Sat Oct 15, 2016
Citizens UK Goes to Court to Protect Vulnerable Refugee Children -The Guardian

Documents lodged in the high court on Friday criticise the government for failing to deliver an actual process to facilitate the transfer of child refugees under theDublin regulation, effectively forcing charities and volunteers to do the government’s job by carrying out the necessary legal and logistical work. “There is no functioning state system and what system there is, is currently almost entirely dependent on private actors,” the documents state.

Legal papers also reveal that the cases of 111 children eligible to come to Britain have simply not been processed because of the lack of an effective system.

The legal action, brought by Citizens UK, a grassroots network of more than 350 groups, argues that the Home Office has repeatedly failed in its duty to help unaccompanied child refugees trapped in the Calais camp, pointing out a “longstanding failure by the defendant [Home Office] and the French authorities to identify and protect children”....

Sat Oct 15, 2016
IAF Organizer J. Lange Addresses Amalgamated Transit Union -Johnathan Lange

An entire generation of union leadership has been forced to play defense.  But now, standing before the 2016 Convention of the Amalgamated Transit Union, I am here to tell you that this is the time to start playing offense.  Yours is the union to show the rest of us how to do it.  Your leadership is the leadership best equipped to throw the ball far down the field and score.

Fri Oct 14, 2016
Rabbis Join Rally in Fight to Stop Gun Violence -NJ Jewish News

A broad coalition of political and religious leaders — including prominent members of New Jersey’s Jewish community — rallied Oct. 6 on the steps of Newark City Hall to demand that weapons manufacturers join them in their fight to halt gun violence.

Under a banner reading “Do Not Stand Idly By,” Christian and Jewish activists urged large and small municipalities to insist that the guns they purchase for police departments include safety features to prevent the weapons from being fired by people other than the officers to whom they have been issued....

Wed Oct 12, 2016
Dallas Area Interfaith Fights Off Mass Evictions in West Dallas -Dallas Morning News

DAI, in collaboration with the Wesley Rankin Community school and center, organized a meeting to brief hundreds of worried renters about their rights as tenants, the basics of eviction law and to pressure the City of Dallas to intervene on tenants’ behalf.  Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, along with the Assistant City Attorney, assured renters that extra-legal evictions would not be tolerated.

The next day, the State District Judge Ken Molberg ordered the Dallas landlord to temporarily halt the mass evictions... 

Mon Oct 10, 2016
GBIO Pushes for Community Preservation Act on Boston Ballot -Boston Globe

These days, grass-roots organizations such as Brown’s affordable housing alliance and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization are undertaking a disciplined outreach effort to educate Boston residents on the measure’s potential impact, according to organizers.

Almost 30 church groups from across the region are holding themselves to a strict pledge. At a rally in September, each participating congregation promised to secure roughly 3,000 “yes” votes from Boston residents, and before Election Day, supporters plan to hold a rally on City Hall Plaza.

“We can’t just diagnose the problems with housing over and over again,” said Jeanette Callahan, a doctor who lives in Dudley Square and is organizing through her church to pass the November measure. “We keep thinking we’ve done something and we’ve done nothing. It’s time to look at a treatment plan.”

Thu Oct 6, 2016
NCG Fights Funding of Adelson-Backed Stadium in Las Vegas -Las Vegas Tribune

Naming “seven hidden risks” that public funding of a new Adelson-backed Raiders’ stadium would bring to taxpayers, leaders of Nevadans for the Common Good publicly voiced their opposition to the plan with a well-attended press conference.

Wed Oct 5, 2016
Northern & Central LA Interfaith Launches ACTS to Combat Poverty -KTBS

With Louisiana as the state with the third highest number of poor people, many of them working full-time, Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith leaders are devising new ways to tackle poverty.  Says Pastor Clayton Moore, “If you work, how is it that you’re poor?”

NCLI leaders have launched Another Chance to Succeed (ACTS), modeling itself on Project QUEST in San Antonio and...

Wed Aug 17, 2016
Insurers Use Process Intended to Curb Rate Increases to Justify Them -New York Times

Matthew McDermott, the leader of an interfaith advocacy group, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, said: “We’re concerned that the proposed rate increases will drive many employers and many individuals to drop coverage altogether. And we worry that that heads us toward a market failure here in Connecticut.”

Fri Aug 12, 2016
NAIC Pushes for Investment in Arizona Public Schools -Daily Courier

200 Northern Arizona Interfaith Council (NAIC) leaders, with the Prescott College Social Justice Human Rights Program, assembled with all six candidates of Arizona Legislative District 1 to push for increased funding of public schools across the state.  Said Tom Benson, “If we want our community and state to be a desirable place to work, raise a family, as well a retire it must be supported by a strong education system from ....

Sun Aug 7, 2016
PCIC Leverages 16% Increase in County Funding for Job Training -Arizona Daily Star

After a campaign that included educating County Supervisors about the economic (and life) impact of JobPath workforce development program, leaders of Pima County Interfaith won a 16% increase in funding for the program, from $423 thousand to $500 thousand.  Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for the increase after Pastor Steve Springer of Dove of Peace Lutheran Church and Lindsay Leonard, a JobPathgraduate, spoke.

Former students like Patty Popp

Wed Jul 20, 2016
Together Baton Rouge Leaders "Refuse to be Divided" -New York Times

In a press conference covered by the New York TimesNational Public Radio and theWall Street JournalTogether 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

In a turbulent time, I find a measure of calm and clarity in the words of the late economist A.O. Hirschman, whose short book, “Exit, Voice and Loyalty” was published in 1970. Hirschman was born in Germany into a life of even greater turbulence than we are now experiencing. He escaped the Nazis, fought in the Spanish Civil War, served in the U.S. Army in World War II and afterwards, as a translator at the Nuremberg trials — and then went on to establish himself as a major figure in the field of economics and community development.

As a writer, he respected the complexities and varieties of the enterprises and nations he studied.

Hirschman pondered the options people have as consumers, members of voluntary associations or citizens of a republic — and defined three options available to all.

To me, they correspond to the three political figures shaping this election year.

Fri Jun 10, 2016
Working Together Jackson to Hold Monday Mayor Meeting -Jackson Free Press

Working Together Jackson, a religious and community mega-group comprised of the heads of around 40 Jackson-area organizations, will sit down with Mayor Yarber on Monday to ask him about issues facing their constituents.

"We will be meeting with Mayor Yarber this coming Monday at 7:30 at Emmanuel Baptist church," Rev. Monsignor Elvin Sunds of St. Therese Catholic Church said at a press conference on Friday, June 10. "We are asking Mayor Yarber to work with us, which he has agreed to do, of course, and one of the things is what is happening with regard to the one percent sales tax that is supposed to be improving our streets."

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.

Community Leaders Pushing Voter Registration, WYPR

Baltimore Mayoral Candidates Pledge to Create Jobs, Assist City Youth, WBALTV

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....