PICO Network News - March 5, 2008

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun Mar 9 15:30:30 CDT 2008


From: "PICO National Network" <news at piconetwork.org>


Thursday, March 6, 2008

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Youth leaders press Sacramento to address California dropout
crisis
On February 25, 250 youth and adult leaders from 17 PICO
organizations across California met with top state officials to
address the state's dropout crisis, beginning with fully funding
a new student data systme to track the problem. In an historic
step for PICO California, 130 youth leaders were the driving
force behind the meetings, which also focused on small schools
and youth violence prevention. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/pico-leaders-address-california-s-dropout-crisis.html

Youth lead Get Out the Vote efforts
Over the weekends of January 25-26 and February 2-3, 170 youth
leaders from PICO affiliates in Sacramento and San Bernardino
went knocking on the doors of infrequent voters urging them to
vote in the California presidential primary. Youth leaders from
Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT) and Inland
Congregations United for Change (ICUC) in San Bernardino knocked
on the doors of more than 3,000 California voters. The majority
of youth who participated were under the voting age of 18. Read
more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/youth-leaders-in-san-bernardino-sacramento-lead-get-out-the-vote-efforts.html

HEALTHY FAMILIES

Colorado leaders aim to cover all kids by 2010
Following two days of rallies and public events kicking off a
campaign to cover all children in Colorado by 2010, Governor
Bill Ritter announced his support for $25 million in funding
this year to expand eligibility and reduce enrollment barriers
for uninsured children. Metro Organizations for People (MOP) and
key child health advocacy groups are planning a broad state-wide
campaign to press Colorado, which has one of the highest rates
of uninsured children in the nation, to ultimately cover all
children. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/colorado-leaders-aim-to-cover-all-kids-by-2010.html

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

Burlington holds developer accountable for affordable housing
Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA) brought together nearly 300
people to voice their concerns to Mayor Bob Kiss and other city
officials about the absence of affordable housing at the
Westlake development overlooking Lake Champlain in Burlington.
Those who attended the February 10 meeting at the Cathedral
Church of St. Paul had a clear view through the church's windows
of the gaping hole next to the parking lot where the developer
originally agreed to build affordable housing. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/vermont-leaders-call-on-burlington-officials-to-hold-developer-accountable.html

PICO organizations in FL, MA, CA, and MO help homeowners deal
with foreclosures
In January, Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) in Kansas
City met with Senator Claire McCaskill to discuss her response
to the foreclosure crisis. PICO affiliates in Florida,
Massachusetts, California, and Missouri have been taking steps
to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes as a result
of subprime predatory lending. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/pico-in-fl-ma-ca-and-mo-help-homeowners-deal-with-foreclosure-crisis.html

ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION

Unitarian church pushes for "green collar" jobs in San Jose
On February 25, 300 community members and leaders from People
Acting in Community Together (PACT) gathered at the First
Unitarian Church of San Jose to challenge Mayor Chuck Reed to
include low and moderate income residents in the City's
ambitious Green Vision. Until this time, the Mayor had been
focused exclusively on engaging corporations, businesses and
more affluent community members in his environmental
initiatives. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/unitarian-church-pushes-for-green-collar-jobs-in-san-jose.html

IMMIGRATION

Over 100 attend citizenship drive in Redwood City
As part of the new PICO Bay Area Citizenship and Civic
Engagement campaign, Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) held a
"Citizenship Day" on February 23. More than 100 people seeking
assistance with citizenship applications and other
immigration-related matters attended the free workshop held at
El Buen Pastor Church in Redwood City. In preparation for the
workshop, PIA trained 60 people from their congregations and
local nonprofits to help community members understand and
negotiate the very detailed and challenging N-400 citizenship
application. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/over-100-attend-citizenship-drive-in-redwood-city.html

SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS

Taking a comprehensive approach to reducing youth violence
In June 2007, 17 year-old Biniam Yifru was killed while
attending a high school graduation party in Union City, CA.
Yifru's death sent a shock wave through the community,
activating members of Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR)
to take action. Over the past eight months, leaders from COR
have teamed up with youth advocate organizations to work with
Union City city and school district officials to implement new
strategies to reduce the city's level of youth violence. Read
more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/taking-a-comprehensive-approach-to-reducing-youth-violence.html

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Organizations unite to form Brooklyn Congregations United
On Sunday, March 2, PICO affiliate Brooklyn Congregations United
(BCU) celebrated its First Annual General Assembly. Over 400
community members from across Brooklyn packed Holy Cross Roman
Catholic Church for an afternoon of community building,
fellowship and live entertainment. The event marked the joining
together of two PICO organizations, Community Action Project and
Southwest Brooklyn Congregations, and honored their past
successes. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/news/organizations-unite-to-form-brooklyn-congregations-united.html

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Leader from Brooklyn synagogue reflects on experience at PICO
National Training
For Steven Flax from Brooklyn Congregations United (BCU) in New
York City, his recent trip to Louisiana to attend PICO National
Training offered him a chance to not only learn more about the
art of PICO organizing, but to experience in a new way the power
of building relationships across faith traditions. Read more at
http://www.piconetwork.org/linkeddocuments/080227-steve-flax-cap-sbc.pdf

JOBS

PICO federations in NY, LA, CA, MA, and more have job openings
Visit www.piconetwork.org/ab_careers.html to see current jobs
and learn more about working in the PICO network.

DONATE

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