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November 29, 2017


For more information, contact:

Heidi Nolette, Marketing & Communications Manager

315–733–4691, ext. 224

201 Lafayette St., Suite 201, Utica, NY 13502


Utica ESPRI Core Team Announce Town Hall Meeting

Utica Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI)


WHO: Utica Mayor Palmieri, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, NY State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, and the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties

WHAT: Utica ESPRI Town Hall Meeting

WHEN: Thursday, December 7, 2017; Food and refreshment 5:00 – 6:00 pm; Meeting begins at 6:00 pm

WHERE: Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, 211 Square Street, Utica


DETAILS: One year ago, Governor Cuomo announced the City of Utica was to be a recipient of $1.5 million to partner in the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) along with 15 other cities across New York State. Community leaders have been working since to create a plan focused on individuals and families experiencing poverty across Utica.


Utica ESPRI is not a top down decision-making effort; twelve focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and eight workgroups (Transportation, Education, Housing, Child Care, Justice, Workforce Development, Health and Wellness, and Safe Neighborhoods) were held to engage and capture the voices of the residents in the City of Utica. The data includes barriers that prevent people from moving out of poverty, recommendations and projects to assist in eliminating those barriers.


On Thursday, December 7, community partners will hold a Utica ESPRI town hall meeting. This meeting is open to all individuals living in and working in the City of Utica and will give the community a final chance to weigh in on which poverty reduction project or projects will be implemented.


Food and refreshment will be provided from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. There will also be prize drawings including electronic tablets, gift cards, gift baskets, and more from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Individuals must be present to win.


Childcare, interpreters, and transportation are available upon request.


RSVP to attend or for more information about childcare, interpreters and transportation, please call 315–733–4691, ext. 241 or email


**Media is invited and encouraged to conduct interviews with lead United Way staff and Utica ESPRI committee members. Please contact Heidi Nolette to schedule interviews. Contact information is above.




About United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area

Since 1921, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area has been a human service leader in the Valley and Greater Utica area, encouraging all community members to give, advocate and volunteer. Its mission is to mobilize the caring power of the Valley and Greater Utica area by connecting people, resources and ideas to create a thriving community. United Way funds area programs and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, financial stability, and basic needs. For information about United Way, or to donate to the annual campaign, visit, or call 315–733-4691.