On Tuesday, May 12, the (inaptly named) New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) held their annual conference in New York City. NYSAFAH is an association that, among other things, opposes prevailing wages and transparency about the way in which public subsidies are doled out to NYSAFAH members. Over the past years, media outlets have carried numerous stories about NYSAFAH members being found guilty of millions of dollars in wage theft.
Dozens of Local 79 organizers and members and community activists were present at the May 13th event. Some Local 79 staff and members were dressed up as soccer referees and gave out wage theft “red cards,” while others were dressed up as NYSAFAH “sharks” preying on weak workers. Members of Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) and New York Communities for Change set up a food bank for NYSAFAH workers, and called for an end to poverty wages and a sustained commitment to truly affordable housing.