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Metro IAF is making moves in: Connecticut Cook Co, IL • DuPage Co, IL • Kane Co, IL • Lake Co, IL • Anne Arundel Co, MD • Baltimore, MD • Howard Co, MD • Montgomery Co, MD • Massachusetts New JerseyNew YorkDurham, NC Orange Co, NC • Ohio Virginia Washington DCWisconsin Germany


View our report on 2018 victories: 



October 8, 2019

United Power for Action and Justice + Mayor Lightfoot = Results

Photo Credit UPAJ
On Sunday, September 22nd, United Power for Action and Justice (United Power) assembled a standing-room-only overflow crowd of 1,050 leaders from the 95 member institutions of the four Metro IAF affiliates in Illinois. The purpose of the meeting was to publicly initiate a relationship with Chicago’s newly elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
The theme of the action:  United Power for Action and Justice + Mayor Lightfoot = Results.

GBIO Health Care Legislative Campaign Wins Big, Saves MassHealth budget $71M per year 

GBIO leaders gather with coalition partners at a Health Care Action Day at the Statehouse

The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, along with partners in the Massachusetts Prescription Drug Affordability Coalition, scored its first win in its 2019-2020 health care legislative campaign. Language passed as part of the 2020 budget gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to develop a proposed value of a drug as well as have a public hearing if MassHealth (Massachusetts’ Medicaid agency) cannot agree with the drug manufacturer on a fair price. Using this negotiating leverage will lower the state’s prescription drug costs, which have doubled over the last five years. This will save the State of MA $71 Million per year in the annual MassHealth budget.

Metro IL working to end pipeline to prison with Crisis Stabilization Units  

Leaders from United Power for Action and Justice, Fox River Valley Initiative, DuPage United and Lake County United convened representatives from law enforcement, health care providers and non-profits to meet with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his top staff. This powerful group pressed for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rate for Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU), which will help end the pipeline to prison and unclog crowded emergency rooms.  This will reduce Medicaid cost by diverting from emergency rooms. On July 11, a ribbon cutting was held on the new addition at Holy Cross Hospital, which will now be able to move patients out of a crowded makeshift space to a fully operating Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU), increasing capacity threefold. This is the first of 5 CSUs in the 5 county region.

new york
Metro IAF Wins Court Ordered Accountability for New York Public Housing


NYCHA residents march and demand action from Mayor de Blasio on toxic mold plaguing NYCHA housing in July. (Byron Smith/for New York Daily News)
On September 19, the judge supervising Metro IAF NY’s mold focused federal court consent decree with NYCHA agreed to appoint our choice of an Ombudsperson, Cesar De Castro. Mr. De Castro will have the power to force NYCHA to properly fix mold and leaks hire independent contractors at NYCHA’s expense when they fail to do so. This will begin in the Jefferson Houses in East Harlem and rolling out citywide as soon as possible. Tenants will finally have an ally with court backed authority who can hold NYCHA accountable.
This came from years of work by Metro IAF’s public housing leaders to highlight the fact that most tenants still have seen no real improvement in mold remediation and the push for change. Most recently, on 9/13/19, we held a press conference with Council Member Ritchie Torres  outside of the Federal Courthouse where we called for the appointment of the ombudsman and for NYCHA to immediately spend the $50 million in ventilation repair funds that we pushed them to allocate

Given this development, we now have more potential than ever to hold NYCHA accountable to make New York City’s public housing a decent place to live for all tenants.
north Carolina

Durham CAN Leaders Break Ground on Affordable Housing 

Durham CAN Leaders local investors and elected officials broke ground on the Willard Street Apartments. A mixed-use development, Willard Street Apartments, near the main bus station in Durham, NC, is set to encompass 39 one- and 43 two-bedroom apartments, ranging between 674 and 1,047 square feet. Monthly rents will start at $310 and go as high as to $840, with three-quarters of the units set aside for households earning less than 60 percent of AMI and the remaining reserved for those making less than 30 percent of AMI. Ten percent of the apartments will be built at ADA standards and The Durham Housing Authority has committed 21 project-based vouchers to very low-income residents.


BUILD Groundbreaking illustrates the Power of Organized People and Organized Money

On August 20th in east Baltimore, ReBUILD Johnston Square, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) and our development firm, ReBUILD Metro, celebrated breaking ground on a 60 unit, $16.5 million affordable apartment building on the corner of Greenmount and Chase. Ms. Regina Hammond, President of ReBUILD Johnston Square and BUILD Leader, chaired the action and welcomed all of our partners and the community and announced, “We are here as our NEXT STEP on our journey to rebuilding Johnston Square to serve as a model for all the goodness that occurs when we all lock arms and organize together to REBUILD Baltimore. There is no stopping us!” 
Read More HERE

GBIO & MAHA join forces to Win $3.8 Million for New Homeownership Program 

Mayor Martin Walsh and MAHA leaders Celebrating $3.8 million in CPA funds for affordable homeownership      

900 people gathered at an event organized by Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) ally, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) on July 18th to celebrate the award of $3.8 million in Community Preservation Act funds to assist low-to-moderate income first-time homebuyers through the ONE+Boston mortgage program. The program, created by MAHA, GBIO and the City of Boston, will assist homebuyers through a combination of lower interest rates and enhanced down-payment assistance. Mayor Martin Walsh announced the award and recognized the program as “an investment in Boston's future that strengthens homeownership and gives residents a chance to buy a home in the neighborhoods they love.”


GBIO Local Action: Somali Mothers Organize and Win $100,00 to Improve Local Playground

At GBIO’s 1487-person October action, Firdosa Hassan calls for updates to Jeep Jones Park

Last October, at a gathering of 1,487 Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) leaders, Firdosa Hassan led an action with other Somali mothers to update a local park. In response, City Councilor Kim Janey answered their call to become the “champion of Jeep Jones Park.”  Janey organized a walk-through of the park with Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, Christopher Cook, and negotiated with the Mayor’s Office to put $100,000 for improvements to Jeep Jones Park into the city’s upcoming capital budget.

BUILD Victory Renaming Park in Honor of Henrietta Lacks
Ms. Servant Courtney Speed, President Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group, City Councilman Robert Stokes, Lawrence Lacks Sr (son of Henrietta Lacks), Lawrence Lacks Jr (grandson), Regina Hammond, Rebuild Johnson Square Community Association President pose before new sign 
BUILD Leaders scored a major victory in renaming Ambrose Kennedy Park (named for a mid-20th century councilman for the area) to Henrietta Lacks Educational Park. Community members, neighborhood leaders, and elected officials were on hand to offer their thoughts and congratulations, including Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, Pastor Antony Cotton of Mt Sinai Baptist Church, State Senator Cory McCray, Delegate Stephanie Smith, Reginald Moore, Director of Baltimore City Recreation & Parks, Servant Speed, Henrietta Lacks Legacy Foundation, and Daniel Ford, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical Research & Translational Research. Especially moving was the testimony of Lawrence Lacks, Jr, Ms. Lacks's grandson, who said "I played in these East Baltimore streets in my younger days and now I will be able to enjoy a park that bears my name."
BUILD Wins Fight for Safer Park, Celebrates Grand Opening
Gwen Brown,  BUILD Organizer, stands with Parks & People and City Parks & Rec staff, Scott Goldman of the 6th Branch, Whitney Frazier who painted a mural across from the park, Senator Cory McCray and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke 
More than six years of fighting for better signage, lighting, and a community space for all to enjoy came to fruition on July 13 with the grand opening of Darley Park’s Gateway Park. Attended by more than 50 neighborhood leaders, elected officials, and those who helped beautify the space and build the park, the grand opening included DJ Huxtable, dancing, a cookout, and remarks by happy residents and proud leaders alike.
Leadership Spotlight: Bonnie Gilbert & Michael Rubenstein
Bonnie & Michael at Statehouse
Bonny Gilbert and Michael Rubenstein, co-chairs of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) Health Care Action Team, celebrated a big win last November, after Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced an agreement saving consumers $1.2 billion dollars over 7 years in the merger of two large Boston-area hospital systems.  

This win left the pair inspired to do more. Now, they are leading GBIO in a legislative campaign to improve health care by (a) lowering the cost of prescription drugs, (b) increasing access to affordable mental health care, and (c) lowering out-of-pocket expenses — and they see this as just the beginning.
Read More HERE

We're Looking for Organizers -- Are You the One?

BUILD POWER to change the country from the ground up working with ordinary people.  ORGANIZE WITH THE INDUSTRIAL AREAS FOUNDATION.

We build power. We fight. We win.

There is work to be done. All across the country we're looking to hire the next generation of community organizers who can relate to people across race and culture, and who can use their anger on issues of criminal justice, immigration, jobs and more to build the power required to make change.

Are You the One? Click HERE for More Information

Metro IAF, is part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s first and largest network of multi-faith community organizations. Our 23 member organizations have deep-roots in the political and financial power centers in the eastern United States and Europe.
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