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Public Safety

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 
 
Metro IAF’s Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) campaign continues to tirelessly work to hold gun manufacturers accountable for gun safety in America. On May 9th a shareholder’s resolution submitted by the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility and co-written by the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign passed! The resolution requires detailed reporting on the safety and distribution practices of Sturm Ruger, including investment in smart gun technology. The milestone is a fist of its kind directed to the gun manufacturers, and is a testament to the strategy that pushes investment, not divestment, and a culmination of years of organizing from Metro IAF affiliate organizations.
 
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.
 
MEDIA COVERAGE:

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.

1,400+ EBC-Metro IAF Leaders Win Commitment on Gun Violence, Recognition from NY Police and Housing Commissioners


More than 1,400 leaders packed St. Paul Community Baptist Church in action with Police and Housing Commissioners 

East Brooklyn Congregations had an incredible assembly and action at the end of July with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, Housing Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and 1,400+ East Brooklyn Congregations-Metro IAF leaders.  The sanctuary at St. Paul Community Baptist Church was standing room only, and there were many more people in the entry way, chapel and in rooms downstairs.

The themes of the night were criminal justice and immigration, affordable housing, and launching EBC’s largest ever action on Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, October 9th.

EBC had an incredible breakthrough with Commissioner O'Neill who committed publicly to meet with Glock firearms. Leaders Dahlia Romero and Rabbi Joel Mosbacher asked O'Neill to make Glock, who arms the NYPD, choose between the NYPD and places like Arrowhead Pawn Shop in Georgia. Arrowhead is the infamous gun dealer that has supplied weapons to murderers and maniacs in all five boroughs, including the individual who killed two NYPD officers two years ago.  After 4 years of pushing the NYPD, EBC finally got a yes.

Reverend David K. Brawley and Blanche Romey concluded the action with a challenge to EBC leaders to go hold the mayor accountable around EBC-Metro IAF's plan to totally rehabilitate New York City public housing and build 15,000 new units of affordable senior housing. As Reverend Brawley said, "we've waited three years for this mayor to meet. We're tired of waiting. If he won't meet with us then we're going to him."

Pledges were made for at least 4,650 leaders to attend the East Brooklyn Congregations-Metro IAF Assembly at City Hall at 12:00 pm, Monday, October 9th (Columbus Day). That number is likely to grow over the next few weeks. 

EBC leader Rev. David K. Brawley shakes hands with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill


EBC leaders Rev. David K. Brawley and Linda Boyce on stage with Housing Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer

DuPage United Wins First County-Wide CIT Curriculum Outside Chicago

DuPage United in Illinois successfully organized to establish the state’s first county-wide Crisis Intervention Team Police Training curriculum outside of Chicago. The incarceration of individuals affected by mental health issues in Illinois is a chronic issue, and families with loved ones impacted by the state’s lack of mental health resources continue to fight for solutions. As a result of the organizing work led by those families, police in DuPage County will now have access to two CIT trainings a month compared to an average 4 trainings per year offered by the state.

This win will pave the way for other counties across Illinois to follow suit, dramatically ramping up the number of trained CIT officers. DuPage United will hold the county accountable to their goal of training at least 90 officers per month. Meeting this goal could result in 1,080 newly trained CIT officers in one year's time -- an estimated 800% increase in CIT officers in the Metro Chicago Region and a 75% reduction in CIT training costs to each participating department.

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