COVID-19 has rocked New York, catapulting our already vulnerable communities into a deeper crisis, while millionaires and billionaires became even wealthier. The state lacks universal healthcare, housing for all, and funding for quality public education. We are staring down a worsening climate crisis that demands urgent action. And we are facing a reckoning with a long history of systemic anti-Black racism, police violence, and criminalization of communities of color.
New Yorkers joined together during the Black Lives Matter uprisings and again in the election to demand real change. We’ve marched in the streets and elected progressive champions across the state and in Congress, who have all made a deep commitment to fight for real and sustained justice and transform New York.
New Yorkers showed that it was our neighbors, frontline workers, and our communities who responded to these crises with care for each other in the midst of deeply inadequate government action. With investment and by centering care and recovery in our legislative priorities, the New York Working Families Party seeks to build a state that works — and cares — for all of us.
Raise Progressive Revenue
New York is in a crisis. Millions of New Yorkers are unemployed, 1.4 million are facing eviction, and 1.2 million are uninsured. While NY’s communities of color and working people bear the brunt of this crisis, billionaires in New York saw their wealth soar by $77 billion in 2020 alone. We must address this deepening inequality by raising revenue from the wealthy to invest in the public good.
The Invest in Our New York Act is a package of bills that would raise $50 billion in new, recurring, progressive revenue by ending tax breaks on the wealthiest New Yorkers:
- Progressive Income Tax (S2622 Jackson | Meeks): creates an equitable tax system where New Yorkers pay a higher rate if they earn significantly more money. Raises $12-18 billion.
- Capital Gains Tax (S2522 Rivera | A3352 Kim): taxes income from investments like stocks the same as wages. Raises $7 billion.
- Heirs’ Tax (S3462 Brisport | Sanders): taxes large sums of inherited wealth. Raises $8 billion.
- Billionaires’ Tax (Ramos, de la Rosa): taxes the unrealized capital gains of billionaires. Raises $23 billion in the first year, $1.3 billion thereafter.
- Wall Street Tax (Salazar, Niou): taxes Wall Street financial transactions. Raises $12-$29 billion.
- Corporate Tax (S2833 Hoylman | Kelles): repeals the Trump tax cuts, by restoring taxes on the profit a corporation makes each year. Raises $9 billion
Decarcerate and Decriminalize
The Working Families Party is supporting the Justice Roadmap, a package of 26 bills aimed at addressing the harms of our violent and oppressive criminal justice system, including:
- Fair and Timely Parole (S1415 Rivera | A4231 Weprin): grants fair & timely parole to parole-eligible people in prison.
- Elder Parole (S215 Hoylman | A3475 de la Rosa): allows for the consideration of parole release for people aged 55 and older who have served at least 15 consecutive years in prison.
- HALT Solitary (S2836 Salazar | A2277 Aubry): limits use of solitary confinement and creates humane and effective alternatives.
- Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (S854 Krueger | A1248 People-Stokes): legalizes marijuana through racial equity and reinvests revenue into the communities most impacted by the racist war on drugs. Marijuana legalization was included in Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget with limited details on reinvestment and equity, and we are fighting to ensure the final bill reflects the MRTA.
- Less is More Act (S1144 Benjamin | A5493): Restricts the use of incarceration for technical parole violations and bolsters due process.
End the Climate Crisis
Fossil fuel interests have been prioritized for far too long. We are demanding action to stop the climate crisis, create green jobs, and center frontline communities most impacted by climate change.
- Climate and Community Investment Act (S4264 Parker | A9856 Cahill): creates a Climate and Community Investment Authority to administer multi-billion dollar programs to advance a just transition to a clean, renewable energy economy for New York.
- The Federal THRIVE Agenda will confront the climate crisis while creating millions of good jobs, investing in frontline communities, and commiting to a just transition into a sustainable economy.
Other WFP Priorities
The Working Families Party is also supporting a range of state and local legislation that will address critical community and family needs, ensuring:
- Tenants have real protections, the end to evictions and ultimately homelessness.
- Every New Yorker has quality healthcare.
- All immigrants are able to live with dignity and respect.
- Workers are properly classified, have meaningful rights on the job, access to a union, and protected by a robust safety net.
- The end of voter disenfranchisement and the strengthening of our democracy
The People’s Charter is our national agenda and our roadmap as we navigate our work. The following principles inform our legislative priorities:
- Care for the Wronged: Repair historic harms and end systemic racism.
- Emergency care: Help everyone get and stay well, and support workers, families, and small businesses as long as it takes.
- A Good Job for Everyone Who Needs One: Working people can’t wait years for jobs to come back, we need millions of jobs now.
- Care for Each Other: Address the deficiencies in how our government cares for us that the pandemic has revealed.
- Care for the Future: Act now to make us all more resilient to challenges we know we have to confront.
With these #JobsandCare principles in mind, and with a new Presidential administration and Democratic Congress, the New York Working Families Party is also fighting for critical federal priorities that will strengthen our state and nation, including:
- Immediate and massive COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus
- Investments in green infrastructure, transit, and public housing
- Sweeping democracy reform
- Immigrant rights