Profiles

 

IVP Member Group Profiles

Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP) was organized in 1983. It is made up of 25 religious, community and labor organizations. Its most recent accomplishments include winning resources for healthcare job training for the first 45 of a projected 150 Valley residents; significant improvements in face-to-face medical interpretation at the 4 Valley hospitals and helping form a coalition which has won $4.7 million from the State of Connecticut to fund face-to-face medical interpretation; winning Attorney General prosecution of 3 predatory lenders leading to a $750,000 settlement for 40 homeowners who were victims of this lending.

Its early organizing led to saving or 3,000 jobs in threatened plant closings; the creation of Valley Care Cooperative, an employee-owned firm with 75 previously low-income women of color as worker-owners, Brookside Cooperative Housing, a 102-unit limited equity/sweat equity cooperative, and a community land trust. NVP has also successfully organized to gain major improvements in a 300-unit 95% African-American public housing project, to protect the health benefits of thousands of retirees, and to develop job training in screw machine and environmental remediation  sectors.  

Current campaigns include organizing to protect funds that allow older Valley residents to age in the community, and to win improvement in home healthcare services for immigrants and in the jobs of home care workers.

Merrimack Valley Project (MVP) was organized in 1989 with the support of the NVP, and is made up of 25 member religious, labor and community organizations in Lawrence, Lowell Haverhill and their suburbs.

Its most recent victories are organizing locally and statewide to win legislative protection for homeowners and tenants threatened by eviction as the result of foreclosure; winning legal services resources for Valley residents concerned about their immigration status; job improvements and ESOL classes for 1,000 immigrant temp workers at the Gillette packaging facility; $1,500,000 from Gillette to fund an ESOL/Career Ladders Program; and the passage of the Massachusetts Fair Transportation Act which caps formerly exploitative transportation fees charged 71,000 temporary workers in the commonwealth. 

Its early organizing led to saving over 600 manufacturing jobs in threatened plant closings; the creation of the Merrimack Valley Manufacturing Partnership; the resident buy-out of Amesbury Gardens, a 160-unit democratically owned affordable housing development in Lawrence; increased public funding for firefighting, community policing, and after school programs; ; and organizing the Temporary Workers Association which won significantly increased enforcement by the Attorney General's office of employment laws against temporary agencies in the Valley.  

MVP continues to organize its fair mortgages campaign while organizing a house meeting campaign to determine its next issue 

Rhode Island Organizing Project (RIOP) was organized in 1993 with the support of MVP, and is made up of 15 institutions. RIOP has brought together a broad cross of people from different races, religions and economic groups to promote the common good and fight for justice. RIOP major accomplishments include successful campaigns to increase state funding for affordable housing; rehabilitate inner city neighborhoods; win changes in state tax law to deter real estate speculation; and expand funding for adult basic education and after school programs.

Most recently, RIOP, working with Rhode Island Senior Agenda, a RIOP member group, has won the restoration of state funds for programs that help older adults age in the community, including Meals on Wheels, respite care and day centers for elders. This continues to be RIOP major current campaign.

Kennebec Valley Organization (KVO) was founded in November 2006 with the support of IVP. Its has 7 member religious congregations and labor union locals in Waterville, Augusta and Skowhegan and is building a new chapter in the adjacent Jay-Farmington-Rumford region. Its most recent victory was playing a critical role in the successful drive to increase the state funding for Head Start. It has previously helped win an increase in the state minimum wage by gaining the support of key Valley legislators. It has also won the creation of first responder training in 11 police and sheriff departments to reduce the dangers and injustice of wrongful arrest of residents with mental health problems.

Current campaigns include fighting for increased funding for elder services and state government acceptance of federal Medicaid funding, further increases in Head Start funding, and improvements in the jobs of home healthcare workers.

Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO) has an initial membership of 15 diverse congregations from different parts of this region of Western Massachusetts.Its initial issue priorities are winning additional resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity and improve transportation to jobs, medical care and food. Its first victory was playing a key role in winning an increase in the Massachusetts Emergency Food Access Program funding from $15 to 17 million.anticipates growing to a dozen or more member groups.

Northeast Kingdom Organizing Sponsoring Committee (NEKO) is in formation in the three most northerly counties in Vermont.


 

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