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Vigil for Fasting Workers Friday 4/18 8:30 am

Several UPMC workers have chosen to fast this week to call attention to their fight for better wages and a better working environment at UPMC. PIIN wants to support these workers with our prayer and presence. You are invited to join them anytime during the week.  You will find them outside the US Steel Tower on Grant Street. Look for their tent.

PIIN and Pax Christi will close the fast with them on Friday morning (4/18/14) at 8:30a.m.with a prayer service in front of the building.  We will reflect on the traditions of fasting in our Christian, Jewish and Unitarian traditions as we call on UPMC and all employers to pay a family sustaining wage.

Blessings,

PIIN


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Democratic Candidates for Governor Debate Education April 8

Governor’s Democratic Primary Debate
April 8th Obama High School

Public education is under attack across the nation by corporate interests and private greed. The current administration of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania has made devastating decisions for our public school children. What can be done? What will change? And who will make the right choices for our children and youth of PA?
Pennsylvania needs a Governor who views public education as a public good. A governor who will create opportunities to share thoughts on improving education in all 500 Public School Districts of Pennsylvania, to build solutions for education reform collectively with the people of Pennsylvania, to generate community driven national education reform and turn community solutions into local and national policies. Sustainable alternative solutions must be found and in so doing we must look at all the options with everyone at the table.
We need a governor that understands the problem goes well beyond the lack of equity in resources. A governor who is willing and able to listen and explore options with an open mind and open heart with a vision of achievement for every single student attending a Pennsylvanian Public School!
Hard decisions need to be made. These decisions must be made with a clear understanding of their impact on our communities and most of all on our children. A vision where every child has access to a quality education, with access to resources and to be promise ready upon graduation. The event is at Pittsburgh Obama 6-12 School at 515 N. Highland Ave. Pgh, PA 15206 beginning at 7pm (doors open at 6pm and close at 6:55pm). Print out the attached flyer and distribute to help spread the word! Please sign up for this important event at our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/636700273066951/ .

Our neighborhoods depend on it. Our students and communities depend on it.
Pennsylvania depends on it!

Reverend Grayson Honored

PIIN President Emeritus, Rev. Glenn G. Grayson is being recognized twice this week for his work to reduce gun violence in his community. On March 31st the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh presented him with their Good Government Award.

This Thursday, April 3rd Rev. Grayson will be honored at the White House as a “champion of change” along with eight others. The Obama Administration is highlighting the efforts of local leaders who are working to make their neighborhoods safer by trying to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Please click here to view the entire article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The White House ceremony honors Rev. Grayson’s work at the Center That Cares, which he founded 14 years ago to offer tutoring, mentoring and other life skills to neighborhood children. From a beginning of just four boys, the center now serves more than 125 children year-round! Many of the children have gone on to college and a few have master’s degrees.

Watch the White House award ceremony live on Thursday, April 3rd beginning at10a.m. at: www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Congratulations Rev. Grayson. PIIN is very proud of all you have accomplished!

Blessings,

PIIN


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

BANQUET May 18th

Greetings!
We Want You!
Last week you received PIIN’s announcement that this year’s PIIN Banquet will be held onSunday, May 18, 2014 at the Westin Convention Center, located at 1000 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  The reception begins at 4p.m. followed by a dinner program from 5 to 7p.m.  The banquet is a great opportunity for all faiths to come together to celebrate the contributions of PIIN, to renew friendships and truly enjoy an evening of food and fellowship.  Our key note speaker will be Mary Gonzalez, a co-founder of Gamaliel.
We Need You!
To better assist your organization and/or congregation in promoting the banquet in our advertisement booklet, we have created a “Toolkit.”  From banquet flyers, advertisement and patron sale sheets and menu options – everything is at your fingertips!
This advertisement toolkit contains the following printable documents:
Remember, the advertisement booklet is PIIN’s primary and largest fundraiser!  Let’s make a commitment today to help PIIN reach its goals!
Thank you!
Your involvement in PIIN is truly an investment in our community.  On behalf of the clergy, lay leaders and staff, I thank you for your support.
See you on May 18th!
Sincerely,
Debbie Freeman
2014 PIIN Banquet Chairperson

 


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

Snow or No, We March. 3/3 Action Check List

Dear PIIN Members and Supporters,
You have probably heard that there is a snow storm coming. We want to reassure you that snow or no snow- we march together on March 3!
Every effort is being made to keep participants in the action as warm and comfortable as possible. Instead of Freedom Corner, we are meeting inside St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church at 10:30am.
Downtown there will be warming stations and indoor facilities available to you.
Church vans will be provided for those who wish to march with us who have mobility concerns.
Please dress for the weather!
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED. Please arrive at 9:30am at St. Benedict the Moor Church to help with set, marshalling the march route, and registration.
Action Check List for March 3:
- Will this be announced at your service this weekend?
- Arrange to meet at your congregation and carpool to Freedom Corner together- parking will be extremely limited! Carpooling will also make it into a congregational activity
- Can your congregation provide a van? Consider picking up members of your congregation to take them to the action
- Bring Your Congregation’s Banner!
- Bring noise-makers! Drums, maracas, kazoos, etc. Have fun with it!
- Bring your own creative signs!
- CALL and personally invite members of your congregation, family and friends
- Host a congregational phone-bank and sign making party this weekend if you haven’t already

- We need as MANY PEOPLE as possible out on March 3! Sky is the limit!

- Sign up volunteers to come at 9:30am
Our work isn’t done yet, please join us as we continue to fight for living wage jobs for those who work for Pittsburgh’s largest employer.

Faith Communities March & Caravan to UPMC to Support Workers
Monday, March 3
Meet at 10:30 AM for Program,
 9:30am for volunteers

St. Benedict the Moor Church, 91 Crawford St.
Leave Freedom Corner & March to UPMC: 11:00 AM
Interfaith Lunch at UPMC, 600 Grant St.: Noon
Rally, Activities & Dinner All Day at UPMC
Bring your church van for those who choose not to march

 


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

News Coverage of PIIN action

PIIN’s clergy members who were arrested yesterday at UPMC received wide media coverage. Please check out the links below. At the bottom is a link for last week’s arrests of Rev. Lyde, Rev. Wanless and UPMC worker Christoria Hughes.
Also, here is a short youtube video of the action. It might be worth bringing up on your phones to show members during building visits.

TV Clips

KDKA-PIT (CBS) – Pittsburgh, PA
KDKA-TV News at Five Clip

WTAE-PIT (ABC) – Pittsburgh, PA
Channel 4 Action News @ 5 Clip

WPXI-PIT (NBC) – Pittsburgh, PA
Channel 11 News—First at Five Clip

Radio Clips
KDKA Radio interviewed Rev. Welch and Charlie Dietch at City Paper about today’s arrests. The two were on the radio for about 10 minutes at 2:30 pm and they described the morning civil disobedience and put it in context. Rev. Welch and Charlie were clear, to the point, and accurate. Rev. Welch especially reiterated the faith community’s support for UPMC workers and the need for better wages for their families and for Pittsburgh. Charlie said there was a definite energy this morning, that he could tell it was a more serious action compared to past actions or rallies.

Here is that clip:
10 Clergy Members Arrested During UPMC Protest
CBS Local
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Today clergy members of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network held a protest against UPMC attempting to get fair wages for employees. The protestors said they wanted to meet with the UPMC CEO Jeffrey …

Nine cited for trespassing during UPMC protest in Downtown Pittsburgh

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/02/27/15-to-be-cited-for-trespassing-during-UPMC-protest-in-Downtown-Pittsburgh/stories/201402270258#ixzz2umB5aOEv
90.5 WESA
An officer warned the Rev. Rodney Adam Lyde that he would be arrested again if he took part in the rally at the U.S. Steel Building Thursday. Lyde – who had already been arrested last week – politely thanked him for his concern, but he had every intention of …

Print Clips:
Nine cited for trespassing during UPMC protest in Downtown Pittsburgh

UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps said in an email that UPMC’s starting wage for service workers is $1.52 an hour higher than the average provided to service workers at other companies in the area and that the company offers “superior health benefits.”.

Protesters’ efforts to see UPMC’s Romoff result in citations
Pittsburgh Business Times
“As people of faith, we have a moral imperative – an obligation – to act and call on UPMC, our largest employer, to do the right thing and stop paying its workers poverty wages and to serve as a leader in our region to that other corporations will follow suit,” …

9 cited in during protest over UPMC wages
Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh police cited nine people for trespassing during a protest outside UPMC’s Downtown headquarters Thursday morning. Those cited refused to follow orders to move from the lobby to the sidewalk outside the U.S. Steel Tower, Pittsburgh public safety …
UPMC employee seeks meeting with CEO, escorted from USX …

PGH City Paper (blog)
About ten minutes after UPMC employee Christoria Hughes along with … of the building and cited for trespassing by city police, Hughes says.

Our work isn’t done yet, please join us as we continue to fight for living wage jobs for those who work for Pittsburgh’s largest employer.

Faith Communities March & Caravan to UPMC to Support Workers
Monday, March 3
Meet: 10:30 AM, Program at St. Benedict the Moor Church, 91 Crawford St.
Leave Freedom Corner & March to UPMC: 11:00 AM
Interfaith Lunch at UPMC, 600 Grant St.: Noon
Rally, Activities & Dinner All Day at UPMC
Bring your church van for those who choose not to march

 


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

Courageous People of Faith

Courageous People of Faith was the theme of today’s action and 9 PIIN Clergy and Gamaliel’s Executive Director exhibited their courage when they were arrested at UPMC’s headquarters.

Our clergy were attempting to deliver the Faith Declaration that came out of Tuesday’sCommunity Hearing when we heard the stories of workers and patients and declared. SeeDeclaration.

PIIN Clergy united in their demand to meet with UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff

 

UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff refused to meet with our clergy, who were barred from entering the building. During the standoff, 150 supporters encouraged the clergy by singing “We will not, we will not be moved …”. After refusing to leave, police handcuffed our clergy and removed them from UPMC property.

    

Rabbi Ron Symons (l), Fr. Jack O’Malley (coming down the steps), Rev. Daniel Page and Rev. David Herndon, all in handcuffs, are escorted from UPMC property.

Revs. John and DeNeice Welch, also in handcuffs. are taken off UPMC property.

PIIN thanks the following for courageously standing up for workers:

  • Rev. John Welch
  • Rabbi Ron Symons
  • Rev. Rodney Lyde
  • Rev. David Hearndon
  • Fr. Jack O’Malley
  • Rev. DeNeice Welch
  • Rev. Ron Wanless
  • Rev. Phillip Battle
  • Rev. Daniel Page
  • Anna Garcia-Ashley (Gamaliel Executive Director)

Are you interested in doing your part to support UPMC service workers who are being paid poverty wages? And we’re not asking you to be arrested. Please join us for:

Faith Communities March to UPMC to Support Workers
Monday, March 3
Meet: 10:30 AM, Freedom Corner & March to UPMC: 11:00 AM
Lunch and Dinner Served
Rally & Activities All Day at UPMC, 600 Grant St.
Bring your church van for those who choose not to march

Coverage of today’s action: KDKA and Pittsburgh City Paper.

Love thy Neighbor continues Thursday

We heard the testimony and responded with a Declaration to UPMC during PIIN’s Community Hearing Tuesday night at Baptist Temple Church in Homewood. Over 200 people attended the hearing and a panel of clergy leaders heard the stories and then issued their response. They heard stories of a:

  • Worker trying to support her family on poverty wages,
  • Transcriptionist who once made living wages and was outsourced to a company that pays her minimum wage,
  • Daughter whose elderly mother was transferred out of a UPMC hospital supposedly because she didn’t have insurance even though her insurance never lapsed, and a
  • Pastor whose member was fired for fighting for a fair wage and working conditions. When the pastor asked the man why he fought even though it would mean getting fired he responded, “Because I listen to you every Sunday and felt it was the right thing to do”.

After hearing the testimony, our clergy panel issued the following Declaration: Having heard the testimony of the people and being driven by our faith traditions to love thy neighbor, PIIN asserts that UPMC should lead the way in bringing people into the middle class by providing living wages, affordable healthcare and the environment in which people can speak with one another without harassment around the issues of good employment.

 

 

 

Over 200 people listened to worker and patient stories about UPMC and cheered the Declaration that Episcopal Bishop Dorsey McConnell, Rev. Don Green, Rev. David Thornton and Sister Jeanette Bussen issued.

Our clergy leaders acted and Thursday you can demonstrate your support by joining faith leaders from throughout our region as they deliver their Declaration to UPMC officials at their headquarters.
Courageous People of Faith*
Thursday, Feb. 27
10:00 am
UPMC Headquarters, US Steel Tower

* Courageous People of Faith is part of PIIN’s Love Thy Neighbor Campaign.

PIIN Clergy Leadership Team

 

 


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

Love Thy Neighbor Campaign

 


PIIN celebrated Martin Luther King Day with a prayer vigil outside Presbyterian Hospital in support of UPMC service workers being paid a living wage.  Here are some photos of the event, thanks to Sue Thorn:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/79502605@N03/sets/72157640012760705/.

As a follow-up to that action, PIIN has been given the opportunity to provide free online viewings of the documentary At the River I Stand, which chronicles Dr. King’s last weeks and his work with the Memphis Sanitation workers. You can also show this to your congregation and/or to others who are interested in worker justice.

Dr. King’s work with the sanitation workers is a strong reminder of why people of faithMUST be involved in this fight for Pittsburgh workers.

Here is a link to the video vimeo.com/californianewsreel/atris. The password for this video is LOVETHYNEIGHBOR (all caps). The video is only available through January 31, so be sure to watch it soon.

We have all repeatedly read, studied and discussed the story of the Good Samaritan. PIIN clergy recently launched their Love Thy Neighbor campaign because they believe the Pittsburgh region is in desperate need of Good Samaritans who will not look at those hurting in our community and “pass by on the other side”. While we see Love Thy Neighbor as a multi-year campaign, our initial focus is the need for Pittsburgh’s largest employer to pay their service workers a living wage.

As explained in Pittsburgh UNITED’s recent report Unhealthy Choices: “Thousands of these [service] employees work full-time jobs without any hope of earning enough to sustain their families, let alone enough to improve their economic standing over time.” “While UPMC has assumed US Steel’s place as occupant of Pittsburgh’s tallest building and as our biggest employer, it has not taken on the steel industry’s role as a creator of prosperity for working people.”

In addition, UPMC’s tax breaks include not paying property taxes, a major source of school funding, which is devastating our schools. Over 40 schools in Allegheny County are struggling financially, which has led to cuts in teachers, tutoring, early childhood education, transportation and textbook funds.

PIIN’s Love Thy Neighbor Action & Retreat
(You can attend either or both)
Monday, Jan. 20*
Bidwell Presbyterian Church
1025 Liverpool St, Pittsburgh 15233
Action Set-up & Prayer Vigil: 9:00-11:30AM
PIIN Retreat: 11:30 AM-3:00 PM (Includes lunch)
*What better day to launch campaign to support working poor than MLK Day?

Click for a flyer to print and distribute.

Deuteronomy 24:17-22 The Hebrew people who were blessed to have land to reap a harvest were admonished not to go back over their fields after an initial harvest. It was to be left for the strangers, fatherless and widows so they might be sustained…calling to their remembrance how they were mistreated in Egypt.

We are demanding those who are blessed not to forget from whence they or their families came.

 


Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

564 Forbes Avenue, Suite 808, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

office@piin.org

Phone: 412.621.9230  Fax: 412.621.1057

 

PUBLIC ACTION MEETING 11-7-13

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