QUESTION: How to find New York City activist groups focused on strengthening U.S. workers' right to organize, and advocating increased taxes for the rich

question / pregunta: 

I'm looking for New York City area or New Jersey activist groups focused on strengthening U.S. workers' rights, and advocating increased taxes for the rich. I'm looking for groups I can actually participate in. So far I've found plenty of organizations looking for money donations that they can spend on lobbying, or urging you to call your congressman... but none that want anybody to actually gather and discuss issues or actually DO anything.


A Rad Reffer who works within the labor movement says that unions and workers' centers are major venues where the issues of workers' rights and advocating for increased taxes on the rich is happening.

Make the Road New York helps people exercise their rights as individual workers and also has a workers' center. From their website: "Make the Road New York engages in cutting-edge public policy advocacy work to catalyze high impact social change that promotes safe and affordable housing, dignity in the workplace, civil rights, effective public education, and environmental justice. We bring grassroots voices and experiences to center stage of the major public policy debates of our time.

"Each year, Make the Road New York hosts a Community Assembly that brings together close to 1,000 low-income New Yorkers in order to share our policy concerns with elected officials from every level of government. [...] What sets apart our advocacy work is that it comes from the bottom up, based on the experiences and observations of our members. Through our membership and with the support of staff, these experiences become the basis for formulating legislative or policy change at the city, state and national level."

Also, since there's, you know, an occupation by now (since we are getting to your question a shamefully long time after you submitted it!), I would suggest going down to OWS and finding some people to work with there. There's a Labor Support/Outreach working group. Their meeting info does not seem to be on their group page, so try to get over to OWS to look at the bulletin board there. Other groups may also be useful for your needs.

Do any of these options sound up your alley?

I also just thought of another organization that you might want to get in touch with: NESRI, the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative. See, for example, their recent "Joint Letter to Congress Demanding a Human Rights Perspective On Budget Decisions". But they also have a hand in more direct actions, and their approach includes the belief "that social movements led by those directly impacted are the best route towards sustainable and progressive social change."