In recent months, CIS-NYC Justice for Immigrants (JFI) members, leaders, and staff have been advocating for the passage of the New York HERO Act, which would put in place workplace standards to prevent exposure to COVID-19 and future airborne diseases. Currently, New York State is going through a deadly surge of COVID-19 while essential workers continue to work without mandated protections.
In March alone over 2,500 New Yorkers died from COVID-19. Essential Workers–mostly black and brown New Yorkers–have kept our state moving and served our communities over the last year, and continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic. Despite their sacrifices, the state still has no workplace standards to prevent exposure to COVID-19. As dangerous new variants of the virus spread it is critical that we keep workers and communities safe.
Last week, CIS-NYC Justice For Immigrant (JFI) staff and members participated in a virtual press conference attended by workers, allies, elected officials, and press. One of JFI’s leaders, Eduardo, spoke about his family’s experience getting sick with COVID-19 as the result of unsafe working conditions. Another leader, Felipe, created a video advocating for the passage of the bill, which you can view here.
Now, after months of advocacy, we are celebrating two exciting victories! As of this week, both the New York State Senate and Assembly have passed the NY HERO Act, due to the unwavering advocacy of workers and allies. Now it is up to Governor Cuomo to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.