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Community Voices Heard Power Rallies in Support of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act

Rally for the Emergency Tenant Protection Act with Ossining Residents

Pastor Shaun Ellison Jones, Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church and CVH Power Ally addressing the crowd

Ossining, NY – Members and allies of Community Voices Heard Power rallied Wednesday, August 29th outside of an Ossining Village Trustee work session to urge the Board to enact the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). CVH Power also used the opportunity to continue their group canvassing effort effort to educate the public on ETPA.

The rally took place at the “Welcome to Ossining Sign” S. Highland Ave and Broadway by the Ossining Rec Center (95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562). The work session, which was held at the Ossining Recreation Center, was called after a new vacancy study found a 3% vacancy rate in the Village of Ossining, which puts it within the bounds of eligibility to adopt ETPA. The vacancy study was presented in front of the village trustees and mayor. A public hearing and possible vote on the ETPA proposal will be on September 5th.

ETPA is a modest form of rent stabilization, already in place in 19 other Westchester towns. If adopted, over 1,200 apartments in Ossining would be eligible for rent stabilization, making it the largest expansion of rent stabilized housing in the state in two decades.

“Ossining needs a preservation tool to curtail unscrupulous landlords who focus only on profit and not on community. We represent tenant families who have been neglected because of this insatiable race toward profit. That’s why we have been fighting for ETPA for the past 3 years in the village of Ossining. There is no more time to delay. We are gathered here tonight to send a message loud and clear – that we are ready for the village board to pass ETPA,” Sheila Vereen-Massengale, CVH Power Member-Leader, village of Ossining resident, shares with Black Westchester.

Speakers included Pastor Shaun Ellison Jones, Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church and CVH Power Ally (pictured above), Felix Flores, Education leader – Former Ossining School Board Member and Former Principal of Park Early Childhood School in the village of Ossining, Sean R., CVHP Member-Leader and Tenant from Ossining Chapter, Marcela Levin, CVHP Member-Leader and Tenant from Ossining Chapter and Sheila V. Massengale, CVHP Member-Leader and Tenant from Ossining Chapter (pictured below).

“We are holding this press conference to lift up the urgency of the crisis facing families in our village. Tenants are living with a day-to-day threat that their rents may be raised drastically, while their incomes remain stagnant. ETPA is one part of a bigger solution to this crisis. It is urgent that the village board act on ETPA so we can move on to other critical priorities to make Ossining a strong community for everyone. This is just the beginning,” said Marcela Levin, CVH Power Member-Leader, village of Ossining resident.

[Editor Note: This News Brief originally appeared on Page 25 of the September 2018 Issue of Black Westchester Newspaper]

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About AJ Woodson (2279 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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