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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The Climate and Community Investment Act: An Engine for Good Job Creation

May 14, 2021

For NY Renews, our hundreds of allied organizations, and tens of thousands of supporters statewide, the answer is clear: we rebuild our economy by jumpstarting the just transition to renewable energy and investing in our communities--especially disadvantaged communities hit first and worst by both Covid-19 and the climate crisis; we enact the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) in New York and pass the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act in Congress.Just as the CCIA will cut climate and air pollution, it will send ripples of investment throughout the economy. By supporting worker training, fueling small and large-scale infrastructure projects, electrifying our state's energy production, providing direct rebates to up to 60% of New Yorkers, and jump-starting community-driven climate solutions, the policy will invigorate many sectors of New York's economy.To be conservative in its estimates, this report analyzed two areas of the CCIA's spending that will create significant calculable new jobs in New York either because they replace expenditures out of state for fossil fuel or because they replace or expand employment in more labor and value intensive sectors of the economy: the CCIA's Climate Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and the Community Just Transition Fund.

Laal (2019-2020 Annual Report)

September 9, 2020

In the same spirit of striving for change within one's community, Laal conducted a thorough needs-based assessment in Norwood, from March to August of 2019, where we surveyed 200 Bangladeshi and South Asian womxn. These surveys asked qualitative and quantitative questions to determine what resources the community needed and what the most prominent problems facing the community were. These surveys were also imperative in establishing a rapport with the local community members and laying a foundation within a community that has historically been overlooked and underserved for over 30 years. Through programming and resources, Laal aims to create an active community of womxn who can empower themselves and one another through direct action and deliberative dialogue. Historically, immigrant Bangladeshi womxn in New York City have lacked the necessary space and resources to learn English, obtain a job, or vote because they have been treated as second-class citizens-- culturally, systematically, and institutionally. Laal is eradicating a stigma that has been culturally, traditionally, and religiously interwoven into this community's foundation; in following Septima Clark's legacy, we too, believe that Bangladeshi womxn will find liberation through literacy. 

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.

The Racial Jobs Gap: Who Benefits from New York’s Economic Growth

December 19, 2018

Good paying jobs are growing in every borough of the city, but many New Yorkers, especially low wealth New Yorkers of color, remain disconnected from those jobs.While 57% of jobs in the City are good paying jobs, they are less likely to go to local residents of color. Communities of color are not only excluded from the City's economic boom, they are at greater risk of displacement as housing costs rise and access to good paying jobs remains limited.

Report on Working Conditions in the Retail Laundromat Industry

June 26, 2018

At what cost are laundry workers paying to keep New York City's clothes clean? Laundry Workers Center partnered with the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center to investigate the workplace challenges faced by retail laundromat workers. Together, we developed and conducted a participatory research project, combining observations at retail laundromats with worker surveys and interviews to document these workers' experiences in a too often overlooked industry.

Combating the Gentrification of Jobs in New York City

June 19, 2018

The dominant narrative is that New York City's economy is booming. But it's only booming for some. In places like Brownsville, Brooklyn and University Heights in the Bronx, unemployment is still more than 10%, compared to the city-wide rate of 4.3%.

The Business of Homelessness: Financial and Human Costs of the Shelter-Industrial Complex

May 12, 2018

This report is the product of a year-long investigation by Picture the Homeless's research committee into the fiscal policies and priorities that influence the lives of homeless New Yorkers. As the city's homeless shelter census has grown to a record high of over 60,000 people, the city has also seen its spending on shelter increase to an all-time high of over $1.8 billion, with an additional $650 million in capital funding allocated to upgrade and expand the shelter system in the next 10 years. By failing to create new units... the city is ensuring that shelter entry will continue at pace for the foreseeable future. 

Restart Solar: How NYC Can Renew Its Solar Program To Benefit Workers & Community

September 22, 2016

New York City intends to install 100 MW of solar on the rooftops of public buildings by 2025. Over the next nine years, this upgrading of public infrastructure could provide significant benefits for New Yorkers, and not just in terms of reducing emissions. These solar installations, impacting over 300 public buildings, can create thousands of good, union jobs for New York residents, and significantly reduce the City's electricity bill, freeing up funds for new and innovative programs that generate wealth in our communities. Despite the clear opportunities for leveraging this solar program to the benefit of communities and workers, this report finds that New York City's public rooftop solar energy initiative can do more to address the needs of our City's low-income communities and workers.

A People's Budget: A Research and Evaluation Report on Participatory Budgeting in New York City

November 1, 2015

This cycle of Participatory Budgeting in New York City ushered in a significant expansion of the process from previous years, with 24 Council Members -- nearly half the City Council -- taking part. More than six thousand New Yorkers brainstormed ideas for projects to improve their community, and more than 50,000 turned out to vote all across the city, at high schools, senior centers, public housing developments, community centers, in parks and on street corners. Through the PB process, driven by and centered on community members, New Yorkers determined the allocation of more than $30 million of City Council funds to bring to fruition capital projects in their Council districts. This year, for the first time, the process was supported by the City Council Speaker's office, with the dedication of resources and coordinating support, including: contracts issued to enlist community-based organizations in PB outreach; assistance in translation, printing and counting of PB ballots; media outreach and PB promotion; and central coordination of trainings and meetings throughout the process. Participatory budgeting (PB) allows community members -- instead of elected officials alone -- to determine how public funds should be spent, from start to finish. Four years ago, in 2011- 12 a pilot process in four City Council districts brought this unique form of direct democracy to this city. Since then, the process has grown with each PB cycle, with this year's process seeing a six-fold increase in the number of participating Council districts and the amount of money allocated to the process, and more than eight times as many New Yorkers casting PB ballots.

Where's My Seat? How School Overcrowding Disproportionally Impacts Immigrant Communities in New York City

November 1, 2015

School overcrowding, which occurs when "the number of students enrolled in the school is larger than the number of students the school was designed to accommodate," is rampant in New York City's public school system. Across the city, students are forced to learn in crammed classrooms, ill-equipped trailers or temporary classroom units (TCUs), or other spaces not intended for instruction. New York City's Department of Education (DOE) has acknowledged that more than 49,000 new seats need to be created to address the problem and committed to creating fewer than 33,000 new seats in coming years, and other more likely estimates put the number at more than 100,000.

Nothing About Us, Without Us, is for Us! Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision

October 1, 2015

In May of 2014, the Mayor's Housing Plan was released, laying out the goal to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years. Central to the success of the plan is the rezoning of 15 neighborhoods in order to facilitate the construction of new residential housing. In September of 2014, we learned that 73 blocks along Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, from 167th to 183rd streets, were being studied by the City to see how the current regulations of the mostly industrial and commercially zoned land could be changed to allow for the building of residential housing.

Stand For Tenant Safety: Summary of Data to Document Construction as Harassment in Rent Stabilized Buildings and the STS Legislative Solution

September 1, 2015

The survey aims to document how major construction has impacted the health and well-being of tenants in rent-stabilized apartments in New York City and to explore the extent to which such construction constitutes tenant harassment. The survey and supplemental secondary data from the Department of Buildings also aims to better understand how effectively the Department of Building's inspection units address problems with construction when they are reported by tenants. The DOB data also documents the degree to which the DOB fines landlords that violate rules and regulations, and the status of collecting those fines.

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