The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), along with Astoria Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani, embarked on an indefinite hunger strike to pressure Mayor Bill de Blasio to put more money toward relief for taxi drivers saddled with hundreds of thousands in medallion debt.
The medallion system was created as a way of regulating the number of taxi cabs on the streets of New York City. The city sells permits and constrains the supply of taxi cabs. Before unregulated companies like Uber and Lyft took over the market, medallions used to be sold for more than $1 million. According to NPR, now the permits go for around $160,000.