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Wed Jul 20, 2016
Together Baton Rouge Leaders "Refuse to be Divided" -New York Times
In a press conference covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio and theWall Street Journal, Together Baton Rouge leaders repudiated recent violence and called for careful and intentional dialogue about community divisions and policing. “We condemn violence of any kind…” said Lee Wesley, the pastor of Community Bible Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. During the press conference, leaders stood behind the lectern wearing “Together Baton Rouge” buttons and hoisting signs saying “We refuse to be divided.”
Tue Jul 19, 2016
Border Interfaith Leaders Build Trust with El Paso Sheriff -El Paso Times
Over 80 leaders of Border Interfaith participated in three meetings with El Paso Sheriff Richard Wiles (including Lieutenants and Deputies) over the course of two months to build relationships of trust and to address community concerns...
Mon Jul 18, 2016
AMOS Juvenile Justice Strategy Reduces Arrests and Expulsions -Des Moines Register
Thanks to persistent intervention by AMOS leaders, Polk County school officials and law enforcement appear to be keeping more children and older minors out of court. Between 2011 and 2015, suspensions and expulsions dropped by nearly 64% and suspensions for school attendance issues dropped by 91%. Arrests of minors by city police dropped by 32%, with a 21% reduction in the arrests of African American youth.
Wed Jul 13, 2016
300 TBR Leaders Call for Changed Policing and Economic Reforms -The Advocate & More
Over 300 leaders of Together Baton Rouge called for both law enforcement and economic reforms at a luncheon meeting held at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. The call to action occurred after breakout sessions in which leaders substantively listened to each other. Said Rev. Lee Wesley, “It is not our goal to return to where we were before Alton Sterling was shot. It is not our goal to get back to business as usual. It is our goal to move forward.”
Sun Jul 10, 2016
DAI Calls on Police, Community to Build Trust for Better Policing -Dallas Morning News
At a community meeting organized by Dallas Area Interfaith, there were no easy platitudes in reference to the Thursday night shooting of police officers and protesters that left five officers dead...
Thu Jul 7, 2016
Together Baton Rouge Secures Broader Investigation into Lethal Shooting of Alton Sterling -The Advocate & More
Shortly after leaders of Together Baton Rouge called on the Justice Department to widen the scope of its investigation into the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, saying it should include possible state criminal violations, a spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards responded, saying that the U.S. attorney’s office will not only investigate whether civil rights were violated, but also potential state and federal violations....
Fri Jun 24, 2016
Together Louisiana Reforms State Tax Exemption Program -The Advocate
With seventy ’Together Louisiana‘ leaders in attendance, Governor John Bel Edwards issued an Executive Order overhauling the nation’s largest state program of corporate subsidies, the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP)....
Mon Jun 20, 2016
The Power of Common Ground -Urban Milwaukee
It was two years ago that members of the grass-roots advocacy group Common Ground were researching foreclosed properties in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. They discovered that a major holder of the mortgages was Nationstar and digging deeper, found that Nationstar was a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group, a company founded by Milwaukee Bucks owner Wes Edens, who was demanding a huge tax subsidy for a new arena. “We never imagined we would find such a close link between a Manhattan-based Bucks owner and Milwaukee’s housing crisis,” says Common Ground’s lead organizer Keisha Krumm...
Fri Jun 17, 2016
BUILD Preserves $4.2 Million in Investments in Families and Youth -Baltimore Sun
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council leaders reached a budget deal Friday, likely averting a threatened government shutdown and preserving $4.2 million in funding for children and teens....BUILD rallied hundreds to protest the mayor's proposed spending plan that would have cut $4.2 million from youth programs. English commended Young and Councilwoman Helen Holton, the budget committee chairwoman, for taking a stand against it.
Wed Jun 15, 2016
By M. Gecan: Exit, Loyalty and Voice - a Frame to Understand the Appeal of Trump, Sanders and Clinton -NY Daily News
Fri Jun 10, 2016
Working Together Jackson to Hold Monday Mayor Meeting -Jackson Free Press
Wed Apr 6, 2016
COPS / Metro Wins Wage Hike for Lowest Paid School Workers -Rivard Report & More
Thanks to the intervention of COPS / Metro Alliance leaders that stood with San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD)’s lowest paid workers and the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel, the SAISD Board unanimously approved a wage increase of 20% for the district’s lowest paid , from $10/hour to $12/hour....
Mon Apr 4, 2016
BUILD Wins Jobs for Baltimore -- Johns Hopkins Leads $69M Initiative -Washington Post & Baltimore Sun
From the Washington Post:
As the news conference ended at Zion Baptist Church in East Baltimore, Bishop Douglas Miles stepped forward and grabbed the mic to say, “This is historic.”
He shared a memory from the late 1960s: A young woman on a bus asked him what school he attended, and when he replied, “Hopkins,” she stopped talking to him.
That was the distance, he said, between the city and the university.
“I stand proudly today as a Hopkins alumnus,” he said, “because my institution is taking the lead in something major in this state.” God doesn’t call us to be the richest or the smartest, he said, but to step forward. Miles closed with a prayer, and shouts rose: “Amen! Amen!”
Sun Mar 13, 2016
BUILD Secures Commitments from Baltimore Mayoral Candidates -Baltimore Sun
Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, or BUILD, asked the leading mayoral candidates to commit to creating more jobs and expanding after-school programs for children before about 700 people at Coppin State University. At BUILD's urging, the candidates agreed to create the jobs over four years and to spend an additional $8 million annually on afterschool programs by their final year in office.
"We look forward to holding them accountable," said Rob English, the lead organizer of BUILD.
Mon Feb 22, 2016
Metro IAF Leads the Way on Affordable Housing in New York City -New York Slant
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s recent report that identified 1,130 vacant and city-owned lots is shocking, but all too familiar. Every empty lot represents a missed opportunity for the city to build more desperately needed affordable housing. What’s more, building on vacant sites means that no residents need to be displaced in the process, nor is there a need for the kind of complicated and controversial trade-offs that have mired Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed housing plan in a heated debate with housing advocates and community boards....
Fri Feb 19, 2016
PCIC Co-Founder Remembered for Confronting Those in Power -Arizona Daily Star
Wed Feb 17, 2016
1,000 of Greater Cleveland Congregations Put Justice "On Trial" -Cleveland.com
Faith leaders put the justice system "on trial" Tuesday as they outlined their demands for reform to Cuyahoga County prosecutor candidates Timothy J. McGinty and Michael O'Malley.
As part of the process, the event organized by Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) offered arguments and witnesses pointing to disparities in the current system.
More than 1,000 people gathered at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood for the 90-minute event.
Thu Feb 11, 2016
One LA Leaders Denounce Broad Plan for School Privatization -One LA
After welcoming new Superintendent Michelle King to the first LAUSD Board meeting of the year, One LA leaders delivered a strident statement in support of public education and against the Broad Foundation's charter expansion plan. Leaders earned significant audience applause after emphasizing no plan should "ever refer to our children as 'market share....'"
Sat Feb 6, 2016
South Bronx Churches' Rev. Skelly Takes on Dirty Gun Sales -NY Daily News
"Rev. Francis Skelly, whose parish includes many residents of the Melrose Houses, seemed unsurprised that the gun used in the [police] shooting came from the south — or that the seller once hailed from the north.
“This pipeline of guns from the South, up Interstate 95 and into New York City, has been well-established for decades,” said Skelly. “We don’t expect the legislators of those states to fix the problem, even if Bill Bernstein loses his race.”
[Rev. Skelly is pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a member of South Bronx Churches.]
Thu Feb 4, 2016
BUILD Re-Shapes Market Dynamics For Baltimore Redevelopment -Baltimore Sun
"Within days following the 2002 murders of the Dawson family, who were killed in retaliation for one member's testimony against area drug dealers, 400 people from Baltimoreans United in Leadership (BUILD) and the city's Oliver community stood in front of the Dawsons' firebombed home and vowed to not let those seven deaths be in vain. The group organized and made a strong commitment to changing the neighborhood. The result of that long process is now becoming evident and is highlighted in the current public debate over the impact of the mayor's Vacants to Value program, which uses the East Baltimore transformation as its blueprint.
Spearheaded by BUILD, local churches and residents partnered with city leaders and Reinvestment Fund, a community development organization with an approach to neighborhood revitalization that marries capital with data for strategic investment, to change Oliver. The joint effort was formalized as "TRF Development Partners" (DP), and focused on developing solutions to improve social mobility."
Thu Jan 28, 2016
New Jersey Smart Gun Advocates Press On -The Trace
It’s been a week since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pocket vetoed a bill that would have updated a controversial 2002 smart gun law widely seen as a detriment to the technology. Asked why the bill was left to die, Christie’s office noted that the smart gun reform was among 100 bills passed “in such a hasty and scrambled way” at the end of the legislative calendar, and sponsors of last-minute measures shouldn’t be “praying for them to be rubber stamped.” In other words, he wasn’t given enough time to read or evaluate the proposal.
But to legislators and activists deeply involved in the vetoed bill’s development, Christie’s explanation doesn’t bear up to scrutiny....
Wed Jan 27, 2016
'Nevadans for the Common Good' Staves Off Medicaid Privatization -Las Vegas Review-Journal
Backed by 300 leaders at a ‘Nevadans for the Common Good‘ accountability assembly, Marsha Rodriguez told her story about the fragility of independence as a senior. 72 years old, Rodriguez described waiting 6 months to get into a Nevada Medicaid waiver program, the Home and Community Based Waiver, which helps pay for non-medical services that are essential for some aging seniors to continue living at home...
Wed Jan 20, 2016
Citizens UK Calls on Government to Give Refugees Safe Passage -The Independent
Campaigners, politicians and celebrities listened to Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and laid white flowers as a tribute to the dead....
The event was organised by Citizens UK, which is supporting a court case testing whether four child refugees currently stranded in the “Jungle” will be allowed to safely join their families in the UK....
George Gabriel, from Citizens UK, said: “There are hundreds of people with genuine and valid claims to protection in Britain, including many children and young people who desperately need to be reunited with their loved ones.
Thu Jan 14, 2016
GCC Rabbi Speaks on Dialogue Re: Tamir Rice Grand Jury Ruling -Cleveland Jewish News
Given the Cuyahoga County grand jury's decision in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, things in our community are tense. Elevating the dialogue about law enforcement could help release some of that tension.
We need to talk to one another, though people seem to be under the impression one can only be for or against police when it comes to the tragedy of this young man'\’s death. Many have told me you can't empathize with both the Rice family and with Cleveland police.
That’s just not so....
Tue Jan 12, 2016
At Urging of 'Together Louisiana', Governor Signs Medicaid Expansion -Associated Press
On his first full day in office, newly elected Governor John Bel Edwards made good on a pledge to ‘Together Louisiana’ to expand Medicaid. Edwards signed the executive order for this expansion flanked by Together Louisiana leaders Fr. Rick Andrus, Rev. Patti Snyder, Ms. Pat LeDuff and Ms. Alma Stewart (with LA Health Equity). The expansion is expected to provide healthcare to an additional 300,000 Louisiana residents within the next six months....