Press

Press

Fri May 1, 2015
Baltimore Unrest Highlights City's Deprivation -Financial Times

After the global financial crisis hit in 2007, the small business that Mr Bey set up after his final jail stint ran into trouble. “I found myself falling backwards very quickly [and] drugs came back into my life.”

His situation remained bleak until he came across BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development), a group that helps people improve their housing, economic and schools environment. He started attending “Turnaround Tuesdays” meetings where Build taught him the skills and confidence to get a job.

 

Thu Apr 30, 2015
BUILD Pushes City Leaders for Meeting with Sandtown-Winchester Residents -Baltimore Sun

On Wednesday, BUILD led a group of neighborhood leaders and others into City Hall for the weekly Board of Estimates meeting. They stood up during the meeting and asked Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young to commit to a meeting.

"There's been a lot of talking in our city, a lot of press conferences, but the citizens from Sandtown here today do not feel like they've been listened to," said the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of BUILD.

Tue Apr 28, 2015
BUILD Addresses Baltimore Eruption: 'Unrest is Generations in the Making' -NY Daily News

Why is anyone surprised that isolated young people from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country took their anger to the streets? While we don’t condone looting and violence, our only surprise is that it hasn’t happened sooner.

For the past 20 years, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) have been meeting with successive mayors about the growing isolation and anger that has been building in many of Baltimore’s neighborhoods left out from the city’s so-called economic success. Let us review what actually happened and the circumstances that brought about this explosion.

Sun Apr 19, 2015
COPS / Metro Raises the Stakes: Wages Now Mayoral Campaign Issue -San Antonio Express News & More

Over 400 leaders of COPS / Metro Alliance assembled at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, to confront the top candidates for Mayor and City Council (Districts 2, 3, 5 and 7) on wages, workforce development and housing in the City...

Sat Apr 18, 2015
Citizens UK Makes Westminster's Politicians Face Power of the People -The Guardian

One of a number of alternative hustings trying to boost voter registration and turnout, and expanding the frontiers of conventional campaigning in the process, is Citizens UK.  It is an alliance of 350 schools, faith communities, unions and voluntary sector organisations in areas such as London, Birmingham and Cardiff that, among a number of issues, has pressed hard for the living wage. Its aim is to recruit, train, encourage and involve citizens of all ages in “actions” so they come to believe that what they do counts, not just at the ballot box but in shaping the kind of society in which they wish to live.

Karyn Storey, 18, has been a member since September. She is taking four A-levels at a local college and joined because “my parents are very community-minded and I want to build character”. Annalisa Mensah, 18, who is going to York to study law in October, says: “I’m young, black, female, so out of self-interest why wouldn’t I be passionate about active citizenship? I know it makes a difference. Citizens UK grows every day and I grow with it,” she smiles broadly. 

Mon Apr 13, 2015
Bucks Arena Financing Faces Tight Timetable... and Common Ground -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

....Then there is Common Ground, a community group that is opposed to the use of public money for the new arena. The group wants public money for improved playgrounds and recreational spaces in Milwaukee County.

Recently, Edens has been singled out. His Fortress Investment Group in New York largely owns Nationstar Mortgage, a mortgage-servicing company, and Common Ground said the firm is responsible for an undetermined number of blighted properties in the city. The group has demanded that Nationstar donate $25 million to the city to help rehabilitate foreclosed properties.

"We're taking the Nationstar issue very seriously," Curley said. "We hope to keep making progress with Nationstar."

Fri Apr 3, 2015
Starwood Tries to Raze Low-Rent Housing, Westchester United Fights Back -Lohud - The Journal News

Starwood Capital Group, an international private investment company that manages assets of $42 billion, wants these families to leave so that its development team can demolish the affordable-housing complex, and make way for a hotel and housing for young professionals and adults over age 55.

According to the proposal, Starwood's plan is designed to limit the number of children who would attend Port Chester schools, which are cramped for space.

Sun Mar 29, 2015
Valley Interfaith Celebrates Their (Newly Paved) Streets -Rio Grande Guardian & El Manana

When Valley Interfaith leader Monse Martinez first moved into Las Milpas he noticed the roads were in very bad conditions.  Says Martinez: “The potholes were destroying our vehicles.  But we started to get organized…talking about it in church, holding house meetings and demanding these roads get fixed.”

Thu Mar 26, 2015
WIN & Amalgamated Transit Union Combat On-The-Job Abuse -WAMU 88.5

“We are afraid.”

Cynthia Gary, a Metro employee for 29 years, choked on the words as she testified at a public hearing on safety organized by her union in the basement of a historic church in downtown D.C.

“I will say it again. We are afraid.”

Wed Mar 25, 2015
Working Together Jackson Wins First Housing Trust Fund in State -MS News Now

Mississippi was one of only three states in the country without a housing trust fund before ’Working Together Jackson‘ changed that.

Tue Mar 24, 2015
Momentum for Bucks Arena Slows as Common Ground Steps Up -Journal Sentinel

"The owners of the Bucks have never proven to anyone that they need public money. Nor do they deserve public money," said a statement by Jennifer O'Hear and Lloyd Johnson, who co-chair Common Ground's Fair Play campaign.

The nonpartisan community organization has been especially critical of Edens, whose Fortress Investment Group largely owns Nationstar, a nationwide mortgage-servicing company that the Common Ground says is responsible for hundreds of troubled and blighted properties in Milwaukee.

"We are morally outraged at the condition of Mr. Edens' properties," O'Hear and Johnson said. "Nationstar should be contributing money to the City of Milwaukee for the rehabilitation of deteriorating foreclosed properties."

Mon Mar 23, 2015
Reflections on Southwest IAF Leadership Training by Zeik Saidman -Democratic Faith

Two years ago I decided to help build an IAF organization in Colorado - as a leader. I was frustrated by what wasn't happening in Colorado. I wanted to be a part of the kind of IAF power organization that I knew could make a big difference.

More important, I recalled with fresh energy the extraordinary individuals attracted to the organizing work during my IAF years. I wanted to reclaim some of that relational territory. Or at least give it a shot.

So, with a deep breath I signed up and...

Mon Mar 23, 2015
700 EBC Leaders Rally for Neighborhood Park Upgrades -Bushwick Daily

No one can say Bushwick backs down without a fight. On Sunday afternoon, March 22, a crowd of 700 members of the community packed into the beautiful St. Barbara’s RC Church with a small but urgent list of demands that carry big consequences for our neighborhood, particularly for kids. I attended to see what was up.

Here’s the gist. The City is neglecting two public spaces in Bushwick...

Fri Mar 20, 2015
Economic Alliance Partners w/NCG: YES on Business Tax for Schools -Las Vegas Sun & Las Vegas Review Journal

Calling this "a historic opportunity to improve our public schools and invest in our children,” 'Nevadans for the Common Good’ voted, along with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, to support Governor Sandoval's business tax proposal aimed at improving public schools across the state.

Wed Mar 18, 2015
Tenants: De Blasio Needs Bigger Role in NYCHA -City Limits

When the head of the New York City Housing Authority met with residents at a chapel in Brownsville on Tuesday night, there were questions about failing radiators, missing kitchen sinks, moldy walls, broken doors, pigeon excrement and more.

These were all part of a more general question: A year into his administration, to what extent is Mayor de Blasio accountable for the continuing maintenance woes at NYCHA, which has been shortchanged by all levels of government for at least a decade?

Hundreds of public housing tenants in Brooklyn took school buses from their churches to Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church...

Wed Mar 11, 2015
TMO Parent Leaders Protest HISD Rezoning Plan & Get Vote Delayed -Houston Chronicle

TMO leaders and parents of children attending Lyons Elementary held a pre-board meeting press conference to detail their concerns about the latest HISD proposal to rezone elementary schools.  Rosa Rivera argued that a plan to shift new students to nearby elementary schools would negatively impact her children... 

Tue Mar 10, 2015
PCIC Celebrates 25 Years of Battles and Success in Tucson, Arizona -Tucson News Now - FOX 11

Over 250 leaders of Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC)convened at St. Phillips in the Hills to celebrate 25 years of success. Since 1980, PCIC has leveraged upwards of $100 million in state and local funds into projects that benefit the common good including KidCo, JobPath, local parks and recreation centers across the County...

Sun Mar 8, 2015
Momentum Building Toward Meaningful Police Reform in Cleveland -Cleveland.com

For all the anger and mistrust swirling around the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the release of a critical U.S. Department of Justice report on the use of excessive force by Cleveland police, voices are being raised in clear expectation that meaningful change can be achieved.

These voices come from within the community and from City Hall, where Mayor Frank Jackson has become increasingly forthright about his determination to negotiate a meaningful and -- from his perspective -- fair consent decree with the Justice Department.

The public's input is equally important, and it is heartening to see the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a collection of faith communities, join the dialogue over police reform. They've made a number of recommendations they would like included in a consent decree.

Thu Mar 5, 2015
City Officials Warn of Another Possible Wave of Foreclosures -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

Milwaukee officials on Thursday detailed new concerns that another looming wave of foreclosures could damage vulnerable neighborhoods still recovering from the last housing crisis.

Major mortgage-servicing companies have given data to the city and community groups such as Common Ground that suggest there are hundreds of properties that are delinquent on loans or are underwater, meaning property owners or the holder of the mortgage owe more than the home is worth.

Thu Mar 5, 2015
VOICE-OKC Gets AG to Drop Most Egregious Part of $1.1Billion Suit -The Oklahoman

When Oklahoma Gas & Electric attempted to pass on the cost of updating a gas plant to consumers, rather than to the shareholders who benefited from a 50% increase in dividends while the utility delayed environmental compliance through lawsuits, leaders from VOICE-OKC urged... 

Fri Feb 27, 2015
TMO Leaders Push for Metro Bus System Overhaul -Houston Chronicle

Julia Ramirez, a regular Metro Bus system user, thinks there are four things that would make public transport more rider-friendly.  She teamed up with TMO leaders Franklin Olson and Rev. Kevin Collins to break it down. 

Thu Feb 26, 2015
Valley Interfaith Calls on Congress, Calls on Immigrants -Brownsville Herald and more
The press conference started with the story of  teacher in 2001, invited from Mexico to teach in MacAllen in 2001 -- then disinvited when 9/11 attacks led to dramatic changes in the treatment of immigrants....
 

Thu Feb 26, 2015
Greater Cleveland Congregations Integral Player in Police Consent Decree -Politico Magazine

The Rev. Jawanza Colvin, who is head pastor at the storied and influential Olivet Church and co-chairs GCC with Rabbi Joshua Caruso and the Rev. Tracey Lind, says it’s important to understand the mood of the people....

“We wanted the police to hear us recognize their sacrifices, and also understand we are examining racial disparities, excessive use of force—all the issues between police and the communities they serve. Last Monday, I attended the swearing-in of an officer from our church. The next day I’m calling for police reform. That represents the range of our relationship with the police.”

Wed Feb 25, 2015
Durham CAN: Empowering Communities for Housing, Wages... -Indy Week

By his own account, the office of Ivan Parra, lead organizer for one of Durham's largest community groups, is unimpressive. But attend a Durham CAN meeting, with hundreds of people and key city and state leaders, and you'll see the nonprofit's influence in action.

Tue Feb 24, 2015
2014 Victory Report by the Metro IAF -Metro IAF

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