Poughkeepsie Becomes Second City in New York State with a Municipal ID
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.
Newburgh and Poughkeepsie Endorse Green Light Resolution
We won resolutions from the Newburgh City Council and Poughkeepsie City Council in support of the Green Light bill that would expand access to driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status.
Accepting the Frederick Douglass Award
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 Reduces Flat Fee Charges
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.
Central Hudson Reducing Shutoffs: In Total, of People of Color, and during Winter
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.
Fighting Back Against the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson supported Poughkeepsie parents and students in creating a social justice policy platform and secured the endorsement of that platform by two challenger school board candidates. In May 2017, we helped those school board candidates unseat two long-time incumbents (of 6 and 12 years) who opposed the key demand of the platform: to shut down the PACE program, a discriminatory “alternative” middle-high school education track contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline.
A $69 Million Victory for Low-Income Utility Customers
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.
Protecting Utility Affordability
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.
Vacant and Foreclosed Properties Bond Ordinance
In November 2014, the Poughkeepsie Common Council voted unanimously in fa