WASHINGTON - March 23 - On Monday, March 29, at two separate briefings on Capitol Hill, community leaders from across the country will give testimony to Congress about the weapons destroying their communities and ask Congressional members to invest in communities in order to make our homeland secure.
The unveiling of the NPA People's Platform will take place at two Congressional briefings at 1:30 pm. The Senate briefing is in the Hart Building, Room 902 and the House briefing is in the Rayburn Building, Room 2362A. The briefings are part of the 33rd Annual National People's Action (NPA) conference (agenda attached).
At the briefings, community leaders will give testimony on the issues most important to them and their families. They will also detail innovative solutions they are implementing at the local level.
NPA is calling on members of Congress for their support of:
-- Quality education and training that leads to permanent jobs with livable wages;
-- Access to affordable housing and low cost, quality credit;
-- Fair treatment and opportunities for youth and immigrants; and
-- Protection of rural assets, safe neighborhoods and a clean environment.
"Imagine an America where all our kids learn in school, play in safe neighborhoods and grow up to live out their dreams. An America where neighbors trust each other and feel safe in their homes -- their largest investment. An America where jobs pay well and workers reap the benefits of their hard work. The true American Dream is an America where we can count on clean air, water and food that is plentiful and safe to eat. This America is close at hand if we destroy these weapons of mass destruction," said Inez Killingworth, NPA co-chair and chair of NPA's House Briefing. NPA is a 33-year-old multi-racial/ethnic, inter-generational non-partisan coalition of hundreds of local community organizations that volunteer their time to make communities throughout the U.S. safer, healthier and more stable environments.
NPA was founded by Gale Cincotta in 1972. With her leadership, NPA spearheaded efforts to pass the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). CRA is credited with investing over $1 trillion dollars in low/moderate income neighborhoods and families.
33rd Annual Neighborhoods Conference
Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street NW, Washington Dc
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2004
Workshops: 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
EDUCATION: Parents and community leaders will discuss the ramifications of No Child Left Behind on their communities, especially in the areas of special education and school construction.
PREDATORY LENDING: Predatory mortgage lenders are allowed to operate in our neighborhoods and threaten to dismantle the safest place for millions of Americans - their homes. Community organizations will join forces with the investor community to construct a strong loan shark bill to take to Capitol Hill. Confirmed guests include the Bond Market Association, Standard & Poors, the Federal Trade Commission and Fitch Rating Agencies.
JOBS: Low pay and no benefits is a reality for over 27 million works. Community organizations will meet with Branka Minic, Manpower's Director of Workforce Development to discuss opportunities for low wage workers in this difficult economy.
Workshops: 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY: Community organizations will come together to discuss 911 Emergency Services and its impact on immigrant communities, the problems with local police serving as immigration officials and the challenges faced by ex-offenders re-entering the community.
URBAN AND RURAL UNITE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Family farmers and urban leaders will share lessons learned on local issues and act on what is still at risk at the local and national levels -- including clean air and water, the quality of life and the safety of our food. Charles Lee, Associate Director, Office of Environmental Justice at the U.S. EPA is confirmed.
COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT: Over 30 years ago, NPA led the coalition that passed the Community Reinvestment Act and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. At this workshop, community organizations will focus on making bank mergers work for our neighborhoods. We will also begin to unlock the secret black box of credit scores and discuss how this number can cause financial death.
Workshops: 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
YOUTH: NPA youth leaders will present the youth platform of recommendations for turning the tide for youth in this country and creating a more positive future for youth. Youth have identified school discipline issues include zero tolerance and suspension policies, youth job opportunities, and access to higher education.
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS: Community leaders will discuss their efforts to increase opportunities for immigrant populations and their support of the DREAM Act. This act would enable immigrant students to attend college and fulfill their dreams of becoming doctors, attorneys and teachers. A representative from the Catholic Conference of Bishops is confirmed.
HOUSING: NPA has worked with every administration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make it accountable to neighborhoods. Community leaders will continue these efforts by pushing for (1) renewal and expansion of the HUD Home Repair Initiative pilot, (2) improvements to how Community Development Block Grants are spend, (3) preservation of affordable rental housing and (4) the disastrous proposed cuts to Section 8.
Plenary: 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Over 1,000 NPA members from community organizations across the country will gather to celebrate recent national victories on neighborhood issues.
-- Unveiling of the NPA People's Platform - "Vote Neighborhoods First!"
-- Announcement of meeting with Acting HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson
-- Recognition of Pork Checkoff victory for family farmers
MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2004
NPA People's Platform Congressional Briefings: 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
902 Senate Hart Building Room & 2362A Rayburn House Office Building
Join National People's Action to hear testimony from neighborhood leaders from across the country on the issues affecting their communities and the innovative solutions they are implementing at the local level. For national decision makers, there are lessons to be learned from the hard work of community organizations making their neighborhoods better places to live.