Press

Press

Fri Oct 2, 2015
North Texas IAF Takes on Payday Lenders w/ TX Catholic Conference -Dallas Morning News

Fr. Daniel Kelly of St. Joseph Catholic Church and North Texas IAF – in partnership with the Texas Catholic Conference — hosted a press conference at his church announcing a coordinated interfaith effort to place limits on payday and title loan lending.  During a listening campaign that involved 3,000 parishioners in small group conversations and parish development sessions, “every week another member of my parish [told] a horror story about one of these loans.  They debilitate our families.”

Fri Sep 25, 2015
What Happened in Vegas -Commonweal

Andrea Swanson was raised in a Catholic military family in Virginia and married a military man. Her husband, Rod, served as an officer in the U.S. Army, became an FBI agent, then rose to supervision of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Las Vegas. That’s where the couple raised their four children, two girls and two boys. Andrea worked as a school nurse. Her husband was sent to Iraq and other foreign countries. Two of their four children would end up entering the armed services—one as a Marine lieutenant and the other as a sergeant in the Eighty-Second Airborne Division. Both deployed abroad.

And then there was Hannah, their youngest child....

Mon Sep 21, 2015
Metro IAF Victories Update 2015 -Metro IAF
Highlights:

Sat Sep 19, 2015
Arlington Board Approves Additional Affordable Housing -Washington Post

The Arlington County Board, in an unanimous vote, on Saturday passed an affordable housing plan that will add about 15,800 apartments affordable to low to moderate income households by 2040.

Three hours of personal and heartfelt testimony from those who said they have benefited from Arlington’s existing housing supports swayed the lawmakers who said they couldn’t recall more affecting testimonials in their tenures.

Carolina Perez described the impact of having a safe and stable apartment on her family, showing the board her daughter’s A-plus on a math assignment. “It really hurts us when people say low-income (families) are bringing down Arlington,” she said. “You are not wasting your money. You are investing in your future.”

Coverage of back story here.

Thu Sep 17, 2015
Dallas Area Interfaith Clergy Call on Police to Communicate -Fox 4 News

Thu Sep 17, 2015
Let Refugees Revive American Cities: Admit 250K In This Decade -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.

Fri Sep 11, 2015
Austin Interfaith Wins Historic Wage Increase for Municipal Workers -Austin Chronicle & Telemundo

At a press conference held the day after the passage of the new City budget, Austin Interfaithleaders celebrated a historic living wage win and other ‘budget priorities’ that were included.  Austin Interfaith leaders thanked the Mayor and specific council members for acting as “budget champions.”

As a result, the City of Austin will now pay their workers an increased living wage of $13.03 per hour (up from $11.39) and for the first time will include temporary AND contracted workers in that wage standard.  Workers employed for at least 12 months will additionally qualify for healthcare benefits.  Employees of private corporations receiving public subsidies will also benefit from the wage increase...

Tue Sep 8, 2015
IAF Co-Director Mike Gecan Addresses "Anxieties of Democracy" -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?"

Tue Sep 8, 2015
MACG considered a force for the common good in Portland -Portland Mercury

"We are in a crisis and people are being dispossessed from their homes and their neighborhoods," says Bob Brown, a MACG member who's been working on this issue for months. "It's bad, and it's going to get worse if we don't do something."

...Brown was one of 97 MACG members who, on September 1, packed a PHAC review hearing for that mandatory review process.

... At the September 1 hearing, the group unleashed its secret weapon—a former senior housing policy manager for the PDC named Leah Greenwood.... 

Tue Sep 8, 2015
Common Ground's "Million Winning Strategy" in Milwaukee -Shepherd Express

In our era of political polarization and highly negative partisan attacks, it’s rare to see community advocates who cheerfully—even gleefully—describe their years-long campaign to help struggling Milwaukeeans.

But Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground’s Keisha Krumm and Jennifer O’Hear were all smiles when talking about their part in securing $30 million settlement between mortgage servicerNationstar Mortgage LLC and the City of Milwaukee.

Fri Aug 28, 2015
Nationstar to Give $30 Million for Distressed Milwaukee Homeowners -Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee

"Common Ground is pleased that the mayor and Common Council President Michael Murphy negotiated aggressively in our behalf to get the best deal they could get for our city," she said.

"We are pleased with the result."

Tue Aug 25, 2015
Statewide Press Recognizes Texas IAF Work on Wages -Texas Observer

COPS / Metro AllianceAustin InterfaithBorder Interfaith & EPISO, and Dallas Area Interfaith leaders are deservedly getting statewide recognition for their work in support of living wages in San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and Dallas.

 

Mon Aug 24, 2015
Says Business Columnist: Public Sector 'Living Wage' Proper -San Antonio Express-News

According to business columnist Michael Taylor of San Antonio Express-News:

"public employers have a greater obligation to address the moral issue of 'a living wage' than do private employers. Unlike private companies, public entities (such as governments) explicitly purport to represent the “public good” in everything they do. The public good should reasonably include paying workers so they can live above the federal poverty level. Nobody really asked my opinion, but these wage hikes seem not only reasonable, but providing a “living wage” for public-sector employees seems like an essential step."

Sat Aug 22, 2015
Skill QUEST Curbs Dallas Poverty -Dallas Morning News

More than 400 people have been helped by Skill QUEST since it was launched by Dallas Area Interfaith in late 2010.

A subcommittee of the interfaith group did extensive research among 3,500 people in its 40 member congregations, schools and community organizations in Dallas and Collin counties. It found workforce issues...among the biggest concerns....

Thu Aug 20, 2015
Luckless at Texas Capitol, Wage Advocates Go Local -Texas Tribune

"In Austin, a minimum wage hike to $13.03 an hour for full-time employees will be up for consideration in September as part of the city’s proposed budget. San Antonio leaders will consider a minimum wage of $13 an hour next month. Bexar County is also poised to increase its minimum wage to $13 an hour, while El Paso County could vote next month to boost pay for its lowest-paid employees to $10 an hour. Minimum wages in those localities currently range from $9.45 to $11.66 an hour.

Local organizers affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation are hopeful all four proposals will be approved, saying they’ve received assurances from city and county officials. But for these advocates, the wins could mean sending a message to state lawmakers."

Tue Aug 18, 2015
Black Iowans Feel Profiled by the Police -Des Moines Register

In the Des Moines area, members of the nonprofit community organization AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) have spent the past year recording the stories of black Iowans who believe they have been unfairly singled out because of their race by store clerks, security guards, police and others.

Retired Des Moines attorney Harvey Harrison, 71, said what he has heard through that process "proves racial profiling is still a problem, and it has to be dealt with to help this country."

Fri Aug 14, 2015
Bucks’ Owners Win, at Wisconsin’s Expense -New York Times

Not all Milwaukeeans gave the new owners a hug. Last year, Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground — a fine coalition of churches, synagogues, mosques and community groups — surveyed the city’s pitted fields and dilapidated recreation centers and proposed that an arena bond issue should include money for Milwaukee’s playing fields. The group also pushed for a public referendum.

Thu Aug 13, 2015
Metro IAF Pitches Own NYCHA Housing Plan -The Real Deal

The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation invited several Brooklyn elected officials last month to hear a proposal to “infill” large swaths of open space at public housing developments in the borough with between 10,000 and 20,000 units of senior citizen housing.

The faith-based organization has developed low-income homes in parts of Brooklyn through its local chapter, East Brooklyn Congregations.

Wed Aug 12, 2015
Roof Repairs at Harlem NYCHA Building Made Leaks Worse -NY Daily News

“What’s happening in the King Towers echoes what we are seeing all over the city,” said Michael Stanley, an organizer with Metro Industrial Area Foundation, a housing advocate group that’s been critical of NYCHA for years.

Barbara Solomon, 59, says she has tried in vain to get management to fix her ceilings. “Too often, NYCHA doesn’t show up, but even where they are supposedly fixing things, the repairs are usually so ineffective that nothing is really resolved or the problem even gets worse,” Stanley said.

Mon Aug 3, 2015
COPS / Metro Gains Support of City Manager on $13 / Hr Living Wage -San Antonio Express-News and KENS5

Sun Aug 2, 2015
Common Ground's Focus on Kid Safety Turns to School Buses -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel & More

...specifically, letting school buses halt traffic when picking up and dropping off children at scheduled stops.

Coverage also here: 

Neighborhood News Service

CBS 58

Telemundo (Spanish)

 

Sat Jul 25, 2015
Valley Interfaith Secures Streetlights in Olmito Colonia -Brownsville Herald

A crowd of leaders gathered near a newly installed streetlight in the Olmito colonia as Father Hector Cruz of Our Heavenly Father Catholic Church sprinkled it with holy water.  Valley Interfaith leaders gathered from across Cameron County to celebrate the installation, which resulted from their intervention....

Mon Jul 20, 2015
Express-News Recognizes COPS as Impetus for Palo Alto College -San Antonio Express News

At the first convention of Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in 1974, Fernando Rodriguez Jr. introduced a resolution to open a community college on the West Side or South Side. Berriozábal remembers the idea of such a college was a hard sell for local officials....

Fri Jul 17, 2015
Metro IAF: Here's a Way to Control Guns -New York Times

For more than a year, we and fellow religious leaders across the nation have worked to persuade President Obama to use what we believe is the most powerful tool government has in this area: its purchasing power. The federal government is the nation’s top gun buyer. It purchases more than a quarter of the guns and ammunition sold legally in the United States. State and local law enforcement agencies also purchase a large share. Major gun manufacturers depend on these taxpayer-funded purchases. For the government to keep buying guns from these companies — purchases meant to ensure public safety — without making demands for change is to squander its leverage....

Fri Jul 10, 2015
Judge Slams NYCHA Officials for No-Show at (Metro IAF) Mold Hearing -Daily News

"A judge overseeing NYCHA’s flailing efforts to clean up its toxic mold problem ripped into agency officials for being no-shows at a hearing Friday.

A lone NYCHA lawyer showed up, but none of the top brass appeared in Manhattan Federal Court to answer why they’ve failed to live up to a 2013 promise to abate mold in decrepit apartments.

“Why wouldn’t some policy-making, decision-making official of NYCHA be here?” fumed Judge William Pauley. “I can’t believe they have more important things to do.”"

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