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In the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida, the Miami Worker’s Center, an organizing and advocacy group for low-wage workers, went to court and won an injunction to block the demolition of 1,000 low-income housing units. During the next few years, the Center reached an agreement with the local housing authority to increase the number of new units to 450 and to give priority for the new housing to Liberty City residents, who otherwise would have been displaced. They also secured immediate spots in other affordable housing for those Liberty City residents who did not qualify for the new housing units.
The T Riders Union (TRU) Project of Alternatives for Community Environment in Roxbury, Mass., seeks to change public spending priorities for transportation in order to ensure equity, affordability and quality of service, especially for low-income, transit-dependent riders. In the coming year, TRU will work to change transit policies in order to improve driver courtesy, service standards, and conditions for drivers. It will also advocate for the integration of bus and subway fare policies.
With help from CCHD, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI), expanded its efforts into rural Iowa, where it has taken a leading role in advocating for the preservation of family farms. By insisting on enforcement of existing water and air pollution laws, and pressing for local control of zoning and placement of new animal processing factories, Iowa CCI tries to help family farmers remain competitive with larger, corporate-owned farms.
Though the children in many low-income communities often attend failing school systems, the children of East San Jose’s Alum Rock Elementary Union School District have a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty through three new small autonomous public schools, each with an enrollment of about 250 students. The schools offer smaller class sizes, extended instruction days, committed parental involvement and more freedom in curriculum design, budgeting, and staffing. The new small autonomous schools (NSASs) are the result of years of hard work by hundreds of leaders from People Acting in Community Together (PACT), a faith-based organization that represents 35,000 individuals from 17 congregations in Santa Clara County, Calif., who are creating positive change.
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