Newsletter: Vol. 2, Issue 6
October, 2020
YOU are the change we have been waiting for...
Dear Beloved Community-

I care about many things, but voting is foundational to all I do and believe. My life’s work is grounded in a vision for a truly democratic, just and equitable society. I still remember going to my local DMV office on my 18th birthday and gleefully filling out the voter registration form. After college I managed a bus of fellow recent graduates from across the country who rode out from Washington, D.C. to Green Bay, Wisconsin to phone bank, canvass neighborhoods, staff political rallies, and drive in motorcades. Four years later, I took a week leave from my post in the U.S. Peace Corps to campaign in the swing state of Pennsylvania. Leading up to the next election, my daughter grew in my belly as I ran operations out of the Rock the Vote office back in D.C. I returned to Buffalo and worked on school Board elections.   
My work and life has shifted in towards voter development and education versus campaign work. This involves facilitating social and political education to individuals and communities who are oppressed by the system and who face multiple barriers to voting. I am what politicos call a “super voter;” I vote in every single election- primaries, ballot measures, races big and small. I take my children with me and tell them why this is so important. I vote like their lives and the lives of future generations depends on it. I explain to my children that every political position makes a difference and translates into policies and practices that impact our everyday lives. I cast my ballot with gratitude and respect to our ancestors who fought and died for this basic right of citizenship and democracy.               
Election Day 2020 is November 3rd. Early voting is underway in New York. First and foremost, cast your own ballot! Next, please help me and CoNECT encourage and support other voters. Research shows that the week and days leading up to an election are critical in voter turnout. More resources are below; as well as other updates on the other work CoNECT is continuing to do to mobilize our community and partners towards a healthy, happy and just community, country and world! 
In Solidarity,
Jessica Bauer Walker
Executive Director
Table of Contents

  1. Get Out the Vote!
  2. School Health and Wellness Collaborative
  3. Community Health Network of Buffalo
  4. Freedom Schools Buffalo
  5. Resources for Frontline Workers and Organizations
Take our Poll! How do you plan on voting this year?
By mail (absentee ballot)
Early, in-person (Oct. 24 - Nov.1)
Election Day, in-person (Tuesday, Nov. 3)
I'm not eligible to vote
I'm not voting
Register here for a GET OUT THE VOTE session on Thursday, October 29th from 4-5pm; hosted by our ANCHOR and Freedom Schools Buffalo partners.

  • Access information and resources you and your organization need to make your voice heard.

  • Join discussions surrounding small and large immediate actions we can take together!


Please note that the deadline to request an absentee ballot is 10/27.

Early voting will be from 10/24-11/1 (see list of sites for Erie County in the link below; and check your local Board of Elections if you live in another county). 

In-person voting will be on 11/3 from 6am-9pm at regular polling sites. Please make a plan NOW to vote and ensure your staff and clients/community members/etc. have a plan, too. 

There are also opportunities to phone bank, canvass neighborhoods, be a be a poll worker and more if you want to take it to the next level! 

More info at-   
We are excited to welcome two new cohorts of parent and student Community Health Workers in training! This intergenerational, holistic program works to build knowledge, skills and qualities in young people and parents/caregivers; who are then deployed as CHW's to assist schools, families and the community in a "Whole Child" approach to physical, mental, social and emotional health and well-being.

Stay tuned for update and opportunities as we work AS families FOR families to manage the impacts of the pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism.

If you are a BPS family and need assistance with IT, food, or other services, call the District "help line" at 716-816-7100.
Our CHW "Chew and Chat" monthly meetings are now online. Join us each month to support CHW's as a workforce and a movement!

Register here for our Thursday, November 19th meeting from 12-1:30pm.
Topics include:
  • information and updates on public assistance and social services
  • Support for self-care, professional development, networking and more!

If you are a CHW and interested in joining our CHWNB leadership group, please contact Jessica at
The CHW Network of Buffalo are proud members of the National Association of CHW's.

Learn more here to join their mission of "CHW's united nationally to support communities in achieving health, equity and social justice."
Freedom Schools Buffalo formed in summer 2020 as a grassroots, multiracial movement; with an intent to empower and support youth and families in light of the pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism. We are a collaborative of community-based educators, healers, and local leaders using principles and practices of “liberation education” and social justice. We are a MOVEMENT for change; not a brick and mortar “school.”

We are pleased to release our logo, designed by local artists Edreys and Alexa Wajed of Eat Off Art and co-produced with youth, parents and our faculty. After a summer of family and community meetings, "Freedom Friday" sessions with youth, and securing seed funding from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund; we have been spending the Fall planning with our faculty and core partners (here we are at a retreat out at Silo City!) Stay tuned for opportunities to engage with us again soon...
The Live Well Erie & City of Buffalo CARES Act is supporting limited and time-sensitive resources available for housing, childcare and virtual learning. Please see the links below if you or a client/community member needs help in these areas! Funding and slots may only be available for a very short time, so if you or someone you know is in need APPLY TODAY.

  • Temporary rent and mortgage assistance is available to individuals who were unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to pandemic-related circumstances. The emergency assistance is available to cover up to 5 months of rent or mortgage payments up to a maximum of $3,500. Households must be income qualified. Details about income qualifications and how to apply are available here.

  • If you need childcare, there is expanded income assistance available. You can get more information here and/or call the Childcare Resource Network for help navigating your options.

  • If you are a parent and need a place for your child during physical school closure/virtual learning, there are Virtual Learning Centers in the community that you can get more information about here; or call 716-877-6666.
Looking for ways to stay CoNECTed with us?

YOU are our CoNECT family. Thank you for making our work possible.