential contests. While trending Democratic overall, at least one segment of the Latino electorate -- foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens of Latino descent, who represent 40% of the Latino voter population -- has proven to be a true swing constituency.Candidates for political office in 2010, elected officials, and political strategists would be wise to not just look at how Latino voters are likely to vote this cycle, but why.This report lays out trends in Latino voting patterns over the last several years, and examines some of the factors that motivate and influence this segment of the electorate. The report features a list of "Races to Watch" -- forty battleground House and Senate contests where Latino voters will play a key role -- and details the Congressional districts where Latino voting power is most concentrated.

Sikh Coalition Bay Area Civil Rights Report 2010

January 1, 2010

In the summer of 2009, the Sikh Coalition, with the help of several dedicated volunteers, began conducting a pioneering survey of Bay Area Sikhs. The survey gathered information on Sikhs' experiences with incidents of bias, employment discrimination, language access and other obstacles that hinder the community's full integration into local civic and political life.This report represents the results obtained from data collected from over 1,300 Sikhs who live in the Bay Area's nine counties. While the Sikhs surveyed for this report make up only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of Sikhs estimated to live in the Bay Area, their experiences provide a snapshot of issues important to this community throughout the region. In many cases, the data presented in this report exemplifies significant gaps between the promise of the law and the Sikh community's reality on the ground.The Sikh Coalition is making several policy recommendations based on the information that was collected. These recommendations are intended to be a starting point for the discussion on how to grow opportunities for Bay Area Sikhs to participate in their neighborhoods. In many instances, following these recommendations would begin to close the gap between what the law mandates and what the Sikh community's experience has been. In the coming months and years, the Sikh Coalition will spearhead advocacy efforts to further these recommendations.

The Color of Money in New York: Contributions by Race, Ethnicity and Wealth 2006-2008

July 1, 2009

This analysis of campaign contribution data presents a portrait of what segments of New York State have the greatest influence over legislative actions in Albany through campaign contributions. Our analysis of campaign contributions to Assembly members and Senators from the 2006 and 2008 election cycles from zip codes throughout New York State found enormous disparities in the contributions coming from different zip codes based on geography, race and ethnicity, and economic status. Specifically, in the 2006 to 2008 period, we found that:Four out of five dollars of the $72 million flowing into campaign coffers in Albany, or $58 million, came from zip codes that are majority white.One third of campaign cash came from wealthy zip codes where a large number of households earned over $200,000, even though such zip codes are just 12% of the state's population.The top ten contributing zip codes were all from New York City and Albany and its suburbs (Latham).

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