Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) and St. Francis Xavier Catholic leaders leveraged more than $5 million to improve neighborhood safety in the Maryvale region of Phoenix following a year-long organizing effort.
In Spring 2021, leaders from St. Francis Xavier began a house meeting campaign to develop a team of leaders to learn about issues affecting Maryvale families. Leaders heard stories about unlit neighborhoods, gang activity, and dangerous streets. They moved to meet with City of Phoenix council members from districts 4 & 5 to secure commitments from them to address these issues.
By the summer of 2021, VIP and St. Francis Xavier leaders secured more than 30 new street lamps in the same sites VIP leaders had identified as needing lighting and where crime was an issue.
In early 2022, the Phoenix City Council voted to approve more than $5 million dollars to create a safety corridor along 27th Avenue -- installing new lighting and traffic cameras, implementing street safety features and assigning added officers to address ongoing vandalism and gang activity. At the time of the vote, Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor recognized VIP for its work in bringing this issue to the City's attention and making this project a possibility.
[In photo, St. Francis Xavier and VIP leader Catalina Aldaco announces the win at VIP's leaders assembly.]
Only one month after raising municipal wages for the second year in a row in San Antonio, COPS / Metro is now fighting to leverage necessary funding for school improvements...$450 Million, to be precise. Elaine Ayala of the San Antonio Express-News reported that two weekends before Election Day, dozens of COPS / Metro leaders block walked -- asking voters to scroll to the end of the ballot to the last two measures. Leader Maria Tijerina explained that TRE funds would support after-school, summer and enrichment programs, freeing up money to help the district reach the $15 / hour wage they are fighting for.Read more