The Hudson Valley:
Growing Diversity, Shifting Demographics, Racial and Economic Inequality

Communities of color in the Hudson Valley are growing.  The Mid Hudson News reported that Orange County had the 2nd largest population growth of any county in the state from 2000-2010. The Latino and Asian populations have grown by 54% and 33% respectively; African American population increased 8%. During the same period, the white population decreased 6%.  But economic opportunities for those communities are growing harder and harder to find.

The growing diversity in the region is heavily concentrated in a string of small cities, mostly along the Hudson River.  These cities are increasingly poor and lacking in economic opportunity. The increased population creates a strain on the already stressed housing market and contributes to the growing segregation of the region. 9 of the 10 top occupational groups in the Hudson Valley region have median wages below the self-sufficiency level for a family of three. The proportion of African American children in poverty is alarming: 35% in Ulster County; 30% in Dutchess; 22% in Orange. In addition, Black and Latino workers earn 35 to 50% less than White and Asian workers.

 (How we Build Power)

Census: NYCET has brought together community and social service organizations in Columbia, Orange and Westchester Counties for briefings on the Census and are supporting organizations as they work to create Complete Count Committees. Our coalition, Our Voices Count continue conversations that frame the Census in light of the historic undercounting of black and brown populations, the technical, political and funding challenges to an accurate count in 2020 and the services, programs and representation that are at stake if we are massively undercounted again in 2020.  

Census data is crucial for our representative democracy.  This data determines how district lines are drawn for Congressional seats as well as local state and county Legislative seats.  

This data also guides the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to programs that are crucial to the well-being of families, including those affecting health, transportation, education and housing.  The consequences of undercounting our communities is dire and could affect over $73 billion received through 55 federal spending programs guided.

Federal funding, economic development, and fair representation are all at stake with the 2020 census.  

Trainings Some description of trainings from Marcela?

Voter Registration

NYCET partners registered over 4,500 voters

Voter Mobilization

Texted  over 23,000 voters

Called over 13,000 voters

Door knocked nearly 3,000 doors

Candidate Forums

( Maybe pictures from Newburgh and Poughkeepsie candidate forums.)

NYCET brings together a cross section of grassroots groups to hold non-partisan candidate forums devoted to voicing the concerns of parents and residents in school districts and cities in the Hudson Valley.  The forums feature participation from community members  who pose questions regarding the needs of the community. This brings residents face-to-face with candidates affording voters a direct opportunity to hear from candidates in majority black and Latino districts.  

Voting Reforms

Picture from Early Voting Press Conference

Maybe a picture of someone on parole voting for the first time (need to check with him)

We are working with a coalition of groups from around the state, LetNY Vote, to enact overdue,

common-sense voting reforms during the balance of the 2019 legislative session.

Our goal is to pass simple solutions to improve our elections and make registering and voting more accessible and equitable for all eligible New Yorkers.

FUNDING FOR EARLY VOTING and ELECTRONIC POLLBOOKS IN THE BUDGET.  New Yorkers will now have nine days of early voting before every election.  The State must provide dedicated funding for start-up costs, training, implementation and education to ensure success.  Electronic Pollbooks with Ballot on Demand capability will make the process faster, easier and more efficient and reduce cost.

PERMANENTLY RESTORE VOTING TO PEOPLE ON PAROLE  This needs to be codified in law, so that restoration becomes an automatic process.

AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION is a proven way to improve voter participation. It is essential that AVR is enacted and implemented in governmental agencies beyond the DMV (e.g.: department of health including Medicaid, etc.) and provides adequate safeguards for our most vulnerable populations.

FLEXIBILITY TO CHANGE PARTY AFFILIATION  New York has the most restrictive deadline in the country, locking out hundreds of thousands of voters during the primaries. The change of party deadline must be shortened to allow people to make an informed decision.