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Thu Nov 8, 2012

Nehemiah Spring Creek is New York Magazine Space of the Week -New York Magazine

Alexander Gorlin is perhaps best known as the architect behind high-end residential constructions. He was even tasked with designing World Trade Center master planner Daniel Libeskind’s own living space. But Gorlin firmly believes in the modernist dream of the architect as an agent of social change. Just days before Sandy hit, he took me on a tour of his latest project—East New York’s Nehemiah Spring Creek—a neighborhood of prefabricated townhouses for first-time home buyers. The process starts in this Brooklyn Navy Yard factory where the houses are constructed by Capsys.

Wed Nov 7, 2012

With Maryland ballot measures, voters do the unprecedented — twice -The Washington Post

By the time the polls closed Tuesday, Maryland voters had done something unprecedented — twice. They narrowly approved one ballot measure allowing same-sex marriage and gave broad approval to another that extends in-state college tuition rates to some illegal immigrants. No similar measures — in which majorities conferred rights on minorities — had ever been enacted by a public vote in any state. The fact that both happened on a single ballot not only revealed a lot about the electorate in deep-blue Maryland but also offered a glimpse of where the nation may be headed on some pivotal cultural issues.

Fri Oct 26, 2012

Congregations work to pass the Dream Act -The Montgomery Gazette

Eight hundred people joined in prayer in a church in Silver Spring on Tuesday night, praying for the Dream Act. Many were leaders of churches and synagogues, all pledging to encourage their congregations, neighbors and friends to vote for Question 4. Possibly the most active part of a coalition that spans labor unions, the education community and a number of elected officials including Gov. Martin O’Malley, faith communities in Maryland have almost unanimously campaigned in favor of the law, which passed in 2011 and was brought to referendum by petition.

Fri Oct 26, 2012

800 gather at church to support Md. Dream Act -The Washington Post

Even though 800 people had gathered in a house of the Lord, the bishop made a request that usually would be out of line.  “This is going to be the one time in church you’ll be glad to have your cellphone,” Bishop Douglas Miles said as he encouraged members of the crowd to keep their cellphones on, although the reason why was not immediately clear.  The meeting at the Southern Asian Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring was as political as it was spiritual. A blend of faiths and ethnicities banded together two years ago to support Maryland’s Dream Act, which would allow certain undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges. On Tuesday night, people gathered for a final get-out-the-vote rally in an effort to ensure that voters approve the measure in a referendum on Election Day.

Thu Oct 4, 2012

Reclaiming Politics: Solving Problems Washington Won't (by Michael Gecan) -The Boston Review

Isn’t the whole national political scene just so depressing?  Our politicians have lost the capacity to govern. Congress resembles a UN meeting—more showplace than workplace, where assemblies and debates are ritualized reenactments and individual showmen and sound bites are more important than the larger political process. Members of Congress are unable to devote the focused attention and consistent effort that long-term social and economic challenges require.

Tue Oct 2, 2012

VOICE sings Bank of America’s praises in Woodbridge -The Washington Post

The scene at a Prince William County church Monday night may have been startling to regulators and some homeowners just a few years ago: a room full of politicians, interfaith leaders and about 700 congregants rising to their feet and praising Bank of America, once reviled by some for its banking practices.  Bank of America executive Andrew Plepler, in charge of global corporate responsibility, said the bank has been a steadfast partner of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, a coalition of more than 40 interfaith congregations that have sought to hold banks and politicians accountable for the 2008 housing crisis.

Tue Oct 2, 2012

Supporters of Cleveland Schools levy rally voters ahead of November election -ABC News Channel 5

CLEVELAND - Supporters of the levy for Cleveland Public Schools are warning against laying off teachers, and a potential $50 million deficit. Over the weekend in an east side church basement, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers and concerned citizens met up for a voter registration drive. This group is part a coalition of local churches, synagogues and mosques in Cleveland trying to get voters to pass the Cleveland Municipal School District's levy on the November ballot.

Mon Oct 1, 2012

Fighting Foreclosure in Prince William County -4 NBC Washington

More than 700 people in desperate need of help packed a church in Prince William County Oct. 1 to share stories of struggle and demand help from banks.

Sun Sep 30, 2012

Barack and Mitt, as I knew them (By Arnie Graf) -New York Daily News

In one of the more famous put-downs in modern political history, during a 1988 debate, vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen told Dan Quayle, who had just compared himself to JFK, “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.”  That is how I feel about the two candidates for President. I don’t mean that they aren’t the equals of JFK — only that they are not the equals of their own former selves. Both have had their optimism, basic decency and willingness to compromise dulled by the grind of the political machine.

Sat Aug 4, 2012

Picture this, NYCHA tenants - now you are getting cameras! -New York Daily News

The city's public housing honcho has thrown it in reverse — again.  NYCHA Chairman John Rhea renewed a promise Friday to install cameras in 80-plus developments by the end of next year. Two days earlier, Rhea told the Daily News there would be security enhancements at the selected housing projects, not necessarily cameras.

 

Fri Aug 3, 2012

Letter to Mayor Bloomberg last year warned of NYCHA's failures -New York Daily News

City housing officials, in addition to sitting on nearly $1 billion in federal funds, were too inept to collect another $600 million in available revenue, a civic improvement group charged last year.  In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation complained the New York City Housing Authority’s management was beset by “delay, confusion and complaints.”

Fri Aug 3, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg must face up to NYCHA’s unforgiveable failures -New York Daily News

The mayor should have read the letter. The mayor should have taken the contents seriously. The mayor should have responded appropriately and aggressively for the betterment of New York.  The subject was the New York City Housing Authority, whose failures of leadership and execution have been front and center in the Daily News.

Tue Jul 31, 2012

Massachusetts Aims to Cut Growth of Its Health Costs -The New York Times

The Massachusetts legislature passed a first-in-the-nation bill on Tuesday that seeks to limit the growth of health care costs in the state.  The bill would not allow spending on health care to grow any faster than the state’s economy through 2017. For five years after that, any rise in health care costs would need to be half a percentage point lower than the increase in the state’s gross domestic product.

Fri Jul 27, 2012

Spring Creek Nehemiah is an Affordable Housing Success Story in East New York -New York Daily News

Linda Boyce says it happens all the time. People turn off Flatlands Ave. in East New York, Brooklyn, and slowly cruise Linwood, Vandalia, and Egan Sts. They look around, admiring multi-colored boxy houses with big backyards, private driveways, and patches of front gardens.  “Someone always asks ‘How can I live here?’ ” says Boyce, a member of the first Homeowner Association at Nehemiah Spring Creek, one of the city’s largest affordable homeowning developments and a national model for affordable housing programs. “That makes us proud. We work hard to keep this neighborhood clean and safe. Sometimes I forget I’m in Brooklyn.”

Thu Jul 26, 2012

Call for Mandatory Kindergarten -Fox News NY

Kindergarten is not mandatory in New York State with New York City being the exception. Many parents are concerned including Jessica Cruz, mother of three, as is Adam Barbanel-Fried from the community based organization 'Westchester United.'

Sat Jul 14, 2012

Governor signs Collateral Sanction Reform Bill -Fox News Cleveland

Governor John Kasich met with Greater Cleveland Congregations members Monday to discuss collateral sanctions reforms. "You don't want to look the other way when you have a human being that has a chance to realize their God given potential," Kasich said. With that realization, Kasich ceremonially signed into law the Collateral Sanction Reform Bill. It removes job barriers for nearly 2 million Ohioans with criminal records.

 

 
 
Sat Jun 30, 2012

Moving forward on criminal justice reform: Rev. Jawanza Colvin, Rabbi Joshua Caruso and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind -Cleveland Plain Dealer

Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 people from the 40 diverse religious and community groups that constitute Greater Cleveland Congregations gathered at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood to speak with one voice: Our state needs criminal justice reform. Senate Bill 337, which revises Ohio's archaic system of collateral sanctions for ex-offenders re-integrating into our communities, is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we celebrate Gov. John Kasich signing this bill into law.

Sat Jun 16, 2012

City Council gives preliminary OK to bottle tax hike -The Baltimore Sun

An increase to Baltimore's bottle tax — the linchpin of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to raise funds to renovate the city's decrepit school buildings — received preliminary approval from the City Council Monday, likely assuring the measure will become law.  The legislation would raise the tax on bottled beverages from 2 cents to 5 cents in July 2013. Supporters hailed the tax increase as a key step toward the biggest overhaul of city schools in decades.

Sat Jun 16, 2012

New Milwaukee housing program rebuilds houses, lives -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Martin Sinclair stood Thursday on the steps of the vacant, neglected house in the 2500 block of N. 52nd St., and before a gathering of bankers, government officials and area residents, he confessed.  "I came from the streets and I ran with guys who tore up the community," said Sinclair, 28, an ex-offender. "Now I have the opportunity to give back and fix what I helped to destroy."

Wed Jun 6, 2012

Mitt must stop running from Romneycare -New York Daily News

By Michael Gecan and Cheri Andes

In 2006, then-<a data-cke-saved-href="\\" href="\\&quot;http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mitt+Romney\\&quot;" title="\\&quot;Mitt" romney\\"="">Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney helped save the lives of two sick women: Tammy Stafford and Lavern Barnes.

Mon Jun 4, 2012

Banks: Nearly 1,000 Prince William Co. homeowners eligible for mortgage settlement help -The Washington Post

MANASSAS, Va. — Nearly 1,000 homeowners in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park have been identified as eligible for assistance in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement announced this year, two banks reported Sunday at a community meeting.

The announcements about how the housing settlement will affect Prince William County came at a community meeting sponsored by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), which has been pressing banks to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in Prince William County to compensate for the devastation caused by the wave of foreclosures.

Tue May 29, 2012

East Brooklyn senior citizens are calling on city officials to make intersections safer to cross -New York Daily News

When Evelyn Patterson, 76, crossed Rockaway Blvd. in Ocean Hill on her way to church last month, she had the light — but still found herself dodging speeding cars.  Patterson was too slow for impatient drivers who were turning onto the three-lane street from Eastern Parkway before she was done crossing.

Tue May 15, 2012

In Health Care, Cheaper Can Be Better -The Boston Globe

An Irish adage says: “When you come to a wall that is too high to climb, throw your hat over the wall, and then go get your hat.” That’s what Massachusetts started with its 2006 law requiring just about everyone to get coverage and arranging to make that coverage affordable. Now, it’s time to get the hat.  Legislation to contain costs is the necessary sequel. Reducing costs won’t just rescue health care; it will also help rescue our schools, our roads, our museums, our wages, and the competitiveness of our corporations; that’s because every additional nickel we spend on health care comes from somewhere else — somewhere also important.

Tue May 15, 2012

For New York Police, There’s No End to the Stops -The New York Times

New York City’s public advocate, Bill de Blasioput forward a modest proposal last week. He wants the Police Department to include the number of street stop-and-frisks, which is in a state of geometric expansion, in its weekly review of precinct crime statistics.  A few hours later, a cannonade sounded at City Hall.  “When Bill de Blasio last served in the city’s executive branch, there were 2,000 murders a year,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said. “Mr. de Blasio may be nostalgic for the days when the A.C.L.U. set crime policy in this city, but most New Yorkers don’t want rampant crime to return.”

Fri May 11, 2012

Why stop and frisk? Here’s a better way -New York Daily News

By  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Mayor Bloomberg recently invited a group of clergy for a discussion of the Police Department’s stop, question and frisk procedures and their impact in the African-American and Hispanic communities. We attended and appreciated the opportunity to hear the mayor’s views and to share our own.

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