Press

Press

Fri Apr 19, 2013
Father's Murder Drives a Rabbi's Pursuit of Gun Control -The New York Times
In the months after his father’s murder in early 1999, those months stretching formlessly between the mourning ritual of shiva and the impending trial of a suspect, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher received many messages of solace. There was one type, however, that tested every atom of clerical forbearance he possessed....

Fri Apr 19, 2013
Ohio House keeps Medicaid discussion going -Cleveland Plain Dealer

COLUMBUS, Ohio --Ohio's Medicaid expansion is down, but not out.  House Republicans kept alive the possibility that Ohio may expand its Medicaid program to cover the working poor, approving an amendment to its budget that could open the door to changes later this year.... The amendment drew praise from Greater Cleveland Congregations, one of several groups that organized a rally outside the Statehouse last week urging lawmakers to support extending Medicaid. "The fact that this amendment passed with in a near-unanimous bipartisan vote shows that the legislature listened to the overwhelming outpouring of public support from Ohioans over the past 10 days, and wants to keep the conversation moving forward," Ari Lipman, lead organizer for the coalition, said in a statement. "Our diverse coalition will continue to work with House leadership, the Senate, and Governor Kasich through the budget process to achieve the best outcome for Ohio."

 

Fri Apr 5, 2013
Project Iowa Gives Workers Stability and Dignity -Des Moines Register

 “Jalissa Daniels wrote dark poetry as an early adolescent…She became pregnant at 15, graduated from Scavo Alternative High School and worked at convenient stores and temp agencies. Even though these jobs helped pay the bills, they were not fulfilling…Finding full-time work with benefits was looking grim…  The[n] Rev. Diane McClanahan, one of the pastors at Trinity United Methodist Church, encouraged Jalissa to consider a new program called Project IOWA, which was initiated by AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy)….”

West / Southwest IAF

Mon Apr 1, 2013
Community fights ruin from forclosure -CNN

A terrific profile of VOICE's anti-foreclosure work in Northern Virginia on CNN.

Mon Mar 25, 2013
Mayoral hopefuls' plans for public safety should scare New Yorkers witless -New York Daily News

Seven candidates appeared at the third of the mayoral forums sponsored by the Daily News and the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation citizens group. The topic was public safety. All were advised to come prepared to explain how he or she would hold the line on crime or drive it still lower — the central duty of any mayor. All were given the opportunity to present their three most important strategies. Not one of them was convincing or spoke with a semblance of coherence or authority. Since 1990, the city has enjoyed a steady downward trend in felonies. Under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the NYPD has reduced crime to record levels, an achievement that strengthened the foundation of the city’s resurgence. Allow fear to return, and all will be lost, including lives.

 

Sun Mar 24, 2013
AMOS Helps Keep Youth Out of the Court System -Des Moines Register

“Cy was a choir director, community leader and maker of fine clocks. When I knew him, he was 80 years old and lay leader of the church I served.  One snowy morning, he came to my office and simply said, ‘We have to go to Albert Lea.’  I said, ‘That is in Minnesota, and they have lots of snow.’

Then he told me a boy in the parish, one that we had recently confirmed, was in trouble with the law in Albert Lea. So Cy, the boy’s father and I drove through the snowy Midwest to bring the boy home…”

Fri Mar 8, 2013
Arizona Bishops & Clergy Strategize for Immigration Reform -Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

75 bishops and clergy from Lutheran, Jewish, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal and Methodist faiths strategized on the future of immigration reform at an ecumenical gathering organized by the Arizona Interfaith Network.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas, of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson told the group that “today is a day to develop…strategies” and challenged clergy, asking “what can we do to mobilize our congregations?”  Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith asserted that “the current system is broken, cruel and an affront to God and man.”  West / Southwest IAF

Wed Mar 6, 2013
Network of Texas Organizations Rally Again for Medicaid Expansion -Star Telegram

Anderson and her 66-year-old mother, Martha Anderson [photo right], were among about 60 Tarrant County residents who gathered at the St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Fort Worth … for the 200-mile bus trip to Austin. The trip was organized by the Allied Communities of Tarrant (ACT) [in coordination with the Network of Texas Organizations].

West / Southwest IAF

Tue Mar 5, 2013
Thousands rally in Annapolis for billions to renovate, rebuild 65 Baltimore schools -The Washington Post

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Thousands of Baltimore City families petitioned lawmakers for billions in funding to renovate or rebuild about 65 of the school district’s crumbling buildings. Parents, students, teachers and community leaders rallied in Annapolis Monday evening for legislation that would create a block grant each year in the state budget for the city’s schools, enabling the city to leverage that to borrow more money. Supporters say the measure would create more than $1 billion to remodel the dilapidated infrastructure of several schools. Legislation has been filed in Annapolis to create the program.

Tue Mar 5, 2013
2,000 attend New Haven hearing on bill to give licenses to undocumented -The New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN — Carolina Bortolleto, an undocumented student from Danbury, came forward Monday to testify, not for herself, but on behalf of her parents, explaining what drivers’ licenses would for mean for them. “Sitting in the back seat I can see my mom shaking and praying if she sees the police behind us. ... ‘Pull over anywhere. Pretend we are stopping for coffee. Pretend we are stopping at this restaurant, because if the police stop us, we are going to be deported,” Bortolleto said of the daily fear they experience just driving to work or to school or the grocery store. “All these basic tasks that you take for granted, are filled with anxiety for me and my family,” said Bortolleto, who is a leader in CT Students for a DREAM. She was one of 2,000 people from around the state who came to Wilbur Cross High School where they filled the auditorium and spilled into the gymnasium and the cafeteria to testify on behalf of proposed legislation that would provide licenses to the undocumented

Sun Mar 3, 2013
Promises to keep: Seven mayoral candidates make school reform pledges, and many are underwhelming -New York Daily News

At the mayoral forum sponsored last week by the Daily News and the Metro IAF citizens organization, Democrat Bill Thompson got to the heart of why we pressed the candidates to detail plans for the schools. He asked: “What defines success, not just in four years, each year. The chancellor and mayor need to be held accountable for that. We need to put that forward.” With very mixed success, the seven-member field attempted to accomplish that goal in front of an audience of about 1,000 New Yorkers gathered at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue.

Wed Feb 27, 2013
COPS / Metro Leverages Bexar County Support for Medicaid -SA Express-News

On a bipartisan vote, Bexar County commissioners Tuesday urged Texas lawmakers to expand the state’s Medicaid program and take advantage of federal matching funds under the Affordable Care Act.2014 to 2017, expansion will bring $27.2 billion in federal revenue to Texas for just over $3 billion in state investments,” said [Republican] County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Tue Feb 26, 2013
Valley Interfaith Wins Hidalgo County Support for Medicaid Expansion -Rio Grande Guardian

Valley Interfaith members were at Hidalgo County Commissioners Court to urge commissioners to pass a resolution in support of Adult Medicaid.  In a news release, Valley Interfaith said it urges other counties in the Valley to stand also in support. The Rev. Javier Leyva, a Valley Interfaith leader, pointed out that expanding Medicaid would bring over $400 million in Medicaid funds to Hidalgo County and nearly $670 million to the Valley overall.

Tue Feb 26, 2013
Thousands rally in support of Baltimore schools -The Baltimore Sun

Supporters of a $2.4 billion plan to rebuild Baltimore's crumbling schools made a show of support in Annapolis on Monday night as thousands of people staged a loud, festive rally outside the State House to urge passage of legislation to launch the program. Teachers, students, parents and others described deplorable conditions in city schools — ranging from disgusting bathrooms and broken windows to stifling classrooms and inadequate computer labs — as they called upon lawmakers to provide the resources to rebuild the state's oldest school buildings. "We're not asking for charity. We're not asking for a handout," said Yasmene Mumby, co-chairwoman of the Baltimore Education Coalition, which organized the rally. "We're asking to use existing state funds to renovate and reconstruct our school buildings efficiently, effectively and in a smarter way."

Sun Feb 24, 2013
The Other Half, Considered Anew -The New York Times

THE WALLS LOOKED as if they were eating themselves, or decomposing like old film. Mildew invaded bathrooms, mold blossomed along ceilings, and children were masked with nebulizers to fend off asthma’s ills. The photographer Ana Brigida had seen similar decay in the old homes of Lisbon, where she is based. But she did not expect to find them in New York City. “I was more surprised,” said Ms. Brigida, who is 26. “You have these glamorous ideas of New York.”  Ms. Brigida arrived in New York early in 2012 for a video-editing internship at Magnum in Motion, the multimedia arm of the photo agency, but grew curious about the people living in the South Bronx, where she was staying. A priest introduced her to Manhattan Together, a community organizing group that, along with another group, South Bronx Churches, was chronicling poor conditions at buildings owned by the New York City Housing Authority.

Sun Feb 24, 2013
Personal Stories Drive Fight for Medicaid Expansion in Texas -Rio Grande Guardian

Valley Interfaith leader Rosalie Tristan…spoke of her 55-year-old brother, David Contreras, a husband and father of two. He has a tumor on the back of his head the size of a melon.  He has been told he has to come up with $10,000 in order to see a doctor.  He does not have $10,000.

He has also been told he cannot go to the emergency room of his local hospital until the body tissue bursts. He earns too much to qualify for Medicaid….”

Fri Feb 22, 2013
Governors Fall Away in G.O.P. Opposition to More Medicaid -The New York Times

Under pressure from the health care industry and consumer advocates, seven Republican governors are cautiously moving to expand Medicaid, giving an unexpected boost to President Obama’s plan to insure some 30 million more Americans.... Every few days, state hospital associations and advocates for poor people issue reports asserting that the economic benefits of expanding Medicaid would outweigh the costs. In recent weeks, such reports have been issued in Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The existence of such a report was a decisive factor in Ohio, where Gov. John R. Kasich decided to embrace an expansion after months of lobbying by coalitions of churches, hospitals, business groups and others. Publication of that study — by Ohio State University, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, the Urban Institute and Regional Economic Models — was “a major watershed moment,” said Ari Lipman, lead organizer of Greater Cleveland Congregations and chairman of the Northeast Ohio Medicaid Expansion Coalition.

Thu Feb 21, 2013
Interfaith Groups Rally for Medicaid -Texas Tribune

Interfaith groups and Democratic state legislators rallied on the Capitol steps Wednesday in support of expanding Medicaid to impoverished adults, as directed by federal health reform. "We don't want more mothers dying. We don't want to lose more brothers...

Wed Feb 20, 2013
Network of Texas Organizations Fights for Medicaid Expansion -KXAN

Austin Interfaith, in partnership with the Network of Texas Organizations, convened 200 leaders from various faith traditions on the steps of the Capitol to call on Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature to expand Medicaid...

 

Wed Feb 20, 2013
NCG Leaders Pack First Hearing on Sex-Trafficking in Nevada -Las Vegas Sun

‘Nevadans for the Common Good’ leaders Andrea Swanson and Camille Naaktgeboren testified before the Assembly and Senate judiciary committees for Assembly Bill 67.  “You take a domestic violence abuser, you take a rapist and you take a child abuser and you put them all in one and you have a pimp,” said Andrea Swanson..  [Photo Credit: Cathleen Allison, AP]

Mon Feb 18, 2013
Let Immigrants Get Driver's Licenses -Hartford Courant

In a perfect world, everyone in this country would be here legally and be eligible for all of the privileges of citizenship. In the world we've got, however, there are some 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, tens of thousands in Connecticut. The vast majority came here to work and gain a better life — the same reason people have been coming to these shores for nearly four centuries. As New York Times writer Adam Davidson recently observed, the immigrants mostly help the economy. But to do so, many need to drive.... Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a group of more than two dozen religious congregations from the southwestern part of the state, has researched the issue and believes that allowing an estimated 54,000 undocumented immigrants to get licenses would make driving safer and less expensive for everyone.

Fri Feb 15, 2013
Albuquerque Interfaith Challenges 'Trojan Horses' Undermining Schools -Albuquerque Journal

In the legend of the Trojan horse, Greeks capture Troy not by siege, but by stealth, under the cover of darkness, when raiders hidden in the hollow horse bring its downfall.

This is an apt metaphor for how public education in New Mexico is being privatized.

Fri Feb 15, 2013
NM Bill Would Bar Private Firms From Running Public Schools -New Mexican

Rep. Mimi Stewart and Sen. Linda Lopez, both Albuquerque Democrats, joined the Rev. Trey Hammond of Albuquerque Interfaith, a faith-based community organizing effort, as well as a coalition of parents, students and public-school supporters, at a news conference Tuesday to announce the introduction of House Bill 460.

Fri Feb 15, 2013
Las Vegas Outsiders Learn to Play Inside Game -Las Vegas Sun

David and his wife, Barbara Paulsen, are part of a group of about 40 volunteers flying and driving to the state capital, where they will lobby the Legislature to toughen the state’s sex-trafficking laws. They want to make it easier to prosecute violent pimps and impose stiffer penalties while helping victims of the Las Vegas sex trade get treatment...

Wed Feb 13, 2013
Labor Market Intermediary NOVA Wins $208K from Delta Authority -News-Star

Sabrina Washington came to NOVA during a traumatic point in her life after moving to northeastern Louisiana to escape Hurricane Katrina.

At NOVA, she found not only a job intermediary program, but a group of people who cared enough for her to help improve her life.

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