[COMM-ORG] Community Voices Heard update

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Tue Jul 19 12:02:31 CDT 2011

 From: Taja Lindley <taja at cvhaction.org>

Community Voices Heard (CVH) has been quite busy! In addition to our
15^th anniversary celebration, we've been hard at work organizing
low-income communities in New York. Check out some of our recent
campaign updates as well as an upcoming fundraiser in Newburgh.

CVH Welfare Campaign meets with the Department of Labor

Poughkeepsie Chapter Update: CVH Members Meet with the Local Mayor and
Push for Change <#Poughkeepsie_Chapter_Update:_CVH_Membe>

Newburgh Builds Newburgh: Campaign Update


Coming up: Newburgh Fundraiser! Thursday August 11^th , 2011

*_CVH Welfare Campaign meets with the Department of Labor_*

CVH is a member of the Excluded Workers Congress
<http://www.excludedworkerscongress.org/> (EWC), a national network of
organizations that represent a base of workers that are either by law or
by practice excluded from the right to organize in the United States.
There are currently nine sectors represented, including workfare workers
(public assistance recipients who work in exchange for their benefits).

Earlier this year, the nine sectors came together strategize on how to
best highlight common violations each sector endures. All sectors voted
move forward on Power Act, U-Visas and minimum wage violations. The
workfare sector has conducted research on how to highlight the fact that
the cash value of public assistance falls short of providing the minimum
wage for workfare workers.

On May 25, 2011, the workfare sector had a historic opportunity to speak
to the United States Department of Labor (DOL) about the potential
minimum wage violations this sector endures. Currently we are awaiting
word from the legal team of the DOL to see if investigations could begin
within Wage and Hours division. For more information about this campaign
and for updates on how our conversations of with U.S. DOL develops,
contact Jennifer Hadlock, CVH Welfare and Workforce organizer
Jennifer at CVHaction.org.

* *

*_Poughkeepsie_**_ Chapter Update:_*

*_CVH Members Meet with the Local Mayor and Push for Change_*

The Poughkeepsie Chapter* *has been quickly growing since the addition
of full-time organizer Edgar Gomez late last year.  On April 14th, 50
CVH members met with Mayor John Tkazyik, along with the Community
Development Director and City Administrator, to address some of these
issues.  CVH members questioned the Mayor on the issues of housing, job
creation and training, community development, youth programs, and public
transportation.  The forum served to educate the City officials on the
issues facing the low-income community, and informed our members more
about what policy changes on the local level could help effect the
change they want to see.  You can read more about the forum and find a
link to Mid-Hudson News coverage here <http://cvhaction.org/node/522>.

As a result of the forum, the Poughkeepsie chapter is now working to
lift up the voices of the low-income community by developing a campaign
around the local use of community development funds - developing
meaningful community participation structures and increasing the funds'
benefit to the community.  One concrete commitment the members got from
Mayor Tkazyik at the forum was the pledge to include CVH members and
other low-income residents on a Community Development Advisory
Committee, which sets priorities and oversees Community Development
Block Grant funding.  Edgar and our members have also been doing
outreach at housing developments, residential neighborhoods, social
service agencies, and other locations to identify community priorities
for this funding.

*_Newburgh_**_ Builds Newbugh: Campaign Update_*

The Newburgh Chapter continues to push for policies and programs to
create job and training opportunities for low-income residents, increase
community participation, and revitalize the City to create housing
opportunities and other community benefits.  After creating the
"Newburgh Builds Newburgh" Hiring and Training Center proposal over the
last year in partnership with all of the key employment, training, and
education providers in the City of Newburgh, CVH members are now working
with the Workforce Development Institute to make it a reality.

We have gained commitments from City staff to ensure local hiring and
training and affordable housing opportunities within the newly created
Land Bank, which plans to redevelop 50 City-owned vacant properties
within the next few years.  A CVH staff and member have been appointed
to sit on the City's Distressed Properties Task Force and the Land Bank
Board.  Other CVH leaders also continue to serve on the City's Community
Development Advisory Committee and the Charter Review Commission,
bringing the priorities of the low-income community into these important
decision-making spaces.

The City of Newburgh's financial crisis has put a damper on some of the
positive efforts within the City, so CVH decided to push for state
intervention in overseeing Newburgh's finances, which have long been
dominated by mismanagement and corruption.  With residents facing a
massive property tax increase and reduction in basic services, this
campaign has led to unique opportunities in forming ally relationships
and partnerships with homeowners, business owners, and unions.  On May
25th, CVH held a March to City Hall to highlight the need for stronger
state intervention in order to turn the City's financial situation
around.  You can read more about it and see press coverage here.

*_Newburgh_**_ Fundraiser!_*

Please join us to celebrate and support the work and the accomplishments
of CVH Newburgh!

      Thursday, August 11

      6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

      The Wherehouse

      119 Liberty St., Newburgh, NY

      $25 minimum donation includes one free drink and buffet courtesy
      of the Wherehouse

· learn about CVH Newburgh's accomplishments over our first 4 years

· learn about our current projects organizing low-income community
members around housing, job creation, community development, and local
government accountability

· socialize and mingle with like-minded folks who care about social and
economic justice in Newburgh and beyond

· hear from CVH members about their experiences organizing their
community for change here in Newburgh

· find out about the brand new CVH Power Inc. - CVH's 501(c)4 arm to
build power through electoral work

*RSVP to Jenny Loeb at 845-562-2020*


Randy Stoecker

e-mail:  rstoecker at wisc.edu

Department of Community and Environmental Sociology
350 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, Wisconsin

Tel: (608) 890-0764
Fax: (608) 262-6022 

Note:  Due to the continuing possibility of open records requests for faculty e-mails, I cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any e-mail communications using the wisc.edu e-mail system. You can contact me on my personal e-mail at stoecker.randy at gmail.com

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