On January 28, 2019, thirty-five CPC staff and community members met with forty NY State legislators during the inaugural “Advancing Our CommUNITY” State Advocacy Day.
CPC called on New York State to make critical investments to address the persistent and emerging needs of the low-income, immigrant, and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) New Yorkers and to uplift community-based nonprofit providers whose services and programs are often staffed from the very communities they serve.
CPC was also introduced on the Assembly floor at the beginning of the session. Assembly Member Nily Rozic gave remarks on behalf of Assembly Members Peter Abbate Jr., Ed Braunstein, Harvey Epstein, Ron Kim, Yuh-Line Niou, and Felix Ortiz. CPC was recognized for its multigenerational services provided to over 60,000 New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs.
“As the nation’s largest Asian American social services organization, CPC provides unique insights into one of the State’s fastest growing communities,” said Carlyn Cowen, Chief Policy and Public Affairs Officer. “Our staff and community members shared personal stories of their experiences in the community, growing up in CPC programs, and working to advance and transform communities. These insights form the core of CPC’s State Policy Agenda.”
“Because the political system marginalizes many immigrant communities, we are grateful that so many community members attended our inaugural State Advocacy Day. For many community members, the day was as much an opportunity to advocate as it was a learning experience,” said Amy Torres, Director of Policy and Advocacy. “Many were visiting the state capital for the first time and appreciated the welcome from their elected representatives.”
Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York:
- Invest $25 million to fund the minimum wage increase for State contracts not yet adjusted to reflect the increased wages.
- Invest $100 million in nonprofit infrastructure, recurring annually.
- Restore the inclusion of the $140 million Cost of Living Adjustment, which is statutory, to the Executive Budget.
Settlement House Program:
Restore and increase the Settlement House Program from $2.45 million to $5 million.
Investing in Homecare:
- Address retroactive compensation of home care workers in the FY19-20 budget by standing with workers and providers to ensure that its court decisions are reflected in the budget.
- Fully fund 24-hour care through Medicaid reimbursement rates moving forward: ensuring that workers are compensated for all hours worked and that Medicaid reimbursement rates should be adjusted to cover the full and actual cost of providing home care services, providing a living wage, and incentivizing innovation.
- Create a short term task force to implement a comprehensive set of recommendations to implement in FY20-21.
New York Health Act:
Pass the New York Health Act (A4738/S4840), with full inclusion of long term care.
Census 2020 – A Complete Count for All New Yorkers:
- Include $40 million in community-based census outreach.
- Appoint AAPI representatives to the State Census Taskforce.
Fix the Subway:
- Congestion Pricing: Divert driver tolls in the busiest part of the city toward MTA infrastructure
- A Bus Turnaround Plan: Re-examine bus routes that use outdated streetcar lines and create dedicated bus lanes to keep riders on schedule and out of traffic.
Civic Engagement, Voters Rights, and Electoral Reform:
- Easier to Register:
- Automatic voter registration, with a front-end opt out designs that use provided identification to protect New York immigrants and LEP individuals whose naturalization application could be hurt by inadvertent registration
- Eliminate the early change in party affiliation deadline
- Easier to Vote:
- Voter Friendly Ballot Act
- No-excuse absentee ballots
- Easier Elections:
- Open primaries and consolidate primary election dates
- Language Access: Lower the threshold for language assistance and require translation of all voting materials and ballots
- Enfranchisement: Allow non-citizen resident voting in local and state elections
- Campaign Finance: Protect elections from private interest by closing the LLC loophole, lower barriers to public office by publicly matching small dollar donations 6:1 so that the voices of under-represented New Yorkers are amplified
Liberty Defense Fund:
Increasing funding from $10 million to $20 million to ensure all immigrants have access to high quality legal services.
Office of New Americans Opportunity Centers:
Increase the budget to $10 million to fully fund existing centers based on the successful ESOL gateway model, and establish new centers in high need areas.
Green Light NY:
Increase mobility and economic opportunity by providing state drivers’ licenses for all immigrant New Yorkers.
Early Childhood Education: While early childhood education has been proven critical to lifelong economic and social success, only 17% of eligible families are served in New York State. New York State can invest in making sure all children have this critical support by:
- Creating a new fund which allows localities that use 100% of their State child care allocation without meeting the needs of all income-eligible families to access funds to serve more families
- Allowing Economic Development Funds to be used to support child care programs
- Continuing expansion of the Child Care Tax Credit
- Allocate $5 million to Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies to provide additional hours of programming, training, and support.
Increase the Open-Ended Preventive/Protective Services State-funded portion to 65/35.
Adult Literacy: For many of our immigrant community members, the first step towards economic empowerment is literacy and language access. To ensure that all community members have the literacy skills and resources to participate and contribute to our economy, we urge the State to invest:
- $15.3 million in adult literacy funding in Adult Literacy Education (ALE) in order to counteract the planned replacement of the English Language Civics program with new programming designed to serve higher-skilled individuals as a result of changes in the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. New York is also eliminating English Language instruction through its own Office for New Americans, leaving many of New York’s most limited-English proficient immigrants behind.
- $10 million investment in family literacy programs, which allow family members across generations to build literacy skills concurrently
- $10 million for Office for New Americans legal services and ESOL classes, to restore the original model of ONA that uses ESOL as a welcoming gateway to legal services, naturalization, and deportation reprieve
Senior Affordable Housing Services:
Invest $10 million to provide service coordination in senior affordable housing to help older adults to age successfully in place.
Housing Stability Support:
Invest $40 million in this statewide rental supplement for public assistance-eligible families and individuals facing eviction, currently homeless, or facing loss of housing.