Group renews push for peer-based conflict resolution vs. traditional discipline in schools

June 26, 2017. The Lawrence Journal-World.

Renewing their earlier calls for transparency and accountability, members of Justice Matters are again urging the school board to consider implementing restorative justice in Lawrence schools.

Gary Schmidt, co-chair of the group’s racial justice steering committee, used Monday’s school board meeting to re-engage the board in a conversation that board president Marcel Harmon said began last spring surrounding racial justice. Restorative justice hinges on empowering students to resolve conflicts on their own through peer-mediated small groups, as opposed to more traditional disciplinary methods.

Louisville Metro Council moves $13.4M in Mayor Fischer’s budget plan: Here are the early winners and losers

June 21, 2017. The Courier-Journal.

After holding an extra month of public hearings, the Metro Council’s budget committee redirected about $13.4 million in Mayor Greg Fischer’s spending plan.

During a nearly three-hour committee meeting Tuesday, city officials lobbied for projects and questioned ways to best spend taxpayer dollars ahead of the new fiscal year starting July 1.

Charleston needs a qualified, independent police audit

June 18, 2017. The Post and Courier.

What should Charleston do about citizens’ repeated allegations of racial bias by police? Mayor Tecklenburg seemed untroubled by such reports in his May 30th Post & Courier column celebrating the city’s “racial progress.” He praised the police chief for leading the Illumination Project since 2015, a period of “remarkable forward motion for our police department and the community it serves.” He also noted that “an independent, third party bias-based policing audit” had just begun.

FAST lobbies for dedicated affordable housing money

June 5, 2017. Tampa Bay Newspapers.

CLEARWATER – Several members of Faith and Action for Strength Together spoke to Pinellas County Commissioners May 23 about the critical need for affordable housing.

The faith-based organization made up of 40 local church congregations, better known as FAST, has long urged the commission to spend more money to increase the county’s inventory of affordable housing. The group’s efforts have been fruitful in past years with the commission agreeing to place millions of dollars from Penny for Pinellas in an affordable housing land assembly fund. Unfortunately, not all the money pledged made it into that fund thanks to the economic downturn and budget cuts.