Press

Press

Mon Feb 20, 2017
IAF Board Appointees Announced -Industrial Areas Foundation

The Industrial Areas Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Rabbi Susan Leider and Mr. Yusufi Vali as board members to the Industrial Areas Foundation Board of Trustees.

Rabbi Susan Leider is a Southern California native; she received her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Fine Arts degrees from the University of California at Irvine.  At the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, she earned her Master of Rabbinic Studies degree in 2002 and rabbinic ordination in 2006.  Since ordination, she has served as assistant rabbi and later as associate rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles.  Currently, Rabbi Leider is serving at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon CA as Senior Rabbi.

Rabbi Leider has taught in community-wide learning programs for those interested in conversion to Judaism. In the broader community, she brings her passion to congregation-based community organizing, building power for sustainable social and economic change through interfaith efforts. Her articles have appeared in Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. At the national level, she serves on the Joint Placement Committee for the Conservative Movement.  At the Spertus Institute in Chicago, Rabbi Leider is a candidate for a Doctoral degree in Jewish Studies.

Yusufi Vali is the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) and has prior experience with field and community organizing.  In 2008, Mr. Vali worked for Barak Obama's Presidential campaign, organizing 49 precincts in South Minneapolis and managed to increase voter turnout substantially from the 2004 elections.  In 2009, Mr. Vali became a community organizer for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), training future leaders and raising over $160K in grant funds as well as coordinating major political actions.  Mr. Vali is a natural leader and is proficient in grassroots organizing, as well is volunteer management and program development.  Mr. Vali has a Masters Degree in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) as well as an MSc in Philosophy from the London School of Economics.

Fri Feb 3, 2017
Texas IAF Joins Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops Against Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill -KXAN & Rio Grande Guardian

Said Bishop Joe Vásquez, on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, “We reject the premise that persons who are merely suspected of being undocumented immigrants should be rounded up by state and local police agents.”

“This bill requires local police and sheriff’s deputies to enforce federal immigration laws as if their job of maintaining public order and the public safety weren’t difficult enough as it is,” said John Elford, senior pastor of University United Methodist Church and member of Austin Interfaith.

Sun Jan 29, 2017
Most Religious Groups Come Out Against Trump Refugee Order -Associated Press

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher had just finished the morning's Shabbat service when he got an urgent message: Rabbis were needed at New York's Kennedy Airport. People were being detained under President Donald Trump's sharp travel restrictions on refugees. Would he come pray?

By sundown, Mosbacher was part a group of rabbis at the airport, playing guitar and conducting a Havdalah service marking the end of the Sabbath. About 2,000 people gathered to rally against the new policy.

"We know what it's like to be the stranger," said Mosbacher, a Reform rabbi at Temple Shaaray Tefila, noting that Jewish refugees were at times turned away from the U.S. "As a person of faith, it was so important to be there."

Sun Jan 29, 2017
Over a Thousand Gather to Support Howard Becoming 'Sanctuary County' -CBS Baltimore

Over a thousand people gathered on Sunday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center in support of making Howard County a Sanctuary County.

Leaders from PATH (People Acting Together in Howard) were joined by members of the County Council as well as Bishop Mark Brennan of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Members of the undocumented community spoke on the importance of this bill, as will members of the Muslim community and many other faith communities....

Wed Jan 25, 2017
NCG Advances on Issue of Funding for Nevada Meals on Wheels -Boulder City Review

[Boulder City Council] "approved a resolution urging the Nevada Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval to increase state funding for Meal on Wheels, a program that brings meals to homebound and disabled elderly. The resolution was brought to the council by Nevadans for the Common Good...

Council urged state lawmakers to increase funding for Meals on Wheels by $5 million every two years, citing a waiting list for elderly seniors to get on the program in Las Vegas and Henderson.

“I think in a state where our legislatures can have a serious discussion about spending hundreds of millions on a football field they can use millions of dollars to feed the elderly,” McCoy said...."

Wed Jan 25, 2017
‘Solidarity Gathering’ In New Haven To Stand Up For Muslims, Immigrants -WSHU (NPR)

“We recognize that we cannot be all that we are called to be if someone is bullied, mocked, intimidated, oppressed, diminished in any way, because of unjust policies or laws, those excluded because of race, religion.”

Manship helped found the interfaith group CONECT, or Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, in 2011.

The statewide group is starting committees to organize legal resources, job security, and sanctuary spaces for undocumented immigrants.

Tue Jan 24, 2017
DAI, Catholic Church Credited with Blocking Arlington Payday Lending -University of Utah & University of New Mexico

"Catholic congregations and leaders ...were central in the push for payday lending reform in nearby Arlington.   Father Daniel Kelley of St. Joseph Catholic Church was particularly influential.  In addition, the Texas Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of Texas’ Catholic bishops, worked directly on payday lending reform at the state and local level, and also participated in Dallas Area Interfaith and Faith Leaders for Fair Lending.  Hearing stories from borrowers who sought assistance from Catholic charitable organizations helped generate interest in the payday issue among Catholic leaders.345  The religion’s long‐standing antipathy to usury provided these leaders with a ready‐made framework for opposing payday loans...."  See more on page 81.

Tue Jan 24, 2017
MOC Confronts Deportation & Eviction Threats to Immigration -Catholic SF & Marin Independent Journal

Fierce winter rains were not enough to stop over 300 leaders of Marin Organizing Committe from convening to discuss the dual threats many immigrants face: deportation and loss of housing.

Leaders broke into small group meetings at San Rafael Catholic Church to share stories of deportation threats, surprise evictions (including a mother evicted 5 days after giving birth), and rents increased five times within one year, often after tenants complained about a stove burner not working or mold on the carpet.

Tue Jan 24, 2017
Mayor Budgets $1B to Fix NYCHA Roofs, But Critics Say Not It's Enough -New York Daily News

....Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, questioned whether repairs will come fast enough to alleviate the toxic mold that afflicts so many public housing tenants.

“Ten years is an eternity for the children and adults who suffer with respiratory conditions now,” Metro IAF member Fr. Francis Skelly, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in the South Bronx, said. “The health threats are urgent.”

Mon Jan 16, 2017
Radical Model Fighting the Housing Crisis: Tie Property Prices to Income -The Guardian

Buried among the workhouse chic and the new brick apartment blocks is an unlikely experiment in building homes that will remain affordable to local people forever. After a decade of campaigning, the East London Community Land Trusthas succeeded in creating housing where the prices will be linked to local income in perpetuity, entirely detached from the superheated speculation of the property market....

As the capital’s first community land trust, the St Clement’s project was made possible because the site, home to a mental health hospital that closed in 2005, was owned by the Greater London Authority. After a long grassroots campaign, led by charity Citizens UK, the GLA asked the successful developer, Linden Homes, to work with the East London CLT group, which had also bid for the site. 

 

Thu Jan 12, 2017
#NOTallin: Regional Faith-based Coalition Announces Opposition to Q Renovations -Cleveland Scene

Representatives from the Greater Cleveland Congregations announced their opposition to using public dollars on arena renovations without public input or benefit. The GCC, said several speakers, is "NOT all in." 

The group decried the "fast-track" nature of the financing deal announced last month, which will use multiple public revenue streams to supplement Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert's private investment in an exterior overhaul. The public portion was estimated to be $70 million, but could be more than double that cost due to interest. 

The GCC demanded that elected officials — Mayor Frank Jackson, County Executive Armond Budish, both city and county councils — slow down the process so the public can meaningfully have its say. 

Mon Jan 9, 2017
Chris Hedges Talks with Michael Gecan About Building Organizations -Truth Dig

When asked why he told poor Brooklyn communities in 1980 to raise a quarter of a million dollars without government aid, community organizer Michael Gecan responded, “Because power is organized people and organized money.”

In the latest episode of “On Contact,” the author of “Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action” went on to tell Chris Hedges that “most activists stress organized people and forget organized money ... we stress both.”

Wed Jan 4, 2017
Back of the Yards: Lessons from a Community Organizer, by Mike Gecan -Boston Review

On the Wednesday after November’s presidential election, I found myself in the Back of the Yards area of Chicago’s South Side. I was there to meet with Roman Catholic priest David Kelly. Father Kelly is executive director of Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, which he runs out of a converted school building on Fifty-first and Elizabeth. He and his team feed the hungry and bring together the perpetrators and victims of gang gun violence in the community. 

The Back of the Yards neighborhood—once a sprawling, spewing, foul-smelling collection of stockyards, polluted streams, tenements, and churches—was the original industrial area of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the largest network of community-based organization in the United States, of which I am co-director. 

Thu Nov 10, 2016
Party Needs to Recommit to Average People, Not Financial Wizards, Stars -New York Times

...the lessons of this election is to recommit itself to the vast majority of non-rock-star Americans who still live in physical space -- blocks, neighborhoods, subdivisions, trailer parks, workplaces, fading cities and aging suburbs and towns. The core issue for these Americans is the lack of long-term living wage work, especially for those who are not college educated....

Wed Nov 9, 2016
One LA Takes on Los Angeles Traffic and Wins with $120B Bond Election -One LA

Building on a four-year campaign, One LA leaders and their allies shaped, pushed for and passedMeasure M to raise $120 Billion for new rail lines, improved bus services, and street and highway projects which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and make finding and getting to a job easier for working poor families across LA County....

Tue Nov 1, 2016
More Police is Not the Answer - by Common Ground -Urban Milwaukee

Every American understands the fundamental value of self-preservation — of literally being able to live and breathe another day.

For most Americans, this translates into having a good lock on the door, a security guard in front of a building, or a police department that responds to signs of danger or sightings of people who seem bent on crime or destruction.

For African Americans, especially African American males, self-preservation is not something that can be taken for granted....

Tue Nov 1, 2016
COPS / Metro Fights for $450M Bond for SAISD Children -San Antonio Express-News & More

Only one month after raising municipal wages for the second year in a row in San Antonio, COPS / Metro is now fighting to leverage necessary funding for school improvements…$450 Million, to be precise.  Elaine Ayala of the San Antonio Express-News reported that two weekends before Election Day, dozens of COPS / Metro leaders block walked  – asking voters to scroll to the end of the ballot to the last two measures.  Leader Maria Tijerina explained that TRE funds would support after-school, summer and enrichment programs, freeing up money to help the district reach the $15 / hour wage they are fighting for....

Sun Oct 30, 2016
Hundreds March to Cast Ballots, Protest Dearth of Early Voting Sites -Cleveland.com

Several hundred voters marched to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Sunday to cast ballots and protest the limited number of in-house early voting locations in Ohio.

The marchers departed at 2:30 p.m. from the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and traveled a half-mile to the Board of Elections headquarters on Euclid Avenue.

Greater Cleveland Congregations and the Amalgamated Transit Union organized the event to encourage Cuyahoga County residents to vote early before the general election on Nov. 8...

Sun Oct 23, 2016
Valley Interfaith Gets Out The Vote for Health District -The Monitor

Valley Interfaith is working hard to get parishioners to vote in favor of Proposition 1.

The faith-based nonprofit organization called a news conference Saturday to reiterate its stance on the creation of a healthcare district. Parishioners from a number of churches pledged their support and signed a proclamation that reflected their intentions.

“Valley Interfaith has long had a vision of a community that has a healthcare system that will take care of the most vulnerable — health care that will serve the uninsured, the elderly, our children and our working families,” Valley Interfaith leader Eddie Anaya said. “We believe that an educated vote will result in the passing of Proposition 1.”

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.

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