These past weeks have been difficult to bear. From family separations and child detainment to the enforcement of the Muslim Ban, we learn of more and more violence, oppression, and pain.
But these past few weeks have also demonstrated how many people are looking to speak out, come together, and fight back. Hundreds of thousands of people have been organizing and attending actions, sit-ins, and occupations across the country. And right here in the Hudson Valley, we have seen hundreds of people take action to demand real protections for undocumented immigrants. We hope that the news that follows offers some hope and energy in these times.
500 Strong for #FamiliesBelongTogether
We organized a march of over 500 people in Kingston on June 30th, for the Families Belong Together national day of action. We connected the national calls for the end of family separations and detainment with our local calls for meaningful protections for undocumented people here in the Hudson Valley and across New York state: creating municipal ID programs and making driver’s licenses accessible to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. These protections are a means of keeping families together too.
In response, Kingston Mayor Steve Noble pledged to work with us to implement a municipal ID program. Noble also noted that it was the biggest rally that Kingston had seen yet! New York’s 19th District Congressional Candidate, Antonio Delgado, met us at the end of our march to express his support and commitment to policies that will keep families together.
Thank you to Rise Up Kingston, the Worker Justice Center of New York, Citizen Action, Ulster Immigrant Defense Network, La Voz, and the many more organizations who made this day possible.
Poughkeepsie City’s Public Hearing
On Monday, we showed up with 130 people to the Poughkeepsie City Council for a public hearing on municipal IDs.
The legislation we have developed with Councilperson Sarah Salem has been vetted and endorsed by Emily Tucker, the Center for Popular Democracy’s Senior Staff Attorney for Immigrant Rights, among others.
Mayor Rob Rolison announced, “We are going to try and coordinate the three municipalities [Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Middletown] to create as best as possible, IDs that have the same criteria and can be recognized to the extent that they can in those other municipalities.” You can read more in press coverage by Mid-Hudson News here.
The Newburgh mayor and city council have also expressed support for a municipal ID, and we hope all four cities will coordinate their efforts in the coming months.
The City of Poughkeepsie will vote on our municipal ID legislation on Monday, July 9th at 6pm. If they vote yes, we would win the second municipal ID program in New York state. Join us for this historic moment.
On June 12th, the Newburgh City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the bill that would make driver’s licenses accessible to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. Newburgh’s resolution is the second we’ve won, and Newburgh joins cities like Poughkeepsie, Ossining, Port Chester, Irvington, and Mamaroneck in supporting the Green Light bill.
Representing at NY Counts 2020
Our Executive Director, Jonathan, represented Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson as a panel moderator at the day-long New York Counts 2020 conference on June 19th.
NY Counts 2020 is a broad-based, statewide coalition working to ensure that New Yorkers across the state – particularly marginalized communities in hard-to-count districts – can fully maximize their participation in the census.
Jonathan moderated the “Models of Successful Outreach to Hard-to-Count Communities” panel, with speakers from SEIU 32BJ, Chhaya CDC, and the Workers’ Center of Central New York. The census determines how congressional seats are apportioned and how billions of public dollars are distributed. Undercounting marginalized populations will deprive them of both.
$85k in 7 Days — Our Biggest Drive Yet
At the beginning of June, we aimed to raise $50k in 7 days. It was the highest goal we’d ever set, during our shortest drive period yet.
And then our 110 Fundraising Team members, and 1124 donors, blew every goal and expectation out of the water.
It’s Live! Watch Vanessa’s Acceptance Speech
You can now watch Vanessa, our program associate, accept the Frederick Douglass award for us at the North Star Fund 2018 Community Gala!
“Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is about real leadership development. And real leadership development comes from having real responsibilities, with real repercussions. It comes from being challenged and accepting the challenge… It comes from having support, but the kind of support that lets you take risks, not the kind that eliminates them for you.”
You can also watch the highlights from this special night here.
Thank you for continuing to support our work for immigration, racial, economic, and gender justice — we need it now more than ever.