Since 1994, we've been building power with people and families of color in low-income communities throughout New York State.
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.
We are working to build a society in which governing systems foster racial, social, and economic justice instead of exploitation – particularly for low-income people of color.
We seek a society in which all people – regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender expression, sexual identity, citizen status, primary language, and ability – are treated with mutual respect, and in which privileges of one group do not exist.
We seek a society in which all people are able to work with dignity, have access to a sustainable quality of life, and can obtain unconditional support in their time of need.
We seek a society in which governmental structures are transparent and based on community needs.
We seek a society in which policies address the needs of all people and strengthen our communities.
We believe in a society where “experts” do not have all the answers but rather a society in which the people most directly affected are the ones making the decisions.
CVH’s story began in 1994 when eight New York City women became fed up with oppressive policies designed to keep them in poverty. They wanted to upend the existing power structures and transform the social safety net into a system that would enable low-income people to break out of poverty. Since then, CVH has evolved into an organization working to strengthen the power and civic engagement of people of color across New York State.
Community Voices Heard hosts an 80-person Founding Organizing Meeting.
Community Voices Heard marches on New York State Capitol to protest Governor Pataki’s proposal to eliminate aid to single adults.
Community Voices Heard becomes an independent 501c3 non-profit organization and educates hundreds of women on new welfare law.
Community Voices Heard takes on the Jobs & Push to end WEP.
CVH sues Mayor Giuliani and wins the right to health and safety education and training for WEP workers
Community Voices Heard joins the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support (NCJIS)
Community Voices Heard marches on President Bush's ranch in Waco, TX, "What About the Rest of Us?"
Parks Opportunity Program (POP) begins
Community Voices Heard wins concessions on administration of welfare in NYS. CVH World Social Forum Delegations begin.
Community Voices Heard initiates work on economic development. CVH sends delegation to Miami to joint protests against the Free Trade Area of Americas (FTAA) Agreement.
Community Voices Heard begins Electoral Participation Project, mobilizing 5,600 voter to polls in East Harlem.
Community Voices Heard Celebrates its 10th Anniversary. CVH Founder Gail Aska passes away. CVH Releases The Revolving Door report. CVH begins a Yonkers Electoral Project.
Community Voices Heard starts a Yonkers Hub.
Community Voices Heard starts a Newburgh Hub.
Community Voices Heard starts a Poughkeepsie Hub. CVH releases Missing the Mark report.
The Newburgh hub hosts a Candidates Forum. CVH wins NYS Transitional Jobs Program.
Community Voices Heard Power is incorporated as a 501c4. Statewide Showdown on Wall Street.
Newburgh member-leaders win $120,000 for Newburgh Builds Newburgh program. Newburgh members mobilize around 2 ballot initiatives and win.
Community Voices Heard wins $17 million in NYC budget for Transitional Jobs program continuance. Newburgh hub wins $70,000 to continue Newburgh Builds Newburgh program. Newburgh hub secures seats on Newburgh Land Bank. Yonkers hub leads fight on getting Affordable Housing Ordinance passed.
Community Voices Heard wins delay in NYCHA infill proposal. Yonkers hub expands across Westchester County. CVH wins Newburgh Landlord Registry.
Newburgh hub prevents close of Mental Health Clinic. Poughkeepsie hub stops County from taking over City bus system.
Community Voices Heard celebrates its 20th anniversary. CVH and allies secure commitment for federal investigation into Samuel Harrell's death in Fishkill prison. Newburgh hub secures seats on Newburgh Lank Bank.
CVH Membership Congress. Campaign for rent stabilization begins in Ossining.
CVH holds No Cuts to HUD rally in front of the Federal Building, attended by over 600 residents. Newburgh hub holds 500-person Town Hall on protecting undocumented people.
CVH Ossining wins the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, establishing rent stabilization protections for 1,800 units – the largest expansion of rent stabilized housing stock in NYS in more than 30 yrs. CVH’s Ella Baker School is formalized.
CVH Power launches Follow Black Women project. CVH and its Housing Justice for All (HJ4A) Coalition wins the expansion of rent stabilization statewide.
CVH provides mutual aid support to communities teaming up with Black and Latinx small business owners during the pandemic.
CVH wins eviction moratorium and expansion of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
CVH Poughkeepsie hub wins Good Cause Eviction.
CVH Power celebrates its 10-year anniversary.