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Issues & Victories

Neighborhood Development

United Power Rebuilds Southwest Chicago, Decreases Crime and Improves Schools

Thursday evening, May 25th, 300 leaders from United Power for Action and Justice and its southwest side affiliate, the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) celebrated the completion of the first phase of an effort to rebuild the southwest side of Chicago and the start of the second phase. After several years, during which one-hundred units have been renovated, the organization has seen striking results. Crime is down 50%. The two local schools in the immediate area, Morrill and Fairfield, have improved their performance -- rising from low Level 3 CPS rankings to Level 2 and Level 2+. The school just south of the area, Marquette, has gone from Level 3 to Level 1+. Local private contractors have followed United Power’s lead and bought and renovated other buildings in the area.

On May 25th, to kick-off the second phase of the effort, the first $1 million commitment was announced by LISC Chicago.  The expansion effort will seek to raise a total of $10 million to extend east and south of its initial target area to include 70 blocks.


AIM Wins Big: $59 Million for Affordable Housing and Expansion of Dream Academy to Four High Needs Schools

Montgomery County, MD:

In May AIM won an additional $59 Million for affordable housing, bringing AIM’s total to $600 Million over the past 15 years!  The funding will provide rental assistance, end chronic homelessness in the county, and provide funding for affordable housing development. AIM has been fighting consistently and persistently for affordable housing since 2002, when it successfully pushed for the first significant funding in the Housing Initiative Fund.

Expansion of After School Programming:

Through a sustained effort that brought together leaders of AIM congregations, principals, teachers, and Recreation staff, AIM won free, high quality after school care in two high poverty elementary schools in the 2016-17 school year. Dream Academy kicked off this February and ran until June, providing 240 students with after school academic enrichment, recreation time, a nutritious meal, and AIM-facilitated parent organizing and engagement.   AIM is now celebrating another victory, the expansion of Dream Academy to a total of four schools in the new financial year, and the expansion of the program from four days a week to five, and is equipped to serve 480 students next year.

Dream Academy has already made a difference in the communities where it operates. As part of the campaign to win this expansion, students and parents testified about the program in front of the county council. One mother spoke of the impact Dream Academy has had on her son’s grades and behavior in school saying, “The extra hour of academic support gives my son and other students the opportunity to fully learn concepts from the normal school day…I really do appreciate his teacher and the administration for supporting my son, but Dream Academy, I mean it, is something special. The academic enrichment my son receives is very impactful… He really really loves Dream Academy so much, there is no day he doesn’t tell me he is looking forward to it.” 



EBC Celebrates Victories, Prepares for Fight Ahead with Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA

1,500 people packed into Bedford Central Presbyterian Church to celebrate a year of hard-fought victories for Brooklyn communities, reaffirming commitments to one another as members of EBC, and reconfirming relationships with the commissioners of the DOT, the Parks Department, Sanitation, and the commanding officer for all Brooklyn police precincts. 

Some of those victories include making 13 intersections safer for pedestrians, cleaning up 9 corners and city blocks, and building better and deeper relationships with police in three precincts. Over the last year, EBC has sold 81 Nehemiah homes and has recently won the right to develop 33 new affordable apartments in Ocean Hill.

EBC is also setting in motion an ambitious plan for turning underutilized property and vacant lots in East Brooklyn into tens of thousands of units of affordable housing for seniors in order to both provide them safe, comfortable, and affordable homes, as well as opening up space in NYCHA housing for younger families. EBC is also kicking off the research phase of a campaign to address the issues of mass-incarceration and mis-incarceration that are impacting the city. 

East Brooklyn Congregations Wins Commitment in Fight for Respect and Cleaner Streets

101 leaders from 8 institutions from East Brooklyn Congregations in New York descended on the Brooklyn Sanitation North headquarters in East Williamsburg to clean up the trash and get rid of the disrespect.

When leaders from EBC visited the headquarters last month on April 2nd, they were tossed out of the lobby.  But on May 1st, the action was different. At the sanitation office, EBC demanded and received a public commitment to meet with Chief Steven Costas, Director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection on Thursday, May 25th. “It’s very basic that you should have clean streets, but we don’t,” said Bed-Stuy resident Sabrina Perry.

Read the Op-Ed from Revs. Lacey, Miller, Jenkins, Neil and Brawley HERE.

Metro IAF Affiliate: Solar Energy: Better than Free Solar with Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA)

Have you heard about the Community Purchasing Alliance? As a Metro IAF affiliate, CPA Co-op is quite literally building power in their work to solarize the DC charter community. Read more about the 7 schools that are already on board by clicking on the press release here. To learn more about what we at CPA have accomplished over the past year, please check out our Annual Report.


The Incredible Ecomonics of Solar in DC

EBC Wins Park Improvements














A two-year battle for improved parks in Bushwick is finally starting to pay off. 

Several improvement projects are on the way thanks to residents from the East Brooklyn Congregation, a group of churches and nonprofit organizations, who have been rallying local leaders for better playgrounds.

Watch the News12 Video:

Washington Interfaith Network wins $550 million investment in DC neighborhoods.

WIN created a $450 million Community Benefits Fund and a $100 Neighborhood Investment Fund to ensure that the investment in downtown development is matched by an equivalent investment in DC’s neighborhoods.  Revenue from the funds is dedicated to affordable housing, neighborhood retail, libraries, other public facilities, infrastructure repairs and upgrades in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, including the The new Washington Highlands Library.

BUILD keeps Baltimore recreaction centers open

In response to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s proposal to close half of the recreation centers, BUILD led the fight at City Hall to keep them open. After turning out hundreds of youth, parents, and residents throughout the City budget hearings, BUILD joined the Mayor and City Council members to support passing a 2 cent bottle tax to fund the recreation centers and keep them open.

Washington Interfaith Network wins upgrades to community centers, parks, and school athletic facilities.

In 2009 WIN launched a youth organizing initiative named DC Youth Power Network (YPN).  YPN’s youth leaders successfully won significant upgrades to Parkview Recreation Center and creation of the new $2 million Bruce-Monroe Community Park.  Additionally, WIN led the fight for public investment in new recreation centers at Benning Terrace, Watts Branch, and Fort Stanton, the new library in Washington Highlands, and $21.5 million invested in for renovation of athletic facilities at six DC public high schools.  WIN leader Ebenezer Osanyingbemi leads a tour of the renovated Parkview Recreation Center.

AIM (Montgomery County, MD) wins $30 million to build 4 new community centers in neglected neighborhoods.

AIM congregations organized for $30 million in county funds to renovate four neglected community centers in historically African-American neighborhoods.  This will impact the 3,500 families who are within walking distance of these community centers, particularly the seniors and low-income, at-risk youth who mostly utilize these centers.