Michael Gecan is retiring as Co-Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation this month. All accolades coming his way will be richly deserved. His career has been a model of how to build and sustain broad based power organizations. Mike has been an organization builder, innovator, risk taker, and thought leader for over four decades.
While best known for his work with East Brooklyn Congregations (and the sparkling success of Nehemiah Housing in NYC), his mentoring of talented leaders and organizers, his strategic brilliance applied to multiple political fights over decades, his talent for expression through the written word, his (cold) anger, humor and patience put him in the top rung of change agents in the USA and abroad.
See DF's page devoted to Michael Gecan's Books.
BOOK OF THE MONTH:
EBR Metro Council approves first industrial tax break since adopting ITEP-related guidelines. Advocate story here.
"Franklin D. Roosevelt is reported to have said about the need for a specific policy initiative, "Okay, you've convinced me. Now go out there and organize and create a constituency to make me do it." I fear that too many progressives are still caught up in the "convincing," when what we need now is the constituency-and people who are willing to think hard about how to create, sustain, and energize that constituency." More from still timely piece in Boston Review.
Together Louisiana just beat back an attempt at legislative subterfuge to undermine local control over industrial tax exemptions.
Senator Bodi White tried to use the conference committee process to throw out the ENTIRE CONTENT of a resolution he sponsored, replacing it, whole cloth, with the language of a bill to undermine local control over industrial tax exemptions that had been defeated 5 TIMES this session already.
The trickery passed the Senate unanimously, with no one, it seems, catching what was going on. It was set for a House floor vote Thursday afternoon.
Rep. Ted James caught the dirty trick and alerted Together Louisiana.
TLA sent out an action alert at 2:37pm. And here's what happened next:
Who: Delta Interfaith with Together Louisiana
When: Thursday, May 30, 2pm
Where: State Capitol in Baton Rouge (foot of the front steps of the Capitol building)
Topic: Expose and seek action on illegal activity costing East Carroll Parish $6.2 million in tax revenue
They say Lake Providence and East Carroll Parish, where I live and work, is the "poorest place in America."
Something shocking has taken place in that place.
More than $6 million in local tax revenue -- funds that would have gone to our public schools, roads and essential services -- has been taken from East Carroll Parish due to illegal actions by both governmental and corporate entities.
Sister Bernie Barrett
Delta Interfaith (part of Together Louisiana)
The new Together Louisiana report introduces the #ReverseRobinhoodIndex, which shows - Parish by Parish - that ITEP reform can lower the property taxes for homeowners and small businesses. Read the full report to see what that would mean for your Parish.
Download the new Reverse Robinhood report HERE. ?
#ReverseRobinhood #KeepItLocal#TogetherLouisiana #TogetherLA #ITEP#Louisiana #EconomicDevelopment
SB201 creating a payday lending database was signed into law by Governor Sisolak. The bill faced powerful opposition from the lending industry that was overcome by the organized people power of Nevadans for the Common Good.
What Happened in Vegas - Battling Nevada's Underage Sex Trade (Commonweal, September 9, 2015): Andrea Swanson was raised in a Catholic military family in Virginia and married a military man. Her husband, Rod, served as an officer in the U.S. Army, became an FBI agent, then rose to supervision of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Las Vegas. That’s where the couple raised their four children, two girls and two boys. Read more
AMOS leaders asked, "What matters enough to you, your family, and your community that you would raise your own taxes to see it happen?”
AMOS got answers from a broad community consultation then flexed its political muscle to link a new tax to concrete improvements:
An February 25th, the city council approved funding to install lights on the basketball courts at Evelyn K Davis Park — another AMOS priority.
Payday lending takes a hit thanks to nevadans for the common good/iaf; reforms pushed through nevada legislature
Lobbyists for the lenders acted as if enforcement of existing laws would be something akin to mass extinction for their industry. Breathless predictions of doom bordered on the hysterical.
This was a head-scratcher for members of Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG), a non-partisan, valley-wide federation of 47 faith-based, labor, and non-profit organizations. NCG threw its support behind the proposal sponsored by Sen. Yvanna Cancela and supported by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada because the personal stories of those caught in the debt cycle — taking out one loan to pay off another — extend deep into its membership. More.
Charity and Justice meet the border challenge...Albuquerque Interfaith/IAF secures $350,000 in Local Funding to Support Asylum Seekers
Story credit W/SWIAF@swiaf.org
In the face of a growing humanitarian crisis at the border, Albuquerque Interfaith has been at the forefront of a local response, mobilizing institutions to address the immediate needs of recent arrivals and building a longer-term strategy and constituency for change.
In March, when asylum seekers began to arrive in Albuquerque without advance notice, Albuquerque Interfaith leaders stepped up to the challenge. Within a month, in collaboration with Catholic Charities and the City of Albuquerque, leaders built a coalition of agencies to respond to increasing numbers of asylum seekers coming to the city.