A gathering of more than 300 people - from many faiths - marked the Sept. 11 anniversary with memories, discussion and a commitment to build better community. Says Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel, "People came up to me to share how...they had never met anybody 'like that' before and yet they found that sense of commonality...of decency...of support."Read more
"The local arm of West Texas Organizing Strategy, an interdenominational coalition of churches, has been the single biggest community organizing force behind the revitalization efforts."Read more
Over the last year, Austin Interfaith leaders publicly pressured the City Council to increase funding for successful programs including job training project Capital IDEA. They eventually held face-to-face meetings with public officials in efforts to get it back to current funding levels of $1 Million, but only after clearing City-imposed legal hurdles.
On the morning of October 6th, Austin City Council passed the Public Health and Human Service budget and two other items that moved additional funding to Capital Idea, keeping the program at 2011 level funding, $1.08 million, for FY 2012. Leaders also leveraged money from the Travis County Commissioners Court which voted not only for the continuation of level funding ($700,000) for Capital Idea, but an additional $97,000 to supplement cuts from the state.
After hundreds of leaders marched to City Hall to protest the expansion of a waste station in the poorest neighborhoods of Pomona, the Planning Commission postponed the vote two more weeks to give more time to review the proposal. Says Magdalena Uceda, "I think the commissioners realized that they needed to really do their job and examine what is being proposed."
This march follows One LA's submission of 400 signatures from neighborhoods surrounding the proposed transfer station, and a push from regional clergy and Bishops; 28 businesses also lined up against the waste station.Read more
450 Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) leaders assembled to focus state legislators' attention on immigration. Stories of immigrants and refugees highlighted the economic and legal realities faced by Omaha newcomers while business, religious and academic allies testified about the impact of immigrants on Nebraska, making a case for comprehensive immigration reform at the national level and against piecemeal legislation at the state. Three of the five key Senators on the Judicial Committee participated in the assembly.
OTOC Keeps Focus on Immigration, Omaha World HeraldRead more
"After months of complaints from Austin Interfaith over its limited ability to weigh in on funding for local nonprofits, the City of Austin now says that the group can give City Council members a piece of its mind."Read more
-- Most Rev. Gabino Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop, San Gabriel Region, Archdiocese of LA, Roman Catholic ChurchRead more
Reverend Christoper Bell and Rabbi George Gittleman weigh in on anti-police reaction to hit and run tragedy in Sonoma County.Read more