In January, MRNY joined with the New York State Department of Labor, local unions, and other community groups to start a pilot program, the New York Wage and Hour Watch, which will help better enforce labor laws and protect NYC’s most vulnerable groups from exploitation in the workplace. Each week, members of MRNY will spend hours training immigrant workers about their labor rights and how to enforce them, and educating employers about how to comply with the law. All exploitative employers will be promptly reported to the Department of Labor. MRNY also released a report in February documenting a broad pattern of labor violations in restaurants across New York City, which demonstrates the urgent need for this strategic approach to enforcing workers’ rights.
In March, Make the Road New York organized our Second Annual Community Assembly. With nearly 1,000 members in attendance, the forum gave voice to the policy concerns of thousands of low-income New Yorkers. We were joined by elected officials from city, state, and federal government, including Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, Congressman Anthony Weiner and a special video appearance from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. All officials present listened closely and promised to take action to promote equity and opportunity.
MRNY continued to push back against harmful cuts to the State and City budgets that would decrease funding for adult literacy classes and support services that are crucial to low-income New Yorkers’ stability and survival. We played an active role in winning a tax increase for the very wealthy in New York State that will help avoid cuts to crucial services.
Make the Road New York! Latin American Integration Center and Make the Road by Walking celebrated the announcement of their merger at SEIU 32BJ's Auditorium on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 to a packed audience. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, joined us to celebrate the event.