Henry Serrano, CVH

Community Voices Heard is a membership-led organization that was founded in New York City in 1994. Since then, CVH has grown to include 5,000 families who are dedicated to bringing about social and political change on behalf of lower income working people and people of color. Henry Serrano is the Senior Organizer overseeing CVH's voter engagement program.

The program was launched before the 2004 election as a means of building power for the communities that CVH serves and as a support to the group's public policy work. Leadership was, however, cautious about entering the electoral arena, as Henry explains in the video. They decided to build the program gradually, and so began by concentrating their registration and turnout work in several precincts in East Harlem. The second year, they built upon the success of the last, encouraging community-led work among key volunteers from the first cycle while replicating the outreach work in a new area in the South Bronx. Between cycles, they've held accountability sessions with legislatures and leadership development trainings with new members.

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Henry Serrano introduces us to CVH's electoral program. Henry Serrano: CVH's electoral project is not for its own sake, but to support public policy and organizing work