New Economy Project’s mission is to build a new economy that works for all, based on principles of cooperation, democracy, equity, racial justice, and ecological sustainability.
We work with community groups to achieve this mission by
(1) challenging corporations that harm communities and perpetuate inequality and poverty; and
(2) building strong local economies, by fostering democratically-structured, community-controlled initiatives such as worker cooperatives, community development credit unions, community land trusts, and mutual housing.
We believe a world is possible in which all people live in safe, healthy, thriving communities, and that fundamental change is needed to achieve that world.
New Economy Project works with community groups to build a new economy that works for all, based on principles of cooperation, democracy, equity, racial justice, and ecological sustainability.
We do this by:
Leading campaigns that challenge Wall Street corporations, hold government accountable, and promote economic democracy.
Investing in social change and in the new economy, through our community loan funds.
Providing strategic support to grassroots groups, and bringing organizations together in coalitions to create lasting, systemic change.
Contact us to get involved. Read more about our impact.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gregory Jost, President
Greg is a Bronx-based researcher, organizer, and facilitator with expertise in affordable housing, the history of redlining, and strategies for community reinvestment. While at University Neighborhood Housing Program, Gregory created the Building Indicator Project to evaluate levels of physical and financial distress in New York City apartment buildings and transform the ways banks, regulators and City agencies interact with properties and their owners. Gregory holds a BA and MA from Fordham University. He co-founded a Community Supported Agriculture cooperative in his neighborhood, was a founding board member of the school that his two children now attend, and is currently writing a book on race, real estate and redlining through a Bronx lens.
Catherine Barnett, Vice-President
Catherine Barnett is the Director of Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), an affiliate of ROC United, a national worker center advocating for fair working conditions and wages for restaurant workers. She previously served as Executive Director of Project Enterprise, a nonprofit organization that provides microloans, business education, peer support and technical assistance to low-income New Yorkers who lack access to business financing. Catherine, who is fluent in Spanish and French, holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU nd a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the advisory board of the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference at Tuskegee University, and volunteers with the Staten Island Neighborhood Food Initiative, in the borough where she lives with her two daughters.
Jonathan Springer, Treasurer
Jonathan has extensive community development experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Women’s Housing & Community Development Corporation (WHEDco) in the Bronx. He previously directed development finance for the NYC Housing Development Corporation, and before that oversaw real estate and project finance for Empire State Development Corporation. Jonathan started his career in affordable housing development over two decades ago, working with a community based organization in Washington Heights. As a volunteer, Jonathan has served as Treasurer of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, and has provided legal representation to a mortgage scam victim threatened with foreclosure. Jonathan earned his BA from Harvard College and his JD and MBA from New York University.
Raun Rasmussen, Secretary
Raun became Executive Director of Legal Services NYC in 2011. He has been a member of the LSNYC family for over 30 years, serving as Chief of Litigation and Advocacy since 2003. He began his career as a housing attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services and later became its Director of Litigation, supporting the development of affirmative litigation, helping to create one of the first foreclosure prevention projects in the country, and developing a project to provide legal services and training to home-based child care providers. Raun has written about residential displacement, foreclosure, ethics, affirmative litigation and child care work, and has received several awards for his public service. He is a member of the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice and holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Stephanie has more than 26 years of experience in housing counseling, community development, foreclosure prevention, and fair lending education and outreach. As Housing Director at Margert Community Corporation in Far Rockaway, Queens, she has worked with thousands of low and moderate income homeowners and first-time homebuyers. She has worked with many affordable housing developments – Ocean Pointe at Bayswater, Waters Edge, Ocean View Villas at Rockaway, Arverne by the Sea Condos, The Beaches and the Almeda Avenue Homes – all located in the Rockaways. Stephanie received her housing counseling certification from the Catholic University of America and holds a BS in Legal Studies from Mercy College.
Sasha is a corporate associate and a member of the Business Restructuring & Workouts Group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, which she joined in 2011. She received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School magna cum laude in 2011, where she was Managing Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. Sasha serves as a Recent Graduate Trustee on the Brooklyn Law School Board of Trustees. She received a degree from Princeton University magna cum laude in 2002. Sasha is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.
Brendan is founder and director of The Working World, a cooperative financial institution and business incubator based in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States. Brendan originally moved to Argentina in 2004 to work with a group of Argentines looking to support the “recovered factory” phenomenon, and out of this was born the Working World and its methods of non-extractive finance. After this success, Brendan helped open a second branch in Nicaragua in 2009, and another in the U.S. in 2012, where The Working World has so far funded twenty cooperatives, including New Era Windows in Chicago. Brendan is a 2009 Ashoka fellow, a two time Ashoka Globalizer, a nominated Prime Mover, and a frequent speaker on the solidarity and cooperative economy.
Sarah Ludwig, Founder and Co-Director
Sarah launched New Economy Project in 1995. She has worked with hundreds of grassroots groups to organize and advocate for neighborhood equity and financial justice, and has spoken frequently at community forums and public hearings on a wide range of economic justice matters. In 2000, Sarah founded New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, a statewide coalition that has won major state-level policy changes and now includes more than 160 organizational members. Sarah received the 2000 Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership fellowship; the 2002 Union Square Award; the Ford Foundation’s 2004 Leadership for a Changing World award; New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s 2008 Felix A. Fishman Award; and Chhaya CDC’s 2011 Architect of Change award. She serves on the boards of directors of the Center for Responsible Lending and Consumer Federation of America, and for six years served as co-chair of North Star Fund’s Community Funding Committee. Sarah received degrees in law and urban planning from NYU, and since 2003 has taught a course on community equity in NYU’s urban planning program.
Deyanira Del Río, Co-Director
Dey’s work for 20 years has focused on promoting financial justice and economic inclusion in immigrant communities, and advocating for cooperative and community-controlled finance. She has worked with groups in NYC and nationally to combat lending discrimination, strengthen community development financial institutions, and expand fair banking access and reinvestment in communities of color. Dey currently chairs the boards of directors of the LES People’s Federal Credit Union and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. She has received several fellowships and awards, including the Mujeres Destacadas (Outstanding Women) award from New York’s El Diario/La Prensa and the Charles H. Revson Fellowship on the Future of the City of New York.
Alexis Iwanisziw, Deputy Director
Alexis oversees the organization’s research and shareholder activism. She is co-author of several reports, including the “Paying More for the American Dream” series of national fair lending reports, and coordinates a NYS working group that fights insurance redlining. She coordinates the New Economy Loan Fund, and previously staffed the organization’s Foreclosure Prevention Gap Loan Program. Alexis completed a master’s degree in Community Organization and Planning at Hunter College School of Social Work in 2008 and previously worked in the Research and Statistics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Susan Shin, Legal Director
Susan directs New Economy Project’s legal strategies, including our direct legal services to low income New Yorkers and community groups, and impact litigation that challenges Wall Street corporations and advances economic justice in NYC communities of color. Sue also co-chairs the policy work group of the NYC Community Land Initiative. A recipient of the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ 2012 Consumer Advocate Award, Susan was previously a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society in New York City. She is a 2006 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow.
Andy Morrison, Campaigns Coordinator
Andy coordinates New Economy Project’s coalition organizing and contributes to communications and development campaigns. Andy was previously the campaigns director at New York Public Interest Research Group, where he developed policy, media, research and organizing strategies and trained students to be effective advocates on economic justice and consumer protection, government accountability and higher education affordability. He graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.
Ben Hagen, Research and Communications Associate
Ben coordinates New Economy Project’s community mapping and research projects, as well as video production and website management. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010 and earned a master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, concentrating on Housing and Economic Development policy.
Eve Weissman, Staff Attorney
Eve provides legal services and support to low-income New Yorkers and community groups and develops strategies to foster grassroots community engagement and advocacy. Eve is also involved in citywide efforts to promote community land trusts and other community-led and neighborhood-based housing and development in NYC. Eve graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2013 and worked as a staff attorney at Staten Island Legal Services before joining New Economy Project. Prior to attending law school, Eve managed a variety of statewide campaigns aimed at improving the lives of low-income and working people with New Jersey Citizen Action.
Lauren Wilfong, Program & Operations Coordinator
Lauren oversees office management and contributes to communications, outreach and education campaigns. Lauren facilitates new economy and financial justice workshops, in English and Spanish, for community groups throughout NYC. She is active in several coalitions, and co-chairs the Education & Outreach work group of the NYC Community Land Initiative. Lauren first joined New Economy Project in 2013 as a community outreach and advocacy intern. She graduated summa cum laude from NYU in 2014 with a BA in Political Culture, Education and Organization, and returned to New Economy Project in fall 2014 as a full-time staff member.
Juleon Robinson, Program Assistant
Juleon contributes to community outreach, research and advocacy. He previously worked with Mount Sinai’s Centers for Occupational Health to conduct outreach to union members and 9/11 first responders. In 2015, Juleon graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in Anthropology. He worked with New Economy as a spring intern before joining the staff in June 2016.
John Tieu, Administrative Assistant
John ensures that New Economy Project’s office runs smoothly, and provides support on research, GIS mapping and other areas of work. John previously interned at CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, contributing to a report about the experiences of low income, Asian American residents in NYC public housing. In 2015, John graduated from Bard College with a degree in Economics. He has also worked with the Museum of Chinese in America on development, and interned with New Economy Project prior to joining the staff in January 2016.