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The Honorable Andrew M.

Cuomo Governor, State of New York Executive Chamber State Capitol Albany, NY 12224 August 18, 2012 Re: Our visit to your home & an invitation for you to come to ours Dear Gov. Cuomo, As you probably know, hundreds of members of Community Voices Heard visited your home today in Westchester County to urge you to be more responsive to the needs of low-income communities and communities of color. Before we stopped by your house, we considered your job performance todate on a few specific issues that are critical to our communities. We write to share our evaluation of your job performance and to invite you to join us in touring our communities in New York City, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and Yonkers. This should give you a sense of how New Yorkers, particularly low-income New Yorkers, feel about the way you have been leading the state government. In addition to the report card included here in this letter, we are leaving hundreds of report cards completed today by CVH members and an oversized, 4 ft. x 5 ft. report card at your home. We offer this large-format report card as a reminder of our visit today and hope that it will serve as a daily encouragement for you to step up and fight for our communities.

New York City Main Office 115 East 106 St., 3 Fl. New York, NY 10029 212-860-6001
th rd

Yonkers 28 N. Broadway Ave., 2 Fl Yonkers, NY 10701 914-751-2641


nd

Newburgh 18 Lander St. Newburgh, NY 12550 845-562-2020

Poughkeepsie 29 N. Hamilton St., Ste L06 Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 845-790-5945

Our organization has been attempting to get your attention on our issues since you took office, and we hope you will make time in your schedule to join us on a tour of our communities. We urge you to do more to advance the causes of: Good Jobs & Access to Them There arent enough jobs in our communities and our people arent able to get the ones that are there. Families cant live on the $7.25/ hour minimum wage in New York. The minimum wage should be increased to a living wage, and it should go up every year as inflation does. Real Democracy & Fair Elections Elections are being bought by the rich and corporations. Low-income people get ignored while attention is paid to those with deeper pockets. Our government should not be for salelow-income people should have the same ability to influence policy and politics as those with money. We need Fair Election reform and a public campaign finance system that caps what the rich can donate to candidates and matches what the poor give to make their money worth more. A Just Safety Net People cant find jobs in this economy and families need to turn to public assistance for support while they get back on their feet. Meanwhile, government is kicking people when theyre down and making people do modern day slavery workfare instead of giving people the dignity of a job. Workfare should be ended in NYS and all unpaid jobs should be replaced by paid Transitional Jobs. Truly Affordable Housing Low-income families are being pushed out of New York State as rent is going up, families are being evicted from houses they owned, and the public housing stock is falling apart due to lack of funding. The state should dedicate $750 million into repairing the public housing stock across the state.

Community Voices Heard is a member organization of low-income people, predominantly women with experience on welfare, building power in New York City and State to improve the lives of our families and communities. We are working to accomplish this through a multipronged strategy, including public education, grassroots organizing, leadership development, training low-income people about their rights, political education, civic engagement and directaction issue campaigns. Many New Yorkers, including many members of our organization, feel that you are not their governor and that you are not fighting for their communities. We share these issues and our evaluations with you in hopes that we can work together to advance the needs of our communities and we invite you to contact us for a visit to our communities. Sincerely,

Agnes Rivera & Walter Lipscomb Co-Chairs, Community Voices Heard