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Do Not Stand Idly By Victorious After American Outdoor Brands Corp Shareholder Resolution Passes, Requiring Gun Manufacturer to Report on Gun Violence

Smith & Wesson booth at the 2018 National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas | Photo Credit: Ethan Miller, Staff / Getty Images
A shareholder proposal passed at the annual meeting of AOBC (Smith & Wesson) after Do Not Stand Idly By and ally Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility worked to build support for the proposal. This is the second shareholder resolution to pass requiring a major gun company to report on the use of their products in gun violence and about the development of safer gun products in four months -- shareholders in Sturm Ruger passed an identical resolution in May.
In the weeks leading up to the AOBC meeting, an important breakthrough was made -- due to greater work by sister IAF organizations AIM, in Montgomery County, MD and The Metropolitan Organization, in Houston, TX, DNSIB gained the public support of the leadership of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.  Montgomery County Chief Manger and Houston Chief Acevedo not only wrote to the CEO of AOBC calling on them to engage with them to develop a safety plan, but also co-authored an Op-Ed piece with two IAF clergy leaders that ran in the Houston Chronicle
The company's management was vigorously opposed to the resolution, which they made clear both in writing before the meeting and verbally during the meeting, so this win is even more significant given the number of shares that Executives and Board Members typically control.
This shareholder pressure and police chiefs pressure, coupled with the purchasing power leverage that has been organized through the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign for several years (see RFI now with 130 jurisdictions on board) has the looks of a winning combination.
Press Coverage:

BUILD Wins Commitments from Mayor Pugh to Improve Policing and Jobs, Implement a Parish ID System, and Champion Full Funding of Baltimore Schools

More than 1,100 leaders turn out for June 6th Accountability Action with Baltimore Mayor Pugh.

On June 6, over 1,100 people from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, and belief systems gathered at Kingdom Life Church in West Baltimore to call on Mayor Catherine Pugh to make specific commitments toward reducing violence in Baltimore. New BUILD member institutions Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Patrick’s Catholic Churches from South Baltimore turned out en masse. Together, Sacred Heart and St. Patrick’s brought over 500 people, most of them immigrants, who stood together and were recognized and supported by all in attendance. 
The purpose of the action was to reset BUILD’s public relationship with Mayor Pugh and publicly state our demands to reduce the violence in Baltimore. Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, and other city and state leaders were present at the assembly.
Over the past several months, BUILD issue action teams have researched and developed their top priorities for reducing violence in the city, focusing on issues in the areas of policing & public safety, mental health & addiction, youth opportunities & education, and jobs. The teams’ research was supported by data from BUILD’s 2017 listening campaign of 1,034 residents across Baltimore City. BUILD teams have developed clearly defined goals and demands of Baltimore city’s leaders, including Mayor Pugh.
In the weeks preceding the accountability assembly, BUILD leaders met with Mayor Pugh to define the relationship, clarify expectations, and agree on a format for the assembly. She changed her schedule to attend the action.
On June 6, Mayor Pugh sat in the front row as community leaders —including student leaders from three City schools—shared personal stories that highlighted the urgency of the crisis in the city and demanded that she fulfill her commitments to:
  • End the culture of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department and increase foot posts;
  • Implement a parish ID system to protect the immigrant community of Baltimore;
  • Champion Kirwan Commission recommendations to fully fund Baltimore City schools, ensure the presence of mental health professionals in schools (social workers and counselors), and maintain current levels of out-of-school and community school funding in the budget for the duration of her administration;
  • Work with BUILD and corporate leaders to increase employment for those ready and able to work
Youth leaders from City Springs Elementary/Middle School and Hampstead Hill Academy eloquently and forcefully spoke of kids as young as 10 and 11 writing wills in fear of losing their lives to violence. One young man shared that every day he looks out his school windows and sees the place where Ray Glasgow III, a former student at City Springs, was killed. “I don’t want to be another Ray,” he said.
Antoinette Mugar, Vice President of Harlem Park West Community Association, spoke of being burglarized twice in the last month and being ready to leave the community in which she has resided her whole life. Donald Medley, Turnaround Tuesday leader and Community Health Worker at Johns Hopkins Hospital, countered the myth that Baltimore City doesn’t want to work and celebrated the 500+ people placed in living-wage jobs through Turnaround Tuesday.
Ever Castillo—speaking in both Spanish and English—shared the heartbreaking story of his experience being targeted by criminals who laughed in his face when he called the police because he isn’t a “real American” and would be ignored. When police finally arrived, they spoke to the perpetrators first. Later, Castillo’s family was attacked with box cutters and knives. He asked Mayor Pugh if she would commit to work with the immigrant community to help them feel safe to call the police and request help. 
BUILD successfully gained recognition from the mayor, recognized her in return, and received the public commitments we sought. By organizing the power to get to the table, BUILD won the agreement that had been developed by our issue action teams. 
At the assembly, Mayor Pugh publicly committed to the following:
  • Fully implementing BUILD’s policing recommendations, including an increase in foot patrols within 30 days 
  • Implementing the Baltimore City parish ID system
  • Championing the full funding of Kirwan Commission recommendations
  • Working with the Baltimore City Schools CEO to rally principals, teachers, parents, students, etc. in support of Kirwan funding
  • Maintaining current levels of funding for existing community school and out-of-school programs for remainder of Mayor Pugh’s tenure
  • Making the 30% local hiring and 20% affordable housing mandate (Port Covington precedent) a flagship policy of the city so that all developers coming to Baltimore are required meet these minimum standards
Video of the evening:


My name is Tita Concepcion, I am a member of Our Lady of Presentation – Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, and a long-time resident of the Breukelen Houses in Canarsie. 
This summer I took action at City Hall and confronted NYCHA managers and this mayor for allowing my daughter to be assaulted.  

DNSIB Wins Passage of Sturm Ruger Shareholder Resolution Requiring Safety and Distribution Reporting

Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) leaders speaking out on the need for gun safety 
Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) and our ally, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, won a first-of-its-kind victory in May: 69% of shareholders at Sturm Ruger’s annual meeting voted against management’s advice and in favor of ICCR’s resolution requiring the gun manufacturer to issue a report on the impact of its products on violence in America. DNSIB leaders were present at the meeting, and are continuing to build relationships with major investors across the gun industry to encourage a long-term focus on safer gun technologies and distribution practices.
Press Coverage:

Common Ground Leaders Stop Notorious VLive Strip Club

Dozens of community members and members of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Common Ground attended the License Committee meeting at City Hall. | Photo Credit:  Teran Powell WUWM

Common Ground brought over 35 people to a Milwaukee License Committee hearing on March 6th and stopped the notorious VLive franchise from coming into the neighborhood at 35th Street and Capitol Drive. Rotiesha Nelson, Common Ground member, mother and area resident, lead the opposition: “A strip club in the community is not what we need. Us as a community already face enough challenges.”
We had heard from several sources that Tatou, a club located at 3945 N 35th Street, planned to renew its licenses and then sell to VLive strip club and transfer the licenses.  Tatou has been doing renovations and even put up a VLive sign on their building. Furthermore, auditions were held and a VLive franchise opening in Milwaukee was being promoted on social media.
We feared VLive would bring an increase in crime or sex trafficking as it did in Chicago and Houston. In Chicago, VLive was the source of the highest number of police reports in the area – mainly assaults and theft. That location is now closed. In Houston the County Attorney sued to close down VLive because of crime, including drugs, gambling, prostitution, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, robbery and murder. VLive Houston was shutdown.
Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for sex trafficking.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that many young trafficking victims come from group homes. There are two girls’ group homes on 37th St between Capitol and Keefe – just a few blocks from Tatou.
Common Ground leaders walked the neighborhood around 35th and Capitol talking to parents, residents, businesses, neighborhood groups, churches, daycares, and schools. Despite intimidation, in six days Common Ground collected 234 signatures opposing VLive coming into Tatou’s club. Many of those we met through our walks came to City Hall for the hearing to show their opposition.
After learning that Tatou will not partner with or sell to VLive, Jennifer O’Hear, Director of Common Ground United Parents, said, “We want to thank Alderman Rainey for helping us to stop VLive. We thank the Licensing Committee for acknowledging Common Ground’s role.” She concluded, “We want our concerns to go on the record. We will be watching.”
Because of the outpouring of opposition from the community, not only was Tatou forced to amend this and all future license applications to say they will not partner with or sell to VLive, but also Tatou’s application to renew their alcohol and public entertainment licenses was denied.
Common Ground Lead Organizer, Keisha Krumm, reflected, “In that hearing room we experienced the power of organized people. By coming together in an organized collective, we stopped this deplorable strip club from coming into our neighborhood. We persisted in the face of intimidation and won for our children and the common good.”
“This just shows what we can do when we come together,” said Ms. Nelson after the hearing.

Do Not Stand Idly By Campaign Pushes Forward, Inspires U.S. Mayors to Act

Metro IAF Leaders Escort New Haven Mayor Toni Harp back to the US Conference of Mayors meeting. Photo Credit: David Choy

BUILD listens to 1,100 Residents, Ratifies Plan to Fight Baltimore Violence

BUILD trains 120 members and leaders on January 13, 2018 to rebuild city of Baltimore
Baltimore’s unprecedented violence last year made national news, and BUILD responded by listening to approximately 1,100 city residents about their experiences with violent crime and what they most 

CONECT Wins Commitments on Police Body Cameras & Teacher Training on Immigration, Hate Speech and Bias-Based Bullying

Rev. Anthony Bennett questions Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez on body cameras for Bridgeport police.
On Nov 6th, 188 people came out to a first local action for CONECT in Norwalk, CT where the organization got commitments from the Mayoral Candidates, the Police Chief, and the Assistant Superintendent of Schools on Do Not Stand Idly By, immigration, and teacher training on hate speech and bias based bullying.
In a school district that is 40% Latino, 30% White and 20% African American, the Director of Operations for Norwalk Public Schools vowed the district would offer a full day of anti-bias cultural awareness training for teachers and staff at the beginning of each school year, starting in August 2018. The school district also committed to creating a one-page fact sheet in multiple languages regarding protocol related to immigration enforcement and agreed to work with other school districts on issues of immigration and discrimination.
On Nov 30th, CONECT had 203 leaders out to a Delegates Assembly themed "We'll Rise" off of the Maya Angelou poem "And Still I Rise" where the Bridgeport Police Chief was pressed for commitments around getting body cameras for the force and around training all officers on de-escalation tactics and on racial / cultural sensitivity and anti-bias training. Chief Perez committed to training 100 veteran officers in de-escalation tactics by May of 2018 and promised to apply for state funding for body cameras for every police officer in the force within one week following the assembly with CONECT.