Tag Archives: Community Organizing in Arizona

VIP Kicks Off Local Organizing Drive in Key Legislative Districts

1506 - VIP - Legislative Planning Assembly - CroppedOver 100 Valley Interfaith Project leaders from 38 institutions, joined by sister organizations from Yuma and Prescott, gathered in Phoenix June 13 to launch strategies for summer and fall organizing.

The assembly reflected upon the importance of organizing within local institutions and reviewed the new Arizona State Budget and 2015 legislative process.  This entailed hearing directly from the leaders involved in VIP’s weekly legislative presence at the Capitol this past spring.  These leaders shared stories from the just-finished legislative session, particularly noting what they experienced during the budget negotiations which were passed with a minimum of citizen input or public deliberation.

Dividing themselves geographically by legislative districts, leaders then studied the shifting demographics, voting patterns, and electoral challenges in their respective legislative districts; the study served as a foundation to the tailoring of non-partisan organizing strategies geared toward fall 2016.  These cluster strategy teams committed to a summer/fall strategy for local organizing efforts around school district override and bond measures, prison reform, workforce development, and quality affordable healthcare access.

Congratulations to Rabbi John Linder, Senior Rabbi at Temple Solel!

Rabbi John LinderRabbi Linder was honored last week by the Anti-Defamation League’s ‘Al’ Brooks Community Leadership Award. This is fitting recognition of Rabbi’s extensive work in the interfaith community over the past eight years.

Honoring Rabbi John Linder, Temple Solel, Anti-Defamation League

VIP Leadership Focuses on Arizona Economics

1407 - Flyer SnapshotVIP Training on Arizona EconomicsVIP’s Leaders Summer Seminars zeroed in  on the state of Arizona and whether the Arizona’s economy is a model of free enterprise or crony capitalism.  The sessions covered budgets, lobbyists, rent seeking and dark money, and were held in preparation for VIP’s Fall organizing public engagement strategy.

View flyer here.

VIP Leaders Support Maricopa Community Colleges

VIP leader Monica Dorcey testified at a Maricopa Community College District board meeting to support increasing local investment in the community colleges — part of a larger economic development strategy for the region. ”These community colleges are the best driver of economic development that we have,” said Dorcey, who is also a member of the board of Arizona Career Pathways, a non-profit job-training program that has a partnership with the community colleges.

“If you don’t have a skilled workforce you’re not going to have an economic recovery for everybody.”

Maricopa College District Raises Property Taxes, The Republic

VIP & AIN Leaders Celebrate Passage of HB2454, Increasing Penalties Against Sex-Trafficking of Minors

1404 - VIP - Governor BrewerAfter learning about the successes of sister organization Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) in better protecting young people from sex-trafficking, VIP and Arizona Interfaith Network leaders began hearing similar stories about minors targeted for human trafficking and how Arizona had become a major hub for the human trafficking industry. This became even more important with Phoenix hosting the upcoming 2015 Super Bowl, an event notorious for attracting the sex trade.

VIP organized a series of Civic Academies at local congregations where guest legislators spoke publicly for the first time to large audiences who were incredulous to learn that needed legislation to assist law enforcement had been bottled up repeatedly in the house judiciary committee. These sessions galvanized a renewed effort throughout Metro Phoenix to protect vulnerable children and victims of human trafficking.

VIP became an early supporter for legislation increasing minimum penalties for sex trafficking of minors and worked with a number of key allies in law enforcement, business, and the non-profit sector to push for HB 2454, which would more than double the penalty for a child-prostitution conviction from 10 years to 24 years in prison, and make pimping a racketeering offense. Governor Jan Brewer signed the legislation last year.

In photo, Rabbi John Linder, Rev. Jayne Baker, Rev. Martha Seaman, Carolyn Jean Jones, Canon Ray Dugan and VIP Vice-President Dave Ryan stand with Governor Jan Brewer and Cindy McCain at the bill signing.

State’s Anti-Trafficking Law Called a Model, Jewish News