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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
Mon Aug 24, 2015
Says Business Columnist: Public Sector 'Living Wage' Proper -San Antonio Express-News
According to business columnist Michael Taylor of San Antonio Express-News:
"public employers have a greater obligation to address the moral issue of 'a living wage' than do private employers. Unlike private companies, public entities (such as governments) explicitly purport to represent the “public good” in everything they do. The public good should reasonably include paying workers so they can live above the federal poverty level. Nobody really asked my opinion, but these wage hikes seem not only reasonable, but providing a “living wage” for public-sector employees seems like an essential step."
Sat Aug 22, 2015
Skill QUEST Curbs Dallas Poverty -Dallas Morning News
More than 400 people have been helped by Skill QUEST since it was launched by Dallas Area Interfaith in late 2010.
A subcommittee of the interfaith group did extensive research among 3,500 people in its 40 member congregations, schools and community organizations in Dallas and Collin counties. It found workforce issues...among the biggest concerns....
Thu Aug 20, 2015
Luckless at Texas Capitol, Wage Advocates Go Local -Texas Tribune
"In Austin, a minimum wage hike to $13.03 an hour for full-time employees will be up for consideration in September as part of the city’s proposed budget. San Antonio a minimum wage of $13 an hour next month. Bexar County is also poised to increase its minimum wage to $13 an hour, while El Paso County could vote next month to boost pay for its lowest-paid employees to $10 an hour. Minimum wages in those localities currently range from $9.45 to $11.66 an hour.
Local organizers affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation are hopeful all four proposals will be approved, saying they’ve received assurances from city and county officials. But for these advocates, the wins could mean sending a message to state lawmakers."
Tue Aug 18, 2015
Black Iowans Feel Profiled by the Police -Des Moines Register
In the Des Moines area, members of the nonprofit community organization AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) have spent the past year recording the stories of black Iowans who believe they have been unfairly singled out because of their race by store clerks, security guards, police and others.
Retired Des Moines attorney Harvey Harrison, 71, said what he has heard through that process "proves racial profiling is still a problem, and it has to be dealt with to help this country."
Fri Aug 14, 2015
Bucks’ Owners Win, at Wisconsin’s Expense -New York Times
Not all Milwaukeeans gave the new owners a hug. Last year, Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground — a fine coalition of churches, synagogues, mosques and community groups — surveyed the city’s pitted fields and dilapidated recreation centers and proposed that an arena bond issue should include money for Milwaukee’s playing fields. The group also pushed for a public referendum.
Thu Aug 13, 2015
Metro IAF Pitches Own NYCHA Housing Plan -The Real Deal
The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation invited several Brooklyn elected officials last month to hear a proposal to “infill” large swaths of open space at public housing developments in the borough with between 10,000 and 20,000 units of senior citizen housing.
The faith-based organization has developed low-income homes in parts of Brooklyn through its local chapter, East Brooklyn Congregations.
Wed Aug 12, 2015
Roof Repairs at Harlem NYCHA Building Made Leaks Worse -NY Daily News
“What’s happening in the King Towers echoes what we are seeing all over the city,” said Michael Stanley, an organizer with Metro Industrial Area Foundation, a housing advocate group that’s been critical of NYCHA for years.
Barbara Solomon, 59, says she has tried in vain to get management to fix her ceilings. “Too often, NYCHA doesn’t show up, but even where they are supposedly fixing things, the repairs are usually so ineffective that nothing is really resolved or the problem even gets worse,” Stanley said.
Mon Aug 3, 2015
COPS / Metro Gains Support of City Manager on $13 / Hr Living Wage -San Antonio Express-News and KENS5
Sun Aug 2, 2015
Common Ground's Focus on Kid Safety Turns to School Buses -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel & More
Sat Jul 25, 2015
Valley Interfaith Secures Streetlights in Olmito Colonia -Brownsville Herald
A crowd of leaders gathered near a newly installed streetlight in the Olmito colonia as Father Hector Cruz of Our Heavenly Father Catholic Church sprinkled it with holy water. Valley Interfaith leaders gathered from across Cameron County to celebrate the installation, which resulted from their intervention....
Mon Jul 20, 2015
Express-News Recognizes COPS as Impetus for Palo Alto College -San Antonio Express News
At the first convention of Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in 1974, Fernando Rodriguez Jr. introduced a resolution to open a community college on the West Side or South Side. Berriozábal remembers the idea of such a college was a hard sell for local officials....
Fri Jul 17, 2015
Metro IAF: Here's a Way to Control Guns -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....
Fri Jul 10, 2015
Judge Slams NYCHA Officials for No-Show at (Metro IAF) Mold Hearing -Daily News
"A judge overseeing NYCHA’s flailing efforts to clean up its toxic mold problem ripped into agency officials for being no-shows at a hearing Friday.
A lone NYCHA lawyer showed up, but none of the top brass appeared in Manhattan Federal Court to answer why they’ve failed to live up to a 2013 promise to abate mold in decrepit apartments.
“Why wouldn’t some policy-making, decision-making official of NYCHA be here?” fumed Judge William Pauley. “I can’t believe they have more important things to do.”"
Thu Jul 9, 2015
City of Vancouver to Become Living Wage Employer -Vancouver Courier
Gloria Roque earns a living wage as a teacher, but since she works at an inner city school, she knows many parents who don’t.
That’s why Roque was among those who rallied at city hall Wednesday morning in support of Mayor Gregor Robertson’s motion for the City of Vancouver to become a certified living wage employer. The motion passed unanimously.
Metro Vancouver Alliance and Living Wage for Families staged the rally, which was timed to precede council’s discussion on the motion.
Thu Jul 9, 2015
Arnie Graf Awarded 2015 Change Champion in Community Organizing -Center for Community Change
"It was the mid-1960s and Arnie Graf, a 19-year-old student at the mostly segregated University of Buffalo, found himself witnessing discrimination in a very personal way. “Being Jewish, we had separate fraternities and groups by the charters that were in place,” he recalls.
One place that did welcome students of all backgrounds was the recreational basketball league, which Arnie joined. At the end of a winning season the team went out for a drink, but “when I went to the bartender to get the beer for the table, and was denied service because one member of our team was African American, I lost my cool and..."
Thu Jul 9, 2015
BUILD Hopeful About New Commissioner -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....
Wed Jul 8, 2015
BUILD's Call for Resignation Leads to Dismissal of Police Commissioner -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."
Wed Jul 1, 2015
COPS / Metro Fights Battle to Raise Wages in San Antonio -San Antonio Current
Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance, or COPS/Metro, one of the leading wage advocacy groups in San Antonio, started its living wage campaign about a year ago. The goal is to raise hourly wages for public workers to at least $14.91 — the average amount needed for a family four to stay off government assistance such as food stamps.
Father Mike DeGerolami, pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church and a member of COPS/Metro, said the group maintains that "if you're working full time, especially for a public entity ... you shouldn't have to seek public assistance."
Mon Jun 29, 2015
Metro Vancouver Alliance Builds Bridges and Makes Things Happen -Vancouver Sun
The new Metro Vancouver Alliance is devoted to bringing people of different faiths and beliefs together for the sake of the “common good.”
And it recently marked a significant success when Alliance-affiliated churches and synagogues played a role in helping the mostly Filipino staff at Inglewood Care Centre in West Vancouver get through a contentious contract dispute.
Thu Jun 25, 2015
Austin Interfaith Launches Jobs Training Program for Teens -Austin American Statesman & Community Impact
Austin Interfaith and Austin Independent School District (AISD) jointly announced the launch of a high school job training program targeted at students from three local high schools: Travis, Crockett and Lanier.
Modeled off the Summer Youth Employment program, created by Austin Interfaith 20 years ago in partnership with the City and County, this program will teach high schoolers leadership and soft skills like timeliness, and professional conduct;
Thu Jun 25, 2015
CONECT Organizes Forum to Address Public Safety -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."
Thu Jun 25, 2015
Metro IAF / EBC Demand that De Blasio Act on Housing Horror -City Limits
Angry residents and faith leaders joined forces Thursday to call for the resignation of Shola Olatoye, chairwoman of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). On the steps of City Hall under a bright sun, hundreds of members of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation called for a "shake up" at NYCHA, demanding that Mayor de Blasio keep his promises to New York City’s most vulnerable population.
Wed Jun 24, 2015
Catholic Sisters Combat Poverty, Impact Thousands in San Antonio -Global Sisters Report
The speakers offered words of eloquence and encouragement. Moments later came handshakes, hugs and tears as students crossed the stage. But this was not a typical graduation ceremony. There were no diplomas, no gowns and no hats tossed into the air.
Instead, this ceremony celebrated completion, not from a high school or university, but from job-training programs that varied from associate degrees in nursing to technology certifications. For Erica Espinoza, who went from being a cashier at Bill Miller’s Bar-B-Q to a registered nurse, it opened up a new path, one that leads away from a life of unpaid utility bills, late rent checks, couch surfing and at times, hunger.
“When I crossed the stage, I was really happy. I was smiling; I was shaking every hand,” Espinoza said. “I couldn’t believe I had gotten through everything. It was just pure joy.”
Espinoza was one of 200 students being honored at the graduate recognition ceremony for Project Quest, a labor market intermediary that partners with San Antonio community colleges and local companies offering job-training programs. Its mission: to lead participants like Espinoza out of low-paying jobs and into new, more lucrative careers.
On stage that May evening were Executive Director Pearl Ceasar, a Sister of Divine Providence, and Holy Spirit Sr. Gabriella Lohan, a board member who helped create and implement Project Quest in 1992.