Make the Road New York
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Make the Road New York engages in cutting-edge public policy advocacy work to catalyze high impact social change. We bring grassroots voices and experiences to center stage of the major public policy debates of our time.

Each year, Make the Road New York hosts a spring Community Assembly and a fall Democracy Day that bring together more than 1,000 low-income New Yorkers to share our policy concerns with elected officials from every level of government.

What sets apart our advocacy work is that it comes from the bottom up, based on the experiences and observations of our members. Through our membership and with the support of staff, these experiences become the basis for formulating legislative or policy change at the city, state and national level. Make the Road New York's substantial legal expertise, both on staff and through our pro bono partners, enables us to strategically analyze current policies and develop a blueprint for change-including litigation and innovative legislation.

Once an issue has been identified, Make the Road New York conducts research to document the problem, and builds strong coalitions for maximum effectiveness. There is substantial outreach to legislators and the media by Make the Road New York staff and members.

Although our policy advocacy generally begins with a small group of committed members and staff, the end results affect millions of New Yorkers. For example, passage of Local Law 1 was spearheaded by Make the Road New York and our allies and is the strongest lead poisoning legislation in the country. The law has spurred a public investment of tens of millions of dollars each year to remove lead paint hazards and to protect children from the debilitating effects of lead poisoning.

Major Policy Victories

2003
- NYC Equal Access to Health & Human Services Act

2004
- NYC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act

2005
- Targeted Cyclical Enforcement Program to Repair NYC ’s Worst Housing Units
- Regulations to Guarantee Translation & Interpretation at All NY State Hospitals

2006
- NYC Safe Housing Act

2007
- Executive Order 120: Translation & Interpretation at NYC Government Agencies

2008
- NYC Tenant Protection Act

2009
- NYC Language Access in Pharmacies Act

2010
- NY State Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA)
- NYC Multiple Dwellings Registration Act to Promote Landlord Accountability

2011
- Executive Order 26: Translation & Interpretation at State Agencies
- NYC Crackdown on Asthma Triggering Housing Conditions
- School Facility, Accountability, Capacity and Transparency (FACT) Act
- NYC Intro 656 to Stop Unjust Deportations
- NYC Student Safety Act

2012
- President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Suffolk County Executive Order: Translation & Interpretation at County Agencies
- Safe Rx: Translation & Interpretation at Major Pharmacies Statewide

2013
- NYC Earned Sick Time Act
- NYC Community Safety Act
- Nassau County Executive Order: Translation & Interpretation at County Agencies
- NYC Local Laws 21 & 22 to Stop Unjust Deportations

2014
- Major Expansion of the NYC Earned Sick Time Act
- NYC Municipal IDs Program
- NYC Public Defender Program for Immigrants Facing Deportation




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Paid Sick Days Now the Law in NYC!

Starting July 30, 2014, workers in NYC can now take paid sick days under the recent expansion of the Earned Sick Time Act that MRNY members helped to win.

Building upon the original law, now workers at businesses with 5 employees or more can earn up to 5 paid days off per year to care for themselves or a sick family member. No worker in NYC can be fired for taking a sick day. Read more...