Press

Press

Sat Jul 22, 2017
Together Baton Rouge Targets US Senator Cassidy Re: Medicaid -Together Baton Rouge
Arguing that Louisiana would be big loser in Senate swap of health coverage for tax cuts, Together Baton Rouge leaders circulated a video featuring one of Senator Cassidy's constituents.  
 
April Blackburn voted for Bill Cassidy for his 2014 US Senate race. She met Senator Cassidy in person earlier in the year, where he assured her that he only would support a health bill if it assured that "families like hers would be taken care of" and would not "fall through the cracks."
 
April's three year-old daughter has leukemia. Her chemotherapy costs over $1 million. They are one of the families who could lose coverage from the proposed Medicaid cuts....

Fri Jun 23, 2017
Nevada Faith Leaders: Don't Cut Medicaid -Nevada Independent
As leaders of the interfaith community and Nevadans for the Common Good, we understand “true worship is to work for justice and care for the poor and oppressed” (Isaiah 58: 5-7).
 
For this reason, we are deeply concerned about how proposed cuts to Medicaid would affect the most vulnerable in our community. Medicaid provides life sustaining health care for more than 600,000 Nevadans, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, veterans, the working poor, and persons with disabilities.
 
Equal access to adequate health care affirms the dignity of every person. Medicaid coverage includes ...

Mon Jun 19, 2017
Arizona Interfaith: Restructuring Medicaid Will Cause Irreversible Harm -Scottsdale Independent

Beware Arizona. The potential restructuring of Medicaid, as approved by the House and undergoing secretive deliberations in the Senate, will cause irreversible harm.

Close to 500,000 Arizonans will lose health care coverage, endangering lives and undermining an open public process.

As clergy leaders with the Arizona Interfaith Network, we are profoundly concerned that the proposed changes under the American Health Care Act would affect virtually every dimension of family life, especially for middle and lower income families.

From caring for people in our congregations, we know that Medicaid saves lives….

Tue Jun 13, 2017
Jersey City Together Works to Prevent a Toxic Deal for Jersey City -nj.com

On Monday, June 12, about 50 Jersey City Together leaders launched a campaign to ensure the Bayfront Development, a 100-acre site owned by Honeywell International & the City of Jersey City on the west side, serves the real needs of the city, particularly local jobs & affordable housing.

Tue Jun 6, 2017
Durham CAN Wins $4M for Affordable Housing -IndyWeek
The Durham City Council on Monday night approved a $4.162 million grant that will allow the Durham Housing Authority to buy back twenty acres of vacant land known as Fayette Place.
 
The money will come from the city’s general fund and can only be used to acquire the land and maintain it until it is sold or developed.
 
Development Ventures Incorporated, a real estate development company controlled by the Housing Authority, and Campus Apartments, which currently owns the land, have agreed to close on the deal no later than June 16.... 

Sun Jun 4, 2017
Together Louisiana, State Assessors Team Up to Defeat Tax Giveaway -Weekly Citizen

At a Senate committee hearing last week, Together Louisiana and the state’s assessors teamed up to deal an unlikely defeat to a proposed constitutional amendment backed by one of the most well-funded lobbying drives of the current legislative session.

House Bill 444 would have opened the door to a major new category of corporate tax exemption and had the backing, not only of the major players in the corporate subsidy lobby, but also of most of the state’s associations representing local officials and even of the Governor, who was working actively to support the bill....

Fri Jun 2, 2017
CONECT Demands Police Reforms Following Fatal Shooting of 15-Yr Old -FOX Channel 61 & ctpost
A dozen CONECT Clergy and Lay leaders gathered at the site of 15 year-old Jayson Negron's fatal shooting by a Bridgeport Police Officer with several of Jayson’s family members (his sister, aunt and cousin) to call for 1) a timely and transparent investigation, 2) the use of body and dash cameras by the Bridgeport Police Department, and 3) the prioritization of de-escalation and racial/cultural sensitivity training for all Bridgeport police officers.
 
CONECT called on Mayor Ganim, Police Chief Armando Perez, and State's Attorney Platt to meet with CONECT on these issues. Depending on the progress of the investigation and what it shows, CONECT may call for other changes in the future as well.
 

Wed May 24, 2017
Lake County United Celebrates Completion of Fairhaven Crossing -Lake County United

Lake County United identified the land, secured the site, established a development team, and built the community support for a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Mundelein, IL. Over 300 Lake County United leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Fairhaven Crossing, which will give everyone, including residents with disabilities, the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The unit includes a community center and computer room.

Wed May 24, 2017
Southern Arizona Interfaith Passes SPICE Ordinance in Tucson -Arizona Daily Star & Tucson News Now

Fresh from a state legislative victory allowing the criminalization of SPICE, Southern Arizona Interfaith leaders succeeded in persuading local policy makers to pass a city ordinance against the nasty synthetic drug.  Tucson City councilmembers listened intently as leader Christina Crawford described how SPICE gave her son seizures and spasms, and as Msgr. Raul Trevizo and other leaders described finding vomiting and passed out youth on St. John the Evangelist church grounds.

Councilmembers praised the team for their persistence over 18 months, before unanimously voting to include the new chemical in a Tucson drug ordinance.  Reporters recorded the standing ovation Southern Arizona Interfaith leaders delivered to the Council upon passage of the ordinance.

Said leader Lorena Santos, “Look what we can do when we work together!  This is just the beginning!”

Tucson City Leaders Pass SPICE OrdinanceTucson News Now

Tucson In a Cat-and-Mouse Fight Against Nasty Synthetic DrugArizona Daily Star [pdf]

Sat May 20, 2017
The True Toughness Jeff Sessions Must Show -NY Daily News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sending a message to America: He’s going to be tough on crime.

To those of us who live, work and pastor in the killing fields of Baltimore, or Cleveland or Chicago, or the former killing fields of the South Bronx or East Brooklyn, that could be good news. We’ll see....

Sun May 7, 2017
Grassroots Activists Call for $1B in Annual Metro Funding & Have a Plan -Washington Post

Several faith- and community-based organizations say Metro needs $1 billion a year in dedicated funding, and they’ve come up with a proposal that includes a mix of sales, gas and property taxes that leaders say will beef up service levels and preserve jobs while addressing the system’s long-term needs.

Scores of grass-roots activists with the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation packed a downtown church Sunday to rally support and present the plan — a medley of investment and savings proposals without the labor concessions sought by Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld and politicians...

Tue Apr 25, 2017
Manhattan Together, So. Bronx Churches Fight for Better School Data -New York Daily News & More

On March 19th, over 400 Manhattan Together (MT) and South Bronx Churches (SBC) leaders gathered with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to push the City Government for action to improve their broken Special Education data system and to push for more repairs in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments. The Comptroller also promised to work together to expand programs for children with Autism and ensure new potential funding for NYCHA is paired with accountability to make sure the money helps tenants.  

New leaders also presented the organizations' campaigns on immigration and homelessness. So far in 2017, MT and SBC have held two legal clinics and four know your rights sessions, connecting with over 500 immigrants and their families. New immigrant leaders who have come forward through these sessions are helping to shape our April 30th Action with NYPD Commissioner O'Neill and work beyond that.

The Assembly was covered by the New York Daily News1010 Wins, and The Villager.

Fri Apr 21, 2017
IAF Workforce Development Model Crushes Competition, Shows Sizable and Sustained Gains -Economic Mobility

Almost ten years ago, Project QUEST agreed to participate in a randomized control trial in which half of a pool of 400+ qualified and equally motivated applicants were picked by a computer to participate in Project QUEST.  The other half were turned away and they pursued other options.

After three years, Project QUEST graduates were already earning more than those who were turned away.  By Year 6, that difference in earnings had not only persisted, it increased to over $5,000 per year.

Fri Apr 7, 2017
Victory for Immigrant Drivers in North Carolina -The News & Observer

A year-long issue campaign culminated in a 600-person action on March 28th where the District Attorney, James Woodall, spoke to Orange County Justice United and publicly committed to a deferral program for unlicensed, yet otherwise safe drivers.

The program, which has the potential to save Latino drivers tens of thousands of dollars a year in court fines and fees, will assist Latino drivers in Orange and Chatham County who have paid roughly $1.3 million in citations after a change in state policy in 2006 rendered them ineligible to apply for or renew their licenses without a social security number.

Wed Apr 5, 2017
AMOS Fights for Expanded Mental Health Care Coverage -Des Moines Register

Six months after a fall assembly in which hundreds of AMOS leaders pressured state legislators to restore mental health funding, leaders persisted in their quest — writing an OpEd and testifying before the legislature.

“This isn’t just a tax issue. This is an issue of life or death,” testified Travis Stanley, pastor of Norwalk Christian Church and leader with AMOS.  AMOS criticizes a state law capping the amount counties can collect for such services to the amount they collected in 1996, regardless of whether the county grew since then.  “Keeping the cap at 1996 levels — when I was 16 — has killed people. People have lost their lives because of this,” he said.

Let Counties Spend More on Mental Health, Advocates Ask LegislatorsDes Moines Register [pdf]

Stop Underfunding Mental HealthDes Moines Register

Ankeny Candidates Agree to Support More Mental Healthcare AccessDes Moines Register

Tue Apr 4, 2017
East Brooklyn Congregations Demands Housing Repairs from NYCHA -DNA Info

When Brooklyn Director and his managers refused to meet with 200 NYCHA tenants from four developments because the Director’s office could not afford the one hour of overtime pay, residents decided to act. During four days of action, EBC and over 500 tenants participated in confronting NYCHA managers in-person and by conducting phone banks to demand the respect and repairs they deserved. The work of over 225 leaders and students from 14 institutions also forced Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, to publicly commit to meeting with leaders in May to discuss a plan to make neighborhoods safer.

Tue Mar 28, 2017
Jersey City Together Wins Long Overdue City Housing Inspections -New Jersey.Com

On Sunday, March 26th, 175+ tenant & Jersey City Together leaders gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Church to hold one of the city's largest landlords, Trendy Management, accountable. The owner, Esther Kaplan, promised to attend, but cancelled at 12pm the day of the action.

Following a building tour with leaders, press, & public officials, the city has now begun systematically investigating their buildings. Inspections of the first 6 of their properties have resulted in more than 325 violations. The company owns more than 140 rent-controlled apartment buildings in Jersey City.

Wed Mar 22, 2017
GCC Fighting to Create a Community Equity Fund -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.

Tue Mar 21, 2017
BUILD Secures $70 M Commitment for Baltimore City Schools Funding Gap -WBALTV

In alliance with principals and schools across the City, BUILD won an additional commitment of $10 million in funding, bringing the total to $70 million BUILD has organized to close the $130 million gap in school funding.

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, along with 11 other city council representatives, announced the additional commitment of $10 million at a BUILD and Baltimoreans for Educational Equity action of 900 parents, teachers and principals. This follows commitments from Baltimore Mayor and State Legislature to provide $60 million to fix the gap.

Fri Mar 10, 2017
GCC Wins Councilmember Pledges to Stop Fast-Track of Arena Renovation -Clevescene & Cleveland.com

Greater Cleveland Congregations continues their fight for fairness in the proposed deal from the Cleveland Cavaliers to spend $160 million of public money to upgrade Quicken Loans Arena.  GCC is fighting for a dollar-for-dollar match of all public money going into the deal to go towards a Community Equity Fund, which would provide critical supports for Cuyahoga County residents around mental health and addiction services, jobs for the unemployed, and capital improvements in distressed neighborhoods.    

On March 9th, GCC held an action with 425 leaders at Elizabeth Baptist Church in the Slavic Village neighborhood as part of their ongoing fight to bring fairness to the proposed deal being pushed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The action featured a number of powerful speakers, including the mother of Alianna DeFreeze, the 14 year-old girl who earlier this year was brutally murdered while on her way to school and whose body was left in a vacant home.  Three key members of the Cuyahoga County Council pledged to slow the deal down and stop fast-tracking it.

GCC members will take the fight to Dan Gilbert's doorstep next week. A caravan of families who have been left behind by the ‘Cleveland Renaissance’ will drive to his headquarters in Detroit on March 21st for a daylong demonstration there.

www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2017/02/15/gcc-choreographs-masterful-opposition-to-quicken-loans-arena-renovations

 
 

Mon Mar 6, 2017
Metro IAF Launches "Are Guns Allowed On Campus?" Online Petition -Metro IAF

Sun Mar 5, 2017
Immigrant, Refugee Backers Pack Church to Affirm Durham as Inclusive -The News & Observer

More than 1,300 Latinos, Muslims, refugees, immigrants, their families and supporters filled Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Sunday to affirm Durham as a city of inclusion.

The event, which organizers insisted was not a protest, was hosted by the N.C. Congress of Latino Organizations and Durham Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods and conducted in English and Spanish.

“We hope that as we leave here, we’re not going to be leaving with confusion but rather with hope,” said Banlly Baquedano, a representative of Iglesia Hispana Emanuel and mother of two.

Wed Mar 1, 2017
VOICE Trains 100 Muslim Leaders in Northern Virginia -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.

Tue Feb 21, 2017
Together Louisiana Reins In Backdoor Corporate Subsidies -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....

 

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.

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