The overarching goal of advocacy at Sunnyside Community Services is to make sure that underrepresented voices are amplified towards a more equitable and vibrant community. We recognize that advocacy takes many forms, whether it is helping a client access appropriate services, registering new voters, or coming together to solve neighborhood issues.
We are committed to ensuring that underrepresented communities are registered to vote in NYC. Staff members of SCS have been trained to register people to vote. Beyond just registration, we further believe that it is vital that more residents of NYC participate in all elections, which is why we support voter pledge drives in addition to registration efforts.
Rallying for Excluded Workers
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and state level governments created programming to provide financial relief to individuals who may not have had access to financial benefits during the pandemic. Our team tirelessly advocated for an increased amount of funding for these members of our community who were excluded from pandemic relief.
SCS has been a member of a variety of efforts to advocate for the rights of immigrants, including participating in the Western Queens Immigrant Coalition.
Staff Advocates for Fair Pay
Staff members for SCS have been an instrumental part of rallying for fair wages for workers across all levels of the social service workforce. This includes joining a May 2022 rally to advocate for the inclusion of a Cost of Living Adjustment for all human services workers. There, SCS staff member Johnnie Jenkins spoke before the crowd about the impact that COLA increases have on lowest paid workers.
Bertha Motta, SCS Home Health Aide of more than 30 years, has been awarded the Civic Advocacy Award in 2022 from United Neighborhood Houses. Ms. Motta has worked on actions related to Fair Pay for Home Care Workers and has been a leader in educating home care workers about Covid-19 vaccination. Learn more about Bertha on NY 1 Noticias.
Often, the most important advocates are those that benefit directly from programs. Clients of SCS programs have participated in press conferences, social media campaigns, flash mobs, and rallies in support of:
- Increased funding for after care programs (Lights On Afterschool)
- Increased funding for adult literacy programs
- Awareness of unacceptable heating and hot water at NYCHA buildings
- Much more