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Silicon Valley Leaders Take Vice-Mayor and San Jose Police on Neighborhood Night Walk

Silicon Valley Sponsoring Committee leaders led a night walk on April 26th with San Jose Vice-Mayor Rosemary Kamei and local police. The leaders advocated for more lighting, a broader police presence, and a commitment from the city to invest in the neighborhood. During the walk, Vice-mayor Kamei pledged that she and her office will work toward addressing the issues.

Also in attendance were West San Jose neighborhood leader Roberta Witte and HOA Vice President Diane Martino.

[Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]

San Jose Residents Fed Up With Violence Take City Leaders on Night TourNBC Bay Area 

Working Together Jackson' Refounding Draws 500 Community Leaders


"Reverend David K. Brawley of East Brooklyn Congregations (a sister organization of WTJ) provided a keynote address that was informative as well as deeply inspiring. He shared about The Nehemiah homes built in East New York and in the Brownsville neighborhood and how “changing one block can make a difference, but one organization makes all the difference in the world.”

"Forty years ago, leaders got together and they built power – the regeneration of an entire community – where initially homes sold for about $40,000 are now worth $500,000. The power is with the people. We organized and one institution saved an entire community, and if we could do it forty years ago, you can do it today.”

The Mississippi Link asked Chevon Chatman for her impressions. “I’m pleased with the turnout and the energy and enthusiasm of WTJ members and guests here today. It speaks to the determination and resiliency of this vehicle and of this city to do what it needs to do to become a stronger Jackson. I am proud to be the lead organizer of Working Together Jackson,” she said.

Savannah Willis, an organizer at WTJ, said it like this, “I feel like there is a lot of energy in the city right now, and today was a reflection of that and seeing how it touches everybody despite our differences, despite our divisions – there is energy in this city to make a change.”

[Photo Credit: Chris Young, The Mississippi Link]

Working Together Jackson – WTJ: Refounding Convention and City-wide AssemblyThe Mississippi Link [pdf]

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Dallas Morning News Editorial Board Supports DAI in Fight for Humane Housing Conditions


Reporting bad landlords who won’t fix apartments to maintain adequate living conditions should be easier for Dallas tenants, especially for those who are the most vulnerable because of their economic or immigration status.

It has been a little over a month since this newspaper reported the hazardous conditions endured by Bachman Lake-area tenants, including moldy walls, pest infestations and leaky roofs. This is not a case of “they get what they pay for.” Residents said they are paying up to $1,400 a month, close to the rent average in the Dallas area.

For these tenants, most of them with limited English skills, navigating the city’s bureaucracy to report code violations has been frustrating. They said they rarely see results. “We are not living for free; we are paying,” Bachman Lake resident [and Dallas Area Interfaith leader] Claudia Cruz, 38, told us.

Bachman Lake Tenants Need SupportDallas Morning News [pdf]

Arizona Republic Highlights 'AZ Students for Mental Health' & VIP Effort to Address Youth Suicide


[Riana] Alexander, a soft-spoken, studious teen, has become a force for change in her community in raising awareness about students’ mental health needs, most critically the need for school officials to intervene when kids are showing signs that they are at risk for suicide. Schools in her district do a good job responding to crises, but she said where they fall down are in areas of prevention and what Alexander calls “postvention” — follow-ups with students after a peer has died....
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After Pressure from Together Louisiana, Folgers Denied Tax Break


"Gov. John Bel Edwards sided with New Orleans officials Monday by denying tax breaks sought by Folgers Coffee Co. that would have cost the city millions of dollars in property tax revenue....

ITEP has become a hot-button political issue in recent years. Business groups argue that allowing companies to avoid taxes they would owe on new equipment and machinery encourages those types of investments. Critics, led by Together Louisiana, argue that companies have been allowed to skip out on taxes from investments that they would have made anyway and that schools and sheriffs need the taxes to improve the quality of life in their communities.

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COPS/Metro Builds on Momentum from Convocation with Recognizing the Stranger Training

On Saturday April 15th, over 200 people from 41 institutions and 6 deaneries participated in 'Recognizing the Stranger' parish leadership training in collaboration with the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  The session was conducted in English and in Spanish, and included 15 clergy and two bishops.  Spanish speaking leaders expressed a strong desire to organize their parishes.

A major theme developed over the course of the sessions was that the Church is not a parking lot and that Mission is key element of the one's faith.  Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller told participants that the Church needs their leadership because clergy cannot do what lay leaders can.

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Together Baton Rouge's Success Spotlighted by The New Orleans Advocate


"Together Baton Rouge is often like that, bringing together a broad, often unlikely, mix of community members and groups to tackle a common goal.

In the group's 13-year history, it's taken on everything from closed bridges in underserved communities to powerful industrial tax exemptions. If the group identifies something that can help the community, no issue too large or too small is off the table....

"We're really about civic participation," Cage said. "We all have to trust each other before we can get things done.

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Together New Orleans Opens First Two Community Lighthouses, Lighting Way for Future Shelters


"Community Lighthouse is an initiative of Together New Orleans, a coalition of 54 faith- and community-based organizations aiming to address issues ranging from access to healthy food to criminal justice reform. Organizers say they will have two more resiliency hubs up and running over the next three months, for a total of 16 by the peak of the 2023 hurricane season."

[Photo Credit: The New Orleans Advocate]

Two New Orleans Neighborhoods Get Solarpowered Shelters for When Electricity FailsThe New Orleans Advocate [pdf]

Texas IAF Rally Takes On "Vampire" Chapter 313 Legislation


A surprising legislative success in 2021 is on track to be undone in 2023, unless a grass roots left-right coalition can block legislation and the forces behind it that are trying to go backward....

In the name of jobs and economic development, a 2012 tax code trick called Chapter 313 essentially funneled state money, via school district property tax breaks, to private companies doing new industrial construction. The school districts that granted tax breaks under Chapter 313 were reimbursed — and many still are being reimbursed — by the state, meaning we as taxpayers reimbursed them. It was the ultimate insider game of channeling public benefit to private companies.

The [Texas] Industrial Areas Foundation cleverly brought a man dressed as Dracula to its rally to dramatize how Chapter 313 unfairly drained school districts of funds and that reviving this bad economic development deal would be akin to raising the undead.

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TMO Builds on Recognizing the Stranger Convocation with "One Body" Training


About 80 people representing multiple local Catholic churches and other denominations met at All Saints Catholic Church in the Heights with training sessions in English and Spanish on being called to be “One Body.” They also learned how to lead small groups and listen to identify new leaders. They focused on practical measures such as “pressures on families”....

Sister Maureen O’Connell, OP, Archdiocesan director for the secretariat of social concerns, said,

“Historically, people have seen the Church as a refuge. But that has eroded. Now we need to go out to the people and help them with their issues of education, transportation, and housing.”

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