Photograph of a climate protest in NYC.
Photograph of a climate protest in NYC.
What You Can Do

Building a strong and fair city will require the help and support of all New Yorkers. Here are easy steps you can take to get involved.

Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Get an IDNYC, a government-issued identification card for all City residents ages 10 and older, regardless of immigration status. Use it to access City services, public libraries, banks and credit unions, and a full package of exciting benefits that includes free one-year memberships at 40 of the city’s leading cultural institutions, as well as discounts on basic necessities and New York City attractions.
  2. Sign up for AmeriCorps. Serve New York City through a 10–12 month AmeriCorps program with community-based organizations or agencies. City Service Corps directly impacts New York City residents by developing and implementing programs at a City agency; NYC Civic Corps develops volunteer management programs at New York City nonprofits to address critical needs across the City; and NYC VISTA addresses poverty and enhances equity across New York City by building program capacity at City agencies.
  3. Learn about participatory budgeting and help select projects for your neighborhood. Help your community decide how to spend part of $1 million of the public budget through participatory budgeting. Find out whether your District is participating, and propose and vote on projects such as improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces. If you want to do more, volunteer to help develop concrete proposals for the ballot, operate vote sites, or join a committee.
  4. Volunteer through NYC Service. Volunteer as an individual or coordinate a group to serve a local organization by searching NYC Service’s online platform or mobile app. Find opportunities that match your interest areas, location, skill set, age, and group size. Volunteer with local nonprofits or City agencies to address such needs as park cleanliness, healthy aging, public safety, and inmate well-being.
  5. Help more New Yorkers vote. Register to vote, and sign up to register all eligible New Yorkers in your community. Support Get Out The Vote efforts to drive turnout before elections, and apply to be a volunteer at your local polling place. Become a 2020 Census ambassador to make sure every New Yorker gets counted.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Discover the benefits you’re eligible for, and sign up. Learn about the benefits and support available to residents, including the new IRAs for All program and programs covering public assistance, employment and unemployment benefits, food, health care, utilities, and death and grieving. Assess your eligibility at ACCESS NYC and apply at ACCESS HRA. Also book an appointment for free financial counseling or free tax prep at the City’s Financial Empowerment Center for help with budgeting, tackling debt, improving credit, or opening a bank account at a local bank or credit union.
  2. Support local businesses, M/WBEs, and worker-owned businesses. Shop in your neighborhood, get to know business owners, and search a worker co-op business directory, where you’ll find a range of businesses covering everything from childcare to cleaning to homecare that pay fair wages in a good work environment. If your company or organization is hiring a contractor or consultant, use the City’s database of 7,400 certified businesses to find a fit. For a challenge, try supporting only local businesses for a month.
  3. Educate yourself on workers’ rights and report bad behavior. Download the Workers’ Bill of Rights in your preferred language to make sure you know your rights to paid safe and sick leave, minimum wage, overtime, a discrimination-free workplace, pay for work done as an independent contractor, a safe and healthy workplace, and others, based on your industry. File a workplace complaint to confidentially report violations of workplace laws.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Know your rights as a tenant and report bad behavior. Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and report bad behavior through the City’s Tenant Support Unit. Familiarize yourself with other housing resources to help you and your community members find safe and affordable places to live. Unify and empower your community by hosting a conversation about fair housing.
  2. Attend free cultural events and explore free public art. Attend events through local cultural organizations with your IDNYC and through Culture Pass, which you can access with your library card. These open the door to dozens of museums, historical societies, heritage centers, public gardens, and more, in all five boroughs. Enjoy free public art at New York City’s parks, which host the country’s greatest outdoor public art museum.
  3. Participate in local safety initiatives to help close the divide between police and community. Attend a local Build the Block Meeting and get to know your Neighborhood Coordination Officers, local problem solvers who help keep the neighborhoods safe and secure. Attend a local precinct community council meeting to participate in community safety initiatives.
  4. Green and clean your community’s streets, parks, and gardens. Volunteer to organize or attend a cleanup at your local park. Find your local community garden from the more than 550 across the five boroughs, and volunteer to help it thrive. Request a free tree for your street.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Sign up for health insurance. Receive free health insurance enrollment assistance from GetCoveredNYC, New York City’s official outreach and enrollment program. You or someone you know may qualify year-round for low-or-no-cost options, including Medicare, Medicaid, and NYC Care.
  2. Commit to a healthier diet. Get Health Bucks to buy fresh fruits and vegetables when using SNAP benefits on an EBT card at farmers markets. Enroll in Pharmacy to Farm Prescriptions and get Health Bucks when you fill a prescription for blood pressure medication at a participating pharmacy.
  3. Promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma. Attend a free eight-hour mental health first aid training or schedule a course for your community or organization through ThriveNYC. You’ll receive a three-year certification in mental health first aid and learn how to recognize early signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance misuse, listen without judgment, and respond to someone in distress until they are able to receive professional care. Help reduce stigma and connect your fellow New Yorkers with the care they need.
  4. Explore nature. New York’s urban forests, streams, and wildlife are often just a subway ride away. Spot rare birds and catch great views at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, or enjoy a brief hike in Central Park’s North Woods, or Prospect Park’s The Ravine.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Use the free resources available at your local library. Sign up for a free library card and help your child pick out their own books. To help instill a love of learning, read and spend quality time together with your child every day. Read street signs and cereal boxes. Or explore the MyON digital library for access to more than 6,000 books on any web-enabled device. Visit GrowingUp NYC for more resources.
  2. Mentor local students. Sign up to mentor high school students and support positive decision-making, educational achievements, and successful career/college options and life pathways.
  3. Organize a drive to collect supplies for a local school. Organize a drive to donate school essentials such as backpacks, school supplies, and art supplies to a local school through DonateNYC or Materials for the Arts. Volunteer with Materials for the Arts as an individual, business, or community organization to directly serve New York City’s artistic and educational communities.
  4. Join your local Community Education Council or Parent Association. Attend a Parent Teacher Association meeting at your child’s school, and consider running for office. Apply to serve on a Community Education Council, so you can review your district’s K-8 educational programs, or on a Citywide Education Council to advocate for high school students and specialized groups.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Reduce your carbon footprint through GreeNYC. Visit GreeNYC to learn how to live a green lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint at home, at work, and on the go. Help New York City achieve Zero Waste by signing up to stop junk mail, taking the B.Y.O. pledge, and drinking tap water, rather than bottled water. Spread the word by signing up as a GreeNYC volunteer.
  2. Learn about your flood risk and flood insurance requirements. Visit FloodHelpNY to enter your address and receive customized information about your existing flood risk, insurance requirements and estimated costs, as well as tips to help lower your exposure and flood insurance rates. FloodHelpNY also provides connections to more comprehensive assessments of risk, such as the Home Resiliency Audit Program.
  3. Advocate for global climate change action. Start by encouraging your employer and local institutions to sign up for the Carbon Challenge. The program encourages universities, hospitals, multi-family buildings, commercial owners and tenants, and hotels to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce the impact of climate change.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Try a new transit mode. Explore your preferred mapping app or visit NYCGo to find a new transit mode for your morning commute. Take the bus, rent a Citi Bike, ride the ferry, or try out the Roosevelt Island Tramway. Learn about options for discounted rides through Citi Bike and Fair Fares.
  2. Be safe by picking up a free bike helmet, attending a car-seat safety fitting, or participating in your local school’s “We’re Walking Here” challenge, and taking the #SafeDriverPledge. Use the NYC311 mobile app to make your route safer by reporting potholes or blocked sidewalks, bike lanes, or bus lanes.
  3. Apply for a New York City pedestrian plaza in your neighborhood Transform an underused street in your community into a vibrant, social public space. Work with your organization to apply to the NYC Plaza Program for a new plaza site in your neighborhood. Partner with DOT to operate, maintain, and manage the space as a vibrant pedestrian plaza, and help ensure all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
  1. Make a plan for emergencies. Prepare for emergencies by making a disaster plan with your household members, and pack a Go Bag. Help your community prepare by requesting emergency preparedness training from New York City Emergency Management for your workplace, school, community center, or house of worship. Download the Ready NYC app or pocket guide to help devise your emergency plan. If you want to do more, join the Community Emergency Response Team(CERT) in your neighborhood.
  2. Use our water responsibly. Use our water responsibly by following water saving tips to repair leaks in your home, install water-saving devices such as faucet aerators and water-saving toilets and showerheads, and turn the water off during activities such as dishwashing, shaving, and brushing your teeth. When there’s a heavy rainstorm, protect our waterways from sewage overflow by waiting to do laundry, shower, or wash dishes. If you’re a student, encourage your local university to join the City’s Water Challenge to Universities Program.
  3. Download the free NYC Secure App. on your personal phone or tablet. The app detects potential threats in real time to your device, to Wi-Fi networks you may connect to, and for Android users, it detects whether any app you’ve downloaded might be unsafe. When the app detects a threat, it will send you an alert in real time and offer a recommendation on how to address the threat, such as suggesting you disconnect from a particular Wi-Fi network.
  4. Visit a public computer center. Access broadband by visiting one of the City’s 500+ free public computer centers, including libraries, public housing facilities, senior centers, and community centers in the highest need neighborhoods. Access the internet, use new devices and tools, participate in digital skills training, or volunteer to support your neighbors. You can also access public Wi-Fi in nearly 80 parks and at LinkNYC terminals throughout the city.
  5. Learn about your digital rights. Learn about your digital rights as a New Yorker by checking out the Cities Open Internet Pledge we founded in 2018. Check out our Internet of Things guidelines and share feedback on our website. These guidelines, which are endorsed by more than 35 partners worldwide, support open and ethical digital device standards and prevent providers from being the gatekeepers between residents and the local government services on which they depend every day.