Tremendous turnout last night at the CORD (Community Organized for Responsible Development) convention. A real diverse group from across the city (although Yale administrators were noticably absent). And awesome energy. The co-chairs of each of the six issue committees, many of whom had no experience with community organizing as of this summer, each spoke powerfully to their issue and the larger struggle for a seat at the table with Yale – New Haven Hospital. The months of organizing – including 800 canvassing conversations – which went into building a platform as a community for a Community Benefits Agreement paid off powerfully last night, as it will continue to over the coming months. And the strength of that organizing was indicated as well by the presence of a majority of New Haven’s aldermen and state representatives, each of whom committed publically with hundreds of constituents bearing witness to stand with us in demanding that the Hospital’s growth take place with in a manner which grows opportunity and justice in the community as well. As Reverend Champagne preached last night, “We deserve jobs at that Hospital. And not only cleaning the floors, but sitting in offices as well.”

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