New York Communities for Change (NYCC)

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Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $2,792,106
Expenses: $2,828,090
Assets: $1,286,468




Community Organizing Group

Labor Union Organizing Group

Executive Director:

Jonathan Westin

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New York Communities for Change (NYCC) is a New York City-based labor and community organizing group. NYCC is a key agitation force behind the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU)Fight for $15” union organizing efforts, and has received over $7 million from SEIU and its local unions alone since 2012. NYCC is one of several successor organizations to the defunct ACORN multi-issue organizing network.1 The group is a member of the left-wing Strong Economy for All coalition. The organization signed a petition supporting the Green New Deal. 2

Like other left-wing groups in New York City, NYCC has close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan).3 The organization has shared a small Brooklyn office building with the left-wing Working Families Party (WFP), and NYCC Executive Director Jonathan Westin has served on WFP’s executive board.


After ACORN folded amid numerous controversies in 2010, the community organizing network divided into city- and state-specific labor activist groups, many keeping staff from the original  ACORN offices. New York Communities for Change was no exception.4 Additionally, the Working Families Party—a labor-union backed left-wing political party that uses New York State’s electoral fusion voting system to pressure Democrats to take union-friendly economic positions—provided a network to rebuild the labor organizing outfit after ACORN folded.

NYCC’s first executive director, Jon Kest, was a co-founder of the WFP and head organizer of New York’s ACORN office before NYCC was created.5 The WFP and NYCC shared their small building in Brooklyn until NYCC moved out in 2015.


Fight for $15

Also see Fight for $15 (Movement)

NYCC is deeply involved with campaigns associated with major labor unions in New York City. The most prominent, which has substantially raised NYCC’s national profile, is the Service Employees International Union’s Fight for $15 campaign to unionize workers in the fast food industry and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The SEIU, its subordinate unions, and worker organizing committees funded by SEIU have contributed over $7.2 million to NYCC since the Fight for $15/Fast Food Forward union organizing campaign began in 2012.

New York Police Department Practices

The organization is also involved with other progressive efforts in and around New York. The Atlantic Philanthropies network funded NYCC as part of a coalition to change New York Police Department (NYPD) policing practices. Other groups including the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) labor union have funded NYCC attacks on financial industry businesses under the Hedge Clippers banner.6

Voter Mobilization

Given NYCC’s close alignment with the aggressive left-wing Working Families Party, it is not surprising that voter mobilization is a substantial part of its work. NYCC was credited with driving up support for the campaign of Bill de Blasio in New York’s 2013 mayoral election.7


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCC started a campaign to “cancel rent.” It advocated for legislation that would ban evictions for any tenants affected by the pandemic, arguing that “housing is a human right.” 8

Excluded Workers

NYCC began a wealth tax on New York City billionaires that would provide fiscal support for those who are not eligible for government programs such as unemployment. For instance, the campaign advocated for individuals whose immigration status prevented them from receiving COVID-19 stimulus relief to receive the billionaire-funded financial relief. 9

Climate Change and Inequality Campaign

NYCC’s Climate Change and Inequality campaign advocates for the elimination of conventional energy sources within New York state’s infrastructure and for a transition to unconventional energy sources. As part of this transition, NYCC advocates for the state of New York to finance the program, including wages for union jobs relevant to the initiative with sufficient racial equity standards. The campaign also calls for legislation to rebuild buildings that it deems environmentally unfriendly or energy inefficient. 10


New York Communities for Change receives most of its funding from organizational contributors, including progressive foundations, labor unions, and other labor-aligned progressive groups. The group does not clearly disclose its donors.

Known funders of NYCC have been identified from publicly available filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor. Unless otherwise listed, funding totals are from the donor’s 2014 tax or fiscal year.


As of 2023, Jonathan Westin is the executive director of New York Communities for Change. He also sits on the boards of several New York-based organizations including the Working Families Party, the Alliance for Quality Education, and the Fast Food Workers Committee. Prior to Westin, former ACORN organizer Jon Kest served as executive director until he passed away in 2012. There are claims he was reportedly close to then-New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.11

NYCC has been criticized for claims of being a “revolving door” between NYC politicians and left-wing organizing organizations. One example cited is former NYCC political director Amelia Adams being hired shortly thereafter by the NYCC-supported then-City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in 2013. 12


  1. Massey, Daniel. “Acorn Cracked: Reorganizes under New Names.” Crain’s New York Business. February 22, 2010. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  2. ”Green New Deal Hub.” Influence Watch.
  3. Powell, Nick. “De Blasio Attends NYCC Gala, Praises Mark-Viverito.” City & State New York. December 04, 2013. Accessed November 2, 2016.,-praises-mark-viverito.html.
  4. Massey, Daniel. “Acorn Cracked: Reorganizes under New Names.” Crain’s New York Business. February 22, 2010. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  5. Fox, Margalit. “Jon Kest, Advocate for Low-Wage Workers in New York, Dies at 57.” The New York Times. December 7, 2012. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  6. Cantor, David. “United Front: Teachers Unions Quietly Spend Millions on ‘Grassroots’ Groups.” The 74. May 8, 2016. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  7. Barkan, Ross. “NYCC, Reincarnated Acorn, Rises in De Blasio’s New York.” Observer. March 5, 2014. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  8. Leirer, Olivia. “Housing.” New York Communities for Change. New York Communities for Change, January 13, 2021.
  9. Leirer, Olivia. “Excluded Workers.” New York Communities for Change. New York Communities for Change, December 2, 2020.
  10. Leirer, Olivia. “Climate Change & Inequality.” New York Communities for Change. New York Communities for Change, December 4, 2020.
  11. Barkan, Ross. “NYCC, Reincarnated Acorn, Rises in De Blasio’s New York.” Observer. March 5, 2014. Accessed November 2, 2016.
  12. Bragg, Chris. “Speaker Candidate Staffs up.” Crain’s New York Business. December 2, 2013. Accessed November 2, 2016.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Jonathan Westin
    Executive Director

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2011

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $2,792,106 $2,828,090 $1,286,468 $808,232 N $2,474,221 $272,681 $0 $99,020
    2020 Dec Form 990 $2,989,825 $2,629,234 $1,227,972 $713,752 N $2,781,751 $203,796 $0 $84,349
    2019 Dec Form 990 $2,353,259 $2,765,157 $404,786 $638,957 N $1,754,786 $573,528 $0 $83,174
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,904,449 $2,960,480 $745,381 $567,654 N $2,022,212 $828,435 $0 $69,127 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,977,461 $3,097,024 $688,434 $454,676 N $2,075,991 $833,060 $0 $77,235 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $3,579,409 $3,655,438 $813,921 $460,600 N $2,178,383 $1,378,382 $0 $84,460 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,735,408 $4,731,776 $813,537 $384,187 N $2,354,467 $2,356,751 $0 $61,325 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $5,387,468 $5,093,171 $861,580 $435,862 N $2,111,449 $3,276,019 $0 $53,485 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,852,292 $5,833,551 $731,401 $599,980 N $2,194,587 $3,657,705 $0 $58,668 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $4,982,966 $4,798,423 $413,033 $300,353 N $1,402,441 $3,580,525 $0 $50,812 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,129,757 $2,207,364 $254,000 $325,863 N $873,183 $1,256,574 $0 $79,395 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York Communities for Change (NYCC)

    BROOKLYN, NY 11201-3949