CVH Calls on State to Rescue Newburgh from Financial Crisis
The CVH Newburgh chapter marched to City Hall with over 60 residents on May 25th, sending a message to New York State that the failing local government needs their help in order to survive! This year's budget for the City of Newburgh was balanced by raising property taxes 71%, cutting services 20%, and getting $12 million in emergency loans from New York State. Renters, homeowners, and businesses alike are suffering from rising rents due to what will be an estimated 300% property tax increase from 2010 to 2013. CVH members and allies took to the streets to send an "S.O.S" to the State that Newburgh's budget is unsustainable and sending the City into bankruptcy. They are calling on the State to put Newburgh into receivership, which would wipe out current leadership and take over the finanes until they are back in working shape.
Marching down Broadway with signs and inner tubes painted with the words "Albany, we're Drowning" and "Save our City!", marchers then stormed into City Hall and crammed into the office of Acting City Manager Rick Herbek. CVH Leaders Andre Niles, Deborah Danzy, and Loretta Manning tried to get Herbek to commit to pressure the State to take over Newburgh's finances as the crowd and press watched. Herbek claimed they City was doing all it could to get help from the State, and that they refused to take further action. After deliberating with the City Manager, the leaders asked everyone in the crowd to take out their cell phones and make calls to State Senator Larkin, Assemblyman Kirwan, and Governor Cuomo, urging them to take steps to bail out Newburgh!
CVH then held a press conference outside explaining why we were there. In addition to CVH leaders Brenda McPhail and Loretta Manning, speakers included Josefa Alvarez Garcia, representing SEIU 1199, Newburgh City Council member Marge Bell, and Change Newburgh representative Isaac Diggs.
The action coincided with a week of action by Newburgh residents and groups, all calling for State receivership for Newburgh. The newly formed Change Newburgh PAC released a video "Letter to Albany," featuring CVH's Loretta Manning, and put up hundreds of lawn signs that say "Albany, Can You Hear Us?" and stating the demands. A group of business leaders and institutions in Newburgh held a press conference the day after the march, also calling on the state to step in and intervene into Newburgh's financial crisis.
At least 10 press outlets covered the story this week. Here are some:
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