Make the Road New York
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YOUTH-LED ORGANIZING

Make the Road New York offers intensive and sustained support to a core membership of over 60 youth leaders in Queens and Brooklyn combined. We provide leadership and community action programming to an additional 2,000 teenagers through our work in area high schools, including our partner high schools, the Bushwick School for Social Justice and Pan American International, and school-based college access programs to hundreds more.

In our weekly Youth Power Project meetings, we continue to push forward on several major campaigns, including:

High School Reform
With our partner organizations in the Urban Youth Collaborative, the Youth Power Project is working to ensure that New York City schools are well-funded, safe, and privilege the rights of students. They are challenging the way that large public high schools are policed, and pushing the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to take more humane and respectful approaches in making our schools safe. Youth regularly participate in public efforts to challenge cuts to the education budget. They have also successfully pressured the DOE to replicate MRNY's innovative youth-led college access program in Bushwick and Queens at other schools throughout the city.

Police Accountability
After the unlawful arrest of 32 Bushwick youth in May 2007 on their way to a friend's wake, MRNY's youth leaders initiated a campaign to promote equitable policing in the community and hold law enforcement officials accountable for injustices. MRNY was able to help connect the youth to legal representation, get the charges dropped and obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for the affected youth. MRNY youth members continue to lead efforts to foster more equitable relations between police and the community. Each year, the Youth Power Project organizes public events to draw attention to the issue, works with public officials to fix policing problems, and holds regular "copwatches" to monitor police activities and distribute Know Your Rights pamphlets to thousands of community residents.

Bushwick Research and Action on Gentrification
In conjunction with MRNY's Environmental Justice & Housing Committee, the Youth Power Project works to halt the gentrification of our communities by preserving affordable housing, protecting rent-stabilized tenants from landlord abuse, and reclaiming vacant properties for community use. In particular, youth leaders have been working to secure public investment to build more schools in Bushwick, where schools have been historically overcrowded and under-funded. The project is also working with the Right to the City coalition to reclaim vacant condominiums across New York City for low-income housing. Youth have created a wide-reaching public education campaign and continue to fight for citywide housing reform.

Access to College for Undocumented Students
In Queens, MRNY's recent-immigrant youth base organizes to improve educational opportunities for undocumented youth. The Youth Power Project is working in coalition to pressure the City University of New York to obey state law and allow New York City high school graduates the right to pay in-state tuition. At the federal level, the project is working to pass the DREAM Act, legislation that would guarantee undocumented students across the country the right to pay in-state tuition and access financial aid.

Expanding Civil Rights | Promoting Health | Improving Housing 
 Winning Workplace Justice | Improving Public Education | Empowering Youth


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Announcing a Major Expansion of Paid Sick Days

It's a new day for working class New Yorkers!

On January 17, Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and members of the City Council announced an exciting new proposal to expand New York City's Paid Sick Days law, which MRNY and our partners helped to win last spring!

Under the original law, set to take effect this April, employers with 15 employees or more will be required to provide 5 paid sick days -- impacting one million workers. Mayor de Blasio's proposal would extend this requirement to businesses with 5 employees or more.

The new proposal also includes manufacturing workers (who were left out of the original law). Hundreds of thousands more New Yorkers will be able to take a paid day off to care for themselves or a sick family member. Read more...