We’re getting close to winning municipal IDs in Middletown AND Poughkeepsie, and now, we need you to show your support for them. Can you sign our petition to help pass municipal IDs in cities across the Hudson Valley?
Okay, great. Now that you’ve signed that (you did sign it right?), we have a lot to tell you. Over the past month, we’ve:
- Won a major Central Hudson victory
- Turned out over 200 people in support of municipal IDs
- With allies, introduced the Green Light bill (A10273)
- Accepted the Frederick Douglass Award, and more
Read the rest of our newsletter to learn all about it!
The First Flat Fee Reduction in Over a Decade
Last year, Central Hudson proposed to increase their regressive flat fees that every customer pays each month, despite already having some of the highest flat fees in the country. These rates disproportionately hurt low-income and low-usage customers, who have had to pay this costly fee each month regardless of the amount of energy they used.
Instead, we fought back. And now, Central Hudson will be decreasing their flat fees by about 19% over the next three years. This is the first time a utility in New York State has reduced its flat fee charge in over a decade.
We didn’t get everything we wanted. A different fee is still increasing, though by much less than Central Hudson initially proposed. However, the flat fee reduction is an important victory, and one that could not have been won without the work of Citizens for Local Power, New York’s Public Utility Law Project, and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
But the fight does not stop there, nor at Central Hudson. On the contrary — we’ve expanded our work for affordable and just utilities by joining Orange & Rockland Utilities’ upcoming rate case to fight that company’s proposed rate hike. We’ll keep you updated as we move forward!
Municipal ID Updates
On April 3rd, we moved over 200 people to Middletown’s City Council. That’s right — 200 people. We spilled out of the room and into the hallway to show just how many people are counting on this ordinance. The council agreed to move forward with drafting the legislation and is expected to vote on it in the next coming months.
And now, we’re turning out to Poughkeepsie’s City Council meeting on May 21st at 6pm as we work with City Councilmember, Sarah Salem, to initiate the process of passing a municipal ID ordinance. Please show up, bring a friend, and make a public comment to help us move municipal IDs forward!
Getting the Green Light
As we’ve said before, our municipal ID fight helps pave the way for a much larger fight — the fight to win driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.
After hundreds of people made calls to Assemblyman Crespo, the Greenlight Bill (A10273) was finally introduced in the state legislature. To officially launch the bill, we joined the rest of the Green Light NY coalition in Albany for a press conference (and pulled an all-nighter from the North Star Fund gala to get there).
Our member-leader provided powerful testimony to the press, detailing the devastating consequences that her and her son’s lack of identification caused during her son’s battle with cancer. You can hear more from her in this coverage.
Next week, we’re gearing up for something even bigger — we’ll be taking 110 people to Albany to represent the Hudson Valley’s support for this critical legislation! You can be one of them by reserving your seat and registering online here: www.bit.ly/GreenLightNY5-14
North Star Fund
We accepted the Frederick Douglass Award at the North Star Fund’s 2018 gala! It’s hard to put into words how much it means for us — both our members and staff — to have our work recognized, to share the stage with so many people who have inspired and moved us, or just to really take joy in how much we’ve been able to do together in a short period of time.
What we do need to put into words is thank you to the North Star Fund for giving us this award and supporting our work, and thank you to the thousands of people (including yourself) who sustain us.
Political Education Intensive
Long-time organizer and co-founder of the grassroots organization POWER, which has since merged with Causa Justa/Just Cause, Steve Williams, came all the way to the Hudson Valley from the Bay Area to facilitate a weekend-long political education intensive for our staff and member-leaders. We dove into power, movements, and our vision for a world where people come before profit, and came out stronger than ever before!
Your support makes trainings and leadership development opportunities like these possible — so thank you for making this transformative weekend happen.
NLMH in the news:
Middletown Municipal ID Hearing:
Over 200 Support Middletown Creating a Municipal ID, Hudson Valley News Network
Large turnout in Middletown in support of municipal IDs, Mid-Hudson News
Strong support for Middletown ID program, Times Herald-Record
Municipal IDs promoted by community advocacy group, Mid-Hudson News
Middletown considers offering ID cards to residents, Times Herald-Record
Green Light NY Bill Launch:
Central Hudson Victory:
Central Hudson proposes a lower fixed customer charge, Mid-Hudson News
Central Hudson agrees to smaller rate hikes, lower fixed charges, Poughkeepsie Journal
We’re looking forward to our next e-newsletter already — where we can send you the video of Vanessa’s North Star Fund speech, update you on our mobilization to Albany, and let you know how our municipal ID campaigns progress — and we hope you are too!