Statement on End of the 2021 Legislative Session

Statement on End of the 2021 Legislative Session

For Immediate Release
Date: June 21, 2021
Contact: Andy Morrison,

Statement on End of the 2021 Legislative Session

“This session, New Yorkers demanded, and won, significant progress for low-income, Black, brown, and immigrant New Yorkers. Our coalition proudly supported successful efforts to stop debt collectors from siphoning New Yorkers’ stimulus checks; to raise taxes on billionaires and invest in New York communities; to equitably legalize cannabis; and more. After years of organizing we also saw the NYS CDFI Fund take shape, putting needed support behind community-based financial institutions that serve historically-redlined neighborhoods.

“Still, on too many fronts, leadership in Albany failed to show the leadership we need. As the legislative session wound down, legislators once again tried to sneak through a bill that would have helped check cashers extract even more money from communities of color. Instead, the legislature should have been laser focused on policies that build wealth in hard hit communities, such as public banking.

“This year, more than 100 community and labor groups and 65 NYS legislators from across the state called for passage of the NY Public Banking Act, as part of a bold vision for racial equity and a just COVID-19 recovery. Unfortunately, leadership in the NYS Senate and Assembly ignored those calls, putting the interests of Wall Street over struggling New Yorkers.

“The NY Public Banking Act would pave the way for local public banks that would invest in permanently affordable housing, small and worker-owned businesses, and other equitable development in low-income communities and communities of color–while enabling cities and counties to divest public deposits from banks that actively harm New Yorkers, our economy and the planet.

“The NYS Community Equity Agenda will continue to fight, alongside public banking advocates across the state, to make public banking a reality. We look forward to working with Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, and other lawmakers to establish a regulatory framework for local public banks in New York that will usher in democratic financial institutions that meet the needs of New Yorkers and New York communities.”