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Working Together Jackson Wins First Housing Trust Fund in Mississippi

Jackson, MS - At the urging of Working Together Jackson leaders, city council members supported the creation of a housing trust fund to finance the development of low and moderate income housing.  Click photo for televisions news piece.

EPISO & Border Interfaith Stick it to Payday Lenders with $13M Pilot Project

El Paso, TX - With a new $14 million micro-loan pilot program, created in collaboration with the Greater El Paso Credit Union, low-income borrowers can now get the cash they need without paying exorbitant fees.  Click photo for full scoop.

BUILD On the Ground in Baltimore: Unrest 'Generations in the Making'

Baltimore, MD - IAF sister organization BUILD is on the ground, pushing hard for long-term solutions. Leaders aim to address unrest that is "generations in the making" in meetings with the Mayor and Police.  Click here for organizer statement.

Neighborhood Infrastructure

PCIC Gets $126M on Bond Ballot for Training & More

Pima Co., AZ - In the second of three steps to secure funding PCIC leaders testified before Pima County Supervisors, securing a (4-1) vote for an expanded bond package which includes a building for workforce development program JobPath ($1M), affordable housing ($20M), neighborhood reinvestment ($25M) and open space ($80M).  PCIC leaders committed to Get Out The Vote this fall to ensure the bond passes. 

Valley Interfaith Celebrates (Newly Paved) Streets

Pharr, TX - When Valley Interfaith leader Monse Martinez (in photo, center back) first moved to Las Milpas he noticed that "the potholes were destroying our vehicles."  Though others before had tried to get the city to fix them and failed, leaders started to get organized…talking about it in church, holding house meetings and demanding the roads get fixed.  Upon repavement, residents celebrated in their newly paved streets.

Sound Alliance Secures Unanimous Council Vote for Housing of Homeless & Against Trade Treaty

Seattle, WA - In a double win for Sound Alliance labor and affordable housing leaders, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to support the creation of three tent cities to be constructed on public land (including one at the University of Washington), and a resolution opposing fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (trade treaty).  Labor and housing leaders successfully connected the issues of job migration and homelessness in testimony before a packed chamber.   

TMO Fights for Metro Bus System Overhaul

Houston, TX - Logging a daily commute that takes two hours each way, Metro bus rider and TMO leader Julia Ramirez teamed up with Fr. Kevin Collins and Franklin Olson to argue that the Metro bus system of Houston needs major changes.  Click on photo for link to their statement.


Jobs that Pay

White House TechHire Initiative Recognizes Project Quest's 'Open Cloud Academy'  

Washington, DC - When President Barack Obama announced a new ‘TechHire’ initiative, speaking to nearly 2,000 at the National League of Cities Conference, the work of Project Quest Executive Director Pearl Ceasar and Deborah Carter of Rackspace was recognized for moving lower income people into high demand occupations like Information Technology. The Open Cloud Academy is the result of a partnership between Project Quest and Rackspace.

COPS/Metro Raises Stakes in Mayoral Race on Wages, Workforce Development & More 

San Antonio, TX - When 400 COPS / Metro leaders assembled with candidates for Mayor and City Council, their pointed questions on wages, workforce development and affordable housing helped shape the mayoral campaign.  Leaders secured commitments from most candidates to raise the wages of the lowest paid city workers from $11.47 / hour to $14.91 / hour within three years; secure funding for Project Quest and invest in affordable housing.  

'Working Together Jackson' Effort to Save Jobs Draws Support of Mississippi Senators and Sheriff

Jackson, MS - After supermarket Kroger announced its impending closure, 'Working Together Jackson' swung into action and helped save the 109 workers jobs through relocation.  Now, in order to prevent the area from becoming a food desert, a State Senator and the Sheriff are lining up with WTJ to stop Kroger from restricting other grocers from utilizing that property. Leaders are also calling on the grocer to continue investing in local schools.  

Spokane Alliance Advances 'Sick & Safe' Campaign

Spokane, WA - After a year-long listening campaign involving 1,000 individual meetings, plus conversations with 50 local business owners and nonprofits, Spokane Alliance launched a campaign to guarantee paid sick leave for workers in Spokane.  The press conference announcing the launch drew 130 leaders and allies, including Councilmember Snyder who pledged to help pass a Sick, Safe and Family Leave ordinance by the end of June.


Public Schools & Children
Yuma Co. Interfaith Impact Results in $21M for Schools 

Yuma, AZ - Midway through a multi-year civic education campaign concerning public school funding, Yuma County Interfaith leaders supported passage of a $21 Million infrastructure bond for Yuma School District One in an election that succeeded by 1,500 votes.  Leaders are continuing the education push through civic academies in surrounding school districts - including sessions with administrative personnel, staff, principals and parents.    

'Nevadans for the Common Good' Partners with Governor, Business Allies FOR  $430M School Funding Plan

Las Vegas, NV - At a press conference the morning of Gov. Sandoval’s presentation of the proposal, NCG leader Rev. Dr. Marta Poling-Goldenne called this “a historic opportunity to improve our public schools and invest in our children.” In a meeting one week prior, ‘Nevadans for the Common Good’ and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance both decided to support the school funding plan. 

TMO Parent Leaders Protest Urban School Rezoning

Houston, TX - 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 the education of her children. 


Texas IAF Fights Anti-Sanctuary Senate Bill 

Austin, TX - At 8am on a Monday morning, Texas IAF faith leaders arrived at the Texas Capitol to fight Senate Bill 185 while it was in committee; the bill would outlaw sanctuary cities in Texas and threaten local efforts to build better relationships between police and communities by prohibiting cities from forbidding police to enforce immigration laws.  

'Nevadans for the Common Good' Educates about the Presidential Executive Order

Las Vegas, NV - When Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) decided to host an information session on the executive order on immigration (DAPA & DACA) hundreds piled into St. Christopher Catholic Church in Las Vegas. NCG leaders, with St Christopher, are integrating immigrants into the fabric of community while building non-partisan political power for the common good.

Valley Interfaith Decries Judge's Injunction, Reminds Immigrants that DACA Remains in Effect

Clergy and leaders of Valley Interfaith convened at St. Mary Catholic Church to call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, remind undocumented immigrants that the 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order is still in effect and to urge potential beneficiaries of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) to prepare now in the event that the hold on the executive order is lifted.

OTOC Develops Leadership of Refugee Women

Omaha, NE - Expanding on training offered to all its member institutions, the Institute for Public Leadership of Omaha is now training refugee women. This quarter, Women from Burundi, Myanmar, Congo and South Sudan gathered for four sessions that covered local governance in America and how school districts work. Says Ndaizeye Immaculee: “By coming to Refugee Women Leadership I learned how the levels of government work in Omaha and Nebraska….”

MACG Educates Immigrants on President's Order

Portland, OR - 180 mostly immigrant leaders gathered when the Metropolitan Alliance for the Common Good put on a training session to update people on the President's executive order, increase understanding about its politics and identify new leaders to help others with applications should the temporary injunction get lifted.    


Civic Engagement

'Together Louisiana' Statewide Assembly Trains 200 Leaders to Take on Budget Deficit & Food Deserts   

Baton Rouge, LA - Leaders from across Louisiana assembled to learn about their state's $1.6 billion budget deficit, the lack of access to fresh food experienced by over 1 million Louisianans, and how to organize effectively in their local communities for maximum state impact.  Elected officials in attendance, including Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain (R) and Democrats from North & Southern Louisiana agreed to work together to address the budget and food access.  

PCIC Celebrates 25 Years of Joy in Battles Won  

Tucson, AZ - 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, and local parks and recreation centers across the County. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Tucson Catholic Diocese chaired the event, which included stories from six young adult leaders and praise from Congressman Grijalva and Mayor Rothschild. 

VOICE-OKC Teaches National Education Association 

Anaheim, CA - After energizing NEA delegates in DC last year, the National Education Association called in VOICE leadership to teach members how to build community partnerships and public action in support of public schools.  This is part and parcel of a region-wide strategy to build a constituency of voters that support public schools across the West & Southwest IAF.

Video: Sydney Alliance Action Council Engages 2,500 Leaders in Run Up to 2015 State Election

Sydney, Au - In the months leading up to the 2015 New South Wales election, Sydney Alliance engaged 2,500 leaders from across the state through table talks and regional assemblies.  Leaders urged candidates for public office to commit to investing in three areas: transportation, affordable housing and "working start" (apprenticeships and training for disadvantaged young people).  Sydney Alliance was so successful, major parties adopted their platform on affordable housing, including crucial minor parties in the NSW upper house.  Click on photo for video. 

Together Baton Rouge Preaches 'Joy of the Gospel' 

Baton Rouge, LA - In collaboration with the Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese, Jesuit Social Research Institute and Catholic Charities, Together Baton Rouge kicked off a 4-part series on the 'Joy of the Gospel' by Pope Francis. With over 70 participants in attendance, representing 25 different parishes, Fr. Fred Kammer (Executive Director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute) taught the first section on the "Joy of the Good News."  This is part of a larger strategy to broaden the institutional base of the organization. 

AMOS Institute of Public Life Trains Leaders 

Des Moines, IA - 77 leaders and potential leaders of AMOS assembled mid-February to kick off a year of reorganizing and renewal for the organization. Sponsored by the AMOS Institute of Public Life, the training focused on preparing all participants to conduct relational meetings and then split into three tracks: building research teams, building congregational / institutional leadership teams and looking at the big picture (i.e. world as it is vs. the world as it should be).

COPA Honored for Defending Children's Insurance

Santa Cruz, CA - When their healthcare program for undocumented children was threatened by County budget cuts, COPA leaders quickly mobilized supporters from Catholic, Jewish, Methodist and other nonprofit partners to persuade the Board of Supervisors and healthcare providers to fund the effort. And they succeeded.  United Way of Santa Cruz County lauded COPA's successful collaboration with other nonprofits, honoring leaders with an “Advocacy Award.” 

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