by Diana Rubin
On Sunday, May 7, the local group, Irvington Activists, is sponsoring its second annual fundraising event to raise money for the grassroots organization, Community Voices Heard Power (CVHPower). The fun and festive event, Cake For Change, will be held at the Irvington Presbyterian Church (25 North Broadway, Irvington). After a successful event last year, Irvington Activists is reprising this family-friendly fundraiser that brings together bakers, neighbors, local celebrity judges and members of the innovative and impactful CVH organization. Anyone can attend the event by entering a cake in the event’s baking contest or by making a donation. The baking contest will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges, including Irvington Deputy Mayor Connie Kehoe, The Hudson Independent’s Food for Thought column writer Linda Viertel, and chef/owner of Hearth restaurant and cookbook author, Marco Canora. For more information about this event go to http://tiny.cc/CakeForChange.
CVHPower is the political arm of Community Voices Heard (CVH), a member-led organization comprised of low-income people, predominantly women of color. CVH is located in New York City and throughout the Hudson Valley, including a strong presence in Westchester County. CVH is a grassroots organization that is built on the principle that membership must have meaningful decision-making and control of the organization and the work they do. CVH believes that the people whose lives are directly affected by public policies should lead the charge in defining those policies. This model has proven extremely effective – through grassroots organizing, lobbying state and local governments and providing information and education to affected communities; CVH’s successes are many. In Westchester alone, CVH fought for and won a $1 million 2015 budget increase in County funding for childcare subsidies and after-school programs, and it has “banned the box” that asks job applicants whether they have been convicted of a felony on city applications in Yonkers and White Plains. For more information on CVH, visit their website: www.cvhaction.org.
In the wake of the November 2016 presidential election, a group of Irvington residents began meeting to work collectively toward achievable progressive goals. The group is known as Irvington Activists and is committed to affecting long-lasting change in the Westchester community by, among other things, partnering with existing organizations, such as CVH. Irvington Activists, one of several burgeoning grassroots organizations in the rivertowns, provides support to local organizations (through fundraising, event participation, etc.), to enable those organizations to remain focused on their policy goals. Irvington Activists concentrates on three general areas. The Local Politics group, instrumental in drafting and supporting the “sanctuary city” resolutions adopted by the Irvington Village Trustees, is now focused on raising awareness about the importance of changing the County administration in the November 2017 election to better reflect the values of the majority of Westchester residents. The Environmental Concerns group is focused on reinvigorating various Irvington Village Committees that advise on environmental concerns and issues. The Supporting Vulnerable Communities group, the sponsor of the Cake For Change event, will be providing school supplies to 85 low-income elementary students in Northern Westchester sponsored by Neighbors Link. If you are interested in getting involved with Irvington Activists, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.