Public Safety

Public Safety

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

Do Not Stand Idly By, Gun Safety, safe guns, President Obama

Obama Considers Executive Action on Gun Control

Saturday, October 10, 2015
Christian Science Monitor

“We have traveled here from across the nation to challenge you to stop whining about the power you don’t have, and start acting with the power you do have,” said Bishop Douglas Miles, at a news conference in Washington Thursday. Bishop Miles is a leader in the Industrial Areas Foundation's (IAF) national network of interfaith, interracial community organizations.

The IAF wants Obama to put pressure on gun manufacturers, and should have the clout to do so since the US government is a major purchaser of firearms. The IAF wants the gunmakers to self-police the distribution and sale of their guns sold by dealers who consistently sell guns used in crimes, and they want firearms manufacturers to develop new, safer "smart gun" technologies....

Do Not Stand Idly By, safe guns, NRA, School Shootings

If We Can't Ban Guns, Can We Make Them Safer?

Friday, October 9, 2015
In These Times
Gun-violence prevention group Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) has come up with a plan to bypass Congress altogether. Part of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (Metro-IAF), a nationwide multi-faith network of community organizations, DNSIB seeks to use the government’s massive purchasing power to encourage the gun industry to join the campaign against gun violence.
Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, who heads the Beth Haverim Shir Shalom Synagogue in Mahwah, N.J., started the campaign in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Mosbacher is a member of Metro-IAF and has taken part in many of their campaigns. He lost his father to gun violence during a 1999 petty robbery. “We were trying to think, as we always do in community organizing, who else has the power to affect change on gun violence?” he explains....

Gun Safety, Do Not Stand Idly By, Bishop Miles, Violence Prevention

Mr. President, "Stop Whining" About Gun Violence

Friday, October 9, 2015
Huffington Post
With the sun-drenched White House behind him, a prominent Baptist pastor spoke at a news conference that I attended in Lafayette Park yesterday. In a deep, no-nonsense voice, he delivered a stern message to President Obama: "Mr. President, we urge you to stop whining and begin acting."
If President Obama is as frustrated and angry as he appeared to be at his recent news conference about the inability of Congress to do something about gun violence in the wake of another mass shooting, Bishop Douglas Miles has similar feelings about the President's lack of leadership....

Do Not Stand Idly By, Gun Control, Gun Safety, White House, Protest

Rabbi's Gun Protest is Personal

Thursday, October 8, 2015
North Jersey Media Group

Joel Mosbacher wishes he wasn’t here.

It is Thursday morning, sunny and autumn-cool, and Mosbacher, a rabbi from Oakland, is standing across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House as a protester calling for tougher gun laws.

“I certainly never imagined growing up that this would happen,” he said....

Gun Safety, Shootings, President Obama, White House, Press Conference

WashPost Covers Metro IAF White House Press Conference

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Washington Post

As is their way, the community organizers and activists at the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) are pushing the president to use the federal government’s purchasing power to promote safer guns. To do business with the government, companies would have to be willing to “remove the barriers to getting smart guns and gun safety technologies to market” and cooperate with law enforcement to “identify and isolate dealers that provide large numbers of guns used in crimes.”

Sex Trafficking, Las Vegas, Pimps, Youth Prostitution, Robert Hoo

What Happened in Vegas

Friday, September 25, 2015

Andrea Swanson was raised in a Catholic military family in Virginia and married a military man. Her husband, Rod, served as an officer in the U.S. Army, became an FBI agent, then rose to supervision of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Las Vegas. That’s where the couple raised their four children, two girls and two boys. Andrea worked as a school nurse. Her husband was sent to Iraq and other foreign countries. Two of their four children would end up entering the armed services—one as a Marine lieutenant and the other as a sergeant in the Eighty-Second Airborne Division. Both deployed abroad.

And then there was Hannah, their youngest child....

safety, DPD, Josephine Lopez-Paul, police shooting

Dallas Area Interfaith Clergy Call on Police to Communicate

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Fox 4 News

Gun Safety, safe guns, Gun Control, Policing

Metro IAF: Here's a Way to Control Guns

Friday, July 17, 2015
New York Times

For more than a year, we and fellow religious leaders across the nation have worked to persuade President Obama to use what we believe is the most powerful tool government has in this area: its purchasing power. The federal government is the nation’s top gun buyer. It purchases more than a quarter of the guns and ammunition sold legally in the United States. State and local law enforcement agencies also purchase a large share. Major gun manufacturers depend on these taxpayer-funded purchases. For the government to keep buying guns from these companies — purchases meant to ensure public safety — without making demands for change is to squander its leverage....

Baltimore, New Police Commissioner, Community Trust

BUILD Hopeful About New Commissioner

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Baltimore Sun

"Leaders of a community coalition that called for the resignation of Anthony Batts say the city has an opportunity for a fresh start after the police commissioner's firing.

Before Wednesday, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development members had never before called for a police commissioner's resignation in the history of the 38-year-old organization. At Trinity Baptist Church on Thursday, they said they were pleased that interim Commissioner Kevin Davis says he will focus on his relationship with residents and the rank and file, but acknowledged that many don't know much about Davis yet....

Organizing in Baltimore, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Maryland IAF

BUILD's Call for Resignation Leads to Dismissal of Police Commissioner

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Baltimore Sun

At 12:37am Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, a group with 40 member congregations, schedules a Thursday news conference where they said they would call on Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts to resign.

"At a time of an unprecedented level of violence in Baltimore, Commissioner Batts clearly does not have a visible plan to stop the violence," the group says in a news release. "BUILD has met with Commissioner Batts twice since the unrest in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray. Both times, he committed to publicly announce his plan to address the crisis of violence plaguing Baltimore. He has failed. If he has a plan, it clearly is not working."

Community Policing, Shootings, Organizing in Connecticut

CONECT Organizes Forum to Address Public Safety

Thursday, June 25, 2015
FOX & More

"In response to clergy and neighborhood concerns about public safety Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a multi-faith concern, hosted the forum facilitated by Pastor Bernadette Hickman-Maynard of Bethel AME and Pastor Anthony Bennett of Mount Aery Baptist Church.

Topics addressed included police response, neighborhood interaction and community policing, as well as the horrific shooting of nine people that left a man dead last week at Trumbull Gardens housing project."



CT Post:


Only in Bridgeport:

safe guns, Mayor DiBlasio, Do Not Stand Idly By, Rev. O'Connor, Joe Morris

Time For the Mayor to Lead on Gun Safety

Monday, June 8, 2015
NY Daily News Op-Ed

"Even as New York City wrestles with an increase in shootings, Mayor de Blasio is making a habit of missing opportunities to lead on gun safety. Softballs cross the city’s plate, and the mayor doesn’t bother to swing."

Public Safety, Police, Community Policing, Gun Safety, Protest

Credit Cleveland [and GCC] for Largely Peaceful Protests

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What came through loud and clear this past week, however, is that -- rather than descend into violence and chaos -- the citizens of Cleveland chose to express their feelings of anger and dismay in a way that elevated their passionate message. Nothing got lost in a flash of fire or pile of rubble.

Maybe it was the call for peaceful protest by the Greater Cleveland Congregations...

Rev. Andrew Foster-Connors, Melissa Kelley, Rob English, Baltimore, Police, Jobs

BUILD Addresses Baltimore Eruption: 'Unrest is Generations in the Making'

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
NY Daily News

Why is anyone surprised that isolated young people from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country took their anger to the streets? While we don’t condone looting and violence, our only surprise is that it hasn’t happened sooner.

For the past 20 years, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) have been meeting with successive mayors about the growing isolation and anger that has been building in many of Baltimore’s neighborhoods left out from the city’s so-called economic success. Let us review what actually happened and the circumstances that brought about this explosion.

Greater Cleveland Congregations, Public Safety, Police Reform

Momentum Building Toward Meaningful Police Reform in Cleveland

Sunday, March 8, 2015

For all the anger and mistrust swirling around the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the release of a critical U.S. Department of Justice report on the use of excessive force by Cleveland police, voices are being raised in clear expectation that meaningful change can be achieved.

These voices come from within the community and from City Hall, where Mayor Frank Jackson has become increasingly forthright about his determination to negotiate a meaningful and -- from his perspective -- fair consent decree with the Justice Department.

The public's input is equally important, and it is heartening to see the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a collection of faith communities, join the dialogue over police reform. They've made a number of recommendations they would like included in a consent decree.

Consent Decree, DOJ, Police, Tamir Rice, Racial Disparity, Use of Force

Greater Cleveland Congregations Integral Player in Police Consent Decree

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Politico Magazine

The Rev. Jawanza Colvin, who is head pastor at the storied and influential Olivet Church and co-chairs GCC with Rabbi Joshua Caruso and the Rev. Tracey Lind, says it’s important to understand the mood of the people....

“We wanted the police to hear us recognize their sacrifices, and also understand we are examining racial disparities, excessive use of force—all the issues between police and the communities they serve. Last Monday, I attended the swearing-in of an officer from our church. The next day I’m calling for police reform. That represents the range of our relationship with the police.”

Police Reform, Community Engagement, Community Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio IAF

Greater Cleveland Congregations Offer Reform Ideas to Cleveland Police

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
ABC News Net 5

The Greater Cleveland Congregations, a group of churches from all over Northeast Ohio, presented four main reform ideas to city, federal and county official Tuesday night.

More than 1,000 people packed a Cleveland church Tuesday to present these reform ideas which include: constitutional policing that focuses on treating everyone equally, community engagement, financial sustainability and reorganizing internal accountability.

Smart Guns, Gun Safety, 'Do Not Stand Idly By', Connecticut IAF

'Smart Gun' Technology is Common Sense

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
CT Post

Last week, a coalition of clergy in the state brought its effort called Do Not Stand Idly By to the steps of Edmund Town Hall in Newtown with a reasonable appeal for the sale of "smart guns"....

Do Not Stand Idly By, Gun Safety, Las Vegas, safe guns, Kristoff

Kristoff References 'Do Not Stand Idly By' Campaign in Oped

Saturday, January 17, 2015
New York Times

David Hemenway, a public health expert at Harvard, says that the way forward is for police departments or the military to buy smart guns, creating a market and proving they work.

An interfaith group of religious leaders is also appealing to gun industry leaders, ahead of the huge annual trade show in Las Vegas with 65,000 attendees, to drop opposition to smart guns....

Community Organizing in Cleveland, Organizing in Ohio, Community Policing

Faith-Based Coalition Launches Meetings to Address Cleveland Police Department

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Idea Stream

Last fall, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder presented a report that found lapses in training and instances of excessive force among Cleveland Police.  The report touched on cases where protocols were not followed or alternate resolutions to tense confrontations were not used. 

Now the Greater Cleveland Congregations is holding meetings that will let citizens chime in on what they think needs to happen to create a more efficient police force, and improve trust and relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

TMO, The Metropolitan Organization, Public Safety, Pasadena Police, Crime

TMO Church Leaders, Police Officials Forge Relationship to Combat Crime

Thursday, December 11, 2014
Pasadena Citizen

Leaders of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Metropolitan Organization and members of the community and law enforcement officials attended a public meeting Sunday morning to address crime in north Pasadena and to request more police presence in their neighborhoods.

The meeting was organized by TMO...

Gun Safety, Gun Regulation, Illegal Guns, Community Organizing in Cleveland

Time is Now to Halt the Flow of Illegal Guns: Gibson & Caruso

Saturday, November 22, 2014

On the clear evening of May 29, more than 1,000 people from Greater Cleveland Congregations filled the pews at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, a venerable place of worship in the heart of urban Cleveland. They came from homes in public housing and affluent suburbs, after work and dinner with their family. They came together with a shared determination to not stand idly by and silently assent to the gun violence that plagues our community.

Gun Safety, Do Not Stand Idly By, safe guns, Neighborhood Safety, NRA

Can God Beat the NRA??

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Daily Beast

 Do Not Stand Idly By (“DNSIB”) is different for two big reasons.

First, it’s a faith-based initiative spearheaded by Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders (although it welcomes people of other or no faiths.) Framing the argument of the need to reduce gun violence in religious terms will undoubtedly move many—possibly even some on the right.

Second, the focus of DNSIB is going to the source. No, I’m not talking the Book of Genesis. I mean the actual gun manufacturers. DNSIB’s mission is to convince gun makers to voluntarily (or by way of some friendly economic pressure) impose changes in its business practices that will hopefully save lives.

Gun Safety, 'Do Not Stand Idly By', Metro IAF, Rev. James Manship

CONECT Brings 'Do Not Stand Idly By' Campaign to New Haven

Monday, November 10, 2014
New Haven Register

Several dozen [CONECT] faith leaders and public officials came together in Bridgeport’s Margaret Morton Center Monday to ask gun manufacturers to take some responsibility for the number of deaths by firearms every year, particularly in the nation’s cities.

....police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors and governors who signed on estimate that taxpayer-funded purchases of firearms make up 40 percent of sales by firearms’ companies. The bigger part of that number, about 25 percent, are the armed forces and the rest are local and state purchases.

Gun Safety, Do Not Stand Idly By, NRA, gun manufacturers, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher

'Do Not Stand Idly By' Campaign Reaches North Jersey

Sunday, November 9, 2014
North Jersey Media Group

Battles over gun control in America are not always loud and filled with angry back-and-forth rhetoric. Some of the skirmishes are quiet — and perhaps not skirmishes at all.

That is the goal of a North Jersey rabbi and a group of public officials, including some mayors from Bergen County, who plan to show up at the offices of gunmakers in several states and at least one investment firm in Manhattan that has deep ties to gunmakers to discuss controls on weapons.