In the News

In the News


Community Building

AIM Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for Historic African American Community Center after Decades-Long Fight for Justice

Monday, November 19, 2018
AIM

AIM celebrated the ribbon cutting for Good Hope Community Center, the last of four community centers in historically African American neighborhoods in Montgomery County, marking the end of rebuilding and renovation of the community centers in a fight for change that lasted more than a decade. For most of these neighborhoods' histories, they've been overlooked and neglected, unable to get even basic repairs in the community centers, while beautiful, new centers were being built in other parts of the county. AIM has held a series of actions at the centers since 2007, inviting council members to see for themselves the terrible disrepair that had been allowed to fester.


Saul Alinksy, community organizing, Radicalism

Gecan: Better Call Saul - US Needs Radicalism, Not Extremism

Friday, February 16, 2018
Wall Street Journal

It may seem strange to argue that the U.S. needs more radicalism, especially in this period of outrageous rhetoric and intense overreaction. But the right kind of radicalism can improve American politics by focusing on fundamental public goods. Leaders should replace showmanship with a radical approach that galvanizes ordinary American citizens.

This concept of political radicalism has a storied history, but the term has faded from the popular lexicon. In 1951 Wall Street Journal editor William H. Grimes described this newspaper’s...


Library, Las Milpas, Community Organizing in the Rio Grande Valley, Bishop Flores

Bishop, Valley Interfaith Celebrate Transformation of Political Culture

Monday, January 29, 2018
Rio Grande Guardian & More

In the largest celebration of multiple events, Bishop Daniel E. Flores blessed the opening of a new library in Las Milpas, surrounded by Valley Interfaith leaders, children from Carmen Anaya Elementary School and other community supporters. An assembly chronicled the community-driven effort that went into changing the political culture of South Texas, reflected in the construction of the new library that leaders had fought for and won...


Volunteerism, Community Organizing in Cleveland, Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk

Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk : Replace Despair with Volunteerism in 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017
Cleveland.com

Look around you. Are you troubled by what you see in the world? Early in the Bible, God was so upset with human conduct so as to flood the earth. Rabbinical commentary suggests it was both shechitut ("corruption") and hamas ("brutal violence") that triggered God's reaction.

Today, upon witnessing violence and brutality, many avert their eyes. For example, there was a recent story with data showing Cleveland as America's fifth most deadly city. Now surely the violence in our neighborhoods merits urgent attention. But when two days later, Cleveland was designated as one of National Geographic's "Best of the World" destinations, many chose instead to whistle a happier tune and wish away our serious problems.


elections, Civic Engagement, Building Power

Gecan: Elites Can't Keep Writing Off Americans Who Voted for Trump

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Chicago Sun Times

After the 2016 election, my view was that the voters had rejected not just Hillary Clinton, but also the modern Democratic Party – a party top-heavy with celebrity candidates and dominated by Wall Streeters, Silicon Valley stars and academic and professional elites.

Now on Tuesday, in Virginia, New Jersey, Washington State and Maine, voters rejected not only Donald Trump, but also the chaotic and unproductive political culture that he embodies and promotes – a culture top-heavy with family members, Wall Streeters, business titans and generals....


Disaster Recovery, Hurricane Harvey, D-SNAP, Congresswoman Lee

TMO Demands, Wins Extension of Harvey Disaster Food Aid

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
KIAH & Houston Chronicle

As thousands of Harvey survivors spent hours in line attempting to meet the deadline for emergency food aid, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), TMO leaders organized a press conference at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church to demand an extension of the deadline for families.

Said Fr. Simón Bautista, “For two days in a row [my parishioner] got in line at 6 a.m. and by the time she was seen, around 7 p.m., she was told that her last name was not being seen that day. She returned at 3 a.m. to find that 10 to 15 individuals were already in line. These individuals and families have been waiting in the heat, missing work and some still haven’t received the benefits..."


Muslim, Interfaith, Temple Isaiah, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

270 GBIO Leaders Learn About Threats Against Muslims in Community

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Metro IAF
270 people attended GBIO and Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)’s July 25th Teach-In. Muslim leaders shared perspectives on discrimination and being Muslim in Boston, and 70 interfaith donors committed to making symbolic donations to the ISBCC or other Muslim organizations to show solidarity and to disrupt the targeting of Muslims through donor tracking. 
 
 

Border Interfaith, community organizing in El Paso, Texas IAF

El Paso IAF Puts 'We the People' at the Center of Public Life

Monday, April 24, 2017
El Paso Times & More

Several hundred Border Interfaith and EPISO leaders assembled for an accountability session, one day before early voting began, to challenge candidates for Mayor, City Council and the Board of Trustees for El Paso and Ysleta School Districts around the issues most impacting residents’ daily lives.

Specifically, leaders asked candidates to commit to


accountability assembly, Canada IAF, Community Organizing in Vancouver

800 Metro Vancouver Alliance Leaders Host Accountability Assembly

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Metro Vancouver Alliance

Click image below for video:


stadium, Quicken Loans, Detroit, investor meeting, Cleveland

GCC Fighting to Create a Community Equity Fund

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Metro IAF

GCC loaded three busloads of leaders and held a 175-person action outside the corporate headquarters of Quicken Loans in Detroit.

Together with ally organization, Detroit Regional Interfaith Voice for Equity (DRIVE), GCC pressed Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, to bring fairness to the proposed deal to spend $160 million in public funding to build a new glass atrium on the outside of Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavs play. GCC is fighting to create a Community Equity Fund to provide a dollar-for-dollar match of all public money in the deal and direct it towards areas of critical importance in Cleveland.


leadership development, Civic Engagement, Muslim

VOICE Trains 100 Muslim Leaders in Northern Virginia

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Metro IAF

In the last 3 weeks, VOICE trained 325+ leaders including 125 from eight Northern VA mosques and schools. (As of 2017, one-third of the people who attend VOICE member & discerning member institutions are Muslim, 60,000 Muslims.)  VOICE leaders took commitments to “twin” with an institution near them that has a community different than them (politically, racially, ethnically, religiously, etc.). VOICE leaders will do listening sessions with their “twinning” partner throughout 2017 to build closer bonds and figure out how we may want to act together locally and at the state level when VA will be one of only two states that will hold a state-wide election.


Tax Subsidies, Industrial Tax Exemption Program, 'Together Louisiana'

Together Louisiana Reins In Backdoor Corporate Subsidies

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Advocate & More

Eight months after their victory in reforming the state Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), leaders of Together Louisiana noticed that industrial tax exemptions spiked 441% in its last year (2016), with the majority of tax exemptions granted after the reforms passed.  They additionally noticed that the Commerce and Industry Board reversed the wording of the measure to undermine the reform that would have limited exemptions to proposals that had secured the approval of the local municipalities sacrificing the revenue.

Unsatisfied with the explanation that the 2016 reforms were not to touch applications already in the works, 100 faith and community leaders of Together Louisiana organized a press conference before the Board of Commerce and Industry’s meeting and then sat in on the meeting itself — demonstrating a rare presence of citizen oversight of a committee that distributed $4.9 billion in tax exemptions last year....

 

Stadiums, Taxpayer Dollars, Cuyahoga County, Tax Subsidies

Opponents, Some Supporters, of Q Renovation Plan Pack Meeting

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Cleveland.com

More than 200 people packed Cuyahoga County Council chambers Tuesday on both sides of a proposed plan to spend tax dollars to renovate Quicken Loans Arena...the largest crowd ever to attend a meeting since council formed six years ago, a resolution allowing the county to sell $140 million in bonds to expand and update the arena was introduced....

Members of Greater Cleveland Congregations, a non-partisan coalition which represents 100,000 people across 43 congregations and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County, made up the bulk of the crowd. 

Video here


Michael Gecan, Chris Hedges, Building Power, community organizing

Chris Hedges Talks with Michael Gecan About Building Organizations

Monday, January 9, 2017
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.”


community organizing, IAF, Institutional Organizing, Saul Alinsky

Back of the Yards: Lessons from a Community Organizer, by Mike Gecan

Wednesday, January 4, 2017
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. 


Public Financing of Privately-Held Stadium, Adelson, Taxes, Robert Hoo

NCG Fights Funding of Adelson-Backed Stadium in Las Vegas

Thursday, October 6, 2016
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.


Rev. Paul Buckwalter, PCIC Co-Founder, Episcopal Minister, AIN

PCIC Co-Founder Remembered for Confronting Those in Power

Friday, February 19, 2016
Arizona Daily Star

The Rev. Paul W. Buckwalter came to Tucson to broaden one church’s community involvement.

In doing so, he changed Tucson....


Huffington Post, Interfaith Relations, Muslim, Christian, Jewish

HuffPost Quotes DAI: Working Together Builds Interfaith Relations

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Huffington Post

To those concerned about anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, Huffington Post writer Carol Kuruvilla recommends, “Get involved with your local interfaith network.”  She cites Dallas Area Interfaith organizer Josephine Lopez-Paul....


Organization victories in Metro IAF area, Affordable Housing, Criminal Justice, Public Safety

Metro IAF Victories Update 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015
Metro IAF
Highlights:

Syrian refugees, Immigration, cities in decline, Detroit

Let Refugees Revive American Cities: Admit 250K In This Decade

Thursday, September 17, 2015
NY Daily News

The White House announcement that the United States should prepare to take in just 10,000 Syrian migrants in the next year is an embarrassingly tepid response to the largest movement of refugees since the end of World War II.

We should do much more — not only increasing the numbers of refugees we accept, but aggressively settling them in American cities, where they can help spark broad economic revivals.

Whether America takes a leadership role or not, conflicts in the Middle East and depressionlike conditions in the Balkans will do what such conditions have always done: trigger the movement of millions of people seeking safety and economic opportunity wherever they can be found.


Boston Review, Mike Gecan, Anxieties of Democracy, Katznelson

IAF Co-Director Mike Gecan Addresses "Anxieties of Democracy"

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Boston Review

"As an avid reader and admirer of Ira Katznelson’s work, I am both puzzled and disappointed by his essay.

I am puzzled as to why he defines the crisis of democratic decline so narrowly, as a loss of faith in representative institutions and parliamentary governments. He quotes John Locke asserting that “the establishing of the legislative power” is the “first and fundamental positive law” of a good political regime, as well as James Mill, who nearly hyperventilated describing 'the system of representation' as the “grand discovery of modern times.” Really?"


Organizing in Vancouver, Canada IAF, Deborah Littman

Metro Vancouver Alliance Builds Bridges and Makes Things Happen

Monday, June 29, 2015
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.


Better Together, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, St. George

'Better Together' Beats Back Separatists in Baton Rouge

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The Advocate & Better Together

Leaders of ‘Better Together’ successfully undermined a suburban incorporation effort (in the St. George area) by convincing voters who had signed onto the original petition to withdraw their signatures.

A small minority of St. George residents needed 17,859 signatures to call a vote for incorporation, an essential first step in separating the suburb 


Ed Chambers, Memorial Service, IAF

Memorial Service for Ed Chambers Announced

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Industrial Areas Foundation

A memorial service for Edward (Ed) Chambers has been scheduled for:  

8:30am, Wednesday, July 1st 
American Jewish University 
15600 Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles, CA  90077

The service will be open to IAF organizers and others, and will precede the IAF International meeting scheduled that same day. 



Reflections on Chamber's life and legacy below:



Recognizing Ed Chambers by Dick Harmon

Ed Chambers, Leader of Community Organising in the US Inspired Creation of Citizens UK by Neil Jameson

Edward Chambers, Community Organizing’s Unforgiving HeroNew Yorker

Lessons From a Great Community Organizer,Council of Philanthropy


Ed Chambers, Obituary, Citizens UK, Neil Jameson

Ed Chambers: Leader of Community Organising in the US Inspired Creation of Citizens UK

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Tablet

Ed Chambers was born in the Midwest of the United States, the son of Thomas and Hazella Chambers, Irish Catholics who had emigrated to America from the west Cork town of Skibbereen, where Chambers was to retire in 2010.  Chambers started to train...


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