KCPS Board Candidate Forum

MORE2 Joins with CCO to sponsor a forum for candidates running for Kansas City Public School Board positions.

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A Place at the Table

Lora McDonald (MORE2) and Representative Bob Nance at Legislative Day

On February 28, 2012, in Jefferson City, MO. Representative Bob Nance (R-Excelsior Springs) addressed 75 faith leaders from MORE2 and MCU, who joined together as “Gamaliel of the Heartland” on legislative day.

In this joint action, leaders celebrated Nance’s sponsorship of HB1238, which would lift the “banned for life” food stamp eligibility status for Missourians with a drug related felony. Prior to introducing Nance, Father Frank Kriskie of Redemptorist Catholic Church passed out bread to the faith leaders, denying some and telling them, “You can’t eat. You committed a drug related felony. You’re banned for life.” Then, he turned to the audience and proclaimed, “This is a demonstration of our current situation. There’s always enough bread. And there is always a place at the table for our brothers and sisters in need. If one is hungry, we all go hungry. We are united.”

Leaders continue to pursue the passage of HB1238, which was heard in the Children and Families Committee on February 29th. Angela Ferguson (a member of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church) testified in support of the bill on behalf of Gamaliel of the Heartland, along with 15 other Missourians who support HB1238.

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Getting our voice heard at the EPA…

Mary Lim-Lampe listens to EPA building security as he suggests that ordinary citizens cannot congregate on federal property…she disagreed.

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Mary’s Farewell letter to MORE2

January 30, 2012

To the MORE2 Board:

As you know, I will be leaving my position as Executive Director of MORE² on February 15, 2012 to take a position as Lead Organizer of Genesis, the Gamaliel affiliate in Oakland, California.

I took this position in the midst of the work of the MORE² Jericho Table—which started everything for MORE².  I did not dream that breaking down the walls of Jericho would lead me to understanding that a prophetic voice could change the way the construction industry thought about including minorities and women into real careers.

I took this position in the midst of the construction of the I-CON Bridge, now known as the Christopher S. Bond Bridge.  Who knew that this would result in changes in our landscape of how minorities and women are included in transportation jobs—not just in the metro area, but all over the country.  I leave this position knowing that our work is not over, as we set our sights on the great state of Kansas and dream with the Kansas Department of Transportation on how to make things better.

I took this position in the midst of the formation of the MORE² Education Task Force.  Who knew that our work would result in the passing of Persistence to Graduation—a law that focused on innovative programs to prevent kids from dropping out of school.  We learned that dropping out of school is a process that begins early for many children.  I leave this position knowing that our work in education is meant to be the voice for order in the midst of chaos and in an atmosphere where more money is invested into prisoners than to our children’s education.

I took this position not knowing one single thing about transit as a policy initiative.  I am grateful for the MORE² Access to Opportunity and Health teams for giving me the opportunity to learn about this issue and fuel my anger on how very little thought is given in our legislatures about transit dependent people.  We often have been in the position of being the sole voice for equity when talking about transit with public officials.

I took this position having a lot of fear about money.  I learned from all of you how raising money for the budget of MORE² through our banquet, through grassroots fundraising and through grants is THE way of showing the world that our work matters.  I leave this position knowing that we have a solid foundation of raising money that is hinged with the commitment of all of the leadership.

When I took the position with MORE² in June of 2007, I could not imagine the extreme opportunities that this job has afforded me.   I remember being impressed by the commitment of the clergy and the leadership to racial and economic justice.  I walked into this job being clueless about what was before me.  I leave this job being transformed forever.  Thank you for the opportunity to be the Organizer for MORE².

Sincerely,

Mary Lim-Lampe, JD

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Who Gets a Place at the Table?

MORE² joined 15 other cities on October 4th at Berkley Riverside Park in Missouri and 87th & I35 in Kansas to call for more jobs and to present a study by the Transportation Equity Network.  The study called The Road to Good Jobs: Making Training Workpresents the first-ever compilation of data from all 50 states on their use of on-the-job-training and apprenticeship programs to boost job access for minorities and women in the federal highway construction field from 2008-10.

This article in The Kansas City Star says the MORE2 plan is a national model:

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/10/04/3186950/missouri-workforce-plan-considered.html#storylink=misearch


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Annual Public Meeting

7:00 pm Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pleasant Green Baptist (340 David L Gray Ln, KCKS)

Come take your  “Place at the Table.”

· MORE2 Leadership will talk to our public officials about jobs, food access, transit, and other issues of our metro area.

· Our work has culminated into our realization that we all should get a “Place at the Table.”

· Listen to stories of people affected by our policies and add your voice to the many.

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“Budget as a Moral Document”

On August 4, 2011, members of the MORE2 Clergy Caucus met with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II to discuss the “Budget as a Moral Document”.  This event was pulled together by allies, Faithful America, who worked with local clergy on Health Care Insurance Reform.  Rev. Bob Hill, MORE2 Clergy Caucus Co-Chair, committed Rep. Cleaver to find ways to push business leaders to join the dialogue in finding compromise.

Some of our principles that we believe:

The Federal, State and Local governmental budgets should reflect our values.

We must find ways to push our elected officials to find compromise.

Business leaders in our community have already expressed the desire to work with elected officials to find the “third way”.  That this debate must address building revenue through equitable distribution and NOT just about budget cuts.

Rep. Cleaver stated, “I would love to work with MORE2 on this.”

Congratulations MORE2 Clergy Caucus for taking the initiative on continuing this push for our legislators to see that our budget impacts many people that don’t get invited to the table.

Click here for more coverage in the Washington Post:  http://wapo.st/qPWofB

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MORE2 Education Task Force: Building Alliances for our Kids

As we progress rapidly towards the start of a new school year (August 15th for KCMSD), the MORE2 Education Task Force has been working on building the lines of communications between community groups like us, the teachers and the parents of the district.

To that end, “Semester Two” of the KCMSD Education & Community Leadership School — which is organized and ran by the community group, KCU4EA — is open for registration. There are only 80 seats available for Semester Two so please reserve your spot quickly.

Semester Two will focus on shared values, building strategic relationships, and using power.  Training will be provided by MORE2 Executive Director, Mary Lim-Lampe and Jerry Jones, Community Organizer from Communities Creating Opportunities.

Semester Two will be held on July 30th (8:30-2:00) at MORE2 Member, Linwood United Church, 3151 Olive St., Kansas City, MO, 64109.  Thank you to Rev. Tamara Miller and her staff for hosting this powerful event!

Register here:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dEtIdGZDUy0zdktMNk9zSFlSX2JPOXc6MQ#gid=0

Hope to see you there!

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Gamaliel director ready to be arrested at White House

On July 26, 2011,  Gamaliel Executive Director Ana Garcia-Ashley will engage in civil disobedience at the White House to demand executive action to end harsh and cruel immigration policies.

Below is a statement by Garcia-Ashley.

I am ready to be arrested today at the gates of the White House because my faith demands it. I am a fourth-generation Catholic whose family fled to the United States to escape violence in the Dominican Republic. I believe in the sanctity of family. I believe in a God who is always on the side of justice, never of cruelty. I see how our broken immigration system is destroying countless lives and families. My faith will not let me stay silent.

Gamaliel clergy, faith, and community leaders have been fighting for years for comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our faith values. The Obama administration can begin that reform today through executive action. I am joining hundreds at the White House gates and tens of thousands more across the United States to demand an immediate moratorium on the deportation of DREAMers—young people who were brought to the United States without documentation through no fault of their own—an end to the failed ICE-access programs 287(g) and S-COMM, and a repudiation of the mandatory E-Verify bills currently moving through Congress.

Twenty-five years ago, Gamaliel trained and mentored a young community organizer named Barack Obama. Today, President Obama needs to listen to the community voices he helped lift up decades ago. Executive action is the first step toward solving the national immigration crisis that is tearing apart families and lives.

“I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,” Jesus said in the parable of the Last Judgment. This is the spirit that all Americans of faith and conscience—beginning with our president—should take toward the millions of hardworking immigrants in our midst.

CONTACT: Stephen Boykewich, 718-791-9162,  stephen@gamaliel.org
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MORE2 and Mayor Reardon Meet with White House Staff about the EPA Office Location

On June 20, 2011, MORE² Clergy Rev. Steve Jones (Prairie Baptist Church, Prairie Village, KS), Rev. Jarvis Collier (Pleasant Green Baptist, Kansas City, KS) and Mayor Joe Reardon (Kansas City, KS) met at the White House with Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to the President, Domestic Policy Council (Office of Urban Affairs), and Lauren Dunn, Policy Assistant, Domestic Policy Council.

 

Actions from this meeting:

  • Community Outreach in the GSA process: Derek Douglas and Lauren Dunn were asked about the GSA process in making the decision to move the EPA building. Ms. Dunn committed to reviewing statute to determine if there should have been community outreach in the process. Derek indicated that he would explore whether the process could be reopened. (This is all dependent upon the review of statute and the alternate proposal that the city submitted.)

· Fairness in the GSA process: A need to reopen the case, which is still in process of being considered by the GSA as “under protest” by the building owners of the EPA building in Kansas City, KS. If their statute review reveals a discrepancy in fairness, Mr. Douglas and Ms. Dunn agreed to ask the GSA to reopen the case so that all the costs (including the “hidden costs”) can be revealed and considered.

From the White House, this delegation made their way to Congressman Kevin Yoder’s office (R-KS).

Conclusion from this meeting:

· Review of the GSA process: An acknowledgment by Jordan Austin, Legislative Assistant to Mr. Yoder, that he has been frustrated by the lack of responsiveness by the GSA in answering the simple questions about the process of the move. Mr. Austin is going to follow up with GSA using the chart of financials that Mayor Reardon provided—this chart provides more information about real costs involved with the move.

Approximately sixty MORE² leaders called the GSA Administrator, Martha Johnson, to express their opinions, opposing the relocation. On two occasions, citizens were “accidentally” hung up on.

MORE² thanks the Transportation Equity Network staff (Cynthia Jarrold) for pulling this effort together.

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