If this month is any indication, 2018 is going to be our busiest and strongest year yet. We started a job search for two new staff members, participated in three trainings, met with the Mayor of Middletown to advance our campaign for municipal ID cards, and fought alongside allies against Central Hudson’s proposed rate hike. Read on to hear all about it.
Growing Our Team!
As a result of our strongest year of grassroots fundraising (shout-out to our incredible fundraising team members and donors) and new grants, we have posted open positions for two new staff people to join our team. We are looking for a community organizerand a program associate to grow our membership and our organizational capacity to strengthen our work for racial, gender, and economic justice. Check out the job descriptions on our website, share with those who might be interested, or apply before February 9th.
Trainings on Power, Legislative Processes, and More!
Within one week, we participated in, co-sponsored, and facilitated three different trainings to sharpen our analysis, learn about legislative processes, and develop our leadership skills to make sure that 2018 is our strongest year yet.
We started the week with a Civic Engagement Table training in Newburgh on Saturday. A couple days later, we co-sponsored a regional training by The Advocacy Institutewith North Star Fund, The Worker Justice Center of New York, and The Hudson Valley Justice Center from January 24th-26th. The three-day training helped us understand legislative processes at the local and state levels, gain confidence in our ability to pass policy, and deepen our relationships with our allies and partners in the Hudson Valley.
The day afterward, we kicked off the first training of our three-part series with The Worker Justice Center of New York in Kingston. We asked our lead organizer, Ignacio Acevedo, to explain what the first training was about: “It was about power and how we should be the ones holding it. We are taught to believe we don’t have power, that we don’t have any control over what happens to us, but we have numbers. If we come together, we can have the power to shape and make decisions in the public arena.”
Progress! Our Campaign for Middletown Municipal IDs
We met with the Mayor of Middletown, Joseph DeStefano, to discuss municipal ID ordinance that would provide a government-issued form of identification to all residents in the city. The ordinance would provide a form of official identification to those who have been excluded from it in the past: undocumented immigrants, homeless people, foster youth, and the elderly. Without a recognized form of identification, people struggle to open bank accounts, sign leases, pick their children up from school, and live in fear of interactions with law enforcement. We see our municipal ID campaign as a way to deter deportations and actively improve the lives of particularly vulnerable communities. We look forward to updating you as our campaign progresses in the upcoming months.
Our New Year’s Resolutions
Our executive director, Jonathan Bix, traveled to Albany with Citizens for Local Powerto deliver 1,500 postcards from residential customers of Central Hudson to the company’s regulator, the New York Public Service Commission. The postcards presented our New Year’s resolutions: rejecting Central Hudson’s proposed rate hikes and reducing their fixed charge, which is the highest in New York State.
Jonathan spoke out at the press conference: “It is inequitable to have all customers pay the same fixed high charge regardless of how much energy they use, and this disproportionately hurts low-income people… Reducing the fixed charge is a necessary part of tackling New York’s energy affordability crisis.” Settlement negotiations are ongoing, and as a party to the case, we will continue to hold Central Hudson accountable to poor and working-class New Yorkers.
NLMH in the Media
A quick note before we end off — one of our member leaders has been fighting cancer for the past two years, leaving her with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Could you help her pay them off so that she is able to support her family and continue her important work with us?Any donation at youcaring.com/fightwithveronica would be so appreciated.
Thank you for being a part of our work; we hope you will continue to be a part of it through 2018!