E-NEWSLETTER: Dominique joins the team, Hate Free Zone toolkits, and more!

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson continues to build new areas of work necessitated by new political conditions. Our work continues to be shaped by our commitment to addressing the root causes of injustice and to developing the leadership of directly impacted people. Read on about that work below! 

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This past Monday, our member-leader Dominique Suddith began her work with Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson as a full-time paid fellow to help lead the fight for a just education system in Poughkeepsie!

Dominique is focusing on the struggle to close the PACE (“Poughkeepsie Academic and Career Excellence”) program, which represents the worst of educational apartheid: separating out “problem” middle-high school students into a decrepit building, without enough teachers, without grade appropriate books, and with a growing law enforcement presence leading to increased arrests of students. 

Dominique, a former substitute teacher in the Poughkeepsie City School District, first became a member in September 2016. She has been committed to closing PACE since hearing about the appalling conditions from her brother, who is one of the many students being forcibly placed in PACE. Dominique will be stepping back in a few months to have her baby, but shared why she is excited to start working for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson:

“I have been on a mission to improve the public education system of Poughkeepsie and NLMH has been very supportive of this cause. I plan to gain growth and development as a leader and organizer. I also intend to increase the membership of Parents and Advocates Supporting Students during my time with Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. I look forward to achieving my goals and passing on what I learn to others within my group.” 

Hate Free Zone Toolkits

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The Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone has released two toolkits to help people organize against hate locally and build a stronger Hate Free Zone: (1) the House Meetings Toolkit and (2) the Institutional Recruitment Toolkit

1) House Meetings Toolkit

  • Our ability to stand up to hate is only as strong as the relationships we have and our willingness to take and get others to take action
  • Download the House Meetings Toolkit to learn how to have a meeting to get people you know to join the Hate Free Zone and commit to concrete steps to stand up to hate!
  • Register your House Meeting so we can help you make the meeting happen!

2) Institutional Recruitment Toolkit

  • Houses of worship, businesses, elected bodies, and community groups all have roles to play in advocating for justice!
  • Download the Institutional Recruitment Toolkit to learn how to ask the institutions you’re connected with to join the Hate Free Zone and take concrete steps to stand up to hate!

And if you haven’t signed up for the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone yet, go to tiny.cc/hatefreepledge to sign up now.

No Ban, No Wall

In February, the Hate Free Zone helped carry out the action led by the Muslim Student Organization of Bard College to join the thousands of others across the country standing up against the Muslim Ban and the executive orders attacking immigrants. Several hundred people turned out, and 200 people newly signed up for the Hate Free Zone.

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Growing Our Abilities

At the beginning of March, we sent Dominique and our staff organizers Margaret and Spencer to a weekend of training with Community Voices Heard and People’s Action. All three have returned to Poughkeepsie energized, with new skills and vision! It cost $1,000 to send the three of them — will you help us cover the expense by making a $25, $50, or $100 donation? Click here to contribute now!

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Growing the Energy Justice Movement

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is on the Steering Committee of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) — a growing coalition of 21 organizations working for energy justice in the state. I co-wrote an op-ed with my fellow Steering Committee member Ceci Pineda from Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) on the opportunity Governor Cuomo has to shift New York’s energy system in a direction that prioritizes people and the planet over private profit:

“Soon, three of the five seats on New York’s powerful Public Service Commission will be empty. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should seize this opportunity to appoint ‘People’s Commissioners’ committed to serving the interests of the people and environment of New York.

It is critical that the PSC — which helps guide the state’s energy future — is well positioned to address the needs and concerns of all New Yorkers, including the poor, working class people, and people of color struggling with major challenges related to energy affordability, energy access and pollution.”

Read more in the Albany Times-Union.

Sign the EDA’s petition calling on Gov. Cuomo to appoint “People’s Commissioners” who will fight for more renewable and affordable energy for all New Yorkers!

At the beginning of March I also joined 30 other representatives from EDA member organizations in Syracuse for the EDA’s first retreat of 2017. We discussed changes in political conditions and their implications for our 2017 strategy, progressed on our annual work plan, and welcomed new members to the alliance!

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Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

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