Tag Archives: Rev. Martha Seaman

VIP Leads Capitol Rally for Public Education Investment

1605 - VIP - AZEd - #NowItStarts Rally at Capitol - Croppped[Excerpt]

“Even before the results of the Prop. 123 special election were known, teachers, students, parents and community members came together at the #NowItStarts rally at the state capitol on Thursday afternoon to focus on the serious funding issues Arizona schools face Arizonans are ready to discuss concrete steps for further investments in public schools, said The Rev. Martha Seaman with Valley Interfaith Project.

“The relentless pattern of disinvestment has to stop,” Seaman said at the rally.

“The future of our families and our shared prosperity requires strong schools.,” Seaman said. “We can’t have a viable economy without a high level of education. It’s the best investment we can make. We can’t tax break ourselves into prosperity.””

In photo, Rev. Martha Seaman with VIP speaks on the Capitol lawn.  Behind her are Jessica Johnson (VIP) and Christine Marsh (Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2016 Teacher of the Year) along with VIP organizer Joe Rubio.

[Photo Credit: Lisa Irish / AZEdNews]

Community Comes Together to Support Education at #NowItStarts Rally, AZ Ed News [pdf]

Despite Reservations, Prop 123 Needed

happy kids with hands up

[Excerpt below from Oped by Rev. Martha Seaman and Rabbi John Linder of VIP]

“As the Prop 123 election draws to a close and sentiment around it is more polarized, we need to underscore the importance of its passage. While admittedly imperfect, it does provide a way to get beyond the long-standing school inflation lawsuit.

We wish the agreement provided more than 72% of what the schools are owed. We’d also prefer that the dollars came directly from the General Fund rather than the State Land Trust and that it would omit seemingly arbitrary spending ceilings. But Arizona has dug such a deep hole for education funding for over three decades that our schools need an immediate infusion of funds, particularly to pay teachers long overdue raises….

The proposition can be a constructive first step—if it is connected to a plan…”

Despite Reservations, Prop 123 NeededArizona Capitol Times [pdf]

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