SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: BUILDING THE FUTURE OF CVH
In order to support and sustain the rapid growth CVH has taken on in recent years, we launched a strategic planning process in January 2012 with over 100 people contributing to the development of our five year goals, and we would like to share some of the results with you.
Our aim was to ensure that the whole of our organization – members, board, staff – be fully informed and engaged. We held 8 pre and post strategic planning focus groups with our membership, interviewed 18 stakeholders (an additional 12 were conducted in 2011 by the Taproot Foundation in preparation for the strategic planning process), and held three strategic planning retreats with board, staff and additional chapter member leaders. A strategic planning committee made up of 5 staff and 4 board members worked with the consultant to prepare for and guide the planning retreats.
The outcome of this process reaffirms our commitment to maintaining a member-led organization that builds power among low-income families in New York State as defined in our Mission, Vision, Principles and Theory of Social Change. This five year plan is rooted in our vision for leading and Winning Campaigns, Growing and Developing our Membership and building Geographic and Statewide Power.
CVH will organize low-income New Yorkers around the issues of good jobs and access to them, a just social safety net, and truly affordable housing. To accomplish these goals we will work to strengthen our democracy by making it more participatory and by fighting for a fair share tax system that adequately funds the programs and services our communities need.
Over the last ten years, we have shifted from a single-issue, single-location organization to a multi-issue, multi-chapter statewide organization. Moving forward, we will focus on developing ourselves to be recognized as the premiere voice and power center for low-income New Yorkers. Our vision is a lofty one, and our politics and tactics often outside of the mainstream of the moment, but we are well positioned to beat back against attacks on the poor and win policies and practices that will promote racial and economic equity in our cities and state. By becoming more laser-focused on the results we wish to achieve, we will transform our organization and, in turn, transform the communities we live in, the policies that affect us, and the people that govern us.
Contact Sondra@CVHaction.org for more info.
SPOTLIGHT: CVH'S STATEWIDE FIGHT FOR TRULY AFFORDABLE HOUSING
This month, we were very busy advancing truly affordable housing around the state. Here’s a quick update.
In Poughkeepsie, we are continuing to push against a punishing policy that the local homeless shelter has implemented, limiting the length of time a homeless resident of the city can stay at the shelter and charging them nightly fees. Emergency housing, such as homeless shelters, are essential and we will continue this fight. Check out a recent article about our protest outside the shelter organizations office. Contact BlairG@CVHaction.org.
In Yonkers, we’re looking at the creation of truly affordable housing by pushing the city to pass a local ordinance that require truly affordable housing to be included in new housing developments. Asking the question, “Affordable for who?” we are pushing the city to make sure any new law would make quality housing available for low-income Yonkers residents and that a new law provides protections for current residents not to get priced out. Contact Juanita@CVHaction.org.
In Newburgh, we’re pushing for increased enforcement of housing code violations. We’re surveying our community and asking our neighbors, documenting existing violations and bringing them to the city. This campaign is gaining steam, so contact Rae@CVHaction.org today.
In New York City, the public housing campaign is working with allies from labor unions and organizations to craft proposals on how NYCHA should address its massive backlog of repairs. We testified in September before the NY City Council around the $10 million report produced for NYCHA by Boston Consulting that called for, among other things, increased private management of NYCHA. Village Voice covered this hearing, quoting CVH member Ann Valdez saying that, "With [these] proposed private management companies, there would be more severe cuts to the workforce in the name of bottom-line profits. Public Housing was not created for private companies to poverty-profiteer off of low-income communities of color." Contact Kflu@CVHaction.org. We are also supporting the fight around rent stabilization and tenant protections. Email Carmen@CVHaction.org.
OTHER WORK THIS MONTH
Our other campaigns continued to plow forward in September, too!
The Participatory Budgeting effort is in full swing, with Neighborhood Assemblies taking place throughout the city, getting ideas from residents on how to invest millionaires of dollars of public funds. We’re supporting this work citywide, but particularly focusing on mobilization in Council District 8, in East Harlem, South Bronx and the West Side. The Community Development Project at Urban Justice Center released a new report on the first year of the process. Click here to see the full schedule for upcoming events. To get involved in District 8, contact Carmen@CVHaction.org.
The Welfare/ Workforce campaign is gearing up for big push to end the Work Experience Program, and watch this new video we produced to push back against the presidential campaign ads that were claiming that welfare recipients were not working. Contact Jennifer@CVHaction.org.
A voter outreach effort that has seen us contact 3,500 voters multiple times in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie as we gear up for big elections in the Hudson Valley this year (contact Chris@CVHaction.org).
Gloria Wilson and Ann Valdez, members from the NYC chapter, went to Minnesota as a part of National People's Action's Throwdown in Minnesota. Gloria and Ann joined others from around that state and the country to knock on doors and make phone calls asking Minnesotans to vote "NO" on an amendment to that state's constitution that would make it harder for low-income people to vote. Contact Juanita@CVHaction.org.
Back in April you may have met Ana and Marton who were visiting us from Hungary and Romania to learn about community organizing. Starting Oct 11, we will host 2 more fellows named Balint and Andreea from Hungary and Romania. Balint is organizing Public Workers (like WEP) in Hungary. Please welcome them if you see them. Contact Jennifer@CVHaction.org.
We continue to support the fight to bring Fair Elections to NYS. This would help break the lock corporations and the 1% have on our state government. With Fair Elections, a $10 contribution to a candidate would be matched by $60 from the state, meaning even small donations become more powerful and politicians would start to pay more attention to our communities. Watch Here a 1-minute video (just released today!), explaining how Fair Elections works.