Founded in 1989, the Merrimack Valley Project (MVP) was formed as a regional power organization to address critical economic and social justice issues confronting the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts, one of the oldest industrial regions in the nation and home to tens of thousands of immigrants. In its more than fifteen year history, MVP has organized pioneering campaigns to fight plant closings, the loss of affordable housing, and the decline of public services in the Valley. MVP's membership is comprised of 32 churches, synagogues, local labor unions, and ethnic and community organizations, with chapters in Lowell, Lawrence, and the Haverhill/Seacoast region in Massachusetts. MVP is a founding member of the InterValley Project (IVP), the New England organizing network of MVP, Granite State Organizing Project, Kennebec Valley Organization, the Naugatuck Valley Project, Rhode Island Organizing Project, and Pioneer Valley Project.
MVP's goal is to organize broad-based civic leadership and institutional power to influence political and economic decisions that affect the quality of life in our communities. We do this by working to expand our institutional membership base; developing large numbers of civic leaders, in particular working and non-working poor grassroots leaders, through formal training and experience-based learning; and building our capacity for mass action through intentional relationship building. Our major accomplishments include successful campaigns to save over 600 manufacturing jobs; the resident buy-out of Amesbury Gardens, a 160-unit democratically owned affordable housing development in Lawrence; increased public funding for firefighting, community policing, and after school programs; the creation of a City Commission on Immigration in Lowell and a City Task Force on Immigration in Lawrence; and passage of the Massachusetts Fair Transportation Act, a state law which caps formerly exploitative transportation fees charged to temporary workers. Our current priorities include advancing the rights of immigrant temporary workers and regional efforts to preserve and expand affordable housing.