PEACE

People Engaged in Active Community Efforts

Background

People Engaged in Active Community Efforts (PEACE) is an organization of religious congregations and groups which are working together to solve critical community problems. We are not a service provider, but a grassroots, direct action, multi-issue organization, which has come together to be a powerful force for improving the quality of life in our communities.

Accomplishments

The following is a list of some of our accomplishments and current work:

PARKS AND RECREATION: P.E.A.C.E. successfully worked with the City of Delray Beach to allocate over $500,000 to make necessary repairs and improvements to Pompey Park.

EDUCATION (Direct Instruction): EP.E.A.C.E. successfully worked with the school district to begin a pilot program with a reading curriculum called Direct Instruction, to address the problem of far too many children in our schools not learning how to read.

CRIME & DRUGS: P.E.A.C.E. has worked with local law enforcement groups to get them to clean up “hot spots”, or locations of drug activity.

EDUCATION (Alternative Schools): P.E.A.C.E. held an Action Assembly in March 2007 where Superintendent Johnson agreed to improve information sharing on the Dept. of Alternative Education website, set in place a student tracking system that will track students’ academic progress, graduation rates and job placement, and ensure that 50 percent of all alternative education schools will earn at least the equivalent of a Grade C school, by June 2009.

CURRENT WORK

People Engaged in Active Community Efforts continued to grow this year, adding four additional congregations to its membership and reaching their highest ever Nehemiah Action attendance – 1,425 people in total. PEACE is currently working on three major areas of concern.

First, PEACE made significant strides in the problem of Wage Theft, a campaign which began in 2009 and has seen unprecedented opposition from a powerful business community. This past January, local economic forces organized to introduce state wide legislation that would have pre-empted PEACE’s efforts to establish a Wage Theft Ordinance. At the Nehemiah Action Assembly, PEACE members were educated about the situation and informed of steps they could take with key state delegates on the passage of these state bills. That same evening, PEACE also received commitments from three of the four Board of County Commissioners present, to support the local ordinance if the state bills were not passed. PEACE members were very pleased that the bills died in session and the organization is continuing their efforts to make the local ordinance a reality. The PEACE Wage Theft campaign has generated mass media attention, including national media outlets.

PEACE continues to work on the problem of Youth Crime. The organization’s efforts to establish a Neighborhood Accountability Board in the City of West Palm made major progress this year. Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NABs) are innovative, results-proven programs which utilize the principles of Restorative Justice. PEACE received a commitment from the past Mayor, Lois Frankle, to establish a pilot program back in 2009 at the Nehemiah Action Assembly. However, soon thereafter, Mayor Frankle went back on his commitment. PEACE then turned its focus to the mayoral candidates and held an assembly to get their agreements to establish the NAB if they were to become elected – more than 100 PEACE leaders attended that evening and each of the candidates present agreed. The winning candidate, now Mayor Jeri Muoio, did agree and attended the 2011 Nehemiah Action. Mayor Muoio was asked to recommit to establish the Neighborhood Accountability Board, and in front of a crowd of 1,425 people, she agreed once again.

At this year’s Community Problems Assembly, with over 400 PEACE leaders in attendance, the organization prioritized the problem of Jobs and Unemployment. PEACE is continuing to research this area and is taking a closer look at the County’s hiring practices, opportunities for ex-felons, as well as minorities. PEACE is currently working hard to expand into the western communities of the Glades, and into the southern part of the County as well.

Contact Us

100 N. Palmway
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Tel. 561-882-0403

Emily Small
Lead Organizer
peacepbc@gmail.com

Virginia Donnal
Associate Organizer
virginia@thedartcenter.org