Our amazing and dedicated Affordable Housing team continues to act for change in our communitiy, focusing on the Grier Heights neighborhood in May. They met with a developer and discussed the need for affordable housing for those currently making 30% or less of the area median income or AMI. The team meets with another developer on the 5th of June to discuss steps toward building more affordable units in Grier Heights. The Grier Heights community welcomed a group of Greenspon Center advocates to their community center on May 6th. On May 28th, the Grier Heights Executive Board met with our team and discussed the Greenspon Center’s vision involving the residents of Grier Heights. Overall, the month of May was the start of a solid collaboration that we hope will last long into the years to come.
The Greenspon Center Affordable Housing team has also begun meeting with County Commissioners one by one to present ideas, strategies and concerns regarding the 22,000 unit shortage for those earning under 30% AMI. Look for updates on these meetings soon!
The Criminal Justice Team worked tirelessly in May to grow their team and lay a strong foundation on which to build. Now we are ready to move ahead. In the coming months we will be planning the details of our next big event: “Call to Action: Criminal Justice Fall Series.” If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Willie Keaton at @queens.edu.
The Immigrant Justice team submitted a Freedom of Information Act on May 1st seeking data relevant to ICE activities in NC from 2018 to date. The request highlighted the urgency to inform the public, with full transparency, about the nature of Federal Govt. activity under ICE within our state using public resources. We want specifics regarding public safety or national security threats in our state posed by refugees or immigrants. These two reasons are used by ICE to justify their actions. The request was approved and we expect to receive an answer by June 17th, or soon thereafter.
The Immigrant Justice team will meet with key staff members of Rep. Alma Adams to discuss the activities of ICE in our state. We will also request her referral to Rep. James Clyburn of S.C, to discuss oversight related to unaccompanied minors and tender aged children separated from parents. Many children are currently in the care of Lutheran Services Carolinas, which receives public funding. We will ask Rep. Clyburn for transparency regarding adequate care of these minors.
Moving forward, the Greenspon Immigrant Justice team will monitor the recent recommendations of the Immigration Committee’s (created in March by Mayor Vi Lyles) approval process and accountability. The recommendations are designed to support our immigrant communities.
Health Care Justice
Rabbi Judy Schindler added her voice to the many others who attended the “Health Care Can’t Wait” vigil held in Charlotte on June 5th. The focus of the vigil was to to remember those who have suffered or died because they couldn’t get the health care they need. The primary goal of our Health Care Justice team this year is to educate about and advocate for Medicare For All. This vigil highlighted the importance of this program and the danger of letting this moment of change pass by.