Posted by: Gordon on 4/30/2014

Hope Conference flyerGamaliel Affiliate ACTION of Ohio is holding a Hope Conference May 15 to meet the needs of those with misdemeanors and felonies.

Last fall ACTION opened the Home for Good Re-Entry Resource Referral Center as a clearinghouse to help meet the needs of formerly incarcerated individuals for education, job training, housing, transportation, food, clothing, and counseling. An initial $15,000 grant from the Youngstown Foundation supports the center.

Home for Good aims to curb recidivism among the formerly incarcerated, who just "need someone to actually work with them,” Rose Carter, ACTION executive director told a Youngstown journalist recently. “There are a lot of great programs out there, but we saw where they needed to be steered to programs for their specific problems."

In keeping with that idea, the Hope Conference will bring together an array of community partners and agencies to provide returning citizens with relevant information and services in a one-stop shop environment, Carter says. Resources on offer will include informational sessions on significant issues to ex-offenders such as child support and motor vehicle reinstatement. The afternoon provides a resource job fair where attendees can obtain applications for employment and family services, as well as resources such as financial counseling and credit reports.

The Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 15 at Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University. Information is available from Guy Burney, or Download the flyer for the event here.

Posted by: Gordon on 4/28/2014
Gamaliel affiliates are memorializing May Day with visits to legislators, marches and a major action by ally Asamblea de Derechos Civiles in Minnesota.

Since last fall, several hundred interfaith Gamaliel leaders across the country joined in national fasts to highlight the need for immigration reform and an end to deportations, raised funds to support Dreamers’ college aspirations, and advocated for an increased minimum wage from San Diego to St. Louis to Buffalo. 

On Thursday affiliates across the country memorialize immigrants and workers with a range of actions:

  • Capital Region Organizing Project will march in Sacramtento, Cal.
  • Faith Coalition for the Common Good in Springfield, Ill. will meet with US Rep. Rodney Davis’ office regarding pathway to citizenship
  • Gamaliel Metro Chicago is participating in Chicago mega-march
  • Indiana Organizing Project is meeting with U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski’s office, 
  • and North Bay Organizing Project is sponsoring a march in Santa Rosa, Cal. 
In Minnesota Thursday, Asamblea leaders plan a bus tour to the offices of U.S. Reps. Peterson, Paulsen, and Kline to advocate that they sign a congressional discharge petition to let HR-15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, come to the floor for a vote.

Currently 191 legislators have signed a discharge petition, over the objections of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The petition requires a simple majority, or 218 votes, to pass the House. Many Congress-watchers believe HR-15 would pass if called to a vote on the House floor.

The tour will culminate with a march and rally at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, where the group will call for a stop to the deportations that have torn apart families and communities. Stay tuned for more details and post-event stories! 
Posted by: Gordon on 4/22/2014
We don't usually do this, but the past couple weeks have seen exciting news coverage of Gamaliel issue work and about our affiliates."news" pic

100 Ready Workers Profiled

Fred Jackson of Faith Coalition for the Common Good told the (Springfield) Illinois Times that FCCG has helped about 275 people obtain training to work as pipefitters, heavy equipment operators and other laborers in anticipation of work on the high-speed rail project set to come through town and other construction work.

Ban the Ban Gains Support in Missouri

"Missouri’s continuation of the lifetime ban on food stamps for people with records of drug felonies is a meat-ax approach to a problem that would be better solved with a scalpel," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized April 14. Missouri is one of only nine states that still fully enforces such a policy, the Post-Dispatch reported (according to The Sentencing Project). This is a huge victory for affiliate MORE2, which has organized its leadership to visit state capital Jefferson City multiple times in the past several years to advocate on this issue.

They seem busy enough, just not on anything the average Missourian cares about....

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Missouri, St. Louis Magazine profiles Metropolitan Congregations United, interviewing organizer Rev. Susan Sneed (who also leads our Ntosake women's leadership development program nationally) and leader Carolyn Randazzo. She and Sneed talk about the group's work and its role as a voice for faith values in the public square.

San Diego: nonprofits vs potholes

Our own Laura Barrett blogged at rooflines, the Shelterforce blog site, about San Diego Mayor Faulconer's sneaky attempt to move federal Community Development Block Grant, CDBG, funds from supporting local nonprofits that provide services to the community to filling potholes in the city. Justice Overcoming Boundaries is pushing back.
Posted by: Gordon on 4/11/2014

The Wisconsin Legislature recently approved a $1.5 million annual increase to the TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) fund. This builds on the $1.5 million increase that was approved in the summer of 2013.

In the past year, funding has gone from $1 million per year to $4 million per year. Based on the past performance of TAD programs, WISDOM leaders conservatively estimate that the $3 million/year increase will result in:

  • At least 150 fewer prison admissions per year
  • At least 850 fewer county jail admissions per year
  • A net savings to Wisconsin taxpayers of at least $3 million
  • 1,000 fewer people will be incarcerated every year! 
Congrats to WISDOM on a win that so clearly shows the positive impact of their work for justice as part of the 11x15 Campaign.
Posted by: Gordon on 4/1/2014

Asamblea de Derechos Civiles leaders from Minnesota were among the Gamaliel affiliates from 11 states -- for the country's 11 million undocumented -- who joined more than 1,500 women of We Belong Together to fast for 24 hours and welcomed the Fast4Families bus tour in cities and towns across the country to continue calling attention to immigration reform

Gamaliel chapters , including North Bay Organizing Project in California, to the Indiana Organizing Project, and Asamblea de Derechos Civiles de Minnesota, led a 24-hour Lenten fast, in solidarity with the We Belong Together Women’s Fast for Families.

Leaders from Michigan's Action of Greater Lansing and Faith Coalition for the Common Good in Springfield, Ill. fasted and also welcomed the Fast4Families bus tour in their cities. In Lansing they welcomed the bus at a local church, then met with staff from the office of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell. They made a weekend of the event by hosting a premiere of the new Cesar Chavez movie the following Sunday. Both pieces garnered attention in the Lansing State Journal.

ESTHER, Metropolitan Congregations United, United Congregations of the Metro East, Racine Interfaith Coalition, Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform, and Quad Cities Interfaith all held fasts as well.

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