After success with civil citations, group targets other issues

March 27, 2017. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

SARASOTA — A program that allows young people accused of minor crimes to avoid arrest had been embraced by Sarasota County law enforcement over the last year.

Now local leaders are part of a statewide push to increase the use of civil citations, which allow juvenile offenders to do community service and face other sanctions rather than arrest.

CLOUT unveils Safe City platform for Louisville

March 7, 2017. WLKY.com

LOUISVILLE, KY — The group CLOUT, or Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, on Tuesday unveiled its Safe City platform, which targets crime, drug addiction, housing instability and school suspensions in Louisville.The faith-based organization is calling for improved training and accountability for police officers and others in the criminal justice system who deal with addicts and people who are mentally ill.

Local leaders hear how affordable housing trust fund could work in Topeka

February 15, 2017. Topeka Capital-Journal.

A group of about 35 people representing local churches, businesses and government entities listened to a national expert on affordable housing trust funds describe how such an initiative might work in the capital city during a breakfast meeting Wednesday in downtown Topeka.

Michael Anderson, director of the Housing Trust Fund Project for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Community Change, told attendees affordable housing trust funds already were operational in some 770 communities across the U.S. and were making it possible for low-income people in those cities to live in their own homes.

Whether it be jail issues or racism, Justice Matters vows to be voice of the ‘unheard’

January 30, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.

As it looks to its fourth year since its formation, the Lawrence interfaith group Justice Matters points to victories won through its mobilization of “people power” and vows to carry on the fight for advances on local issues its members have identified.

“None of us as individuals or as faith groups have the influence, the clout or the money to really affect change,” said Pat Lechtenberg, Justice Matters recording secretary. “But by coming together as a large group of people — and there were more than 1,700 of us at the Lied Center at our founding convention — we can make a difference.”

Pumped up by pope, anti-poverty advocates joining Vatican summit in Calif

January 25, 2017. CatholicPhilly.com

WASHINGTON (CNS) — For 27 years, Pat Campbell-Williams has worked on Detroit’s West Side, organizing her neighbors to tackle tough economic justice issues. It’s good work, she acknowledged, but she didn’t know if anyone cared beyond the city limits.