Justice Knox Follows Micah’s Directive To Be Community Organizer

November 22, 2017. Patch.com

KNOXVILLE, TN — They call themselves Justice Knox. They live by Micah’s words: “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.” They are the parishioners of 20 Knoxville churches–black and white, rich and poor–who have come together to speak directly to local government officials about how they believe problems in the community should be addressed.

The issues they speak about are selected by asking each other to identify the most important problems and then doing in-depth research as to what solutions should be recommended. Working on an academic year calendar, last April they asked law enforcement to look at how they dealt with the mentally ill and the school system to commit to how it dealt with students who had behavioral problems.

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. 

Offenders told they still have a chance to change as part of plan to end killings

November 11, 2017. The Columbus Dispatch.

“You’ve got to pay attention to this. You’ve got to be awake for this,” Fred Benton, a defense attorney, told them. “The law is looking for you.”

A group of 16 people saw the Franklin County Common Pleas courtroom from a unique vantage point Thursday.

Each is on probation for violent or gun-related crimes. About half have affiliations to criminal street gangs. Many knew someone who had been shot and, in some cases, killed.

The two women and 14 men of varying age and race and from various parts of the city sat in the jury box with a different fate to weigh — their own. Each still has a chance.

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.

BUILD Will Focus On Ending Drug Epidemic

November 7, 2017. WUKY.org.

Hundreds gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church last night for a project BUILD meeting. The group focuses on recognizing problems in the community and working towards solutions to fix them.

More than five hundred people, representing two dozen churches in Lexington came together to spark change. Monday was the first of several annual meetings held by BUILD, which stands for Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action. Each congregation created a focus group and then voted on the issue they wanted the organization to focus on in 2018.