A Large Potential Voting Bloc

One-third of New York City's voting-age citizens lives in low-income households, yet politicians rarely speak to their issues and concerns.  By conducting the only regular public opinion poll of low-income households in the nation, CSS seeks to ensure that the priorities of our city government reflect the needs of all New Yorkers.  

Identifying Solutions and Shaping Consensus

The Unheard Third tracks the hardships of New York City's low-income residents and their views on what programs and policies would help them get ahead.  Developed and administered in collaboration with Lake Research Partners, a leading national polling firm, The Unheard Third also surveys middle- and higher-income New Yorkers to see where their priorities and concerns converge, and diverge, from those of low-income New Yorkers. 

As the city struggles through a weak recovery, the findings from The Unheard Third underline the need to address the continuing jobs crisis facing low-income New Yorkers, too many of whom are suffering from prolonged unemployment, reduced hours, or are forced to take poverty-wage jobs without basic benefits.

Findings from the survey have been instrumental in our advocacy for better wages; on-the-job benefits such as paid sick days; and workforce programs such as GED preparation and upgrading career and technical education; as well as greater investment in affordable housing, among many other issues. 

The survey has also helped us to better target our services to the needs of our constituents.  For example, findings on the minimal savings and lack of financial services in low-income communities helped shape our Financial Advocacy Program

Help Us Give a Voice to The Unheard Third

The Unheard Third is disseminated widely, to ensure that the voices of low-income New Yorkers are heard by politicians, community leaders, the media, researchers, and the public. 

Read and share our publications to help spread the word.