Public Safety

Tue Oct 30, 2018

The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) stands with the Jewish community in this time of tragedy, death, and fear. We condemn the horrific shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend and urge a cessation of the heated political rhetoric that is giving rise to anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and violence around the country.

Just over three years ago, 9 members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, also died practicing their faith. It is tragic that many faith communities are beginning to feel that they can only gather safely if they provide for armed deterrence from deadly acts of hate from guns and firearms. Houses of worship should not be places where people fear to assemble.

In the last 10 days, we have also seen a black man and woman killed in the Kentucky Kroger and numerous political and religious figures targeted for harm, including the mailing of explosive packages to numerous public officials. We denounce all these heinous acts and call for a response of justice and civility.

The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) is the nation’s oldest and largest non-partisan network of 75 Broad Based Community Organizations throughout the United States representing hundreds of thousands of families. We intentionally work in local areas to build a sense of greater community valuing diversity, pluralism, and acting together to build local democracy and public life. This week, we are supporting and organizing local gatherings and vigils of solidarity to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

We know that the current polarized climate doesn’t have to be nor should it be normalized. We have demonstrated that people from diverse backgrounds can work together around common agendas that cross racial, ethnic, religious, political, gender and class divides. We are compelled to challenge all of us to stand with Jewish communities throughout the nation in this hour of horror and tragedy.

In this era of hyper-partisanship, we call upon our elected officials, from our nation’s capital to our local leaders, to work across party lines in a way that represents our interests and to stop using language that polarizes and encourages those who would use hate as a tool.

Over the long term, our work of organizing and community building for a common good continues. This requires tolerance and acceptance of disagreements from those with a broad spectrum of political and religious beliefs and traditions, and the acknowledgment that we are all responsible for forming a common public life.

We should never forget the words from the Book of Psalms:

Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion…
For they will never be shaken
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance

Statement Here

Mon Apr 3, 2017

When neighborhood users of SPICE, a synthetic marijuana with side effects including seizures and disorientation, began walking into traffic and collapsing on church and school grounds, leaders from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church stepped into the void to identify solutions.  Church leaders, in collaboration with Southern Arizona Interfaith, soon launched a campaign to “Give them Food” in addition to collaborating with local law enforcement and county health department to educate the community about the drug and prevent its sale. Over 250 area residents attended one of the community meetings.

In fall 2016, SAI and Pima County Interfaith hosted a nonpartisan accountability session drawing more than 500 leaders to address several issues, including SPICE.  In front of hundreds of voters, candidates promised to introduce a bill to criminalize SPICE ingredients and to help law enforcement press charges against dealers.

This spring, Rep. Pamela Powers (LD9-D) negotiated the inclusion of SPICE ingredients in a bill (HB2033) sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter (LD15-R) on controlled substances, that Governor Ducey signed it into law.

SAI leaders are pointing to this victory as an “example of the great things we can achieve when we work together,” including bi-partisan cooperation in the expansion of the bill to include SPICE ingredients.  Leaders also recognized the Tucson Police Department, St. John’s Pastoral Council and the Pima County Health Department for its collaboration.

Leaders are now working with City of Tucson Councilmembers Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik to follow through on their campaign pledges to pass a stricter local ordinance prohibiting the sale of SPICE in Tucson.

Pima County Interfaith, SAI & Allies Challenge Candidates for State Legislative and County OfficeWest / Southwest IAF

Southern Arizona Interfaith Confronts ‘Spice’ Epidemic in TucsonWest / Southwest IAF

 

Tucson In a Cat-and-Mouse Fight Against Nasty Synthetic DrugArizona Daily Star [pdf]

 

Wed Aug 27, 2014

Doña Francisca’s death by car, the 4th accident in front of the Sherwood Village senior living facility, brought clarity to members of Aging Latinos in Action. Without a stop sign, seniors were left vulnerable to rushing and inattentive drivers. ALA reached out to COPA for training, then conducted their own research actions and meetings with sitting Council members to secure a crosswalk in front of their living facility. In photo, ALA leaders process down their newly installed crosswalk.

Said leader Fermin Gonzalez, “We’re not part of history…we’re making history!”


Sat Jul 14, 2012

Greater Cleveland Congregations, alongside allies from across the state of Ohio, championed an innovative criminal justice reform bill that will reduce or eliminate many barriers to employment for ex-offenders returning to their home communities.  Governor John Kasich went to Greater Cleveland Congregations for a public bill signing ceremony and celebratory event in Cleveland on July 14, 2012.


Sun Feb 26, 2012

On Feb. 20, nearly 1000 people from 40 congregations across Cuyahoga County assembled to elicit commitments from all five candidates for County Prosector, including:

  1. Eliminating the practice of encouraging juviniles to waive their right to counsel.
  2. Reforming the County's data system to track and abolish the practice of overcharging.
  3. Reducing racial disparities in prosecution.
  4. Increasing diversion and treatment programs for you.

Tue May 3, 2011

In response to the tragic murder of 12-year old Sean Johnson, BUILD acted quickly to call on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to allocate a permanent police foot patrol to keep the neighborhood safe. BUILD is working with Major Melvin Russell, Eastern District Police Commander, and the Mayor to improve public safety and provide opportunities for neighborhood youth.


Tue Jan 4, 2011

South London Citizens' pioneering work on safety has been widely recognised and is increasingly emulated by statutory bodies (City Hall, Metropolitan Police, Liverpool MET, local authority safety partnerships). The first retail City Safe zone, Lewisham Shopping Centre, scooped recent business awards due to its success at tackling crime, increasing positive youth role‐models, raising investment and building stronger business partnerships. This led to the endorsement of City Safe by Westfield who plan to adopt the scheme in their next retail development. Research shows that theft and violent incidents have fallen since City Safe has been implemented in Lewisham, where citizens, businesses and security staff are working together.


In the News


DNSIB, Gun Safety, Do Not Stand Idly By, Metro IAF

How Mayor Lightfoot Can Use Power of Chicago's Purse to Create Safer Guns

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Sun Times

As the Sun-Times asked last week in an editorial praising Walmart’s decision to further limit gun sales, “Who will be next?”

The leaders of United Power for Action and Justice hope it will be Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

We, along with our affiliated religious and civic organizations in the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation in three other counties in Illinois and across the country, urge Lightfoot to join a growing Gun Safety Consortium initiated by Metro IAF and three mayors in her home state of Ohio.

The consortium is a vehicle for cities, counties and states to use their combined purchasing power to advance the cause of gun safety in the United States. Government buys 40% of the guns in the United States, but has not made full use of this market leverage to push the gun industry to improve its products and practices....


Local Control, Gun Safety, DNSIB, Solidarity, safety

Standing Up to Fear, EPISO/Border Interfaith Organizes a Response Rooted in Hope

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
America Magazine

The Rev. Pablo Matta was one of a number of priests who visited El Paso hospitals in the hours after a gunman with a high-powered rifle opened fire Aug. 3 in a Walmart massacre that took 22 lives....“I saw a lot of the people that died,” Father Matta said....


Do Not Stand Idly By, Gun Safety, TMO, Chief Acevedo

Cops, Priests Urge Smith & Wesson to Make Guns Safer

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Bloomberg Business

“Law enforcement has some of the tools—but not all of them,” Acevedo said in a statement. “Our message to Mr. Debney and the other CEOs is, you have a leadership role to play too. We can’t do it without you.”

Manger and Acevedo’s letter received a statement of support from Do Not Stand Idly By, an organization made up of law enforcement leaders, medical and public health professionals and religious leaders to promote smart guns. In a SEC filing earlier this month, Smith & Wesson said it does not invest in research and development for smart gun technology because it does not believe such a product would interest consumers.


Gun Safety, Do Nost Stand Idly By, Art Acevedo, DNSIB, Ernesto Cortes

TMO Leverages Commitment of First City in Texas for Gun Safety Strategy

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Houston Public Media & CW39 Houston

At a gathering of 100 clergy and leaders from diverse faith communities at Congregation Beth Israel, TMO succeeded in leveraging the support of Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo, making Houston the first city in Texas to support the 'Do Not Stand Idly By' campaign for gun safety. 

The ceremonial signing was preceded by remarks by Rabbi Joel Mosbacher (Metro IAF), Mr. Ernesto Cortes Jr. (West / Southwest IAF), and Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo about the pressing need for an effective strategy.


Do Not Stand Idly By, DNSIB, Episcopal Convention, Mosbacher-Bennett

Episcopal Convention endorses DNSIB principles, advocates gun company investments

Monday, July 16, 2018
MassLive.com

resolution by Western Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Douglas Fisher on investing in gun manufacturers and retailers as a form of shareholder advocacy was approved July 12 by the House of Bishops during the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Convention in Austin, Texas.

Fisher said in a statement that referenced student gun safety rallies at gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson's Springfield headquarters in the aftermath of the recent Florida school shootings that such investment advocacy will give the Church "a voice at the table" and as a shareholder "more difficult to refuse."


Gun Safety, DNSIB, Smart Guns

Taking the Initiative: On Guns

Monday, June 18, 2018
Catholic Labor Organization

The goal is responsible gun ownership and responsible gun transactions. The legislative path is clogged with libertarian ideologues. Consequently, students, community leaders, executives and investors have taken other crisscrossing paths from within and through the business world.  The first of these can be called consumer action....

[C]onsumer/citizen groups focus on gun manufacturers. Rabbi Joel Mosbacher and Rev. Anthony Bennett are leaders in Metro-IAF, a network of over 20 community organizations. They want manufacturers to install accident-prevention accessories on their models (called smart guns that can only be fired by the registered owner) and to discontinue distribution to careless retailers (called dumb dealers). Bennett says he and other pastors are unhappy about “too many funerals” and heartbroken about “too many family members killed because of illegal guns.” Mosbacher is involved because in 1999 his father was murdered as he opened his small business. Metro-IAF’s gun campaign is called “Do Not Stand Idly By”. Metro-IAF knows that a manufacturer does not listen to one or another individual. So Metro-IAF finds allies who purchase in quantity, like police departments. Then gun companies may consider safety proposals. 


Do Not Stand Idly By, DNSIB, Metro IAF, Gun Safety, Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun Times Endorses 'Do Not Stand Idly By' Agenda

Monday, May 28, 2018
Chicago Sun Times

If a gun shop does a lousy job of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, police officers shouldn’t buy their guns from those shops.

If a gun-maker allows its guns to be sold at those lousy shops, the police shouldn’t buy those makes of guns.

And if a gun manufacturer does a lousy job of making guns that are childproof and useless to thieves, the cops should pass on buying those guns, too

This is about following the money. One potentially effective strategy to reduce gun violence in Chicago and our nation, though underused, is to put the squeeze on gun-makers and dealers to make safer guns and better regulate their sale. And the way to put the squeeze on them is to threaten their profits....


Do Not Stand Idly By, DNSIB, Gun Safety, Mosbacher, Sister Byron

Byron & Mosbacher: How We Got the Gun Industry to Reckon its Deadly Toll

Friday, May 11, 2018
NY Daily News

Earlier this week in the Arizona desert, the shareholders of a major American gun company took a modest step toward responsibly addressing the unacceptable levels of gun-related deaths and crime in our nation. Shareholders of Sturm, Ruger & Co. passed a resolution requiring the company to issue a report on its actions to mitigate harm associated with its products.

The resolution was drafted and introduced by leaders of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) — with the support of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (Metro IAF) — at the company's shareholders' meeting Wednesday in Prescott, Ariz. Management asked shareholders to vote against it. A team of religious and civic leaders from our groups, who have purchased Sturm Ruger shares, was there urging a "yes" vote and seeking dialogue with CEO Christopher Killoy....

 


Do Not Stand Idly By, DNSIB, Gun Safety, Shareholder Activism

Sturm Ruger Will Track Gun Violence, After Shareholders Back Resolution

Thursday, May 10, 2018
National Public Radio

....When a call for remarks went out, a shareholder, the Rev. J. Michael Solberg — a pastor in Hinsdale, Ill., who is also a leader in the community and faith collective Metro IAF's Do Not Stand Idly By campaign — spoke up.

Solberg took exception to Ruger's initial response to the proposal, quoting the board's assertion that gun violence is "not so much a public health crisis but rather a law enforcement issue."

More than 120 leaders of police forces, cities and states disagree with that idea, Solberg said, citing a document signed by those leaders who say gun violence is a broad problem. He then asked the company's leadership to meet with him and his group "to be part of the solution to a broad-based problem."....


Do Not Stabd Idly By, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Safe Gun Technology

NYT: When the Dollar is Mightier Than the Gun

Sunday, March 4, 2018
New York Times

Gun violence is not an abstract concept for Rabbi Joel Mosbacher. His father, Lester, was shot dead in 1999 as he opened up his check-cashing business on Chicago’s South Side. Rabbi Mosbacher, who had been ordained just six months earlier, struggled to make sense of the murder, even as well-meaning friends struggled to find words of comfort and support.

“Some were helpful, others less so,” he recalled. “Someone said ‘This will make you a better rabbi.’ Well, I’d rather be a terrible rabbi and have my father back.”

A young man who had run errands for his father was arrested and tried for the murder, but was ultimately acquitted. For years, Rabbi Mosbacher quietly dealt with his family’s grief. But five years ago he started telling his story as part of a national campaign by clergy and civic-minded residents to enlist public officials — whose law enforcement agencies are major gun buyers — to press gun makers into developing safer technology and crack down on dealers whose weapons end up in criminal hands.


Do Not Stand Idly By, Rabbi Friedman, Anthony Bennett, OpEd

CONECT Responds to Claims by National Shooting Sports Foundation

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Connecticut Post

Lawrence G. Keane is supposed to represent the gun manufacturers and retailers who pay his salary. With his wildly inaccurate attack on us and our network of citizens’ organizations (‘Smart Gun’ technology can’t be forced on law enforcement or public,” Conn. Post, Feb. 20, 2018) he does his patrons a disservice; he misses a rare chance to find common ground with Americans who stand outside of the gun industry’s ever-narrowing circle of wagons.


DNSIB, Safe Gun Technology, Metro IAF, US Conference of Mayors

‘Do Not Stand Idly By’ Community Organizing Groups Press US Mayors

Monday, February 5, 2018
The Connection

Northern Virginia community organizers joined interstate partners on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. to press U.S. mayors for safer gun technologies.

Metro IAF comprises 22 organizations, including VOICE in northern Virginia, in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Representatives converged in the capital to press the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Metro IAF’s “Do Not Stand Idly By” (DNSIB) gun safety campaign. The campaign title references a Bible verse: “Do not stand idly by while you neighbor’s blood is shed.”


Gun Safety Technology, African American Mayors Association, US Conference of Mayors

DNSIB Campaign Pushes Forward, Inspires US Mayors to Act

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Do Not Stand Idly By

On January 25th, 100 Metro IAF leaders from 10 states fanned out across the Washington, DC metropolitan area for a full day of actions and meetings with more than a dozen local and national leaders concerned with gun violence.

The meetings resulted in preliminary commitments secured from New Haven Mayor Harp to present Metro IAF's DNSIB strategy to the African American Mayors Association Conference and to work with Boston Mayor Walsh to organize a special Gun Safety Technology and Manufacturer Accountability session at a US Conference of Mayors meeting hosted by Mayor Walsh.


Gun Safety, DNSIB, Smart Guns

State Advocates Push for Smart Guns in Washington

Thursday, January 25, 2018
New Canaan News

Connecticut has become ground zero of sorts for spurring development of smart guns that use technology to prevent accidental or unauthorized discharge of firearms, particularly by children.

The state government is one of 122 jurisdictions in the nation to join in a “request for information” to gun manufacturers on what steps they are taking to develop smart-gun technology. The RFI has been orchestrated by an ad hoc group, Do Not Stand Idly By, made up primarily of religious leaders.


Gov. Hogan, Rev. Robert P. Hoch, Metro IAF, DNSIB

BUILD: Gov. Hogan, What is Your Plan to Stop Violence in Baltimore?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Baltimore Sun

Dear Governor Hogan,

I am writing in my capacity as pastor of the First & Franklin Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. For the past year, our congregation has set aside part of our weekly worship to remember those who have lost their lives to gun violence. Each week, we have held up purple ribbons as we prayed, each ribbon representing a life lost to gun violence in Baltimore. We have prayed. We have grieved. And now we are moving those prayers out of the sanctuary, into the street and finally to our elected officials.

I am also writing as a member of BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development). First & Franklin and BUILD leaders and organizers plan to be in Annapolis Thursday to present to the legislature — and the larger state of Maryland — the 343 purple ribbons representing the number of people killed in 2017 as a result of gun violence in our city....


Police Contract, Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, Community Organizing in Baltimore

Baltimore Brings in New Lawyers to Restart Police Contract Talks

Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Baltimore Sun

....The Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, a leader with the community group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, or BUILD, said the city and the union urgently need to reach a deal.

“With everything that the city is facing in terms of violent crime, it’s essential that the mayor and police union leadership get on the same page with each other,” said Connors, whose group has pushed city leaders to fight violence....


Mayor Catherine Pugh, violence, law enforcement, safety, Maryland IAF

250 BUILD Leaders Demand Release of Mayor's Anti-Violence Strategy

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Metro IAF
BUILD turned out 250 members on August 2nd to demand Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh release her comprehensive strategy to fight violence. BUILD called on the Mayor to convene top law enforcement, corporate, and philanthropic leaders along with BUILD & the City Council to review the plan and make it actionable.

safe guns, Do Not Stand Idly By, Police Commissioner James O'Neill

EBC Wins NYPD Pledge to Push for Gun Safety with Glock

Friday, July 28, 2017
Metro IAF
East Brooklyn Congregations had an incredible assembly and action at the end of July with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, Housing Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and 1,400+ East Brooklyn Congregations-Metro IAF leaders.  The sanctuary at St. Paul Community Baptist Church was standing room only, and there were many more people in the entry way, chapel and in rooms downstairs.
 
The themes of the night were criminal justice and immigration, affordable housing, and launching EBC’s largest ever action on Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, October 9th.
 
EBC had an incredible breakthrough with Commissioner O'Neill who committed publicly to meet with Glock firearms....

Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, Community Organizing in Baltimore

Pugh Defends Approach to Baltimore Crime, BUILD Responds

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Baltimore Sun

....The Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of the advocacy group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, said Pugh should make her crime plan available for the public to review.

 
Foster Connors, senior pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, said “there is a disturbing attitude coming from her right now that she can handle everything, she can do it alone, others don't need to question her.”
 
"This is a crisis,” he said. “Let's all come together and develop a plan. If she has a crime-reduction plan, the public doesn’t know about it. BUILD hasn’t been apprised of any crime reduction plan that’s coming from the mayor’s office, or any plan to address the unprecedented surge in homicides.
 
“Many of us in the community would like to be engaged in that."...

police shooting, #BLM, Jayson Negron, Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard

CONECT Demands Police Reforms Following Fatal Shooting of 15-Yr Old

Friday, June 2, 2017
FOX Channel 61 & ctpost
A dozen CONECT Clergy and Lay leaders gathered at the site of 15 year-old Jayson Negron's fatal shooting by a Bridgeport Police Officer with several of Jayson’s family members (his sister, aunt and cousin) to call for 1) a timely and transparent investigation, 2) the use of body and dash cameras by the Bridgeport Police Department, and 3) the prioritization of de-escalation and racial/cultural sensitivity training for all Bridgeport police officers.
 
CONECT called on Mayor Ganim, Police Chief Armando Perez, and State's Attorney Platt to meet with CONECT on these issues. Depending on the progress of the investigation and what it shows, CONECT may call for other changes in the future as well.
 

Community Organizing in Tucson, SPICE, Neighborhood Safety, Arizona IAF

Southern Arizona Interfaith Passes SPICE Ordinance in Tucson

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Arizona Daily Star & Tucson News Now

Fresh from a state legislative victory allowing the criminalization of SPICE, Southern Arizona Interfaith leaders succeeded in persuading local policy makers to pass a city ordinance against the nasty synthetic drug.  Tucson City councilmembers listened intently as leader Christina Crawford described how SPICE gave her son seizures and spasms, and as Msgr. Raul Trevizo and other leaders described finding vomiting and passed out youth on St. John the Evangelist church grounds.

Councilmembers praised the team for their persistence over 18 months, before unanimously voting to include the new chemical in a Tucson drug ordinance.  Reporters recorded the standing ovation Southern Arizona Interfaith leaders delivered to the Council upon passage of the ordinance.

Said leader Lorena Santos, “Look what we can do when we work together!  This is just the beginning!”

Tucson City Leaders Pass SPICE OrdinanceTucson News Now

Tucson In a Cat-and-Mouse Fight Against Nasty Synthetic DrugArizona Daily Star [pdf]


Gun Safety, Campus Safety, Do Not Stand Idly By, College Campus

Metro IAF Launches "Are Guns Allowed On Campus?" Online Petition

Monday, March 6, 2017
Metro IAF


Baton Rouge Police Department, Use-Of-Force Policy, Louisiana IAF

TBR Congratulates Mayor for Use-Of-Force Policy Overhaul

Friday, February 3, 2017
The Advocate

When Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s announcement of an overhaul of the police department’s use-of-force policies, Together Baton Rougeexpressed pride in the role they played in its development and extended public congratulations.  The organization claims that with the announced changes, the Baton Rouge Police Department’s (BRPD) go “from being among the weakest 30% of cities in the nation to being among the strongest 7% in terms of alignment with national best practices.”

Together Baton Rouge leaders are continuing their work on law enforcement practices, including the recent release of a study on neighborhood disparities in drug possession enforcement.

BRPD Union: No Ill Effects from Sharon Weston Broome’s ‘Common Sense’ Use-Of-Force Policy AdditionsThe Advocate

TBR Statement of SupportTogether Baton Rouge


Listening Campaign, violence, Baltimore, Youth Trauma & Opportunity

BUILD Listens to 1,100 Residents, Ratifies Plan to Fight Baltimore Violence

Saturday, January 28, 2017
Metro IAF

Baltimore’s unprecedented violence last year made national news, and BUILD responded by listening to approximately 1,100 city residents about their experiences with violent crime and what they most want the Mayor and City officials to act on immediately. BUILD has already trained 120 members and leaders to be the Nehemiahs that will rebuild a broken city and formed issue action teams to research and turn the large scale problems the community faces into actionable issues.


Community Policing, Keisha Krumm, Rev. Will Davis, Rev. Ciara Davis #BLM

More Police is Not the Answer - by Common Ground

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Urban Milwaukee

Every American understands the fundamental value of self-preservation — of literally being able to live and breathe another day.

For most Americans, this translates into having a good lock on the door, a security guard in front of a building, or a police department that responds to signs of danger or sightings of people who seem bent on crime or destruction.

For African Americans, especially African American males, self-preservation is not something that can be taken for granted....


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