Press

Press

Tue May 5, 2015
Memorial Service for Ed Chambers Announced -Industrial Areas Foundation

Edward T. Chambers, long-time Executive Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), based in Chicago, Illinois, died peacefully in April 26 in Kilcoe. Skibbereen, Ireland, where he suffered from advanced Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Chambers was named the successor to IAF founder Saul Alinsky in 1972 and led the IAF to become the premier community organizing network in the U.S. and around the world. Chambers was the lead organizer in many of the IAF organizing efforts in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Woodlawn Organization in Chicago and FIGHT in Rochester, New York. He then mentored an entire generation of organizers and community leaders in what he called "the skills of public life." He wrote a book on his methods titled "Roots for Radicals."

Chambers retired on January 1, 2010, after the onset of Alzheimer's and moved to Ireland, where his family maintains a residence. He was born in Clarion, Iowa, on April 2, 1930, and is survived by his wife, the artist Ann Martin Chambers, and their five children Eve, Mae, Joe, Lily, and William.

An interfaith memorial service will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, June 7, at St. Gertrude's Catholic Church, 1420 W. Granville Avenue in Chicago. For further information, call his publisher at 773-271-1030.

Condolences to the family can be emailed to chambers.ed123@yahoo.co.uk.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ed’s name to an organization that helps people learn how to build grassroots power for the common good.

 

Mon May 18, 2015
Valley Interfaith Shakes Up Pharr Election; Parks & Libraries at Stake -Rio Grande Guardian & Brownsville Herald

"In the recent Pharr City Commission election, Valley Interfaith leaders knew the races were likely to be close. They calculated that if they turned out their supporters and members, particularly in south Pharr, they could impact the election and thus have leverage on which policies get implemented.”

Fri May 15, 2015
Lessons From a Great Community Organizer -Chronicle of Philanthropy

The death last month of Edward Chambers, one of the world’s great community organizers, serves as a strong reminder of how the power of the grass-roots can be mobilized to make a huge difference in the lives of the neediest. He was a master of building groups that could last for the long haul, a skill not enough activists possess.

For 37 years, Mr. Chambers served as the national director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a network of community-based organizations that had been founded by his mentor Saul Alinsky, the iconic champion of "power organizing."

Fri May 15, 2015
TMO Lyons Elementary Parents Prevail Over Rezoning Plan -Houston Chronicle

Lyons Elementary parents won an 8 – 1 Houston Independent School District board vote against proposed boundary changes to their school.  The changes would have sent students from one of the top ranked schools in the state to one ranked in the lowest 18% statewide....

Thu May 14, 2015
Nationstar Mortgage CEO to Meet with Common Ground -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

Nationstar Mortgage CEO Jay Bray agreed on Thursday to come to Milwaukee and meet with representatives of Common Ground, a community group pressing the company to address blighted housing here.

Common Ground associate organizer Kathleen Patron said Bray made the commitment at the company's shareholders' meeting in Irving, Texas. A Nationstar Mortgage spokesman confirmed Bray would come to Milwaukee, but said details needed to be worked out.

Wed May 13, 2015
1,800 GBIO Leaders Secure "Pledge to Work for Social Justice" -Boston Globe

The governor and mayor were joined by Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The four made their pledges before more than 1,800 people who packed the historic Trinity Church in Copley Square for the event, hosted by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.

Wed May 6, 2015
Edward Chambers, Community Organizing's Unforgiving Hero -New Yorker
On a June night in 1978, a community organizer named Edward Chambers drove through the shattered bricks and waist-high weeds of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, finding his way along streets that no longer had signs. He was expected at a nearby Lutheran church by a group of local clergy. Its members had reached out to Chambers, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, in the hope that he could help them rescue a section of New York so devastated that Boston’s mayor, on a visit, had declared it “the beginning of the end of our civilization....”

Sat May 2, 2015
Ed Chambers, Early Leader of IAF, Dies at 85 -New York Times

Edward T. Chambers, a lapsed seminarian who succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of Mr. Alinsky’s social justice foundation, advancing his radical agenda of community organizing and grounding its progressive objectives in the Gospels, died on April 26 at a nursing home near his home in Drimoleague, Ireland. He was 85.

Sat May 2, 2015
Vancouver Sun Calls Metro Vancouver Alliance a "Best Example" -Vancouver Sun

"The Metro Vancouver Alliance might be one of the best recent examples of diverse leaders focusing on the commonweal. Vancouver Catholic Archbishop Michael Miller and Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton are among the religious, educational and community leaders who are co-operating to work for economic justice."

Fri May 1, 2015
Baltimore Unrest Highlights City's Deprivation -Financial Times

After the global financial crisis hit in 2007, the small business that Mr Bey set up after his final jail stint ran into trouble. “I found myself falling backwards very quickly [and] drugs came back into my life.”

His situation remained bleak until he came across BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development), a group that helps people improve their housing, economic and schools environment. He started attending “Turnaround Tuesdays” meetings where Build taught him the skills and confidence to get a job.

 

Thu Apr 30, 2015
BUILD Pushes City Leaders for Meeting with Sandtown-Winchester Residents -Baltimore Sun

On Wednesday, BUILD led a group of neighborhood leaders and others into City Hall for the weekly Board of Estimates meeting. They stood up during the meeting and asked Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young to commit to a meeting.

"There's been a lot of talking in our city, a lot of press conferences, but the citizens from Sandtown here today do not feel like they've been listened to," said the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of BUILD.

Tue Apr 28, 2015
BUILD Addresses Baltimore Eruption: 'Unrest is Generations in the Making' -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.

Sun Apr 19, 2015
COPS / Metro Raises the Stakes: Wages Now Mayoral Campaign Issue -San Antonio Express News & More

Over 400 leaders of COPS / Metro Alliance assembled at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, to confront the top candidates for Mayor and City Council (Districts 2, 3, 5 and 7) on wages, workforce development and housing in the City...

Sat Apr 18, 2015
Citizens UK Makes Westminster's Politicians Face Power of the People -The Guardian

One of a number of alternative hustings trying to boost voter registration and turnout, and expanding the frontiers of conventional campaigning in the process, is Citizens UK.  It is an alliance of 350 schools, faith communities, unions and voluntary sector organisations in areas such as London, Birmingham and Cardiff that, among a number of issues, has pressed hard for the living wage. Its aim is to recruit, train, encourage and involve citizens of all ages in “actions” so they come to believe that what they do counts, not just at the ballot box but in shaping the kind of society in which they wish to live.

Karyn Storey, 18, has been a member since September. She is taking four A-levels at a local college and joined because “my parents are very community-minded and I want to build character”. Annalisa Mensah, 18, who is going to York to study law in October, says: “I’m young, black, female, so out of self-interest why wouldn’t I be passionate about active citizenship? I know it makes a difference. Citizens UK grows every day and I grow with it,” she smiles broadly. 

Mon Apr 13, 2015
Bucks Arena Financing Faces Tight Timetable... and Common Ground -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

....Then there is Common Ground, a community group that is opposed to the use of public money for the new arena. The group wants public money for improved playgrounds and recreational spaces in Milwaukee County.

Recently, Edens has been singled out. His Fortress Investment Group in New York largely owns Nationstar Mortgage, a mortgage-servicing company, and Common Ground said the firm is responsible for an undetermined number of blighted properties in the city. The group has demanded that Nationstar donate $25 million to the city to help rehabilitate foreclosed properties.

"We're taking the Nationstar issue very seriously," Curley said. "We hope to keep making progress with Nationstar."

Fri Apr 3, 2015
Starwood Tries to Raze Low-Rent Housing, Westchester United Fights Back -Lohud - The Journal News

Starwood Capital Group, an international private investment company that manages assets of $42 billion, wants these families to leave so that its development team can demolish the affordable-housing complex, and make way for a hotel and housing for young professionals and adults over age 55.

According to the proposal, Starwood's plan is designed to limit the number of children who would attend Port Chester schools, which are cramped for space.

Sun Mar 29, 2015
Valley Interfaith Celebrates Their (Newly Paved) Streets -Rio Grande Guardian & El Manana

When Valley Interfaith leader Monse Martinez first moved into Las Milpas he noticed the roads were in very bad conditions.  Says Martinez: “The potholes were destroying our vehicles.  But we started to get organized…talking about it in church, holding house meetings and demanding these roads get fixed.”

Thu Mar 26, 2015
WIN & Amalgamated Transit Union Combat On-The-Job Abuse -WAMU 88.5

“We are afraid.”

Cynthia Gary, a Metro employee for 29 years, choked on the words as she testified at a public hearing on safety organized by her union in the basement of a historic church in downtown D.C.

“I will say it again. We are afraid.”

Wed Mar 25, 2015
Working Together Jackson Wins First Housing Trust Fund in State -MS News Now

Mississippi was one of only three states in the country without a housing trust fund before ’Working Together Jackson‘ changed that.

Tue Mar 24, 2015
Momentum for Bucks Arena Slows as Common Ground Steps Up -Journal Sentinel

"The owners of the Bucks have never proven to anyone that they need public money. Nor do they deserve public money," said a statement by Jennifer O'Hear and Lloyd Johnson, who co-chair Common Ground's Fair Play campaign.

The nonpartisan community organization has been especially critical of Edens, whose Fortress Investment Group largely owns Nationstar, a nationwide mortgage-servicing company that the Common Ground says is responsible for hundreds of troubled and blighted properties in Milwaukee.

"We are morally outraged at the condition of Mr. Edens' properties," O'Hear and Johnson said. "Nationstar should be contributing money to the City of Milwaukee for the rehabilitation of deteriorating foreclosed properties."

Mon Mar 23, 2015
700 EBC Leaders Rally for Neighborhood Park Upgrades -Bushwick Daily

No one can say Bushwick backs down without a fight. On Sunday afternoon, March 22, a crowd of 700 members of the community packed into the beautiful St. Barbara’s RC Church with a small but urgent list of demands that carry big consequences for our neighborhood, particularly for kids. I attended to see what was up.

Here’s the gist. The City is neglecting two public spaces in Bushwick...

Mon Mar 23, 2015
Reflections on Southwest IAF Leadership Training by Zeik Saidman -Democratic Faith

Two years ago I decided to help build an IAF organization in Colorado - as a leader. I was frustrated by what wasn't happening in Colorado. I wanted to be a part of the kind of IAF power organization that I knew could make a big difference.

More important, I recalled with fresh energy the extraordinary individuals attracted to the organizing work during my IAF years. I wanted to reclaim some of that relational territory. Or at least give it a shot.

So, with a deep breath I signed up and...

Fri Mar 20, 2015
Economic Alliance Partners w/NCG: YES on Business Tax for Schools -Las Vegas Sun & Las Vegas Review Journal

Calling this "a historic opportunity to improve our public schools and invest in our children,” 'Nevadans for the Common Good’ voted, along with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, to support Governor Sandoval's business tax proposal aimed at improving public schools across the state.

Wed Mar 18, 2015
Tenants: De Blasio Needs Bigger Role in NYCHA -City Limits

When the head of the New York City Housing Authority met with residents at a chapel in Brownsville on Tuesday night, there were questions about failing radiators, missing kitchen sinks, moldy walls, broken doors, pigeon excrement and more.

These were all part of a more general question: A year into his administration, to what extent is Mayor de Blasio accountable for the continuing maintenance woes at NYCHA, which has been shortchanged by all levels of government for at least a decade?

Hundreds of public housing tenants in Brooklyn took school buses from their churches to Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church...

Wed Mar 11, 2015
TMO Parent Leaders Protest HISD Rezoning Plan & Get Vote Delayed -Houston Chronicle

TMO leaders and parents of children attending Lyons Elementary held a pre-board meeting press conference to detail their concerns about the latest HISD proposal to rezone elementary schools.  Rosa Rivera argued that a plan to shift new students to nearby elementary schools would negatively impact her children... 

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