Families from Church Street South demand safe, affordable housing

On March 30, 2011 children of Church Street South marched alongside their parents and thousands of others from all sectors and walks of life in New Haven’s “We Are One” march for unity and solidarity with working people.

Home to 300 families, Church Street South (CSS) is a low-income housing development adjacent to Union Station that’s been slated for redevelopment. In January carbon monoxide leaked from a faulty furnace led to dozens of Church Street South families being evacuated. The temporarily relocated residents decided to take action. They linked up with CCNE’s Ricardo Henriquez and formed a tenant’s committee; led by Jissette Chona and Esther Martinez, the residents began knocking on fellow tenants’ doors several days per week.  The organizing effort aims not only to address immediate concerns with the buildings, but to give the families there a voice in redevelopment and a right to return to the planned mixed-use project that will eventually replace “the Jungle.”

For more on the organizing at CSS, check out Allan Appel’s article, “Church Street South Tenants Organize” in the New Haven Independent. And for the latest update on the redevelopment of Church Street South, click here.

 

Articles on the We Are One march:

Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care Rally

On December 14th, 2010 the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care (IFUHC) brought together over 500 clergy, elected officials, community activists, union members, health care providers, small business owners, student, retirees, and people of diverse faith traditions to rally in support of a state-wide universal health care proposal called SustiNet. Standing on the alter of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford, CCNE Board member and IFUHC co-chair Imam Kashif Abdul-Karim and his fellow IFUHC leaders presented sacred objects from their respective faiths to the newly elected Governor, in the hopes that these symbolic offerings would serve as a reminder of the moral imperative to make quality, affordable health care accessible to all residents of Connecticut.

Community Voter Project Volunteers Hit the Ground

From June through the November general election, the team of nearly 90 volunteers -including college undergraduate and graduate students, community members, retirees, union members, and neighborhood activists- knocked on over 4,000 doors, registered hundreds of voters, and engaged residents on voting for the issues that most affected them and their neighborhood. The non-partisan CVP was conceived as means to increase civic participation amongst New Haven’s most disenfranchised communities in order to give voice to their concerns, hold elected officials accountable to their constituents, and build grassroots power to win change in the city.

March for Good Jobs, April 28th, 2010

Community and union members joined with students and clergy from across the city to urge local employers to create good, stable jobs in Southern Connecticut.  Over 500 people marched across the New Haven Green to City Hall, where they attended the Board of Aldermen’s city budget meeting to insist they hold New Haven’s major employers accountable to helping the city recover from the economic downturn.

Wyclef Jean Headlines Labor-Neighbor Solidarity Rally

The Internationally acclaimed Hip Hop artist joined community members, students, labor and clergy activists at the CORD (Communities Organized for Responsible Development) / SEIU 1199 co-sponsored Our Community, Our Jobs, Our Hospital rally to call on Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) to negotiate a community benefits agreement (CBA). Although CORD -with support from the Board of Aldermen and political leaders including state Senator Martin Looney and U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro- went on to win an historic CBA with YNHH, many of its provisions have yet to be implemented. The struggle for labor and community rights continues.