Accomplishments and Current Campaigns

 

IVP Accomplishments

During the past thirty years, leaders of IVP organizations have brought about very significant changes affecting the lives of thousands of families in their communities. These include:

Jobs - Through organizing campaigns our member groups' jobs victories include playing critical roles in winning an increase in the minimum wage, earned paid sick time, and passage of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Massachusetts; passage of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Connecticut; and an increase in the wages of home healthcare workers in Maine. 

They have also won the end to harassment and poor working conditions for 1,000 temp workers, and the creation of a 5-year $1.2 million Career Ladder Program for temp workers supported by the Gillette/Procter & Gamble and New Balance Corporations; healthcare job training for 100 currently unemployed Connecticut residents; the passage of legislation limiting the cost of transportation to job sites for temp jobs; the creation of a regional manufacturing partnership which has created over 150 jobs; the creation of a job training program in the screw machine industry which has graduated over 750 apprentices into high-skilled high paying jobs; and the creation of a job training program with a county sheriff’s department for the formerly incarcerated in construction trade skills.

Our member groups have also helped bring about employee-owned firms through employee buy-outs, and through the creation of two employee-owned home health care companies. Through early plant closing fights they saved 3,000 jobs and the health insurance benefits of thousands of retirees.

Housing - IVP member groups have successfully organized to create over 250 units of democratically-owned affordable housing units, and two community land trusts, a $750,000 settlement for forty families who were victims of predatory lending, and major victories with allies to protect homeowners and tenants from eviction in the face of foreclosure, including passage of one of the toughest municipal foreclosure laws in Lawrence.

Immigrant Rights - IVP member groups have most recently won campaigns for the passage of the Connecticut Safe Driving Act, allowing undocumented immigrants who pass driver's license tests to drive; provision of driver's license tests in Massachusetts in Burmese; and support for the Massachusetts TRUST Act in Lawrence.

Through earlier campaigns they have also won improved medical interpretation in hospitals in the Naugatuck Valley, and in police department in Springfield; funds for municipal programs helping immigrants exercise their rights to become citizens in Lowell; over $1.5 million for ESOL programs in the Merrimack Valley.

Public Services - IVP member groups have won millions in public service and development dollars for community policing, firefighting, housing inspection, public education, brownfield redevelopment and environmental protection programs in each of our states.

Health Care – IVP member groups have won first responders training for law enforcement officials in 11 city and county departments to help them in their dealings with those with behavioral and mental health issues in Maine; the addition of face-to-face medical interpreters in hospitals serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients in Connecticut; strengthened support for non-emergency medical transportation from small towns to center city hospitals in New Hampshire and Maine.

Leadership Development - In the course of this work our member groups have trained thousands of leaders in organizing and leadership skills through IVP Leadership Institutes, member group leadership institutes, and informal training. Most importantly, they have learned lessons which they share with others within and outside our network.

Congregational/Organizational Development - IVP member groups know that healthy congregations, labor union locals, and community organizations are vital to strong communities. They also know that their strength is dependent on the strength of these institutions. With this in mind, IVP member groups have developed training and staff resources to teach leaders how to carry out congregational and organizational development campaigns which create hundreds of new relationships in each institution, uncover issues and identify potential leaders. This is among their greatest benefit to their own member groups, of membership in an IVP member group.

Organizing with Allies - InterValley Project organizations have initiated and participate in statewide and national issue campaigns when what we can win will benefit our members and can only be won at these higher levels.  During the past several years these have included campaigns for increased wages and job protections; immigrant rights; fair mortgage practices, improved medical interpretation services, better home healthcare services and jobs, driver’s licenses for all residents, and against usurious payday and car title lending. 

Our current campaigns with allies include:

  • Connecticut Home Healthcare Justice Campaign through which Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP) has brought together the Connecticut Catholic Conference; Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford; New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Unitarian Universalist Society:East; Brazilian Worker Center; Service Employees International Union Local 1199; Service Employees International Union Local1199 Training Fund; Connecticut Women’s Educational and Legal Fund; Connecticut Legislative Commission on Aging; and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) to work for changes that will improve home healthcare by improving home healthcare jobs. The campaign's first success was helping win the passage into law of the Brazilian Worker Center-initiated Domestic Worker Bill of Rights during this past legislative session.

  • Caring Across Generations through which Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP) and Kennebec Valley Organization (KVO) have linked with thousands of others to fight for improved home healthcare services by improving home healthcare jobs, including fighting for state funding to implement of the recent inclusion of home healthcare workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • Raise Up Massachusetts campaign through which Merrimack Valley Project (MVP) has brought critical Valley legislative and voter support for successful campaigns to win an increase in the state minimum wage and earned paid sick time.

  • Jobs Not Jails Campaign in Massachusetts through which Pioneer Valley Project (PVP) is supporting efforts to redirect funds used for incarceration to job training programs.

  • Campaign to Increase Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program Funding through which Berkshire Interfaith Organization (BIO) has linked with MVP and statewide allies to win a $2 million increase in funding at a time when the number of working, as well as unemployed, individuals and families seeking weekly or monthly food is soaring in their communities and across the state.

  • StartME Right Coalition in Maine through which Kennebec Valley Organization (KVO) is bringing Valley support to a statewide effort which has helped win hundreds of thousands of dollars for increased Head Start programs, benefiting hundreds of preschool children and their parents.

NVP itself has initiated regional campaigns linked to national wons, such as the New England Joint Action (NEJA) campaign, which have contributed to a successful nationwide fights against threats to adult basic education, student loans, affordable housing, and ESOL funding in the federal budget.

Democratic Economic Development - IVP organizations have developed worker-owned firms, cooperative housing developments, community land trusts and a time bank.  These form of development, when it grows out of organizing campaigns, with constituents who shape the cooperative entity, win the resources to bring it to fruition, and realize a new level of power through this organizing.  

 

 

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