Documents & Articles which concern Catholic and Labor Issues
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Some Catholic and Labor Links
The National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice
Ms. Kim Bobo
April 16, 1999
In addition to developing new groups, there are many groups that need strengthening – particularly with fundraising and staffing. We will conduct a workshop with groups in California, and we're working to develop additional sources of funds. In addition, we need to develop more options for training and networking for key leaders and staff.
Labor Day: We are working with the AFL-CIO to update the general Labor Day Outreach materials. We are much better prepared to handle the media interest right around Labor Day.
In addition, we've received a special grant from the ACTA foundation
to develop and distribute Catholic adult catechetical materials for Labor
Day. We have to turn these materials around very quickly,
so we would appreciate Board members' help in writing the resources.
National Religion-Labor Conference: The logistical
details are coming together for the National Religion-Labor Conference
on October 8-10, 1999 in Los Angeles, immediately preceding the AFL-CIO
convention. We still
Poultry: There's good solid progress in several
regions, but still no real national campaign. We've made good
progress on our worker rights manuals, and should have two finished soon.
We are working to figure out what are the national hooks that can help
unify constituents and allies -- perhaps the Congressional angles can help
unify a campaign. And, we are beginning to identify contacts and approaches
Religious Employers Project: We are delighted
to have one "positive" model to lift up in this work, as described in the
Board materials. There is much conversation and work (and some tension)
within faith groups on these issues. Although much of
this would have been happening without us, we are helping the conversations
in many places. We are looking for ways to develop more internal advocacy
Sweatshops: There continues to be widespread interest among congregations in sweatshops. Our "Challenging Sweatshops" materials should have been out sooner, but are coming. I'm not sure what the best role for us ultimately is. Perhaps it's just highlighting and supporting existing campaigns (Nike, Van Huesen, etc). Perhaps it is really pushing more school codes, like New York City is doing. Or perhaps, we should be pushing for consistent Department of Labor policies or complaint forms.
Nursing homes: We've begun work to develop intensive work around nursing homes. We don't envision a national campaign, but we are exploring ways to strengthen religious involvement in the dozens of local efforts underway.
Media: Toure, our new media coordinator, has a journalism
background. He is going to greatly expand our skills in working with the
media. We continue to have good media coverage on most things we do, although
we are looking to place more stories in denominational publications that
Future religious leaders: We continue to work a fair
amount with future religious leaders through seminaries and religious programs
such as MCC, JVC, and LVC. We are particularly excited about
getting the seminary track of the conference developed and promoted.
We have also had a
Faith outreach: There continues to be great interest
among faith groups in worker justice issues. Upcoming
denominational events in which staff and board members are leading workshops
are giving presentations include: Jubilee Justice (RC in July),
Economic Justice Conference (UCC
Union outreach: We have continued our
efforts to work closely with those unions that are doing the most organizing
work. We continue to have strong ties with UFCW and RWDSU,
because of poultry, and with SEIU because of our work with nursing home
and hospital workers. I met the
Fundraising: We're doing alright with our foundation fundraising, but we need to work on our religious support if we are to meet our budget this year. In addition, we need to be developing our organizational ability to attract and nurture individual donors. The fundraising committee will be looking at our plans for large and small donor development. We want to involve the board more, e specially in the development of large donors.
We've begun some discussions with the Campaign for Human Development and the AFL-CIO about the possibility of developing a special initiative fund for starting and developing new interfaith committees. We're not quite sure where this will go, but it seems an important direction for supporting the emergence of groups.
We got a special grant from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program
at Shelter Rock to hire Kim Klein to provide fundraising consulting and
training for three days. We've arranged for her to spend
time with me, for her to lead a workshop at the conference, and for her
to work with
A key question for our fundraising and organizational development is
whether or not we should move from a mailing list, with some donors, to
a more formal membership. There are pros and cons to this.
I've asked both the education and the fundraising committee to discuss
this some. I'm not ready to make a firm decision yet, without some experimentation
Legal Matters: As you may recall, we got our
501(c)(3) within six weeks of submitting the application. We
then applied for our state sales tax exemption and were denied.
We appealed it, and were denied again. So, we asked for a formal
hearing with a judge. We had the hearing in December.
The judge issued a ruling saying we were eligible
Our auditor is working on our audit. It should be finished within the next month or so.
Staffing: We've had several staff turnovers since
last Board meeting. Our new office manager and receptionist is Bridget
Harris, with whom you have probably talked. Our new public
relations coordinator is Toure Mohammed. Our new poultry advocate
in North Carolina is Deborah Young.
Office & equipment: Our office continues
to be a wonderful place to work – sunny, spacious, clean and pleasant.
We' ve been learning to use the new risograph to do some printing jobs.
It prints at 120 pages per minute for about .5 cents per page.
We recently purchased a used
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