Community Voices Heard (CVH) is an organization of low-income people, predominantly women with experience on welfare, working to build power in New York City and State to improve the lives of our families and communities.
We are working to accomplish this through a multi-pronged strategy, including public education, grassroots organizing, leadership development, training low-income people about their rights, political education, civic engagement and direct-action issue campaigns. We are currently working on welfare reform, job creation, public housing and other economic justice issues that affect low-income people, particularly low-income women of color. While we focus on welfare reform, we broadly define welfare activism to be multi-issue, and thus must include issues such as education, training, jobs, housing, economic development and other community issues. We fill a crucial gap in that our organization connects public policy with grassroots organizing and leadership development.
Community Voices Heard subscribes to the following values and principles to help guide us as we move forward in implementing our strategic plan and in expanding our work:
- CVH believes that membership must have meaningful decision-making and control of the organization and the work we do.
- CVH believes that base building is the foundation of what we do – we actively work to increase the numbers of low-income people involved in social change.
- CVH believes that leadership development of community leaders is core to our work.
- CVH believes that affected constituencies must represent the organization to power and be the key decision makers in the organization.
- CVH does not do for people what they can do for themselves; we motivate people to do what they can do for themselves.
- CVH is about organizing, not service.
- CVH values, nurtures and supports women’s leadership, while welcoming all.
- CVH is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and diverse organization that integrates and respects different groups of people and actively seeks to promote and develop leadership of people of color.