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"Finally, We're Being Recognized": Stories and Perspectives from Applicants to the Excluded Workers Fund

March 17, 2022

Although expanded unemployment insurance played a large role in decreasing the number of people living in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions—most notably undocumented workers—were excluded from these benefits. The New York State Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) is the most notable example of legislation to address this gap. Passed in April 2021, the EWF approved 130,000 excluded workers to receive financial support that roughly equaled the average total amount unemployed workers eligible for unemployment compensation received, approximately $15,600 per person. To understand the experiences of workers who applied for EWF and of those that did not receive the fund, we conducted 15 interviews with workers in English, Spanish, Bangla, and Korean and 9 interviews with staff from community-based organizations serving various populations in New York and providing crucial application assistance.We found that those who received the fund were able to use it to make ends meet during a period of severe job loss bypaying back rent and other bills;repaying debt incurred during the pandemic;stabilizing or improving their housing conditions;paying for basic needs like food;investing in their children and education;taking care of their health and paying for medical expenses;stabilizing and expanding employment opportunities; andcreating local economic stimulus.We also found that the EWF had a significant impact on excluded worker recognition and their sense of power and dignity that comes from being treated as a valued member of society. We found that workers who applied but did not receive the fund because of difficulties providing the required documentation faced continuing stress around unstable income, debt burden, and other dire circumstances.Overall, New York State Department of Labor quickly and effectively adopted the EWF, but ultimately the fund ran out of money more quickly than anticipated. Although the fund was a high-impact intervention for those who benefitted, it has not provided solutions to the ongoing instability that accompanies a lack of lawful permanent status in the US.

Nonprofit News Fact Sheets

September 1, 2021

The Index is the most comprehensive study of nonprofit news. INN's latest Index Report found that the nonprofit news sector grew by almost every measure. During a year of crises, audiences swelled, coverage expanded, staffing measures increased, and individual giving revenue surged for many. Previous Index reports are archived.

A Resilient Future for Coastal Communities: Federal Policy Recommendations from Solutions in Practice

October 26, 2020

Across the United States, coastal communities face increased uncertainty and risks from intensifying coastal erosion, flooding, sea level rise, and other climate change impacts. These threats need to be taken very seriously. Nearly 100 million Americans live in coastal counties making up about 30 percent of the U.S. population; another 30 million people (9 percent) live in the Great Lakes region.Through creative partnerships, innovative program design, and intentional community engagement, practitioners and researchers around the country are carrying out new work to adapt to the rapidly changing coastal environment. These efforts would be enhanced and more successful with increased support and assistance from the federal government.EESI recognized the need to educate policymakers by sharing the experiences of coastal communities that are working to adapt to climate change and enhance their resilience to severe weather and natural hazards. Between June 2019 and June 2020, EESI organized and hosted 16 in-person and online Congressional briefings, which featured 42 coastal resilience experts from Alaska, the Caribbean, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Hawaii, Northeast, Southeast, and West Coast. This report represents a distillation of the ideas, findings, and policy recommendations identified during EESI's Regional Coastal Resilience Congressional briefing series.Organized by six major sections—Community at the Forefront, Land Use and Development, Cultural Heritage, Climate Adaptation and Resilience Data, Disaster Preparedness, and Financing Adaptation and Resilience—this report provides a comprehensive overview of regional coastal resilience efforts based on panelists' presentations made during the briefing series. In addition to the 30 specific recommendations, this report offers six guiding principles intended to inform the implementation of coastal resilience policy:Federal policies and programs must be designed and implemented based on the climate of the future rather than the climate of the present or past.Climate justice and equity must be fully embedded into new policies and programs and incorporated into ongoing efforts.The federal government should take a leadership role in connecting science with practice, and support and expand collaborations with state, local, and tribal efforts.The federal government should take a leadership role to ensure that intra- and inter-agency coordination helps states, local governments, and tribes to access available coastal resilience resources.Federal investments in coastal communities must be leveraged to create local jobs and help develop a workforce trained in adaptation and resilience.Climate adaptation and resilience work should complement and, when possible, contribute to a decarbonized, clean energy economy.This report—designed as a usable and practical resource for Congress, federal agencies, and the public—includes 30 coastal resilience policy recommendations. These recommendations are brought to life by specific examples of climate solutions in practice today that also hold promise for the future. These various initiatives, projects, examples of community leadership, and funding mechanisms are models for the work that is still needed to accelerate resilience for all coastal communities.