PACT

People Acting for Community Together

Background

People Acting for Community Together (PACT) unites, organizes and trains leaders from diverse congregations, schools and community groups to build a powerful community voice. Individually and collectively, we empower ourselves, hold officials accountable, achieve systemic change, and promote fairness, justice and democracy in Miami-Dade County.

Accomplishments

Since 1988, PACT has brought together from Miami Dade County to make significant changes in the County. Some of our victories include:

Civil Citation Program On May 21, 2015 Governor Rick Scott signed the Civil Citation Bill into law. The Florida House of Representatives passed then Civil Citation Bill (CS/SB 378) 115-2 on April 23rd. This state initiative was PACT’s first in collaboration with nine other community organizations throughout the state.

Neighborhood Resource Offices In March 2015, PACT got the City of Miami Garden’s to launch Neighborhood Resource Offices in Bunche, Buccaneer, and Norwood Park, as a way for neighbors to meet and build a relationship with officers monthly and connect with needed resources in the community. Offices were established in South Dade: Naranja, Perrine, and Goulds in 2013 and 2014. PACT got the Miami Dade police to extend hours of operation into night hours after 5pm.

Reducing Out-of-School Suspensions With PACT’s push in 2012, the Superintendent created a memorandum for all schools to eliminate “level 1” and “level 2” violations of the Code of Conduct as reason for out-of-school suspensions. Because of these changes, between 2012 and 2013, there was a 32% decrease in suspensions – which is 12,000 fewer suspension cases! As of July 2015, the Superintendent announced that all out of school suspensions would be eliminated.

Job Opportunities Because of PACT’s work during a nearly two and a half year battle, Miami Dade County became the first in Florida to pass a local hiring ordinance. The First Source Referral Hiring Ordinance requires and enforces that county contracts in Miami Dade must first seek out qualified job candidates from South Florida Workforce before hiring from outside of the county. PACT brought together the County Manager, Small Business Development, Procurement Management, and South Florida Workforce to draft the Ordinance. Once the ordinance was drafted PACT got 4 commissioners to sponsor it, with Commissioner Barbara Jordan serving as the primary sponsor. After failing on a 6-6 tie vote, PACT continued to push and got the ordinance passed on a 10-3 vote on May 1, 2012. This ordinance has already resulted in the hiring of over 1,000 Miami Dade residents.

Health in Our Schools In 2008, PACT worked with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to put our kids’ health first and build 165 health clinics.

Teaching Training In 2009, PACT advocated and won the continuance and district-wide implementation of the MINT (Mentoring and Induction for New Teachers) program which mentors, coaches, and guides new teachers in Miami Dade. Many of PACT congregations are located in areas with challenging schools that have a high rate of new teachers. Schools are more effective when they retain teachers.

“PACT has been very effective at addressing the issues of crime, education and drugs. Their efforts greatly improve the quality of life for many low income neighborhoods in our area.”

– The Most Reverend John C. Favarola / Archbishop Emeritus of Miami –

Safety in Schools In 2009, Miami Dade Schools Chief of Police Charles Hurley put money in the budget to ensure school security officers were placed in six schools with high incidents of crime and violence

Safety in our neighborhood: In 2008, PACT worked with the city to demolish over 300 abandoned houses linked to drug and criminal activity.

Transportation PACT launched a campaign, People’s Transportation Plan, seeking to double the number of buses in the county. PACT successfully pressured the mayor and county commissioners to place the issue on the ballot for the November 2002 election, and then campaigned aggressively for passage of the plan. The People’s Transportation Plan has a projected economic impact of $17 billion on Miami-Dade County over the next 20 years.

Education PACT successfully pressured the Miami-Dade County Public Schools to implement a phonics-based reading program called Direct Instruction. Additionally, a PACT campaign secured $7.25 million in state funding for DI during the 2000 legislative session. The program is now positively impacting 26 elementary schools.

Immigration Reform In 1999, PACT prodded the INS to implement a mandatory two-day training program for all staff in this district to improve customer service and cultural awareness. PACT’s action also resulted in staffing changes that are speeding up the immigration process for those who want to become citizens or permanent residents.

Crime Prevention PACT actions in 1998 secured a community oriented policing program for the Norland / Norwood section of Miami-Dade and also secured an increase in the number officers who can speak Haitian Creole. PACT actions in 2001 successfully targeted hot spots of drug-dealing and prostitution.

Affordable Housing PACT negotiated an agreement with two local banks that provided $38 million for low-income affordable housing programs.

Current Membership

PACT is a diverse coalition of 37 congregations and 2 universities throughout Miami-Dade County. It is the largest grassroots organization in South Florida, representing more than 50,000 people.

Executive Board of Directors

  • Co President: Rev. Dr. Joreatha Capers, Ebenezer UMC
  • Co President: Joan Lyons, Christ the King Catholic
  • Treasurer: Steve Horsford, St. Monica Catholic
  • Secretary: vacant
  • Vice President for Membership Strength: Msgr. Chanel Jeanty, St. Philip Neri
  • Vice President for Membership Growth: Rev. Robert Brooks, St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church
  • Vice President for Media and Public Relations: Rabbi Gary Glickstein, Temple Beth Sholom
  • Vice President for Personnel: Imam Mikal Hamin, Masjid Al Ansar

Contact Us

9401 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 215
Miami, Fl 33138
Tel. 305-572-0602
www.miamipact.org

Megan O’Brien
Lead Organizer
mobrien@miamipact.org