The Foundation supports efforts to address a range of environmental issues. Among these are initiatives aimed at combating climate change by reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency; ensuring access to clean air and water by preventing pollution and the use of toxic chemicals; and restoring the health of the oceans by promoting responsible fishing, fighting ocean pollution and preserving marine ecosystems. Funded organizations employ a variety of strategies including policy advocacy, litigation and other legal efforts, public education, grassroots campaigns, and market-based and economic incentives. Historically, the Foundation’s environmental funding has been focused on organizations whose efforts are national and international in scope. However, local initiatives to increase the sustainability and resiliency of New York City’s built environment are also of interest.
Funding in this area is focused on efforts to promote fair and effective criminal justice policies, to reduce recidivism, and to improve public safety. Among these are sentencing reform initiatives including repeal of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and increased use of alternatives to incarceration.
The Foundation’s funding in the area of economic development is aimed at increasing the number of living wage jobs in New York City and ensuring low-income workers’ access to those jobs. Support is provided for initiatives that help individuals, families and communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency; for advocacy efforts to advance effective economic and workforce development policies; and for a range of job training programs, with an emphasis on those geared toward long-term retention and advancement in specific employment sectors.
The Foundation supports domestic programs that seek to protect women’s reproductive rights and increase access to reproductive health services. Funded initiatives include those working to achieve these goals through public education efforts, policy advocacy and legal advocacy. Also of interest to the Foundation are efforts to increase reproductive health training opportunities for medical students and healthcare professionals, as well as efforts to support them as public advocates for comprehensive reproductive healthcare.
Civil Legal Services
The Foundation supports efforts to reduce barriers to effective and unrestricted civil legal assistance through direct legal representation and policy advocacy. Support is provided for programs offering legal representation and training on a range of issues including education, employment and foster care. Funding is also provided for initiatives aimed at increasing the accessibility of legal services in underserved communities, as well as those that enhance the courts’ ability to effectively and efficiently process cases.