CVH made the decision to start building power in Dutchess County in 2009 when members were exploring how to make the spending of the community Development Block Grants better benefit the community and respond to the residents’ needs. After our successful campaign to stop the imposition of fees and time limits at Dutchess County’s only homeless shelter for single adults, CVH demanded that the county move toward a “Housing First” model. In 2014, 35 units of new housing for homeless vets opened and the county’s first funding request for a special Housing First Facility for non-vets was submitted. We worked successfully with our partners in Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson to pass a Foreclosure Bond Ordinance in Poughkeepsie, the first such ordinance in NY State. It places the financial burden of maintaining property in foreclosure on the banks, requiring a $10,000 bond the City can tap for upkeep of the property.
Transit access was another focal point in Poughkeepsie. Our work ensured that the County would not absorb the city system. In September we won public assurances from both the Mayor and City Council that there will be a similar level of funding for City buses in the budget, that neighborhood service will be preserved with no substantial changes in bus routes, no layoffs in the bus service, and that signs and schedules will be posted at major bus stops.
•For more information or to get involved, contact Dutchess County Organizer Jordan Taylor (Jordan@CVHaction.org) 845-790-5945
Dutchess County Office
29 North Hamilton St, Suite L17
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
May 11, 2012: A worker advocacy group, community activists and State Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Milton) rallied in Poughkeepsie on Thursday in support of raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour starting January 2013, and follow the inflation rate afterwards.
Milan Bhatt is co-executive director of the New York Worker Justice Center in Kingston.
On April 14th, CVH members held a community forum with City of Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik. Over 50 low-income residents of the City of Poughkeepsie came to the Family Partnership Center to ask Mayor Tkazyik what the City of Poughkeepsie was doing to deal with their issues. CVH members gave personal testimony and asked the Mayor specific questions about the City's role in: Housing, Job Creation, Community Development, Youth Programs, and Public Transportation.