News & Updates

1 New Lead Organizer, 9 New Cities

Our new Lead Organizer is Ignacio Acevedo! He starts this week.
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A formerly undocumented immigrant, Ignacio came to the Hudson Valley from Mexico in 1990. The oppression Ignacio faced as an undocumented Latinx immigrant, and the oppression of the Latinx community he saw, first brought him to organizing.

 

With Ignacio’s relationships, skills, and experiences, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson will expand its work and membership base to nine cities across four counties.

In Ignacio’s nearly three decades living in the Hudson Valley and recent years of full-time organizing, he has developed relationships and ongoing work with Latinx communities in nine cities across the Hudson Valley. Our organizational focus in the near future will be (1) expanding our infrastructure to meet his existing work—opening new offices and becoming a fully bilingual organization—and (2) adding immigrant justice to the forefront of our work. This expansion will allow us to fully incorporate the Latinx population Ignacio is already organizing into Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

This expansion will also allow us to more closely realize Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson’s vision to be a Black and Brown organization united across language and immigration status, and united in the belief that winning racial, economic, and gender justice requires solidarity.

Thank you for making our continued growth possible through your support!

P.S. — We’re holding a fundraising drive to raise $30,000 by August 7 to make the expansion of our work possible. Will you donate now to help us do that? Every donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000! You can contribute at tiny.cc/donateNLMH

Catch up with NLMH’s Summer

We hope you are enjoying the start to the Summer. Catch up with what we’ve been up to over the past two months and some of what we’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks.

Join Our Fundraising Team?

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is holding our Summer Fundraising Drive from July 17th to August 7th. Will you join our team to help us raise $30,000?

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson relies on people — people to organize, people to show up, people to fundraise, and people to donate. As a young organization, we could not have survived without volunteers asking people they know to donate and support us during our fundraising drives. Last drive, 60 volunteers recruited over 500 donors, supporters, and sustainers to raise more than $40,000.

If you would like to know more about what it means to join the team, send us a reply email or email caitlin@nobodyleavesmidhudson.org.

Fighting for a Hate Free Hudson Valley

In May, the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone helped hold a May Day action in Poughkeepsie and launch local Hate Free Zone work in Peekskill.

In June, the Hate Free Zone helped support the incredible efforts of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition in its work to defend Ossining High School student Diego Puma-Macancela and his mother Rosa from deportation. We thank the many Hate Free Zone supporters who made calls, sent emails, and signed petitions in support of Diego and Rosa. Tragically, they were both deported back to Ecuador. However, the Hate Free Zone is continuing to grow with over 900 individuals and 30 institutions signed on, and will continue to resist deportations in the Hudson Valley.

Also in June, the Hate Free Zone helped support the successful passage of a sanctuary resolution in Poughkeepsie. We thank the Hate Free Zone supporters who spoke up at City Council meetings. We will continue to support the passage of sanctuary resolutions in cities across the Hudson Valley.

Fighting for Education Justice

Doreen Clifford and Debra Long, two Poughkeepsie school board candidates who endorsed in full the education justice platform created by the Poughkeepsie parents and students we work with, were elected to the Poughkeepsie school board in May.

When Debra and Doreen take their seats in July there will be a new majority on the school board that has pledged to close the discriminatory PACE program. Debra and Doreen beat out two longtime incumbents who refused to close PACE, one of whom had been on the board for six years, the other 12 years.

To help ensure the speedy closure of the PACE program, the achievement of other policies in the education justice platform, and the expansion of our work with young people, several former PACE students will be doing paid organizing internships with us this summer.

Fighting for Energy Justice

We stand with the rest of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) in expressing our disappointment in Governor Cuomo’s process for making appointment to the Public Service Commission. As the EDA’s statement says:

“The Governor’s slate of nominees has created a [Public Service Commission] that is all-white and 80% male, with no consumer or environmental justice advocate among them. These new Commissioners risk derailing efforts towards Governor Cuomo’s stated goals for a renewable and sustainable energy future through the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). This slate of commissioners does not meet the needs of everyday New Yorkers – the 1 million families in NY who struggle to pay their energy bills, the neighborhood groups that work hard to put a solar panel on a community center roof but are stalled by unwieldy regulation; the residents living in neighborhoods overburdened by air pollution due to environmental racism; the local renewable energy installers that want to bring more jobs to our state; or the generations to come that will suffer the ravages of climate.”

The full statement can be read on the EDA’s website.

Saying Bye-For-Now to One of Our Founders!

One of our co-founders, Margaret Kwateng, will be leaving the organization at the end of the month. Margaret, along with me, became the first full-time paid staff for the organization in 2014. She has brought so much to Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, and we wouldn’t be here today without her incredible work. We’ll miss her, but are excited that she’ll be spending the Fall and Winter as a Trustee’s Fellow with the International Honors Program, working with students abroad to study global social justice issues.

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Hiring Updates!

Big news! We’re looking to hire two new organizers, and we have a new staff person to announce:

Two Open Positions

We’re hiring (1) a Lead Organizer and (2) a Community Organizer!

Please send the job descriptions to those who might be interested! The deadline for applications is June 23rd. The job descriptions can be viewed here: nobodyleavesmidhudson.org/jobs

Our New Staff Member

In addition to having two new open positions, we also have a new staff member coming on in June!

Caitlin Munchick has been playing a key role in making our work possible. As an intern these last two-and-a-half years, she’s done much of our intern/volunteer work, grassroots fundraising, and communications. And now she’ll be doing that and more as a full-time staff member!

May Day action, an education justice platform, and more!

We have some beautiful posters and some beautiful updates in this e-newsletter. Read on for both!

Upcoming Events

May Day

On May Day, rally and march for workers’ rights to sanctuary cities, public transit, education, and good jobs. As the Poughkeepsie Common Council introduces a sanctuary-inspired resolution on International Workers Day, show them how the Hudson Valley feels about defending our neighbors! Join us Monday, May 1st at 4:30pm.

4:30pm: Gather at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N. Hamilton St.)

5:00pm: March to City Hall

5:30pm: Rally at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)

6:00pm: Speak out on sanctuary-inspired resolution at Common Council meeting

Beyond the Moment

Not in the Hudson Valley on May 1st? Sign up at beyondthemoment.org to get information about May Day actions taking place around the country. Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is excited to stand with Black Lives Matter, United We Dream, Right to the City Alliance, BYP 100, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and many more amazing organizations in Beyond the Moment in creating a mighty movement of all people dedicated to freedom.

Save the Date!

On Sunday, May 21st from 3-6pm in Peekskill, the Hate Free Zone will be hosting a “Know Your Rights/Know Your Responsibilities” forum on immigration and racial profiling. Stay tuned for more information!

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Join the LGBTQ Community for Racial Justice, Hate Free Zone, and others on Friday, April 28th at 6pm at the auditorium in the Family Partnership Center on 29 North Hamilton St. in Poughkeepsie for a screening and discussion of Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America. Forbidden is a documentary film telling the story of Moises Serrano, an undocumented gay man and activist who grew up in rural North Carolina.

A Platform for Educational Justice

The students, parents, and allies in Parents and Advocates Supporting Students have created a platform for educational justice in Poughkeepsie. Students and parents met with three school board candidates in the upcoming election — Debra Long, Doreen Clifford, and Tron Melton — who all endorsed the platform in full.

Students and Parents have been going door-to-door in Poughkeepsie every week to recruit more members and register people to vote!

Fighting for Energy Justice

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson serves on the Steering Committee of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) — a coalition of 21 organizations working for energy justice in the state. The EDA has been growing its “People’s Commissioners” campaign calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint to the Public Service Commission people who are committed to serving the interests of the people and environment of New York. Sign the petition calling on Cuomo to appoint People’s Commissioners if you haven’t already!

On April 13th, the EDA held a press conference in Albany for the campaign, and quoted Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson member Trudy-Ann Bowen-Griffiths in their press release:

“I had a child born at 19 weeks. He was fighting for his life for six months, had open-heart surgery. My son came out of the hospital on all kinds of machines, he had 24-hour nursing care. As a nurse was giving my son treatment, Central Hudson shut off our power. Central Hudson has been under investigation for over a year for racial discrimination and illegal shut-offs. We need People’s Commissioners to hold them accountable!”

Read more about Trudy’s story in CounterPunch:

There Is A Field

From April 5th-9th, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson co-sponsored a theater residency in Poughkeepsie that was co-hosted by Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley and Donkey Saddle Projects. The residency culminated in the public reading of There Is A Field, a play about a Palestinian teenage boy who is shot to death by an Israeli police officer, based on the true story of the death of 17-year-old Aseel Asleh in October 2000. Prior to the reading, the hosts led a week of workshops on the context of the play.

Best,

Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

Hate Free HV: Celebrate International Workers’ Day by Making Poughkeepsie a Sanctuary City!

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On May Day, rally and march for workers’ rights to sanctuary cities, public transit, education, and good jobs. As the Poughkeepsie Common Council introduces a sanctuary-inspired resolution on May 1st, show them how the Hudson Valley feels about defending our neighbors!

Monday, May 1st starting at 4:30pm
4:30pm Gather at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N Hamilton St.),
5pm March to City Hall
5:30pm Rally at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)
6pm Speak out on sanctuary-inspired resolution at Common Council meeting

RSVP here or contact Community Voices Heard, the coordinating organization for more details: jordan@cvhaction.org

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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Best,

Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

Hate Free HV: The Institutional Recruitment Toolkit is here!

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A #HateFreeHV is only as strong as its community institutions. Check out our new “Institutional Recruitment Toolkit” and learn how houses of worship, businesses, community groups, and elected officials can join and build the Hate Free Zone.

The toolkit can be downloaded here, or by clicking on the poster below. These posters, designed by the HFZ’s artist collective, will go up in windows throughout the Hudson Valley!

Questions? Email us at hvhatefreezone@gmail.com.

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From Poughkeepsie to Palestine

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Black Lives Matter- Hudson Valley is excited to announce that we are working to bring the play There Is A Field to Poughkeepsie!

This play tells the true story of Aseel Asleh, a young Palestinian man who was killed by Israeli police, and his family’s struggle for justice. Prior to the performance on April 9th, we will be bringing together young black community members to do a 5-day residency where they will learn about Palestinian history and the connections to the Black American experience.

To bring these artists up we need to raise $2,000 by the end of March.

Help us bring Palestine to Poughkeepsie by

Donating HERE (https://givebutter.com/sa3wwe)!

When we reach $2,000 our funding will be matched by Donkey Saddle Productions!

Thank you for your support,

Margaret Kwateng

Hate Free HV: The House Meeting Toolkit is here!

House Meetings Toolkit

Thank you for your interest in holding a house meeting to build the Hate Free Zone. How do you hold a house meeting? Find out in the house meeting toolkit and register your house meeting today!

The toolkit can be downloaded here.

Please fill out this form to register your house meeting. One of our organizers will follow up soon!

Questions? Email us at hvhatefreezone@gmail.com