The New York of the near future can be a better, more just, and more compassionate place for everyone to live. Our Compassionate New York agenda outlines immediate actions the state legislature can take to save lives and billions of dollars:
- Guarantee healthcare for every New Yorker (New York Health Act)
- Stop unjust evictions (Good Cause Eviction)
- Decarcerate our state (Justice Roadmap)
A more compassionate state is both morally right and fiscally responsible.
The Compassionate New York would save nearly $12 billion in the first year of implementation alone with the New York Health Act reducing total healthcare spending by at least $10 billion, Good Cause Eviction protections saving over $1.6 billion, Elder Parole and Fair and Timely Parole will save $522 million annually, and restoring financial aid access to incarcerated college students will save $22 million. Additional decarceration measures will further reduce the $18 billion annual price tag of New York’s carceral system, while Clean Slate legislation will expand New York’s GDP by $7 billion.
The COVID public health crisis has exacerbated existing crises of mass incarceration, lack of affordable housing, and limited access to healthcare. New Yorkers living in homeless shelters or enduring incarceration have been harmed not only by the COVID pandemic but also by our state government’s cruel and inhumane policies. Our Compassionate New York package would shift the posture of state government from one of cruelty and exclusion to one of compassion while helping ensure a just and sustainable recovery for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep wealth and racial inequality in New York State. Working class and poor communities of color have been disproportionately harmed by a public health crisis that continues to wreak havoc. But the economic and racial injustices made worse by COVID-19 are not new. Long before the pandemic 1 million New Yorkers were without healthcare, 92,000 were experiencing homelessness, and over 50,000 were behind bars in jail or prison each day -- with each of these injustices disproportionately impacting Black and brown communities.
Our recommended approach stands in stark contrast to Governor Cuomo’s austerity budgeting and callous indifference to preventable suffering. In the last year New Yorkers have watched as Governor Cuomo mismanaged federal rent-relief funds causing our neighbors to be evicted, and allowed our elders to die in nursing homes and prisons. Today we call on the New York State Legislature to enact a better plan for life after COVID - one that will save billions of dollars, save lives, and advance a vision for a more compassionate New York.
To advance that vision, the state legislature must guarantee healthcare for all; stop the violence of unjust evictions; and decarcerate New York by reducing the number of New Yorkers behind bars and addressing the harms of the criminal legal and immigration systems.