Press Releases and Statements

NYS Community Equity Agenda Statement on End of the 2022 Legislative Session

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2022

NYS Community Equity Agenda Statement on End of the 2022 Legislative Session

“As New York’s low-income communities and communities of color continue to struggle from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing statewide movement for community wealth-building solutions that ensure a just recovery. This session, our coalition made significant progress towards this end, building widespread support for transformative policies. Unfortunately, Albany lawmakers have concluded their legislative session for the year without moving these needed policies over the finish line.”

“The New York Public Banking Act, among our coalition’s top priorities, paves the way for local governments to leverage public deposits for investments in equitable development. This year we won support for this bill from more than 90 legislative co-sponsors, 150 community and labor groups, and local elected officials from 19 different NYS cities and counties. In the face of opposition from Wall Street lobbyists, the Legislature failed to bring this critical bill to a vote.”

“Struggling New York communities need solutions like public banking, just like they need to see public support for New York’s community development financial institutions – mission-driven credit unions and loan funds that build wealth in Black, brown, immigrant, and low-income neighborhoods. They need tenant protections and legislation to support community land trusts and other forms of permanently affordable housing, especially given the severity of New York’s housing crisis. They need the safeguards against systemic wealth extraction set forth in the Consumer and Small Business Protection Act.”

The NYS Community Equity Agenda, a statewide coalition of community and labor organizations, remains committed to a bold vision of economic development that works for all New Yorkers. We will continue to organize through the next legislative session in 2023 and beyond to ensure that New York invests in a future rooted in economic democracy, ecological sustainability, and racial and social justice.”


NYS Community Equity Agenda Statement on the Repeal of the Federal “True Lender” Rule, Keeping Predatory Payday Lending Out of New York

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2021

Raquel Villagra, New Economy Project,
Sybil McPherson, District Council 37, AFSCME,

NYS Community Equity Agenda Statement on the Repeal of the Federal “True Lender” Rule, Keeping Predatory Payday Lending Out of New York:

“The NYS Community Equity Agenda commends President Biden for signing a resolution last week to repeal the Trump administration’s “true lender” rule, ending an immediate threat to financially-struggling New Yorkers and local small businesses, and preserving billions of dollars in wealth that predatory lenders stood to extract from our state.

“The Equity Agenda coalition organized strong opposition to this rule in New York, blasting the rulemaking in 2020 as an assault on Black and brown people and communities. The rule, finalized in the final weeks of the Trump administration, opened the door in New York to predatory online lending, allowing financial technology (“fintech”) companies to partner with national banks in order to circumvent the state’s strong usury laws and extract billions of dollars in interest and fees from struggling New Yorkers.

“While the reversal of the dangerous “true lender” rule is cause for celebration, this coalition knows that fringe and predatory financial services companies, including fintech companies, will continue their aggressive efforts to influence government at all levels and get laws passed that allow them to strip wealth from New Yorkers and others. Just last month, this coalition successfully organized against a state bill to expand check cashers’ ability to extract wealth from historically-redlined New York communities, which are already flooded with fringe and high-cost financial services.

“The Equity Agenda is committed to fighting for a just financial system that centers racial and economic justice and builds community wealth, especially as we work for a just recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We will continue to advance mission-driven, community-controlled financial institutions, such as community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and local public banks.”

The NYS Community Equity Agenda is a coalition of more than 40 community, labor, legal services, civil rights, community development, and cooperative organizations working together for a transformative vision of economic development in New York, grounded in principles of racial justice and economic democracy.