Virtual Program: “An Introduction to HudsonUP & the History of Universal Basic Income” by Albert Wenger

The Hudson Area Library and The Spark of Hudson present an informational meeting on the history of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and HudsonUP, a current UBI pilot program, on Thursday, August 20th.

HudsonUP is a basic income pilot created by The Spark of Hudson and Humanity Forward and based in Hudson, NY. The initiative is being designed in collaboration with the community and is championed by Mayor Kamal Johnson.

In the virtual program, Albert Wenger and Susan Danziger, cofounders of The Spark of Hudson and HudsonUP, will talk about the history of UBI and the value of the UBI pilot program for Hudson.

Many advocates of basic income have long maintained that the coming technological shift and wave of automation would wipe out millions of traditional jobs and leave everyday Americans without a safety net. The concept of a universal basic income is a simple one: unconditional,
regularly recurring payments made to everyone. With HudsonUP, The Spark of Hudson & Humanity Forward aim to partner with the Hudson community to test this simple concept by providing $500 each month to 22 randomly-selected Hudson residents for five years.

Universal Basic Income has a longer history than some realize. One of the first proponents of Universal Basic Income in the United States was Thomas Payne, author of the Common Sense pamphlet, and individuals as varied as Martin Luther King, Jr. and economist Milton Friedman
have spoken in support of the concept. Andrew Yang’s recent presidential campaign highlighted the importance of a national UBI program for the United States.

Albert Wenger is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a thesis-driven venture capital firm. USV backs trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols. USV’s current portfolio companies include Coinbase, Duolingo, Nurx, Skillshare, Stash. Past portfolio companies include Etsy, MongoDB, Twilio and Twitter. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and a healthcare data analytics company. Albert graduated from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. In his book, World After Capital,
Albert describes the shift to a Knowledge Age — and its implications not only for businesses but all of us. He blogs at Continuations and is @albertwenger on Twitter.

Susan Danziger, founder/CEO of Eutopia Holdings, is an entrepreneur and investor focused on building models for living, learning and giving. Her most recent initiatives include The Spark of Hudson, an innovative community learning center set to launch in Hudson, New York as well as Wally Farms, an innovation hub for growing climate solutions. Susan previously founded Ziggeo, an award-winning video technology company, and DailyLit, a pioneer in digital serialization. Named a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Susan received a B.A. as a College Scholar from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

The Spark of Hudson is an innovative, community learning center launching in Hudson, NY. A model for education and community development, The Spark is dedicated to supporting individuals from all corners of Hudson and beyond to learn, teach and grow. Founded by Susan Danziger and Albert Wenger, The Spark has recently spearheaded and supported a number of community initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street in Hudson, NY. The mission of the library is to enrich the quality of life by providing free and equal access to programs, services and resources, and by creating opportunities for all members of our community to connect, create, learn and grow.

DATE/TIME: Thursday, August 20, 2020 / 6pm – 7pm


REGISTER: To register, email or
call 518-828-1792 ext 101



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2020 Census – Columbia County Has Less Than 50% Response Rate

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Each home was sent an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire, which can be completed online, by phone, or by mail. On the site,, you can view the latest response rates by County. Columbia County’s current rate is just 49.7%, which means roughly half of all homes have filled out the census.

If you live in a home that has not filled out the census yet, please visit to begin.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It’s also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.


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Spencertown Academy Virtual African American Dance Class For Families, Aug 22

Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents Elena Mosley teaching live, interactive African American dance via Zoom on Saturday, August 22 at 10am. Participants will experience traditional dance and improvisational movement, while connecting to African rhythmic music. This free event is the third in the Family Arts Kaleidoscope series, which is designed to engage children and their families from home. Participants should come to the class with a scarf or ribbon to hold in their hand. Registration is open to children ages 8 and up. Older family members are also welcome to participate. Registration is limited; please register at

“This class is going to be so much fun,” says Kelly Kynion, chair of the Family Arts Kaleidoscope Committee. “Elena Mosley is well known for her energy, her talent, and her community activism. We’re honored to have her joining us for this series.”

Elena MosleyElena Mosley, director and founder of Kuumba Dance and Drum, began her dance career in various community centers in New York City. She performed with the Lady Helena Walquer Dance Company of Harlem, NY, Brothers and Sisters United of Staten Island, and Haitian Dance Theater, under the direction of Louines Louinis. She participates in many cultural programs for Columbia, Greene, and the Capital Region schools and community arts programs. She is currently the executive director of the Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center located in Hudson, NY.

The Family Arts Kaleidoscope virtual series continues on Saturday, September 19 at 10:00am, with a special pre-recorded program titled “It’s All About Reading!” featuring composer/ventriloquist Steve Charney and his puppet pal, Harry.

Family Arts Kaleidoscope is made possible with support from Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact

DATE/TIME: Saturday, August 22, 2020 /  10am – 11am

Donations are welcome to help support this series and other Academy programming.
To register, visit


Phone: (518) 392-3693

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New Lebanon Library Fall Program Survey

The New Lebanon Library is planning their Fall programs, and would like to know what you want. Here’s the request from the library:

“With all of the changes brought on by COVID-19, Fall programming is going to look a lot different. Much of it will likely still be online. We also know that after several months of being online, it gets really old; however, virtual programming might be one of our only options for a while. So, what kind of offerings can we bring you? Let us know by taking the brief survey below.”



Phone: 518-794-8844


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COVID-19 Update from Columbia County Health Department, Aug 10

Following is the latest update from the Columbia County Department of Health.

Although our numbers are low, it is IMPORTANT to remember to stay home if you feel symptoms. Recent positives were feeling ill and continued to go to work and/or socialized and potentially exposed many more people, putting them on Mandatory Quarantine for 14 days. Please continue to practice social distancing and wear your mask! 

As of 3:30 pm on August 10, 2020:

– Columbia County has had 37 residents that have passed away from COVID-19.

-Columbia County has 514 confirmed positive cases.

-There are 9 active cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County. We are monitoring 97 county residents on mandatory quarantine, and there are 22 on precautionary quarantine.

– 468 of the 514 cases have recovered from COVID-19

– 3 of the positive cases are hospitalized, none of those hospitalized are in the ICU

-We have received 20,138 PCR reports. Please note this number may represent duplicate reports, out of county reports, and multiple nursing home testings.

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