by Seth Dellon
According to recently-released statistics by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), immigration arrests are up 38% from 2016, proving that fears about the Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric were well-founded. But, throughout the early presidency of Donald Trump, energies have been focused locally to protect and support Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow’s most vulnerable residents. For many activists, those efforts are coming together with the launch of Community For All: a campaign to support residents of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown impacted by the threat of deportation.
Community For All encourages local residents to make the campaign part of their summer plans by hosting dinners to build relationships with neighbors, while at the same time fundraising for the overall campaign. Organizers have set a goal of 25 dinners hosted to raise $10,000 and will provide hosts with toolkits for organizing, fundraising, and programming. Jan Kaderly, who has spearheaded the Community for All fundraising effort states “Now more than ever, it is up to us as neighbors acting in our community to come together, support each other, and stand up for our values of inclusion and respect.”
One leader in the campaign’s is a Sleepy Hollow-based Latina activist who asked to be referred to simply as “Ana.” She describes the current climate in Sleepy Hollow as “a very difficult time for our community.” Ana, herself an immigrant who has worked to promote diversity and inclusion throughout Westchester and Putnam counties for nearly two decades says, “We need to find ways to create communities that care for each other,” adding that it’s important to build neighborly relationships because when there’s human connection involved, “You learn about the reason behind the issues and work on solving the cause rather than providing a band aid.”
Community for All will build local capacity and mobilize resources in support of families facing the threat of deportation. All funds raised will be directed to the most urgent needs facing families impacted by the threat of deportation including: passports for children of parents in danger of deportation, legal council, legal aid clinics, and emergency relief funds. Community Voices Heard will provide strategic support and lead organizing efforts throughout the campaign. Community Voices Heard is a 23-year-old organization whose mission is to “build power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.” Local activist group WESPAC (Westchester Peace Action Committee) is acting as Community For All’s administrative partner, which will ensure that money raised is kept and allocated specifically to serve Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown’s vulnerable residents. Those wishing to donate can do so at https://communityforall10591.org.