It is the formal end of the NYC Budget season (though in reality, budget season never ends for us), and things worked out very well for our clients.
This is within the scope of a brutal year and a half for NYC, America, the world at large: there is intense need for moving massive resources, and we have not been shy about our personal desire to see divestment from the carceral state and reinvestment in housing, health care, and other social services. This is our feeling—it isn’t us speaking necessarily for our clients—but it shades the work we take on. True democracy requires people having the resources, safety, and trust in government to contribute. We have a long way to go.
While budget and policy wins are not a salve for all we need, Bowen Public Affairs Consulting got increases in funding for all of our NYC budget clients. This meant increases in funding for organizations that support worker cooperatives, sex workers, and transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people. That’s many millions for economic justice.
On the State level, we worked in a coalition of organizations to successfully pass the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together, or START, Act, in the New York State legislature, which, to quote State Senator Jessica Ramos (whose office we worked closely with), does a great deal:
barriers to opportunities for survivors of human trafficking will be broken down by allowing them to clear all convictions related to their trafficking. The START Act truly gives survivors the fresh start they deserve—improving access to employment opportunities, improving access to appropriate immigration legal remedies, and helping break cycles of trauma for thousands of survivors across our state.
Within the last week, we saw the release of two big writing projects:
- a Housing Plan for LGBTQ+ Communities , with Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), part of their New Lens for NYC’s Housing Plan project. Written by Bowen Public Affairs’ Andrea Bowen, edited by Jessica Katz and Sheena Kang of CHPC.
- Work It, NYC: A Guide to LGBTQI+ Workplace Inclusivity, a partnership between the NYC Unity Project and the NYC Center for Youth Employment (both entities of the NYC government), written by Andrea Bowen, with edits and support from a wide variety of City agencies and nonprofits. The Mayor’s office was kind enough to include us in the press release, just like they did with Unity Works, one of our other big victories.
Since this time last year, we also played major roles in securing millions for LGBTQI+ youth workforce programs in NYC and the District of Columbia (the latter of which was actually a divestment from the Metropolitan Police Department of DC and an investment in workforce programming for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary youth). And we advised worker cooperatives on strategy around procurements. And we helped pull together electeds and candidates for support of a worker cooperative policy platform.
We’re around to bring policymaking rigor to social justice causes, and we’re dreaming about what we can do in the next year no matter who is in executive chambers or legislatures.
Bowen Public Affairs is here to support your cause with material victories and serious work, in NYC and elsewhere. If you want to talk with us, email andy [at] bowenpublicaffairs [dot] com. We’ll come through for ya.