Thousands of people plan St. Petersburg rally on lack of affordable housing funds

April 8, 2019. WTSP.COM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Thousands of people are planning to hold a rally because they’re upset about the lack of spending on affordable housing in St. Petersburg.

Around 3,000 people are expected to gather around 7 p.m. Monday at Tropicana Field.

The group, Faith and Action for Strength Together (F.A.S.T.), is upset Mayor Rick Kriseman doesn’t plan on spending $15 million for affordable housing until 2023, according to a news release from Ephiphany Summers. They hope to put pressure on Kriseman to begin spending on affordable housing using Penny for Pinellas funds as soon as next year. The group hopes city leaders find another way to pay for and make affordable housing a priority.

Point of View: By shunning PEACE rally, county leaders ignore chance to address community concerns

April 7, 2019. The Palm Beach Post.

“Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of light and air, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.” — Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; Letter from a Birmingham Jail

For the past five years, PEACE (People Engaged in Active Community Efforts) has held a Nehemiah Action Assembly, with more than 2,000 in attendance. The purpose of these rallies is to expose the “boils” which must be cured in our community – horrible injustices around which the members of our 19 congregations have cried out, and then seek from our public officials serious commitments to address these injustices.

Charleston residents open up to racial bias researchers about police encounters

April 2, 2019. Charleston City Paper.

Ann Powell-Cromwell was turning to head home on James Island when an officer stopped her. Her tag lights were out, he said, and he couldn’t see her license plate.

“I felt that he shouldn’t have stopped me because I had my signal on way ahead of time,” Powell-Cromwell said in a classroom at St. James Presbyterian Church on James Island, where close to 70 attendees were separated into small groups to talk about their interactions with Charleston police officers. “It’s a bad area, and I assume he probably thought I was one of them ones that was gonna buy some drugs.”

Jacksonville Faith Community To Push City Leaders On Criminal Justice Reform

April 1, 2019. WJCT.

People from more than 38 Duval County religious congregations are expected to come together Monday night to push city officials on criminal justice reform at the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and in public schools.

The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) will be hosting what they call a Nehemiah Assembly Monday night, April 1, at the Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church, 10325 Interstate Center Dr., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to address transparency at JSO and the State Attorney’s Office as well as discipline at Duval County schools.

Seidman: Answering to the common folk

March 31, 2019. The Palm Beach Post.

SURE’s annual Nehemiah Action Assembly is a cross between church social and trip to the principal’s office. The buzz of affable neighborliness within the packed crowd gathered at the Municipal Auditorium last week floated atop an undercurrent of steely resolve.

Each year the members of Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE) — a group of 19 area churches working collaboratively to build a more “God-like” community — congregate for this come-to-Jesus meeting, named for the Biblical figure instrumental in the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the fifth century B.C. following the Babylonian exile.