Press

Press

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 17, 2017
One LA Leaders Educate 1,000 & Launch Immigration Strategy -One LA

In the first three month of the year, One LA leaders engaged over 1,000 LA County residents through fifteen ‘Know Your Rights’ civic academies hosted by member institutions.  In partnership with One LA member Neighborhood Legal Services of LA, leaders educated participants on the the implications of recent presidential executive orders including the enforcement of immigration regulations, as well as the Muslim and Refugee Travel Ban.  ”Train the Trainer” seminars have also been organized to teach institutional leaders about the civil and due process rights to which all US residents are entitled, regardless of immigration status.

The newly re-energized Immigration Strategy Team is now crafting a vision / action plan they will take to LA County and state-elected leaders to ensure that all families, including blended immigrant families – those with US citizens and unauthorized immigrants – are protected and treated fairly.  This task force also plans to challenge unconstitutional orders and implementation practices by federal immigration and other law enforcement agencies.

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

 
 

Fri Mar 10, 2017
NCG Fights to Expand Meals On Wheels in Nevada -Las Vegas Now

Over 75 citizen leaders of ‘Nevadans for the Common Good‘ packed the Grant Sawyer State office building to support increased funding for the Meals on Wheels program.

This followed action taken by a traveling delegation of 15 clergy and key leaders who met with state legislators about the importance of sustainably funding the Meals on Wheels program and...

Mon Mar 6, 2017
TMO, Religious Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform -Houston Chronicle & More

In the face of increased deportations and growing fears of family separation, TMO clergy and Texas Bishops held a joint press conference calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path towards citizenship.  Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo stood with United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones, Lutheran Bishop Michael Rinehart, Presbyterian pastor Rev. Lynne Hargrove, Episcopal pastor Rev. Uriel Osnaya, Baptist pastor Rev. John Ogletree and other clergy in a public stand against the deportation and separation of immigrant families....

 

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.

Fri Mar 3, 2017
EPISO/Border Interfaith Clergy To Immigrants: You Are Not Alone -El Paso Times

Civic academies put together by the El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization (EPISO) and Border Interfaith are drawing upwards of 50 parishioners per session eager to learn how to use their civil rights to protect family members from deportation.

Organizers reminded immigrants that they have the right to remain silent, a right to an attorney and not to sign any document given to them by immigration agents without first talking to a lawyer.  They also advised family members not to open the door to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents without a warrant....

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.

Wed Feb 15, 2017
Opponents, Some Supporters, of Q Renovation Plan Pack Meeting -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

Mon Feb 13, 2017
WTJ Demolishes Blight in Jackson, MS -Clarion-Ledger

Two months after Working Together Jackson put public pressure on Jackson State University (JSU) to replace long-abandoned buildings with green space, leaders celebrated the first demolition on campus.  The demolition resulted from a collaboration initiated by Working Together Jackson in which Revitalize Mississippi Inc. agreed to demolish the properties at no cost to the JSU Development Foundation or university.

 

Tue Feb 7, 2017
Valley Interfaith Priest Concerned That SB4 Can Empower Cartels -Rio Grande Guardian

Following a press conference in which leaders of the Texas IAF Network of Organizations joined the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops to oppose the anti-sanctuary cities bill, SB4, Fr. Kevin Collins of St. Eugene’s de Mazenod Catholic Church and Valley Interfaith in Brownsville had more to say.

“If you cannot trust the police, who can you turn to?”  Collins argues that one unintended consequence of SB4 becoming a law is that organized crime will become more powerful if community policing is diminished by lack of trust...

Tue Feb 7, 2017
Senate President Supports (GBIO) Criminal Justice Reforms -Bay State Banner

It’s been a long haul.

Last December, activists briefly disrupted a meeting of legislative leaders in protest of a criminal justice reform push they said wouldn’t go far enough to ameliorate racial disparities in sentencing and reduce the number of non-violent offenders serving hard time.

But last week legislative action seemed imminent when state Senate President Stanley Rosenberg committed to work for legislative fixes supported by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, including...

Mon Feb 6, 2017
Who's Normalizing Donald Trump Now? -Wall Street Journal

Mr. Gecan argues that the parallel for what’s happening in Washington right now is Wisconsin in 2011. Back then, Gov. Scott Walker backed a bill stripping public-employee unions of collective-bargaining rights. The left erupted in protest, with demonstrators occupying the State Capitol and a movement pushing a recall of the governor in what became a national drama.

Just one problem: It didn’t work. The bill was passed and ruled constitutional. Gov. Walker won the 2012 recall election in June even as Mr. Obama carried Wisconsin in the presidential in November. And Republicans increased their majorities in the Wisconsin state House and Senate.

Mr. Gecan says protest is no substitute for hard, grass-roots persuasion.

Fri Feb 3, 2017
TBR Congratulates Mayor for Use-Of-Force Policy Overhaul -The Advocate

When Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s announcement of an overhaul of the police department’s use-of-force policies, Together Baton Rougeexpressed pride in the role they played in its development and extended public congratulations.  The organization claims that with the announced changes, the Baton Rouge Police Department’s (BRPD) go “from being among the weakest 30% of cities in the nation to being among the strongest 7% in terms of alignment with national best practices.”

Together Baton Rouge leaders are continuing their work on law enforcement practices, including the recent release of a study on neighborhood disparities in drug possession enforcement.

BRPD Union: No Ill Effects from Sharon Weston Broome’s ‘Common Sense’ Use-Of-Force Policy AdditionsThe Advocate

TBR Statement of SupportTogether Baton Rouge

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.

Thu Feb 2, 2017
How Democrats Are Getting Played -New York Daily News

Super Bowl week, and the early days of the Trump administration, are a good time to think about what works in sports and politics.

As every good coach knows, you study the game film of your opponent to spot tendencies, and then you run plays that exploit the weakness in the opposition’s defensive schemes. If the plays work, you keep running them, keep piling up the yards and the points, until the other team gets wise and starts to make some adjustments, or doesn’t get wise and gets creamed....

Thu Feb 2, 2017
Hundreds Attend Interfaith Gathering to Work for Justice, Save Health Law -Boston Globe

Over 900 people filled the sanctuary and two overflow rooms at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain to call on elected officials to work with Greater Boston Interfaith Organization...

Tue Jan 31, 2017
Metro IAF & ATU: "Leave the Bus Lines Alone" -Washington Post

In Washington, D.C., 300 workers and riders turned out to the latest hearing on budget cuts to tell the WMATA Metro Board to 'leave the bus lines alone."

Metro IAF has been working in collaboration with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) to increase public investment in the DC region's metro transit system.

Sun Jan 29, 2017
Albuquerque Interfaith Advances Alliance Schools in Accountability Meeting -FOX-KRQUE

Following last year’s victory in helping pass a $575 Million bond package for local public schools, just part of the $2.5 Billion Albuquerque Interfaith has helped leverage since 2002, leaders are now fighting to implement school reforms.

120 leaders assembled with 11 of 16 Albuquerque Public School board candidates for a civic academy on Alliance Schools, small group conversations and pointed questions to the candidates about supporting the development of Alliance Schools in the district.  To the person, each of the participating candidates pledged to directly support Alliance Schools and to help build support with the Superintendent.

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....

Additional press from ABC

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