Hear Our Voices: CVH August 2013 Update

Check out recent news from CVH covering June and July 2013!




New York City has a historic election this year, following 12 years of Mayor Bloomberg and 8 years of Giuliani before that. CVH is using this opportunity to raise awareness about a broad set of important issues, including truly affordable housing.

In late July, we joined with Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network and the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center to host 5 leading candidates in the NYC mayor's race so they could spend a night in public housing to better understand the conditions of NYCHA buildings. CVH members hosted a few of the candidates themselves and were featured in local and national media. Check out our Facebook pictures and read more here.

CVH co-hosted a mayoral forum in late June that brought together over 500 participants to hear where some of the leading candidates stood on important issues like funding public housing, strengthening the City's housing code enforcement, the creation of new affordable housing, and holding big banks accountable for their bad lending practices. Participating candidates included Bill de Basio, Adolfo Carrion, John Liu, Bill Thompson, and Anthony Weiner. We co-hosted the event with Make the Road NY, Association of Neighborhood Housing Developers, and others. Check out the press release here.

Contact Kflu@CVHaction.org or Carmen@CVHaction.org about the housing events or Chris@CVHaction.org about our overall election efforts.


Community Meeting on Poverty & Defining New Partnerships with the City of Yonkers


There is deep poverty in Westchester County and it is not limited to Yonkers, where we currently have a chapter. Mount Vernon, White Plains, Peekskill, and other cities are home to hundreds of families and individuals struggling to get by. To build CVH relationships around the county, and to highlight the need for local elected officials to take action to address poverty locally, we will be holding a series of community meetings in these cities across Westchester in the months ahead.

CVH leaders in Yonkers are local partners with the city's public housing authority in the Choice Neighborhood Initiative. We are looking to create a new model for collaboration with the city that ensures the lowest income members of our community benefit from any “reform” plans that may take shape as part of the CNI community redevelopment process.

Contact Juanita@CVHaction.org, and please to join us every Thursday at the Yonkers office as we continue to pull these together!


Protecting Transitional Jobs and Getting Ready to Expand the Program


New York City leaders successfully fought against the Mayor's proposed cuts to the Transitional Jobs Program to ensure the $16 million allocation was dedicated to this important program. This is the second year in a row CVH successfully protected the funding for this program alongside elected allies in the City Council.

CVH helped create the original Transitional Jobs Program in New York City a decade ago, and we look forward to working in years ahead to continue the program. We seek to expand it into new agencies, to provide new opportunities for New Yorkers receiving welfare who are looking for real pathways to good-paying jobs.

Contact Jennifer@CVHaction.org for more info.


Building Momentum for Major Changes in Newburgh's Housing

As part of their effort to improve housing in Newburgh, local leaders there have helped to successfully implement a new “landlord registry” that will require all landlords to register with the city. This will allow tenants to better understand who it is that is actually their landlord. It will also make it possible for the city to better communicate with all the landlords as it continues to more aggressively enforce the city's housing code. The landlord registry and the city's code enforcement efforts are positive developments that CVH has been happy to be a part of pushing for.

We hosted a housing march a few weeks ago to highlight the issue, and keep an eye out in the weeks ahead for more actions that will advance the fight to improve our living conditions in Newburgh!

Contact Rae@CVHaction.org. (Photo: Times Herald-Record)


Alliance for a Just Rebuilding Lays Out New Recommendations Post-Sandy


We joined with the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding (AJR), a coalition of Sandy-impacted New Yorkers, labor unions, and community, faith, environmental and policy organizations, to release a major new rebuilding plan developed by people working and living the communities hit the hardest by Superstorm Sandy.

The "Turning the Tide" report recommends:

  1. Our Next Mayor Should Ensure that Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Dollars Create Thousands of Good Local Jobs
  2. Our Next Mayor Should Restore Lost Affordable Housing, and Create New Affordable Housing for Displaced Residents to Preserve Community Ties
  3. Our Next Mayor Should Invest in Clean, Sustainable Energy Infrastructure that Values Communities and is Accountable to the Public
  4. Our Next Mayor Should Include and Engage Communities in Sandy Recovery –and in Planning NYC’s Future

"Public housing was suffering from neglect pre-Sandy, and the problems have gotten worse.  Repairs aren't getting done and mold problems are expanding... Public housing residents are being left out of the discussion and forgotten.  If the real voice of the people was at the table, decisions and priorities would be different," said Vernell Robinson, a Community Voices Heard (CVH) member-leader and Carleton Manor resident in Far Rockaway, Queens.

Contact Sondra@CVHaction.org for more info, and read the full report on the coalition website here.


Election Season 2013!


Following 20 years of Giuliani and Bloomberg, New York City voters will choose a new mayor and city council this Fall. Yonkers will choose new members of the city council, county legislature, and county executive. In Newburgh, besides county executive and county legislative races, voters will have their first opportunity to elect four new city council members in the first election under the city's new ward system -- something that CVH fought for so we could have better local representation. And, finally, in Poughkeepsie, there are competitive seats for common council and county legislature to be decided.

A few reminders:

  • CONFIRM YOU'RE REGISTERED! You don't want to show up on election day and be told you're not registered, so click here to confirm you're registered. (If you've moved, you may need to use your OLD address to find your registration record.)

Then, after you check that out -- get involved in doing outreach this election season by contacting your local organizer or Chris@CVHaction.org.


Selection of Upcoming Events

  • Tues, Aug 6 (NYC): Members receiving public assistance gather to discuss voter registration work underway and coordinate final week before deadline. 6pm at East Harlem office.

  • Tues, Aug 6 (Newb): Newburgh National Night, 401 Washington St., Newburgh.

  • Tues, Aug 13 (Newb): Movie Night- Featured movie "Claudine" (parental discretion is advised). 6pm-8pm, Newburgh office.

  • Tues, Aug 13 (Pok): Meeting with Red Cross and other allies to continue developing the relief plan to feed the most vulnerable residents when natural disaster strikes. 6:30pm, Family Partnership Center, 59 N Hamilton St, Room 101, Poughkeepsie

  • Weds, Aug 14 (Newb): Poverty Simulation with Eccelsia Ministry, Newburgh.

  • Thurs, Aug 15, 22, & 29 (Every Thursday) (Yonk): Poverty Sub-Committee meetings. 6:30, Yonkers office

  • Sat, Aug 17 (Newb): African Pride Parade and Festival, Newburgh

  • Tues, Aug 27 (NYC): CVH members will show a Video of a Mayoral Candidate Forum when most candidates were asked if they would replace WEP. 12 noon and 6pm at East Harlem office.

  • Tues, Aug 27 (NYC): Newburgh member meeting. 6pm-8pm, Newburgh office.

  • Weds, Aug 28 (Yonk): Public Meeting on Poverty on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Evening, location in Yonkers to be determined.