- South Carolina
The mission of Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (L.E.A.D.) is to build a strong, grassroots community organization, dedicated to empowering and preparing people of faith to work for a greater degree of justice in Montgomery County.
LEAD does not do direct service to address symptoms of community problems – instead, we do research into the causes of community problems and then take action to address problems at their source. For instance, whereas a lot of nonprofits provide food or shelter to families in need, without questioning ‘why are there so many homeless people in our community? Why are people unable to feed themselves?,’ LEAD looks at problems systemically and implement solutions that fix the structures leading to injustice, and not just symptoms of injustice. Also, unlike advocacy groups that focus on one single issue and speak on behalf of others, LEAD is completely community-led. We focus on 2-3 issues per year that are determined locally and LEAD trains and develops leaders in the community to speak and act on their own behalf.
Victories from our 2010 Nehemiah Action Assembly include:
It is difficult to access to jobs to some of the region’s largest entry-level employers.
There are no close bus stops on the property of the Dayton Mall, the Greene, or the Fairfield Mall which are some of the region’s largest entry-level employers. Thousands of mall workers cannot access these facilities by bus. The elderly and handicapped cannot walk across busy streets and large mall parking lots to access these facilities. Glimcher Realty, owner of the malls and RTA have not been able to reach agreements to solve this problem.
The cost to ride RTA is very high for families.
For a family of 5 to buy individual monthly RTA passes it would cost them almost $300 a month, or 1/5th of the income of a family at the poverty line. A round trip for two parents and 3 children (under the age of 12) costs almost $10. If that same family took one round trip a day at $10 per day, that is about the same amount of money per month as buying individual passes–$300. Buying individual monthly passes for a family saves no money and makes transportation for families below the poverty line even more difficult. Families need more financial options when it comes to transportation so that they can get to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, schools, and work.
On April 19th, Director Mark Donaghy of the Greater Dayton RTA committed to present a plan to the RTA Board to allocate the capital funds necessary to build and maintain new bus stops at the Dayton Mall that are within a reasonable and safe distance of mall entrances and provide shelter for riders and Glimcher Realty will work with Greater Dayton RTA to make this a reality. We also asked and got commitments from the Greater Dayton RTA to actively work to extend a route into Beavercreek to the Fairfield Commons and that upon extending the route, that Glimcher Realty work with RTA to put a safe and reasonable bus stop on the property Lastly we received a commitment from Director Mark Donaghy to develop and evaluate a family pass program that will be recommend to the RTA Board of Trustees.
On September 1, 2010, RTA began the Family Bus Pass Program. Families can now ride the bus all day together for $8!
Drug court is a specialty court docket that handle cases involving non-violent, substance abusing offenders by providing court monitoring and community supervision, frequent drug testing, with effective, long-term treatment services. The mission of drug courts is to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and related criminal activity.
The current Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court program works – for youth who complete the program, re-offense rates before their 18th birthday are 31-36% lower than for youth in the juvenile probation program. Reducing recidivism rates this significantly reduces future criminal justice, substance abuse treatment and victimization costs by as much as $8,142 per additional offense.
Eighty-six percent of the youth who successfully complete the Drug Court program are not picked up for another offense before their 18th birthday. Only 50-55% of the youth in the non-Drug Court caseload are not picked up for another offense before their birthday.
There are hundreds of youth in the Montgomery County juvenile justice system that could benefit from the Drug Court program. The current program has 100 slots while there are about 1,000 youth in the juvenile justice system with AOD issues.
At our Nehemiah Action Assembly Commissioner Foley’s office committed to partner with Judge Capizzi’s office to identify and secure the $250,000 worth of funds necessary to expand the Montgomery County Juvenile Drug Court by 50%, adding 50 slots which will serve approximately 100 more youth a year!
Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton is a coalition of 20 congregations in the Dayton area united to bring about justice and fairness in Montgomery County. LEAD brings together large numbers of people across racial, denominational and economic lines to make a difference in our neighborhoods and local decision-making.
Board of Directors
Deacon Ronnie Moreland, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church – Co-President
Rev Rick Friebel, Holy Trinity Catholic Church – Co-President
Marie Geisel, St Rita Catholic Church – Treasurer
Robin Craft-Bell, St Benedict the Moor Catholic Church – Secretary
Patsy Bryant, Harris Memorial CME Church
Connie Lawson, McKinley United Methodist Church
Janice Williams, Dixon United Methodist Church
Pastor Katie Wilson, Dixon United Methodist Church
Rev Francis Tandoh, St Benedict the Moor Catholic Church
Dr Earl D Hudson, Harris Memorial CME Church
Hal Fox, Congregation for Reconciliation
Willie Righter, Congregation for Reconciliation
Jana Adams, Bethel Baptist Church
Margaret Peters, Zion Baptist Church
Joyce Kasprzak, Holy Angels Catholic Church
Charlene Bayless, First Baptist Church Downtown
Noah Gula, Islamic Society of Greater Dayton
PO Box 10772
Dayton, OH 45402