Thursday, July 12, 2018

Project Updates From CB&O and More!

Women's Empowerment Mural 

Kwadwo Adae is adding a new edition to his design for the Farmington Canal Women's Empowerment Mural that is currently in progress! He is modeling one of the women on the wall after Diane Brown (left) the Stetson Library Branch Manager. In 2017, Diane received the Connecticut Library Association Special Achievement award, in recognition for her work to build programming that engages residents at the Stetson Library (link). She forged partnerships with other community organizations to offer the "Teach Them While They Are Young," series of youth programming.

The Women's Empowerment Mural features other accomplished women like Diane to call attention to the invaluable and often unacknowledged work of women in the greater New Haven are and in the world.

Contact our Americorps VISTA Haley Brown at this link to get more information or to volunteer for the project!

Community Gardens and Green Spaces

At the Learning Corridor, Doreen and Haley coordinated with Bradley from the New Haven Land Trust to bring soil to the Hazel St garden for a pumpkin patch. Doreen also coordinated with Katie, a nutritionist from the American FoodCorps, to teach a group of Newhallville Ambassadors how to make fresh mint lemonade and incorporate home-grown ingredients into meals. The Newhallville Ambassadors are employed through the Newhallville Safe Neighborhoods Initiative developed by Arthur Edwards. 
Ambassadors strengthen their commitment to Newhallville and build skills to be agents of change through local community service. On Monday (July 9th 2018) the ambassadors shared what they had learned with a group of children from Harris and Tucker School. The exchange will serve as a model for future Learning Corridor programming that will teach residents community stewardship and enable them to share their knowledge with their neighbors!

Doreen and her assistant Jonathan De Los Santos, a representative from the United Nations' Student's Association (pictured to the right) worked on the continuing  Learning Corridor Beautification Project both Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5 - 7pm. This week they were laying mulch in flower beds along with general landscaping.
Contact Doreen by following this link  to get involved and keep the corridor looking beautiful every week!
Will and Stephen visited Mr. Brown (pictured right) at the Dixwell Community Garden to help cut back overgrowth and  prepare the garden for cultivation this summer. 

Haley sent out her initial questionnaire to gauge community interest in gardening and identify key assets in the community gardening landscape. She is currently developing  a skill-share program between experienced gardeners and residents who have a budding interest in gardening. She wants to make gardening acceSsible to everyone and capitalize on the wisdom of New Haven's great gardeners. Follow this link to participate in her survey!

Rosa DeLauro Press Conference

Rosa DeLauro, the representative for Connecticut's third congressional district, visited a Neighborhood Housing Service's home that has recently been rehabilitated for a press conference on the impact of Trump's tax bill on Connecticut Homeowners. Bridgette Russell, the Director of our Home Ownership Center, started by describing our mission to build communities by cultivating home-ownership as well as the negative impact the Trump tax bill could have for the homeowners we seek to empower, before introducing ward 20 Alderwoman Delphine Clyburn. Delphine gave some heartfelt words on her experiences in her ward before turning the mic over to DeLauro for the rest of the event. 

DeLauro presented the results of a staff report linked here prepared at her request. According to the report, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act  (Trump's tax bill) will significantly increase the tax burden on Connecticut homeowners while handing a windfall to wealthy developers.  This bill prevents homeowners from deducting more than $10,000 of their property tax from their income tax. Additionally homeowners will not be able to deduct interest payments on home equity loans from their taxes unless the loan is being used for home improvement. The bill also ends a tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums from those with incomes below $100,000. The wealthiest will not bare an equal burden. In just the next year, real estate developers will benefit from a $3.7 billion cheaper tax cut. This  new increase on top of New Haven's recent 11% tax hike (which you can read more about here) could easily spell disaster for many of our neighbors. DeLauro echoed this sentiment saying that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act undercuts the financial security a home provides, damaging a core component of the American Dream.

This report was written by Yale Public Service Fellow Will Taft

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CB&O Weekly Newsletter Ed. 6 (July 31 – August 10)

NHS Sixth Newsletter by Will Taft on Scribd