Mothers and Others for Justice

by Cindy Miller, intern, CCA

Mothers and Others for Justice (MOFJ), a New Haven grassroots advocacy group sponsored by Christian Community Action (CCA), is welcoming new members to join us in our efforts to enact positive changes around the lack of affordable housing, healthcare disparities, safe communities and other quality of life issues.

Many of the group members are single heads of household women of color who use their individual and collective voices to influence state and local policy and decision-makers to implement solutions that help people to become self-sufficient. Participation in MOFJ has proved transformational for many members as they return to school, serve their communities, work on political campaigns, and run for office.

Many of the members of MOFJ are committed to the HEALTH sub-committee (Helping Everyone Achieve Lasting Trusted Healthcare) in order to identify and advocate for changes in the healthcare system. We recognize that access to safe, affordable housing is closely related to achieving optimal health outcomes.

Over the years, the members of MOFJ have become empowered by sharing their life stories locally and at the State Capitol. In the coming months, the group is enthusiastic about the opportunity to have their stories recorded in a new grant-funded story lab. Like the cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words, one story of a member of MOFJ and his or her unique struggles tells much more than pages of statistics.

MOFJ will co-host a January legislative breakfast where they will have the opportunity to communicate directly with members of the local and state government the areas in which they believe legislation is necessary. Benefit cliffs and affordable housing top the list of concerns, the latter concern being evident at a recent aldermanic meeting where a number of members of MOFJ presented testimony about inclusionary zoning.

During the pandemic, healthcare disparities between low-income people of color and others were starkly demonstrated — further evidence that those whom CCA serves do not have lasting trusted healthcare. In order to better understand the gaps and areas of dissatisfaction, a survey of 200 members of the community is underway, and there is an online town hall meeting scheduled for Monday, January 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. to encourage conversation and possible solutions on ideas where participants feel need improvement. This meeting has been entitled, “Tell ’Em Why You’re Mad!” It is important that the participants be entirely forth-coming as that will enable CCA to plan its advocacy work through which change can be achieved. Furthermore, it is hoped that the participants will bring up areas about which they want to be educated in a five-part “Health Institute” that will be open to the public to be held in the Spring.

MOFJ has monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in New Haven at which there is frequently a speaker on issues of interest. All are welcome to attend meetings as well as to participate in the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on healthcare issues and the HEALTH Institute.

If there are questions, don’t hesitate to contact either Merryl Eaton (Director of Advocacy and Education at CCA): merryleaton@ccahelping.org) or Cindy Miller: cmiller@ccahelping.org.

Coalition for People Invites You to Join Our Board

Coalition for People is planning its annual meeting in April 2019. We look forward to more people being involved to make sure their issues of importance are acted upon. There is room for additional people to join the board, and we hope some PAR readers take up this challenge to help organize and advocate for the disenfranchised in the New Haven area.

We are working closely with Mothers (and Others) for Justice around issues of affordable housing; we have been networking with organizations around homelessness, the criminalization of the poor, and Yale New Haven Hospital’s neglect by discharging homeless people to the street. YNHH’s actions have led to the deaths of at least two homeless people in the past year.

People have a right to have a home, enough food to eat, a job with a living wage and healthcare. Our government still has not accepted the fact that healthcare is a right for all. The struggle for universal, comprehensive single-payer healthcare continues.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 2-4 p.m. at the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. in the community room in the lower level. Starting again in December we will meet there the third Wednesday of each month. Please e-mail us if you need a different meeting time and tell us when you can meet. We are flexible and want to make meetings convenient for everyone who wants to join us.

coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.