December 5, 2013
By Stephanie West
The New York State AFL-CIO has launched a new campaign aimed at changing the public policy debate from one that is driven by corporations and billionaires to one that works for hardworking New Yorkers. The project – “makingNYwork,” is a statewide initiative that will incorporate digital strategy as well as grassroots organizing. The campaign is kicking off with the release of a website – www.makingnywork.org, as well as a new web video – www.makingnywork.org/pledge.
Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “For far too long, working men and women have been forced to play defense just to protect a basic standard of living in our state. They’ve had to defend wages, benefits, and conditions of employment. The result has been prolonged unemployment and underemployment, worsening income equality and shocking levels of poverty, which are scourges in our communities. Enough is enough. The only way this will change is if we start a proactive conversation based on the needs of everyday New Yorkers who are working harder and harder but falling further and further behind.”
The new web video points out that the state and local governments give away $7 billion to businesses every year, some through programs such as Industrial Development Agencies, many of which do not provide adequate transparency, accountability, or standards to ensure that we are creating good, sustainable jobs, not poverty jobs. The video also discusses the link between taxes and the delivery of critical services.
“Tax breaks alone are not an economic development policy,” added Cilento. “We need to invest in New Yorkers and the services they rely on, and create new ladders to the middle class. New Yorkers don’t want a handout; they just want a chance to succeed. That’s how we make New York work for hardworking New Yorkers.”