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.

What is PEACE currently working on?

Youth Arrests
In 2015, we won commitments from local law enforcement agencies to give all children a civil citation instead of an arrest when a child commits a first time misdemeanor. In 2016, we got our State Attorney to commit to act as a “fail-safe” to ensure that every eligible child receives a civil citation. We will be monitoring the success of the program this coming year, as well as working with our fellow Florida DART organizations on the passage of a state bill to stop youth arrests in Florida for first time misdemeanors.

Homelessness (next Committee Meeting) 
The School District tells us there are 3,000 homeless children in Palm Beach County, and the Health Care District reports they served 8,000 homeless individuals last year. We have a terrible problem, and our County currently puts very little resources toward truly addressing it. The County Commissioners have all received their invitations to be present at our Nehemiah Action for this issue, and our Homelessness Committee is now deep in the discernment process around what we will be asking them to do.

IDs & Deportations
We are working to get our County Commission to approve funding for a local nonprofit to administer a Community IDs program. Over the next year, we will work to ensure that this program comes into existence so that all residents of our County can have an accepted form of ID.

What has PEACE accomplished in recent years?

Establishing a Neighborhood Accountability Board (NAB)
In 2013, PEACE got the city of West Palm Beach to establish and fund a Neighborhood Accountability Board program, which takes youthful offenders and puts them in a research-based program proven to turn their lives around.

Getting Money Back in the Hands of Wage Theft Victims
In 2013, PEACE got the County Commission to pass a Wage Theft Resolution, allocating money to the Legal Aid Society to take on cases of wage theft and creating a special Wage Theft Docket within the court system. To date, $500,000 has been recovered for nearly 500 Palm Beach County wage theft victims.

Stopping Out-of-School Suspensions
Since the 2012-2013 school year, out-of-school suspensions decreased by over 50% district-wide. This was a result of a commitment Superintendent Gent made at the Nehemiah Action 2013, to significantly cut down on these detrimental and unnecessary out-of-school suspensions.

Stopping Deportations of Hard-Working Undocumented Residents
In the Summer of 2014, PEACE got Sheriff Bradshaw to follow the lead of hundreds of other Counties and Cities throughout the country and stop allowing ICE to deport people from our County Jail – a practice that was destroying families, and costing taxpayers

Glades Jobs to Glades Residents!
In January of 2015, PEACE got the Board of County Commissioners to unanimously pass the Glades Employee Incentive Program, which provides a 30% salary reimbursement incentive to employers who hire Glades residents for County projects.

Accepting Consular IDs to Cut Down on Unnecessary Arrests
In 2015, we discovered that approximately 500 undocumented members of our community were being arrested each year for the sole offense of driving without a license. In 2016, we got Sheriff Bradshaw to establish a written policy around the acceptance of consular IDs (if those stopped for driving without a license can present a consular ID, they will be issued a citation but not taken to Jail). 

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

www.peacepbc.org