PEACE calls for community IDs, slams commissioners who skipped meeting

April 18, 2018. Palm Beach Post.

More than 2,000 people attended a community meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Monday evening, but organizers were miffed that figure wasn’t a little larger.

Officials from the social activism group People Engaged in Active Community Efforts called out six of the county’s seven commissioners for skipping the gathering, saying the commissioners’ absences underscored the county’s lack of progress in addressing homelessness and the creation of a community identification card that could be used by immigrants who don’t have a government-issued one.

“Are you disappointed that six of our seven county commissioners did not see fit to meet with well over 2,000 of their constituents?” Jason Fairbanks, pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, asked audience members. “Our community needs to know who stood with us and who did not.”

Palm Beach County mulls issuing community IDs to undocumented residents

March 23, 2018. Sun-Sentinel.

A Palm Beach County advocacy group wants to offer identification cards that undocumented residents could use to access government services and avoid going to jail for minor offenses.

The proposal has secured county funding and earned a key endorsement from the Criminal Justice Commission, an advisory panel of law enforcement, judicial, business and other community leaders.

Make youth arrests, homelessness top priorities, faith group says

The Rev. John D’Mello of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens asked the thousands in the crowd to stand up from their seats if they had ever done something he said as a child.

Run through a parking lot trying to get home late at night? A handful stood up.

Steal a candy bar? A few dozen rose from their seats, some elderly attendees giggling at the memory.

Fought with a sibling? Nearly everyone in the Palm Beach Convention Center stood.

PBC commissioner attendance likely to be slim in 2017 PEACE assembly

April 3, 2017. Palm Beach Post

Although a big resident turnout is forecasted for the annual People Engaged in Active Community Efforts (P.E.A.C.E.) action assembly, only three of seven Palm Beach County Commissioners have confirmed their attendance.

About 3,000 are expected to convene at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach on Monday to show their concern for homelessness, youth arrests, and community IDs.

Church, community groups want civil citation for juveniles expanded

December 25, 2016. The Sun Sentinel.

The latest statistics on how police treat kids in Palm Beach County are encouraging to a group of local religious leaders who have been critical of juvenile justice practices.

Youth arrests in Palm Beach County dropped by roughly 31 percent between the 2011-12 and 2015-16 fiscal years, according to state data. Instead of making arrests, Palm Beach officers issue civil citations to most eligible kids, state data show, at a rate greater than most counties in Florida.

But some members of People Engaged in Active Community Efforts, a group of Palm Beach churches, say they want the county to do even better.