In the second year of our civic engagement program, we engaged close to 200 volunteers in registering 1,722 voters and contacting tens of thousands of voters to increase voter turnout in key local elections.
In June, we finally won historic statewide legislation which restored driver’s license access to 750,000 undocumented New Yorkers. This victory will prevent thousands of deportations that start with routine traffic stops and escalate without a driver’s license.
We mobilized thousands of people to get their Municipal IDs in Beacon, Kingston, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie when their programs launched in June. By October, over 3,000 people got their municipal ID cards.
We won our FIFTH Municipal ID in less than one year! In early April, the Newburgh City Council unanimously voted to create their own Municipal ID program. They broke protocol during a public hearing to take an early vote because of the number of people we brought.
We’ve won five City Council resolutions in Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Middletown, Newburgh, and the Village of New Paltz in support of the statewide Protect Our Courts Act. These five vital resolutions help to build the momentum we need to win critical statewide legislation to get #ICEoutofcourts.
Within 28 hours of launching the Middletown Municipal ID program, 1.36% of the population (385 people!) went to city hall to get their IDs. The incredible turnout was indicative of the urgent need and popular support for the Municipal ID program.
We won City Council resolutions from Beacon and Kingston to support Universal Rent Stabilization and Control. We’re helping build momentum for statewide legislation to refuse the geographical restrictions on Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) and ensure protections for ALL New York State residents against unreasonable rent increases and evictions.
Within three months, we won FIVE resolutions in support of the Green Light legislation to create equal access to driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status in Beacon, Middletown, the Town of New Paltz, the Village of New Paltz, and Woodstock
We won a Beacon Municipal ID program in December — the fourth we’d won within six months! The City Council voted unanimously to pass the legislation we created and fought for.
We also won the Kingston Municipal ID program in December. We originally started this campaign with our #FamiliesBelongTogether march of more than 500 people in June of 2018 — the biggest march the city had ever seen according to Mayor, Steve Noble. We mobilized hundreds of members and allies to more than a dozen city council and committee meetings to win this victory. Along the way, we hired a Kingston-based organizer, Diana Lopez, and opened an office there too.
In our first voter engagement campaign, Immigrants Vote!, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson registered 1,067 voters in three months and made 25,000 Get Out The Vote calls and texts to voters across the Hudson Valley to increase turnout, particularly amongst new citizens, communities of color, and young people.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson won a second municipal ID program in Middletown, New York on November 5th.
This was our very first municipal ID campaign and it was started all the way back in 2016. This victory will prevent deportations and change the lives of thousands who cannot access identification because of their immigration status, age, income, gender, and criminal record.
After months of organizing and advocacy, the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council unanimously passed a law to create a municipal ID.
Poughkeepsie is the second municipality in the state with an ID program, after New York City, and the first city in the country to pass a municipal ID with a Republican mayor in office.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is donating ID card-printing equipment to Poughkeepsie to help ensure the program is implemented as soon as possible.
We won resolutions from the Newburgh City Council and Poughkeepsie City Council in support of the Green Light legislation that would expand access to driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson accepted the Frederick Douglass award from the North Star Fund.
Each year, the Frederick Douglass Award goes to two “outstanding grassroots groups whose organizing and activism have led to significant victories on the front lines of social justice.” Past recipients include Make the Road New York, Democracy Now!, and many more organizations we look up to. And in 2018, we joined that list!
Central Hudson proposed to increase the regressive flat fees that every customer pays each month. But as a result of negotiations, instead of increasing, Central Hudson’s flat fees will now be decreasing by about 19% over the next three years.
This was the first time a utility in New York State has reduced its flat fee charge in over a decade. Central Hudson also originally proposed to increase its rates by over 11%, but through negotiations, the rate hike has been reduced to 1.04% in 2018-2019, 2.99% in 2019-2020, and 4.41% in 2020-2021.
This victory was only possible because of the strong grassroots coalition that came together to oppose the proposed hike, which included our allies at Citizens for Local Power and the Public Utility Law Project, and Assemblymember Kevin Cahill.
In December 2015, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson successfully petitioned the New York Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulator, to conduct a public investigation into the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp for possible illegal shutoffs and racial discrimination.
In September 2017, the investigation concluded, and the results were released: Central Hudson shuts off more customers, and at a lower debt threshold, than other utilities; conducts more winter shut offs; and conducts disproportionate shutoffs in zip codes inhabited by a larger-than-average population of color.
Central Hudson is making policy changes as a result of the investigation. These policy changes should result in fewer people of color having their power shut off, fewer people being shut off during the hazardous winter months, and significantly fewer people having their power shut off each year. You can read our full statement here.
In June 2015, the New York Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulator, created a proposal to modify low-income energy assistance programs—without soliciting input from low-income people. Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson led a statewide campaign of direct action and mobilization to public hearings that resulted in the May 2016 expansion of the Public Service Commission’s proposal by $69 million in funding and 550,000 eligible households.
In June 2015, we defeated Central Hudson’s proposed 17% increase in the basic service charge, a regressive flat fee charged monthly no matter how much energy a customer uses. Through marching on Central Hudson, testifying before the Public Service Commission, speaking to the media, and submitting public comments against the increase, our members’ voices were heard.
Over the course of the year, we also helped over 50 households prevent or reverse shutoffs by Central Hudson.