In a major step towards establishing trust between local law enforcement and immigrants, and with the support of Bishop Weisenberger and local law enforcement, Pima County Interfaith officially launched the first printing of parish identification cards in Tucson. Participating law enforcement, including Sheriff Chris Nanos of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Assistant Chief Diana Duffy of the Tucson Police Department, reassured PCI that they could be trusted to accept the IDs. With this in mind, they encouraged parish ID holders to report when they are victimized or witnesses of crimes.
Bishop Edward Weisenberger of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson supported the strategy while Monsignor Raúl Trevizo spearheaded the action at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. While over 300 people attended orientations to receive IDs over the last few months, leaders from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church limited the issuance of parish IDs to 60 for this inaugural event. Leaders are scheduling parish ID events in other local parishes.Read more
Sec. Granholm: Community Lighthouse Resilience Hub is "testament to the power of grassroots organizations"
Together Louisiana-IAF was joined by US Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at a celebration marking the launch of their seventh and largest Community Lighthouse Project at New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace, Louisiana.
The launch follows on the heels of a $249 Million federal investment in Louisiana to strengthen grid resilience, announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The funding will be matched by $249 Million in locally raised funding.Read more
On Tuesday, Coloradans for the Common Good (CCG) leaders gathered with allies from the Denver Metro Tenants Union and the Community Economic Defense Project, in addition to the Denver Mayor and 8 members of Denver City Council, to celebrate the city's historic investment of $29.1 Million in emergency rental assistance.
This investment is expected to keep 6,000 families housed who would otherwise face eviction and comes after months of CCG organizing, including a mayoral forum in May with 350 attendees, a press conference on the issue, and countless phone calls, emails, and meetings with elected officials.Read more
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has named Ms. Ivonn Rivera of the Diocese of San Jose as the recipient of the 2023 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. Each year, this prestigious award from the CCHD recognizes a young adult who demonstrates leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions...
Ms. Rivera is a wife, mother, and community leader in San Jose. As a member of her parish’s organizing team with Silicon Valley Sponsoring Committee (SVSC), which receives funding from CCHD, she organizes monthly Misas del barrio, helping to bring the Eucharist to those affected by vandalism, gangs, drugs, and violence. The Masses are paired with listening sessions, which uncover community concerns and identify potential new leaders. Through the parish’s work with SVSC, Ivonn has led efforts to raise community needs with local officials.Read more
A large contingent of people from the Valley Interfaith Project showed support by rising and standing in silence as a leader, Bethany Lambrecht, spoke in favor of the purchase....Read more
Leaders Pledge to Keep Working Towards $26/Hr Goal
After 48 Marin Organizing Committee leaders participated in the Marin Board of Supervisors meeting, joined by numerous people online and supported by 50 letters/emails that had been submitted earlier, the Board of Supervisors voted to increase the salaries of In-Home Support Services (IHSS) caregivers to $18/hour.
Leaders delivered compelling testimony in-person and online, and were joined by allies including InSpirit health care workers, care recipients and SEIU 2015 (who represents caregivers). MOC leaders provided moving testimony about the limited nature of IHSS time allotments for each recipient. For example, transportation to and from a doctor’s office is allotted only 12 minutes per week, and if the client could theoretically walk into the office herself the caregiver would not be paid while waiting to drive the client home.Read more
We were saddened to share that former IAF organizer Kevin Courtney died on October 19, 2023 in Tucson, Arizona. He left this earth a better place. Kevin organized with the West / Southwest IAF for more than 20 years, and he was the Lead Organizer for EPISO/ Border Interfaith (El Paso) and PCIC (Tucson, Arizona).
He was a lifelong advocate for adult education, GED, and ESL learners. His organizing career began in Tucson while assisting with Adult Basic Education students to advocate for increased program funding. During his two-stop tenure with PCIC, he was instrumental in the creation and continued funding of Job Path, which has since graduated thousands of Tucsonians into living wage jobs.Read more
In a public assembly at St. Paul AME, 140 AMOS leaders secured commitments from new DMPS Superintendent Dr. Ian Roberts and four school board candidates to work together to expand 'Let’s Talk Now' and restorative justice practices, support student mental health, and retain and diversify the Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) teaching workforce. In the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Roberts announced that DMPS will change hiring practices for people with criminal records.
Charice Williams, the Hiatt Middle School student engagement coordinator [and Bethel AME Church leader], spoke about the importance of having school staff who look like their students and about the barriers to achieving this goal.
Williams told those gathered about a woman... who was previously incarcerated but ultimately earned a master's degree and 30 years later has worked for both the state and county. Yet because of her criminal record, the woman was not eligible for a stipend position as part of the district's school-based mentor program Sisters 4 Success, Williams said.Read more