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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: 



February 12, 2020

CONECT Assembly with Gov. Lamont and Attorney General Tong on Clean Slate, Guns & Immigration
CONECT packed over 600 people into the basement hall of Mt. Aery Baptist Church on a Thursday night, less than a week before the start of the legislative session, to engage the Governor and about a dozen legislators on Clean Slate, a few mayors on Do Not Stand Idly By / the Gun Safety Consortium, and our Attorney General on suing to get ICE kicked out of CT courthouses.  
north carolina
ONE Wake Leaders Set Grassroots Agenda, Ratify May 31 Founding Assembly Raleigh, NC


Over 180 leaders from institutions participating in ONE Wake met on January 30 to form research action teams that will develop the broad priorities of the new organization into specific, winnable issues. This meeting follows from the listening campaign led by ONE Wake leaders in 2019, which engaged 3,100+ Wake County residents to identify the top pressures facing their families and communities. After reviewing the results of these conversations, ONE Wake leaders voted to prioritize concerns involving the lack of affordable housing, disparities in education outcomes, and the need for more living wage jobs. 

Over one million people live in Wake County, a rapidly growing and geographically large area roughly the size of Rhode Island. Wake County is home to Raleigh, North Carolina's state capital, and a number of politically purple districts. The economy is anchored by public research universities and hospitals which have attracted hundreds of biotech and tech companies to Raleigh, Cary, and nearby Research Triangle Park, including: IBM, Epic Games (makers of popular video game Fortnite), and SAS Inc - the world's largest privately held software company. The Wake County Public School System educates over 160,000 students, is the largest school district in the state, and 15th largest in the nation. 

Currently ONE Wake leaders have recruited 36 member institutions (minimum goal:40), and have won pledges for over $150,000 in membership dues (minimum goal: $200,000), representing 1% of the operating budget of each institution. ONE Wake has set the date for their founding assembly on May 31, Pentecost Sunday, where 2,000 ONE Wake members and leaders will publicly introduce the organization to the major power players and key decision makers of Wake County.

VOICE Winning in 2019 - And Bringing Success into 2020


In 2019, Virginia’s election received national media attention and a flood of out of state money because it was the only contested race that would determine who would control power at the state level in the Senate and House. VOICE /IAF had 1,332 election volunteers over the last three years knocking on their neighbor’s doors in Virginia’s 2017, 2018, & 2019 elections. In 2019, VOICE once again secured major results through its non-partisan GOTV work in low voter turnout swing districts. VOICE leaders strategically focused in Prince William County in VA as it’s precincts were home to some of the most contested races of the 2019 election and located near VOICE member institutions.

BUILD exceeds Turnout Quota to Win Mayor's Commitment to School Funding 


BUILD turned out 436 people from most member institutions to an action in November to demand that Mayor Young increase the school budget by $25-30M this year, $90M next year, and work with us towards the $330M needed to leverage well over $1B from state money.


Students, Parents Lead in School Construction Justice Action

For over two years, AIM leaders across the county have worked to secure funding to renovate two long-neglected elementary schools: Burnt Mills and South Lake Elementary Schools. This year, Superintendent Smith made these two schools (the two highest poverty schools on the school construction list) his top priorities. However, we knew that wasn’t enough—we needed to show members of the Board of Education in a real way that citizens of Montgomery County support the Superintendent’s priorities.

new jersey

New Jersey Together Presses for Leadership on Education Funding


Over 60 New Jersey Together's leaders pressed the Jersey City Board of Education to lead when it comes to education funding.  In the last ten years, Jersey City Public Schools have gone from almost fully funded to $125 million underfunded each year. The impact of this underfunding has been incredibly concrete -- our leaders have heard repeated stories of lost reading programs, lost counselors, lost crisis intervention teachers & assistant principals, and more than 150 teachers lost!

NJT's Education Team crunched the numbers and is pressing for $50 million more to be invested in & in support of classrooms next year. Read about the proposal & the reasoning for these numbers here.


East Brooklyn Congregations Working to Tackle the Criminal Justice System


More than 100 East Brooklyn Congregations leaders packed the basement of Mt. Lebanon church to discuss the problems with the criminal justice system, especially for formerly incarcerated individuals. We heard testimonials about the difficulty finding affordable housing and living-wage work; and lack of access to mental health care services; legal representation; and how individuals leave prison with no state identification making the aforementioned problems especially difficult.  Outreach continues, as the leaders of EBC work to find more representation from individuals who have served time in jail or prison.  

new York

Spring Creek Nehamiah Homeowners to Shoprite Supermarket: Stop Dumping in our Neighborhood

Spring Creek Nehemiah families saved money for many years to be able to buy their beautiful new homes. The formerly abandoned area is on track to produce at least 5,000 new units of housing, including more than 2,000 Nehemiah homes and apartments. East Brooklyn Congregations are proud to have led that transformation. Nehemiah residents grew angry that Shoprite and other businesses within the Gateway Mall have done nothing to stop the dumping of shopping carts on their sidewalks and lawns.


Metro IAF Leadership Training in Connecticut


Over 120 leaders from across Metro IAF- Northeast participated in an intensive 3-day leadership training and retreat. Leaders from GBIO, CONECT, NJ Together, LI-CAN, SBC, MT, Queens Power  & EBC had candid conversations about what it means to build and wield power; how to identify and train teams of leaders; and how to run an effective action.

During the debrief, we committed to bring new leaders to another 3-day training in Spring 2020, which is currently being planned.


The stink, the mice, the yelling. My time in solitary was the 'most savage moment of my life,' Rutgers grad recalls.

Stephon Whitley, who served time at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton and is now a Metro IAF organizer, says solitary confinement had a lasting impact on him.

The 8th amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment.  However, here in America we don't have to look far to find examples of such. Unfortunately, some forms are hidden, such as what happens behind prison walls. As organizers we aim to gain power to make changes against injustices. In my op-ed I shared my experience in solitary confinement, which helped towards forcing changes in the use and conditions of solitary confinement in New Jersey. This is just an example of power that can be gained from storytelling. 

Read Full Opinion Here

VOICE's Organization and Action has resulted in Funding for Public Defenders' Office

In an update to the most recent Metro newsletter article “VOICE Packs the House for Criminal
Justice Reform & Schools”
Gov Northam has included $2.7 Million in funding for Prince William Public
Defenders’ Office.

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

Metro IAF affiliate organizations work side-by-side with leaders in America's most disinvested communities to address their most pressing issues.

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?
Organizer Positions are available in these Metro IAF organizing locations:
Boston | Chicago Metro Area  | Connecticut | Maryland | New York City | Northern Virginia | Washington, DC

Metro IAF is also searching for bilingual organizers in the DC metro area.
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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