The New York Taxi Workers Alliance will hold a victory rally on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 at 1pm at the entrance to City Hall at Broadway and Murray Street. The rally will celebrate the historic debt relief that NYTWA won after three years of direct action, including six weeks of a 24/7 mobilization that began on September 19th and a 15-day Hunger Strike which concluded on November 3rd, when an agreement was reached between NYTWA, the city, and Marblegate Asset Management – the largest holder of taxi medallion debt. Major allies in NYTWA’s campaign will join the celebration and give remarks, including: Senator Chuck Schumer, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and State Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani.
“We won a campaign to win back our lives and honor the memory of the brothers we lost to the despair of debt,” said Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA’s executive director. “After years of pain and loss, we want to celebrate our triumph, the strength of driver organizing, and the dawning of our new days. We still also have a lot of work ahead of us – especially in getting all the lenders to the table, negotiating temporary payments before the city guarantee is up and running, securing tax exemption on forgiven debt, and making sure absolutely no driver – including those foreclosed on or in bankruptcy court – is left behind. Today, while we build our momentum for the next stage, we celebrate the victory and we thank the leaders who walked the walk to make it possible. Senator Schumer anchored the support that got us past the finish line and Assemblyman Mamdani held down with us for six weeks at the camp, including a 15-day hunger strike, opening the doors for unprecedented support.” After the rally, the drivers and officials will share a community meal cooked by the drivers and their families.
Under the agreement with Marblegate, the outstanding principal on all medallion mortgages will be restructured to no more than $170,000 per loan, with monthly payments capped at no more than $1,122. As the loans will be under a city-backed deficiency guarantee, drivers will no longer be at risk of having liens on their homes or bank accounts if they default in the future. Banks would still be able to seize the medallion and sell it to a new buyer, but under the guarantee, the city would be responsible if a balance still remains on the $170,000 loan, ensuring that no one will be trapped under punishing debt for the rest of their lives.