NAUGATUCK VALLEY PROJECT NEWS
JUNE 2016



OVER 40 ATTEND NVP DELEGATES ASSEMBLY, REPRESENTING 20 INSTITUTIONS

Over 40 members of NVP member congregations, housing and labor organizations, attended the NVP delegates assembly at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Waterbury on Tuesday, June 7th. The meeting was an opportunity to build relationships between a diverse array of involved groups and an opportunity to dig deeper into the links between issues of aging and workers rights and the state budget in a workshop led by Steve Schrag, a delegate from the Western Connecticut Central Labor Council. 

NVP also used the meeting to kickoff our drive toward the October 1st NVP Annual Convention, which will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Waterbury. That event will serve as an NVP Issues Assembly, a meeting at which delegates from congregations, housing, community, labor and small business organizations will determine NVP’s issue priorities for the coming year. 

NVP CLERGY SIGN LETTER URGING STATE REGULATORY BODY TO INCLUDE A COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT IN ANY PURCHASE OF WATERBURY HOSPITAL. 

NVP followed up on its meetings with Thomas Reardon, President of Prospect Medical Holdings: East and testimony before the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) with a signed letter from allied clergy. Over twenty clergy, representing a diverse array of congregations, signed the letter urging OHCA to condition any purchase of Waterbury Hospital by a for-profit company on the completion of a Community Benefits Agreement. The agency has not yet returned its verdict, and NVP is monitoring the situation closely. 

The following is the list of clergy who signed the letter: Bishop Lionel French, Pastor, Gospel Tabernacle, Waterbury; Rev. John Thomason Pastor, Woodbury United Methodist Church, Woodbury; Rev. John Cooney, Retired Pastor, St. John the Evangelist, Watertown; Bishop Jose Rosa, Pastor, Casa Del Perdon Church, Waterbury; Rev. Joseph Donnelly, Pastor, Sacred Heart, Southbury; Rev. Derrill Blue, Pastor, Mount Olive AME Zion Church, Waterbury; Rev. Ray Odiorne, Pastor, United Church of Christ; Rev. Paul D. Sinnott, Associate to the Bishop, New England Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rev. Scott Nessel Pastor, St. James Lutheran, Southbury; Rev. Fredrick Aniello, Pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Waterbury; Rev. James T. Gregory, Pastor, Saint Teresa of Avila Parish, Woodbury; Rev. Daniel Edwards, Senior Pastor, Macedonia Church of God, Waterbury; Rev. Bertinia Kee, Pastor, Macedonia Church of God, Waterbury; Rev. Dories French, Pastor, Gospel Tabernacle Ministries International, Waterbury; Rev. George Kee, Associate Pastor, Gospel Tabernacle Ministries International, Waterbury; Rev. Eduardo Garcia, Senior Pastor, Arc of Praise Church, Waterbury; Rev. Madalyn Garcia, Pastor, Arc of Praise Church, Waterbury; Bishop T.C. Brantley, Restoration Spring Church, Waterbury; Rev. Jackie Brantley, Pastor, Restoration Spring Church, Waterbury; Rev. Willie Days, Associate Pastor, Gospel Tabernacle Ministeries International, Waterbury; and Rev. Gloria Rivera, Pastor, Return to Pentecost Church, Waterbury. 

NVP CONTINUES STORY-GATHERING CAMPAIGN 

In the past several months NVP, in partnership with our leaders, has arranged ten story-gathering meetings across a wide range of institutions. These meetings have surfaced critical concerns and powerful stories relating to the future of Waterbury Hospital and the question of how to age with dignity. These meetings have surfaced new leaders, many of who were in attendance at our delegate’s assembly. Building on the success of that meeting, we plan to continue our efforts to engage people around these issues. Our plan is to hold 15 more meetings engaging a total of 250 Valley residents by our fall convention. 

NVP AGING WITH DIGNITY/WORKING WITH DIGNITY CAMPAIGN

On Saturday, July 16th NVP and the Brazilian Workers Center will hold a meeting to engage home healthcare workers. The goal of the meeting will be to educate the workers as to their rights under Connecticut law, with a special focus on the recently passed domestic workers bill of rights, and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. We also hope to begin conversations with the workers about how to best capitalize on the winning campaign to get the City of Waterbury to set aside downtown parking for home healthcare workers at reduced rates. 
The time and location of the meeting will be finalized shortly. We are working to make child care accommodations available, and will provide details when those plans are finalized.

CONNECTICUT STATEWIDE HOMECARE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

NVP has brought together a range of religious, labor, immigrant, aging and women's groups to shape Connecticut's decisions about how to deal with the "silver tsunami," the rapidly aging baby boomer generation, many of whose members will need home healthcare services to age in the homes or communities, instead of in a nursing home.

The campaign's focus is to improve home healthcare jobs to improve the home healthcare that so many Valley residents and others need now or will need in the future. During the last legislative session the campaign helped win the passage of the Connecticut Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which includes protections for home healthcare workers.

The campaign includes 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; Unitarian Universalist Society: East; Brazilian Worker Center; Service Employees International Union Local 1199; Service Employees International Union Local1199 Training Fund; Naugatuck Valley Project; United Action Connecticut; and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI).

NVP JOINS CLIMATE JUSTICE ROUNDTABLE

NVP’s Executive Council recently approved NVP’s membership in the climate roundtable. We look forward to participating in the roundtable’s campaigns to secure good, green jobs, fair utility rates, and a sustainable future for all of our communities. 

NVP CALENDAR

• On July 7-9, NVP will send a delegation to the IVP summer leadership institute training at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

• On July 16th, NVP and the Brazilian Workers Center will be holding a joint event in Waterbury to engage immigrant communities around issues of labor and immigration rights, as well as NVP’s parking campaign. 

• The NVP Annual Convention will be taking place on Saturday, October 1st. 

• NVP’s MICAH Dinner honoring outstanding community leaders is being held on Saturday, November 12th at the Grand Oak Villa. 

For more information, email naugatuckvalleyproject@gmail.com.