June 2016 Newsletter


And the countdown begins! In less than 4 hours hundreds of New Yorkers will gather together in the Bronx for our CVH Member Congress. On June 4th we plan to bring together members and allies from across the state to share our victories, stand in solidarity with one another, demonstrate our power, and position the organization for moving forward.

“This is a time when we are brining together people who are clear that we need more power so that we are effective at addressing issues that have an impact on the quality of life for ourselves and our families.” -CVH Member Congress 2016



When: 4 Junes 2016

Where: High School for Contemporary Arts

            800 E. Gun Hill Rd., Bronx, NY 10467

Time: 11am

To RSVP and/or reserve a spot on a bus near you contact us @ 212.860.6001 or Carmen@CVHaction.org

Breaking down the Fight for $15 Win in New York State. As many of you have probably seen, Governor Cuomo passed a minimum wage increase for New York State to $15 per hour in April. This is an exciting victory for low-income households who have been struggling to survive on the current minimum wage of $9 per hour in New York State. But reaching $15 per hour will not happen for all workers at the same time. Different parts of the state and different industries have unique timelines for implementation. We’ll look quickly at how the $15 per hour minimum wage will be implemented here in New York State.


The chart shown below[1] list the different rates for different parts of the state and different industries. At the highest level, we can see that as of right now all workers in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester will reach $15 per hour by 2021 (though some earlier). However, there is a segment of workers outside of this area that as of now are on a bath to $12.50 per hour by 2020, but that is when they will reach $15 per hour is unclear.

First, looking at New York City where there are three paths to $15 per hour by sector and size of business. The three categories are fast-food jobs, other large employers (with at least 11 employees and non-fast food businesses) and other small employers (with 10 or fewer employees and non-fast food businesses). By 2018, workers at fast-food jobs and at large employers will reach $15 per hour, fast-food workers’ wages increase at a faster rate than jobs at other large employers. New York City workers employed at small NYC employers will only get to $15 per hour by 2019.

Throughout the state of New York, excluding New York City, fast-food jobs will reach $15 per hour in 2020. In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, all sectors other than fast-food will reach $15 per hour one year later in 2021. Again, outside these areas for low-wage workers not in fast-food, there is currently only a timeline to reach $12.50 per hour by 2020. While some critics of increasing the minimum wage have said this phase in is necessary given the lower cost of living and lower economic activity in rural upstate areas, it is greatly concerning that there is no path for these workers.[2]


California also passed the historic wage increase (minimum wage reaching $15 per hour in 2022) and we are certainly proud to be on the front lines of this historic economic justice win. We hope that other states will join the movement to change the minimum wage to $15 per hour and that our neighbors in upstate New York not working in fast-food are able to join too.


REGISTAR TO VOTE HERE! For the first time in decades New York State has been apart of the conversation about which presidential candidate will take the state. This is our moment to be apart of history and you can do your part by taking the first step (if you already haven’t) by registering to vote.


Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC) has wrapped up cycle 5 and we’ve concluded this was one of the best cycles PBNYC has had! This year CVH assisted with boost outreach in 7 participating districts with a focus on targeted communities that typically have not participated in traditional elections. This year PBNYC lowered its voting age across the board so that youth as young as 14 could participate. Couple that with undocumented individuals and those that were formerly incarcerate and it becomes important that deliberate efforts are made to engage them in this process. This year there were 28 participating City Council districts and over 67k votes were cast. Through our various outreach efforts CVH collected over 4k contacts while getting commitments from them to show up and vote on which projects they wanted to see funded in their district. To find out more CLICK HERE! Or contact Aaron @ 212.860.6001/Aaron@CVHaction.org.


CVH's Fearlessness Profiled by The Case Foundation. In April, a case study was released by The Case Foundation about CVH's role in the collaborative work to bring participatory budgeting to New York City.  The Case Foundation has an initiative to encourage fearlessness in how non-profit organizations approach their work, recognizing the benefits that can emerge from risk-taking.  Someone flagged for them that they ought to highlight the work of a grassroots group as well as some of the other larger foundations and non-profits they highlighted when their original framework was release....and then someone flagged CVH as a good example of a group embracing the principles.  You can click on the Foundation's new Be Fearless Hub and download a copy of the CVH case study, as well as others that might be of interest to you.  We hope you'll enjoy it!

CVH Members Meets with Commissioner Banks talk the End of WEP. CVH is currently monitoring the closing of the oppressive program Work Experience Program (WEP). In April, the monitoring HRA committee met with HRA Commissioner Steven Banks and his special legal counsel Molly Murphy at the CVH office in East Harlem. We discussed his plans to end WEP completely in December 2016. The contracts with the new vendors will be signed by July and fully up and running by November. We learned about innovative pilots HRA is experimenting with to improve customer service and presented our survey results, collected in March, which showed continued frustration with various aspects of the HRA system. Commissioner Banks heard our concerns and answered our questions. The discussion was rich and thoughtful and overall the meeting was very productive.


Commissioner Banks committed to meeting with us in the future and assured us again his commitment to ending the WEP. Additionally, the committee members felt hopeful about the new assessment tool and career pathways approach at HRA. If you’re interested in getting more involved, contact Susannah at susannah@cvhaction.org or 212.860.6001 ex 26


[1] Combined information from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/02/nyregion/new-yorks-path-to-15-minimum-wage-uneven-and-bumpy.html?_r=0 AND http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2016/03/reaction_to_nys_15_minimum_wage.html