Tag Archives: east harlem

Sustainable Communities Organizer, East Harlem (Community Voices Heard)

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all. Founded in 1994 by welfare recipients in New York City working to fight unjust welfare policies, we have since expanded our organization to include working on multiple issues in three additional communities in the Hudson Valley. Our core organizing issues include fighting for a just social safety net, good jobs and access to them, truly affordable housing, a participatory democracy, and a fair share tax system.

Our NYC office is located in East Harlem/ El Barrio and we have additional sites in three other small cities in New York State – Yonkers (Westchester County), Newburgh (Orange County), and Poughkeepsie (Dutchess County).

Job Description:

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is seeking a mid-level, bi-lingual Spanish/ English organizer to expand the organization’s work advancing an agenda for truly affordable housing and good jobs in East Harlem.

CVH is currently involved in supporting the creation of a comprehensive Neighborhood Plan in East Harlem / El Barrio to influence the ultimate rezoning and planning process that the City of New York is advancing. Multiple Community Visioning Workshops are scheduled to gather community input, and a variety of sub-groups are digging into the ideas generated by the community to craft concrete recommendations. Initially, the Organizer will work to support broad-based community engagement and mobilization efforts around the Neighborhood Planning process. The Neighborhood Planning process will be completed by the end of the year or early in 2016.

Once the plan is completed, CVH is interested in ensuring that an organized base of individuals and organizations in the community have the power to advance the housing and jobs priorities in the Plan and that low-income people’s needs are at the forefront of any community change. The ideal candidate for the position will be able to advance work on three levels: (1) expanding and managing a CVH East Harlem leadership committee of engaged low-income residents ready to build power to determine how change happens in the community, (2) building out a coalition of other organizations in the community ready to work together to advance particular programmatic and policy goals, and (3) engaging with other citywide partners dealing with similar issues in other communities in order to advance an agenda beneficial to low-income families.

The responsibilities of the position will include:

  • Relational Meetings: Doing strategic outreach in East Harlem / El Barrio and coordinating members and leaders to do the same; keeping a rigorous schedule of one-on-one relational meetings; maintaining contact and communication with individuals met.
  • Outreach & Mobilization:Meeting new people through door knocking, public site outreach, and other forums; moving individuals and groups met to participate in meetings, trainings, actions, etc.
  • Campaign Development, Planning & Implementation: Facilitating the prioritization of demands for insertion into the neighborhood plan as well as for campaigns to advance priorities outside of the neighborhood planning process.
  • Committee Development: Pulling together and staffing an organizing committee of local leaders to determine the focus of a campaign and then make ongoing decisions regarding the campaign’s direction; providing critical background information to leadership team so as to facilitate strategic decision-making.
  • Leadership Development: Building the skills of active membership to understand the political underpinnings of the campaign (i.e. legal & policy context, power analysis, etc.) and to take on more and more roles in the campaign (i.e. giving testimony, facilitating meetings, conducting outreach, etc.) through both one-on-one development and workshops.
  • Coalition & Stakeholder Work: Working with ally organizations and networks in the community, city, and beyond to move forward campaign goals and demands; helping to maintain a local network of organizations ready to engage in the neighborhood planning process and the organizing work needed to implement it.
  • Fundraising:Assisting organization in growing its dues-paying membership and supporting fundraising events.

This is a full-time position that begins as soon as possible. This is a one-year position with a possibility of a renewal for an additional year.

The Field & Communications Director will supervise the Sustainable Communities Organizer, and the position will work collaboratively with the Executive Director and other NYC staff. The position will be based in NYC but will require occasional out-of- NYC travel to other CVH offices.


  • Applicants must be committed to ideology of building community power & share our commitment to membership grassroots decision-making, radical politics & our theory of social change.
  • Minimum 3 years community organizing, union organizing, political organizing, and/ or legislative issue advocacy experience required.
  • Experience in base building, door knocking, one-on-ones, leadership development, mobilization, strategy and campaign development & implementation essential.
  • Experience working in coalition and working with diverse partners is critical.
  • Ability to work independently, yet take direction, according to goals of the organization.
  • Spanish language skills are strongly desired.

How to apply

Please send resume and cover letter to Sondra Youdelman, Community Voices Heard 115 East 106th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10029 or email cvh@CVHaction.org. If sending an email, make sure to put “Sustainable Communities Organizer” in the subject line.

CVH is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and people with current/ past experience on public assistance or residency in public housing are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information please check out our web page at: www.cvhaction.org.

Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interviews will begin immediately with qualified candidates and will continue until the position is filled.

Through the Lens of the Gentrified

On March 24, 2015, 6:00-7:30pm, join the Murphy Institute for Facing Gentrification: Reclaiming Communities by Exercising Political Power.

Panelists will examine ways in which neighborhood residents can develop political influence and strategic alliances to enable them help shape affordable housing initiatives that will not end up displacing the very people they are meant to serve. Labor Studies graduate candidate and student panel co-organizer Tony Moran discusses the documentary “El Barrio Tours” by Andrew J. Padillo, one of the speakers at this event.

By Tony Moran

When I hear the name “El Barrio,” what comes to mind is community, camaraderie, food and the arts, a place where East Harlem and Puerto Rico merged and from this intersection, many notable greats. They include Latin legend musician Tito Puente, poet Julia de Burgos and singer Marc Anthony. “El Barrio” has been called home by many throughout its history; it prides itself of preserving that enriching identity of integration and resiliency.

El Barrio is also home to Andrew J. Padilla, a Puerto Rican filmmaker, photographer and activist born and raised in East Harlem. I first met Andrew on May 14, 2013, at the presentation of his documentary El Barrio Tours. In El Barrio Tours, Padilla highlights the economic duress that urban policies and gentrification have put on his community. This filmmaker has a passion for social justice, and his defense of the working class is ever-evident in his film. His film educated me about gentrification, and contextualized what many neighborhoods are going through. Continue reading Through the Lens of the Gentrified