We are leaders and organizers who use the power we build to improve the lives of our families, communities, regions, and nations.
We marshal the two universal sources of power -- organized people and organized money -- so that our organizations can collaborate with or confront powerful institutions in the governmental and private sectors.
We are non-ideological and pragmatic -- building working relationships, based on shared interests, across many of the lines that divide individuals and institutions. We are also strictly non-partisan, not favoring or supporting any party, but fiercely favoring and supporting those issues and strategies that bring more dignity and greater opportunity to an every-widening circle of society.
We challenge people to imagine the change they can accomplish, connect individuals and organizations to multiply their power, and organize people by the thousands to make their voices heard. We set high goals, design innovative strategies, and stick with issues until they are fully addressed. Our time frame is not the market cycle or the news cycle or the election cycle, but the generational cycle of families and institutions.
We are part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s first and largest network of multi-faith power organizations; and we have more than 75 years of experience starting and winning battles that others often claim can't be won.
In alliance with principals and schools across the City, BUILD won an additional commitment of $10 million in funding, bringing the total to $70 million BUILD has organized to close the $130 million gap in school funding.
Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, along with 11 other city council representatives, announced the additional commitment of $10 million at a BUILD and Baltimoreans for Educational Equity action of 900 parents, teachers and principals. The week prior, BUILD stood with principals of 50 city schools along with teachers and parents in actions outside City Hall and at the next night’s school board meeting to demand that all parties negotiate a solution to completely close the gap over the next 3 years until the next funding formula change. From this organized pressure, BUILD also helped influence the Mayor and State Legislature to secure an additional $60 million in city and state funding to help fix the gap.
Orange County Justice United in North Carolina won an agreement from District Attorney James Woodall that has the potential to save Latino drivers tens of thousands of dollars a year in court fines and fees.
A year-long issue campaign culminated in a 600 person action on March 28, 2017 where the District Attorney publicly committed to a deferral program for unlicensed yet otherwise safe drivers. The program will assist Latino drivers in Orange and Chatham County who have paid roughly $1.3 million in citations after a change in state policy in 2006 rendered them ineligible to apply for or renew their licenses without a social security number.
More information here: http://www.ocjusticeunited.org/campaign_victoryMore information...
Lake County United identified the land, secured the site, established a development team, and built the community support for a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Mundelein, IL. Over 300 Lake County United leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Fairhaven Crossing, which will give everyone, including residents with disabilities, the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The unit includes a community center and computer room.More information...
On Sunday, March 26th, 175+ tenant & Jersey City Together leaders gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Church to hold one of the city's largest landlords - Trendy Management - accountable. The owner, Esther Kaplan, had promised to attend, but cancelled at the day of the action. After tours of one of their buildings with leaders, press, & public officials, the city has begun systematically investigating their buildings. Inspections of the first 6 of their properties have resulted in more than 325 violations. The company owns more than 140 rent-controlled apartment buildings in Jersey City.
"Mold and Flooding, but no heat: Residents unite to take on Mega Landlord"
Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)
"Jersey City Together Group helping tenants hold management company accountable"
Jersey City Independent (Ricardo Kaulessar) http://www.jerseyci
tyindependent.com/2017/03/jers ey-city-together-group-helping -tenants-hold-management-compa ny-accountable/
"Mega-Landlord hit with 100+ violations after residents rally for action"
Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)
"Here's hoping mayor keeps promise to hold mega-landlord accountable" (Op-Ed)
Op-Ed (Earl Morgan), Jersey Journal
"Another 200+ violations issued to Jersey City mega-landlord"
Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)
When Brooklyn Director and his managers refused to meet with 200 NYCHA tenants from four developments because the Director’s office could not afford the one hour of overtime, residents decided to act. The action from the Director’s office demonstrated an obvious lack of respect for their tenants. Thus ensued four days of action by EBC and tenants to confront NYCHA managers. EBC sent a delegation to the Hope Gardens development office to confront the manager for not showing-up. Fr. Hoffman led a group of 25 people, and again, the manager refused to meet with them.
The group conducted a phone bank in the lobby with tenants calling 25 executives and managers from NYCHA, starting with the Chairwoman, and asked the managers to fix the intercom at 120 Menahan Street. EBC ran this action in response to recently posted letters instructing tenants to "call-in" about an intercom that had been broken for over a decade. The logic was that if managers wanted tenants to call rather than meet face to face, that's exactly what EBC would do.
The manager eventually emerged and was furious at the scene. He and his superior offered to take individual complaints, but the group refused to be bought off.
EBC also confronted the Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg. More than 225 leaders and students from 14 institutions, including a large contingent from Epiphany Lutheran School, came out to force Trottenberg to publicly commit to meet with EBC on Thursday, May 4th. During that meeting, EBC will continue to build a better relationship and begin to get commitments for much needed speed bumps, traffic lamps and street lamps.
Overall, within four days, 500 leaders took action on NYCHA, transportation and sanitation.
On March 19th, over 400 Manhattan Together (MT) and South Bronx Churches (SBC) leaders gathered with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to push the City Government for action to improve their broken Special Education data system and to push for more repairs in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments. The Comptroller also promised to work together to expand programs for children with Autism and ensure new potential funding for NYCHA is paired with accountability to make sure the money helps tenants.
New leaders also presented the organizations' campaigns on immigration and homelessness. So far in 2017, MT and SBC have held two legal clinics and four know your rights sessions, connecting with over 500 immigrants and their families. New immigrant leaders who have come forward through these sessions are helping to shape our April 30th Action with NYPD Commissioner O'Neill and work beyond that.More information...
In April GCC received its first significant financial commitment from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley to fund professional consultants to begin the planning stages for creating two new Mental Health Crisis Centers in Cleveland. In other cities, these centers have proven highly effective at diverting large numbers of citizens suffering from mental health and addiction away from the criminal justice system and into treatment and support, as well as saving municipalities millions of tax dollars.More information...
WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing winning approval for the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than family shelter). On Wednesday April 5th, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously voted to approve the zoning variances and exceptions for the construction of short term family housing in wards 3 and 5! This vote is a major milestone in the effort to close the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter, and helps the city to more equally share the responsibility for caring for the most vulnerable among us. With this vote, zoning has been approved in all six facilities going under construction, and the next step forward is breaking ground!More information...
CUPs (Creating Unlimited Possibilities) Coffeehouse, the first of its kind in the East Baltimore community of Oliver, held its grand opening in the Oliver community. BUILD organized with its community development entity, Development Partners, to recruit CUPS and finance and redevelop the building. CUPS trains and mentors youth to help them gain technical and social skills for working in the restaurant and hospitality industry and provides leadership skills through opportunities to plan, organize, and implement Community Engagement Projects. Twenty positions in culinary training will go to Turnaround Tuesday participants.
Founded by BUILD and NO Boundaries Coalition, the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project (BYOP) turned out 150 youth and accompanying adults to a Mayoral Accountability action to hold Mayor Catherine Pugh accountable to her campaign promises of 1000 year-round jobs for youth, fully funding recreation centers & community schools, and school funding. The youth demanded – and got – recognition from the Mayor. Because of the disciplined and persistent pressure from youth, the Mayor committed to work with BYOP on the BUILD One Baltimore agenda and to continue to build a relationship between the Mayor and BUILD/BYOP.
A federal judge approved the Consent Decree fought for by BUILD leaders. BUILD was the first organization sought by the Department of Justice to interview for their investigation of the Baltimore Police Department. BUILD continued to meet all over the city and worked with the Mayor to approve the resulting Consent Decree before the current US President took office.
When the Consent Decree moved to the federal court for consideration, BUILD co-chairs sent a letter to the judge emphasizing that it was crucial to approve the Consent Decree without delay. Organizer Gwen Brown and other BUILD leaders testified at the public hearing and will continue to work with DOJ thru process of choosing a monitor and making sure the immigrant population is included in consent decree.More information...
During the last two weekends in February, United Power trained 150 leaders in four organizing workshops to help new and existing leaders assess the current political moment and learn from organizing strategies of United Power and other IAF affiliates. Leaders used these lessons as they developed organizing and action strategies for different regions of Cook County in March & April.
Organizers from Common Ground and sister Metro IAF affiliate in North Carolina, Durham CAN, trained 35 Latino leaders in Spanish at St. Adalbert’s, the largest Latino Catholic church in the state. The 35 leaders committed to turn out 300 people to Common Ground’s upcoming Delegates Assembly to increase the power needed to secure a meeting with the Chief of Police.
At Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s April 4 Delegates Assembly, over 175 leaders unanimously ratified GBIO’s new campaign: Out of Many, One, designed to fight the targeting of Muslims, Jews, Immigrants, and other minority communities. Those attending committed to bringing over 900 people to GBIO’s May action.
The goals of the Out of Many, One campaign are (1) to support the Safe Communities Act, which protects Massachusetts residents’ civil rights by making sure our tax dollars are not used to deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry, and (2) to support the Muslim community through a series of Teach-Ins at Muslim, Christian, and Jewish congregations throughout Greater Boston. At these Teach-Ins, participants will share and listen to stories about the specific threats facing the Muslim community, and will learn what MA residents can do to support their Muslim neighbors.
GBIO also sent a delegation of 12 leaders to attend the Metro IAF March 2017 key leaders meeting held in Baltimore to further address fighting discrimination as a larger Metro IAF collective.
LEARN President and CEO, Greg White, formally acknowledge and thanked Lake County United (LCU) for their role in laying the ground work for community support that led to the authorization of LEARN 9 in Waukegan IL. LEARN Charter Network has 10 schools with 4,100 students (88% are low-income). Each of the established schools exceed state standards.More information...