Wed Nov 18, 2015
North Texas IAF WINS Payday Lending Reform in Arlington, TX -Star Telegram & Dallas Morning News

After undergoing a congregational development process in partnership with the North Texas IAF that involved 3,000 parishioners – 600 of which participated in small group encounters led by 80 ministry leaders — leaders of St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish in Arlington, Texas were astounded by the number of stories about payday lending...

Mon Nov 16, 2015
One Quarter to BUILD One Baltimore -BUILD

BUILD fights for 1,000 healthcare jobs for unemployed, underemployed and people transitioning from prison.  Video link below: 

Fri Nov 13, 2015
Open Cloud Academy Expands in San Antonio, Texas -San Antonio Express News

For years, Rackspace co-founder and Chairman Graham Weston heard complaints that San Antonio’s growing data storage company had to search far and wide for qualified talent. He and others thought, “These were jobs that should have been taken by San Antonians.”

An “aha” moment happened one day when he went to...

Mon Nov 9, 2015
In Conservative Town, Faith-Based Group Tackles Minimum Wages -National Public Radio

In Texas, one of the most conservative right-to-work states in the country, a church-based organization has begun to make headway in enacting a "living wage" for San Antonio city employees.

In addition to having no state-mandated minimum wage for the private sector, the Legislature has made it illegal for any Texas city or local jurisdiction to pass its own minimum wage.

But after a year of intense organizing and lobbying, the Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance (known as COPS/Metro) in September celebrated San Antonio's City Council vote that mandated a $13-an-hour minimum wage for all city employees.

Thu Nov 5, 2015
Durham (CAN) Infill Development a Good Sprawl Substitute -News & Observer

With the election of a City Council and mayor firmly behind infill development, Durham CAN’s proposal to turn a barren publicly owned lot at the corner of Jackson and Willard streets into an affordable-housing complex looks like a no-brainer.

That’s good news for downtown Durham, which needs full-time residents to help sustain the renaissance of a once-forlorn area. It’s no longer lights out after work in downtown.

Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods) is a community coalition that has amassed political clout since its founding in 1997 as an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation....

Sat Oct 10, 2015
Obama Considers Executive Action on Gun Control -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....

Fri Oct 9, 2015
Mr. President, "Stop Whining" About Gun Violence -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....

Fri Oct 9, 2015
If We Can't Ban Guns, Can We Make Them Safer? -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....

Thu Oct 8, 2015
PCICEO Educates Pastors on on Pima County Bonds -New Vision

Bishop Kicanas fires off a powerful volley in a friendly competition between Pima Community Colleges and religious leaders of PCIC-CEO in Arizona....

Thu Oct 8, 2015
Rabbi's Gun Protest is Personal -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....

Wed Oct 7, 2015
WashPost Covers Metro IAF White House Press Conference -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.”

Tue Oct 6, 2015
Dupage United: System Works Against the Mentally Ill in IL Prisons -State Journal Register

By The Rev. Michael Solberg and Amy Lawless Ayala

One of the many sayings of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley went something like this: "It is easy to criticize, to find fault. But where are your programs? Where are your ideas?"

We who work with the citizens' organizations affiliated with Metro Industrial Areas Foundation in Cook, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties have taken this challenge to heart when it comes to the related issues of mental health and incarceration in Illinois. This is an issue that affects every town, county and region in Illinois....

Tue Oct 6, 2015
HuffPost Quotes DAI: Working Together Builds Interfaith Relations -Huffington Post

To those concerned about anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, Huffington Post writer Carol Kuruvilla recommends, “Get involved with your local interfaith network.”  She cites Dallas Area Interfaith organizer Josephine Lopez-Paul....

Fri Oct 2, 2015
North Texas IAF Takes on Payday Lenders w/ TX Catholic Conference -Dallas Morning News

Fr. Daniel Kelly of St. Joseph Catholic Church and North Texas IAF – in partnership with the Texas Catholic Conference — hosted a press conference at his church announcing a coordinated interfaith effort to place limits on payday and title loan lending.  During a listening campaign that involved 3,000 parishioners in small group conversations and parish development sessions, “every week another member of my parish [told] a horror story about one of these loans.  They debilitate our families.”

Fri Sep 25, 2015
What Happened in Vegas -Commonweal

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....

Mon Sep 21, 2015
Metro IAF Victories Update 2015 -Metro IAF

Sat Sep 19, 2015
Arlington Board Approves Additional Affordable Housing -Washington Post

The Arlington County Board, in an unanimous vote, on Saturday passed an affordable housing plan that will add about 15,800 apartments affordable to low to moderate income households by 2040.

Three hours of personal and heartfelt testimony from those who said they have benefited from Arlington’s existing housing supports swayed the lawmakers who said they couldn’t recall more affecting testimonials in their tenures.

Carolina Perez described the impact of having a safe and stable apartment on her family, showing the board her daughter’s A-plus on a math assignment. “It really hurts us when people say low-income (families) are bringing down Arlington,” she said. “You are not wasting your money. You are investing in your future.”

Coverage of back story here.

Thu Sep 17, 2015
Let Refugees Revive American Cities: Admit 250K In This Decade -NY Daily News

The White House announcement that the United States should prepare to take in just 10,000 Syrian migrants in the next year is an embarrassingly tepid response to the largest movement of refugees since the end of World War II.

We should do much more — not only increasing the numbers of refugees we accept, but aggressively settling them in American cities, where they can help spark broad economic revivals.

Whether America takes a leadership role or not, conflicts in the Middle East and depressionlike conditions in the Balkans will do what such conditions have always done: trigger the movement of millions of people seeking safety and economic opportunity wherever they can be found.

Thu Sep 17, 2015
Dallas Area Interfaith Clergy Call on Police to Communicate -Fox 4 News

Fri Sep 11, 2015
Austin Interfaith Wins Historic Wage Increase for Municipal Workers -Austin Chronicle & Telemundo

At a press conference held the day after the passage of the new City budget, Austin Interfaithleaders celebrated a historic living wage win and other ‘budget priorities’ that were included.  Austin Interfaith leaders thanked the Mayor and specific council members for acting as “budget champions.”

As a result, the City of Austin will now pay their workers an increased living wage of $13.03 per hour (up from $11.39) and for the first time will include temporary AND contracted workers in that wage standard.  Workers employed for at least 12 months will additionally qualify for healthcare benefits.  Employees of private corporations receiving public subsidies will also benefit from the wage increase...

Tue Sep 8, 2015
Common Ground's "Million Winning Strategy" in Milwaukee -Shepherd Express

In our era of political polarization and highly negative partisan attacks, it’s rare to see community advocates who cheerfully—even gleefully—describe their years-long campaign to help struggling Milwaukeeans.

But Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground’s Keisha Krumm and Jennifer O’Hear were all smiles when talking about their part in securing $30 million settlement between mortgage servicerNationstar Mortgage LLC and the City of Milwaukee.

Tue Sep 8, 2015
IAF Co-Director Mike Gecan Addresses "Anxieties of Democracy" -Boston Review

"As an avid reader and admirer of Ira Katznelson’s work, I am both puzzled and disappointed by his essay.

I am puzzled as to why he defines the crisis of democratic decline so narrowly, as a loss of faith in representative institutions and parliamentary governments. He quotes John Locke asserting that “the establishing of the legislative power” is the “first and fundamental positive law” of a good political regime, as well as James Mill, who nearly hyperventilated describing 'the system of representation' as the “grand discovery of modern times.” Really?"

Tue Sep 8, 2015
MACG considered a force for the common good in Portland -Portland Mercury

"We are in a crisis and people are being dispossessed from their homes and their neighborhoods," says Bob Brown, a MACG member who's been working on this issue for months. "It's bad, and it's going to get worse if we don't do something."

...Brown was one of 97 MACG members who, on September 1, packed a PHAC review hearing for that mandatory review process.

... At the September 1 hearing, the group unleashed its secret weapon—a former senior housing policy manager for the PDC named Leah Greenwood.... 

Fri Aug 28, 2015
Nationstar to Give $30 Million for Distressed Milwaukee Homeowners -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

"Common Ground is pleased that the mayor and Common Council President Michael Murphy negotiated aggressively in our behalf to get the best deal they could get for our city," she said.

"We are pleased with the result."

Tue Aug 25, 2015
Statewide Press Recognizes Texas IAF Work on Wages -Texas Observer

COPS / Metro AllianceAustin InterfaithBorder Interfaith & EPISO, and Dallas Area Interfaith leaders are deservedly getting statewide recognition for their work in support of living wages in San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and Dallas.