Breaking News: Newburgh Launches 'I Am' Empowerment Campaign

Practically overnight in Newburgh another city-wide campaign went up on every street corner. This time it wasn't democrats or republicans campaigning for a seat on local government despite the November 5th races which are fast approaching (and possibly by the time you read this, concluded). It was a new branding ploy being distributed on small coroplast signs with the words "I Am" written across them - by the hundreds. 

This powerful message is being brought to you by concerned Newburgh citizens, Newburgh Ministries—courtesy of Pastor Joel Sheets—and Mayor Judy Kennedy who called a press conference Monday to share the idea with a number of communication sources including YNN, Times Herald Record and Happy Hudson Valley among others. The word-of-mouth campaign aims to bring together local leaders on civic, scholastic, government and NGO levels to create a common core of empowerment terms to be repeatedly used and reiterated on a month-by-month basis. November's word is "Inquirer" or in Spanish "indagador." An inquirer means to actively enjoy learning and love of learning on an ongoing, lifetime basis. 

Each month celebrates a new term or message that is meant to be shared simultaneously by local leaders and distributed in conversation. Overall, the commitment on the part of subscribers to this campaign will be to share this message abundantly. Then, an application piece where it is consciously applied to everyday. I'm looking forward to April's "communicator" theme so that I can share the power we experience at HHV by distributing positive information.

Sounds ambitious? It is. In that it's hard to get people on the same page generally speaking. But, there is an up-side to this concept that can't be ignored. It's a positive message and it costs nothing. We can do this, Newburgh! Pastor Joel and his team built the idea around and pulled the text directly from the International Baccalaureate program being used by Horizons on the Hudson - a local Newburgh Enlarged City School District elementary level school. 

Jaamari, 3, from Newburgh wearing his new "Newburgh" bracelet.

Mayor Kennedy has issued a call for clergy and religious organizations as well as schools and their educators, local businesses and organizations across the city to implement the "I Am" initiative. When asked if "I am Newburgh" could become the city-wide marketing campaign for rebranding purposes, the Mayor responded, "I am open to having the conversation anytime."  


And, now an inquiry: Join us, won't You?