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Veatch Grantees on the Ground in New York

The Veatch Program supports over 180 organizations all across the country, yet we take special pride in our grantees in New York. Every year, over $1 million in Veatch funding goes directly to organizations that serve our state and our neighbors right here on Long Island. 

In fighting for social justice, these organizations are training thousands of New Yorkers to be leaders in their communities.  Many also offer legal services, know-your-rights trainings, self-help, workforce development and other services.  These are truly life-sustaining during this time.

The groups included in the round-up below are just a sample. As these grantees offer relief to New Yorkers, they are organizing in new and creative ways.  With our support, they are working together, to forge the road to recovery and to rebuilding the better world we so desperately need – and that is possible.   

Joan Minieri
Executive Director



From left to right: Carol Garbarino, Chair; Joan Minieri, Executive Director; Corinne Hayden, Vice Chair   
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Long Island Jobs with Justice

Beginning in 2017, in response to anti-immigrant policies, Long Island Jobs with Justice helped organize community-based Rapid Response Networks.  Over 300 volunteers now support immigrants in Port Washington, Huntington Station, Babylon Town, North Brookhaven, the North Fork and Hampton Bays.  They have raised and distributed thousands of dollars for food, assisted immigrants in applying for food and shelter programs and are accompanying people to federal and local Long Island immigration courts. You can donate to their Solidarity Fund for those impacted by Covid-19 here. 

Public Policy & Education Fund

The Public Policy and Education Fund — a Veatch grantee working to advance social, racial, economic and environmental issues — is gearing up its civic engagement work to educate and connect voters in New York to the new rules around absentee voting in the time of Covid-19.  The group is working to ensure communities stay safe, while ensuring full engagement in the upcoming June and November elections.
 
The group's work in the Hudson Valley is also in full swing —ensuring that all individuals and families in low count areas of the census are counted in the 2020 census. Volunteers are making calls nightly to more than 6,000 households to connect them to robust mutual aid efforts and direct service — and then encouraging and educating them about the 2020 Census.

The Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund


The Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund engages UU’s from other Long Island congregations to regrant funds to dozens of local social justice and self-help programs. These programs support Long Island’s women, racial justice educators, youth and low-wage workers. Our grant also helps support the administration of the Long Island Community Foundation — which has raised nearly $1.5 million in a special Covid-19 Response Fund for struggling nonprofits.

NY Taxi Workers Alliance

 The NY Taxi Workers Alliance — a Veatch grantee and 21,000-member strong union of taxi and livery drivers — has lost 28 members to the virus, and hundreds more have fallen ill. In response, the group quickly transformed itself into a needed resource hub for members, releasing a comprehensive 24-chapter resource guide for drivers and their families impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The guide includes step-by-step instructions for applying for unemployment insurance,  disaster loans, and many other needed financial, health and legal supports.

At the same time, the group’s members, led by Director Bhairavi Desai, continue to fight for policy change. The Alliance is demanding the MTA, which contracted with taxi drivers to supply transport for essential workers, pay drivers living wages and hazard pay. They have also joined forces with other groups to demand a suspension of rents and mortgages, and are fighting companies like Uber, which are holding up unemployment benefits for drivers.

New York Communities for Change

Veatch grantee New York Communities for Change — a grassroots group building power among low-income New Yorkers of color — partnered with the New York Communities Organizing Fund (NYCOFI) to successfully organize a broad coalition of community groups and labor unions to prevent Amazon HQ2 from setting up shop in Long Island City.

Now, they are organizing Amazon workers impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The group is partnering with Athena, an alliance of groups that includes many other Veatch grantees that are pushing to counter the company's growing, powerful grip over our society and economy. The Alliance Workers at Amazon have been fighting to protect all of us from COVID-19, including walking out to protest the dangerous conditions in Amazon's operations — many of whom have been fired as a result. You can add your name to an ongoing petition to reinstate these workers, and improve working conditions, here. 
 

Community Voices Heard

Community Voices Heard is a statewide powerhouse, with a track record of policy wins on affordable housing, environmental justice and worker rights.  In response to Covid-19, they are keeping up the pressure on elected officials as they partnered with Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen to have over 500 meals delivered to public housing residents in East Harlem. They also worked with locally owned restaurants to deliver 350 meals to people in Yonkers.   

Recently, CVH kicked off a Covid-19 Public Housing Sustainability campaign that is calling on the New York Congressional Delegation to demand new resources for public housing authorities in the upcoming stimulus packages. The group is also pushing for rent cancelation as part of the plan, as well as proper cleaning and sanitation. 

Housing Justice for All Campaign

The Housing Justice for All Campaign is a coalition of over 70 organizing groups in New York includes many of our grantees, including: Community Voices Heard, Make the Road New York, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and PUSH Buffalo. Through digital organizing, phone banking, and creative car caravan protests, they are galvanzing one million renters statewide to help push New York lawmakers for relief for rent and mortgage payments as families reel from job loss and illness. 

VOCAL-NY

VOCAL-NY is a statewide organization dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic, drug war, mass incarceration and homelessness by building the power of low-income people directly impacted by these issues. The organization has not let our new socially distanced world distract them for their campaign goals:

  • After a year of leading an aggressive campaign, the group successfully passed a bill to expand access to life-saving medication-assisted treatment for people enrolled in Medicaid. 
  • Using digital press conferences, town halls, and targeted social media campaigns, the group also helped push the de Blasio administration to announce that 2,500 hotel rooms will be opened to people at risk living on the street or in the shelter. The group is now working with allies in the City Council to dramatically increase that number. 
  • VOCAL-NY helped move the City to launch a program to deliver methadone to isolation shelters and is working on expanding to home deliveries for NYers who are symptomatic or sick with the virus
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