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PRESS RELEASE: Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Beacon Tenants Occupy Senator Rob Rolison's District Office; Call for Tenant Protections and Taxes on the Ultra-Rich


PRESS RELEASE: Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Beacon Tenants Occupy Senator Rob Rolison's District Office; Call for Tenant Protections and Taxes on the Ultra-Rich

Contact: Zoë Johnson, Communications Manager, Community Voices Heard,, 646-407-5557

Photo Credit: Community Voices Heard

March 22, 2024 (POUGHKEEPSIE, NY) – Over 15 Community Voices Heard members from Poughkeepsie, Beacon, and Newburgh took over Senator Rob Rolison’s office this morning after repeated attempts to meet with him and secure his commitment to protect tenants and tax the ultra-rich before the April 1 New York State budget deadline.

The Senator once again failed to speak with his constituents and his office did not agree to schedule a meeting.

"I was there to see where the Senator stands on the housing crisis and the tenant protections we need like Good Cause, the Housing Access Voucher Program, and funding for public housing repairs,” said CVH Member and Poughkeepsie resident Linda Bartee. “We need him to take a stand if he's going to support US his constituents who live and survive through these inhumane conditions of outrageous rent hikes, unfair evictions, and dilapidated buildings."

“Senator Rolison has done nothing in his tenure as Senator to support any protections for tenants,” said CVH Member and Beacon resident Tina Bernstein. “He has not supported Good Cause Eviction Legislation at the state Level, has not supported an expansion of voucher programs or any measures to stabilize rents. He is beholden only to the real estate lobby and their financial support. It is high time for him to answer to all of his constituents.”

Senator Rob Rolison has not signed on to Good Cause eviction protections, which would protect tenants from unreasonable rent hikes and retaliatory or discriminatory evictions. In a viral CVH video last year, 87-year-old Poughkeepsie resident Joan Kilmer explained that she was being evicted after she couldn’t afford an outrageous rent hike. The State failed to pass Good Cause eviction protections last session. She was evicted after 47 years in her home.

At Rolison’s office, CVH members shared their stories of rent increases, building problems, and their frustration at the Senator’s inaction on our statewide housing priorities. They delivered a clear message: we are in a statewide housing crisis, so we need statewide Good Cause eviction protections.

He has also not signed on to the Invest In Our New York platform to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share. By raising taxes on New York’s ultra-rich and the most profitable corporations doing business in our state, we can raise billions of public dollars to invest in working-class communities.

Members then passed out fliers outside of Rolison’s office that said, “Senator Rolison would rather let tenants lose their homes than make the ultra-rich pay their fair share.”

They are still awaiting a response from the Senator.

CVH’s 2024 platform is available here.


Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led, multi-racial organization principally comprised of women of color and low-income families in New York State. CVH tackles tough issues and builds power to secure racial, social, and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy, CVH is creating a truly equitable New York State.

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