The Naugatuck Valley Project is a regional organization of religious congregations, local labor organizations, and cooperative housing communities. Organized in 1983 to save and create jobs, affordable housing, critical public and private services in the Naugatuck Valley, NVP is an organization with a long history in one of the oldest and poorest industrial areas in the nation.
Our mission is to build relationships among diverse groups around their shared values and help them organize to gain the power to put these values into action.
Organized in l983 to save and create jobs, critical public and private services and investment in one of the oldest, and now poorest, industrial areas in the nation, NVP provides leadership development for scores of low and moderate-income people as they engage in citizen action, community organizing, and economic development campaigns.
These activities have ranged from successful fights for community policing, immigrant services, retiree benefits, job training and brownfield remediation programs, as well as successful campaigns to save and create jobs through employee buyouts, create affordable housing by developing a housing cooperative and a community land trust.
NVP was founded by churches, unions and citizens’ groups concerned about the rapid exodus of manufacturing jobs from the region during the early and mid 1980s. Original sponsoring organizations were the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ, United Auto Workers Region 9a and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG).
Today we are a community-based regional organization of 24 dues-paying religious congregations, local labor unions, and housing cooperatives. NVP’s organizing region includes Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Shelton, Naugatuck, Waterbury, Watertown, Thomaston, Torrington, Middlebury, Southbury, and Woodbury.
In order to carry out our mission and to implement our ambitious strategies, NVP has set up a structure of area "Chapters" which cluster 24 dues-paying member institutions, representing 25,000 households, into five contiguous groupings. Member groups from Derby, Ansonia, Seymour and Oxford, for example, form a "Lower Valley Chapter".
There are Waterbury, Naugatuck and Thomaston/Watertown chapters and an Upper Valley Chapter with members from towns closer to Torrington. Chapters may meet as frequently as needed to take action on issues of immediate localized concern. Quarterly Delegates' Assemblies and an Annual Convention involve hundreds of people in determining issue priorities and action strategies for our work together. Issue committees are established to provide campaign leadership.
An Executive Council of five officers, along with chapter representatives sets most other policies, shapes the budget and hires a Staff Director/Lead Organizer. The Staff Director, in turn, hires and supervises a small professional organizing and support staff. NVP's Executive Council is racially and ethnically diverse and consists of low income people and women.
NVP is a member organization of the InterValley Project (IVP), a regional training and organizing network that includes NVP and five other similar organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. IVP provides training and consultation to NVP in leadership and staff development, strategic planning and the design of congregational development and issue campaigns. This support comes in the form of monthly IVP staff organizer meetings, yearly staff retreats, and semi-annual leadership institutes.
As Lead Organizer, Kim is responsible for overseeing the staff efforts in carrying out the work plan of the Project as developed by the Annual Convention, Delegates Assembly, and Executive Council.
Barbara has been with NVP since 1987. Barbara is responsible for the daily business management of the organization, record keeping, financial documents, coordinating staff schedules, and clerical support for other NVP staff.
Our Executive Council
Bonnie Odiorne, First Congreational Church, Waterbury, President Emerita
Richard Natale, President Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury
Brenda Morisette, Vice President, SEIU,1199NE, Waterbury
Father John Cooney, Treasurer
Jacqueline Jackson, Secretary, United Muslim Masjid, Waterbury
Angela Aybar, Iglesia Cristiana Casa del Perdon, Waterbury, Environmental Justice Committee
Kit Salazar-Smith, Western CT Central Labor Coalition, Hospital Accountability Committee
Nelli Altamirano, Connecticut Worker Center, Bridgeport, Domestic Worker Committee
Steve Schrag, Western CT Central Labor Coalition, Environmental Justice Committee
Bishop Lionel French, Gospel Tabernacle Ministries, Waterbury, Hospital Accountability Committee
Rev. John Thomason, Woodbury United Methodist Church, Hospital Accountability Committee
Pastor Rodney Wade, Long Hill Bible Church, Waterbury, Hospital Accountability Committee
Karine Pimentel, Dominicanos USA, Waterbury, Environmental Justice Committee
Deb Kelleher, Friends of NVP, Environmental Justice Committee
Evelyn Lush, Hillside View Cooperative, Waterbury, Brookside Cooperatives Rep
Christina Reach, Friends of NVP, Fundraising Committee Chair
Thank you to our Funders..past and present..without whom our Fight for Justice would not be able to continue.
Archbishop Annual Appeal
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Connecticut Community Foundation
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Presbyterian Hunger Fund
Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities
Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Universal Health Care Foundation
Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society
William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund