Charleston Area Justice Ministry selects housing as its issue for 2018

November 13, 2017. The Post and Courier.

Members of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry voted Monday night to select housing as its community-wide issue to tackle next year.

Votes were cast during the interfaith Justice Ministry’s annual Community Problems Assembly at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Ashley. Fifty-nine percent of 576 members chose housing out of three categories that included health care and transportation.

Formed in 2011, the interfaith Justice Ministry is an alliance of 27 Charleston area congregations and organizations that identifies social justice problems and proposes solutions. The Justice Ministry confronts public officials about policy proposals at the annual Nehemiah Action Assembly. 

Lawrence sales tax questions pass overwhelmingly

November 7, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.

Lawrence voters approved all three of the sales tax questions in Tuesday’s general election, lining up millions of dollars in revenue annually for transit, infrastructure and affordable housing.

All three of the sales tax questions — totaling 0.55 percent and projected to generate $116 million over a 10-year period — were approved with comfortable margins, winning about 70, 73 and 62 percent of the vote.

Mayor Leslie Soden said the election results were important positive feedback from voters.

Faith groups vote to focus on affordable housing

October 24, 2017. The Daily Progress. 

At its 12th annual Assembly on Tuesday, members of IMPACT, an interfaith coalition of nearly 30 congregations in the Charlottesville area, decided to focus on advocating for the development of more affordable housing in the community.

Various congregational caucuses voted on the area of focus after hearing testimonies from community members struggling with social challenges. Following the voting process, the coalition chose housing issues over addressing impoverished conditions for immigrants and access to health care.

PEACE to tackle affordable housing issues in Polk, still advocating for crisis mental health care

WINTER HAVEN — About 400 people from 22 churches gathered Monday evening for PEACE’s 18th annual Community Problems Assembly.

The organization, Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment, selected the social justice issue it will concentrate its efforts on in the coming year — affordable housing and homelessness. And it reported on the past year’s continuing efforts to improve mental-health services for those cycling in and out of emergency care and on earlier efforts to reduce juvenile arrests.

“During 36 house meetings, more than 250 people gathered to discuss issues they are facing,” said Pastor Eddie Lake, pastor of New Bethel AME Church in Lakeland and the co-president of PEACE. Among 13 issues raised in the house meetings, three were selected for the assembly to vote on to decide the coming year’s focus: affordable housing and homelessness, crime and adult criminal records/re-entry to society.