WON SICK LEAVE ORDINANCES IN MINNEAPOLIS AND ST. PAUL (2015-2016)
Minneapolis, followed by St. Paul, passed earned sick time ordinances. These ordinances give more than 152,000 workers, who lacked paid sick leave, the ability to take time off work to care for themselves and their families when sickness strikes. ISAIAH lead the coalition of organizations working in St. Paul that successfully pressed the St. Paul City Council to pass the strongest paid sick leave ordinance in the country.
STOPPED PRISON EXPANSION & WON DRUG SENTENCING REFORM (2016)
Our leaders, working in coalition, stopped prison expansion and won robust drug sentencing reform, which will help reduce the carnage of mass incarceration on our families and communities. We will continue to fight any efforts to open a private prison, because for-profit incarceration, especially in a racially unjust criminal justice system, is a profound violation of human dignity.
MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS MORATORIUM ON SUSPENSIONS (2015)
ISAIAH gained a commitment from the Minneapolis School District, to end out-of-school suspensions for elementary school students, reduce discipline disparities and systematically promote racial equity in education. This moratorium on non-violent suspensions, is a major step in addressing Minnesota’s racial equity crisis and the school-to-prison pipeline permeating our public schools.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE (2014)
ISAIAH leaders were instrumental in moving the legislature to pass historic legislation to increase the minimum wage and, thereby improving the lives of more than 325,000 Minnesotans. The minimum will increase to $9.50 an hour beginning in August, 2016, and will be indexed to inflation.
HOMEOWNERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS (2013)
This measure designed and support by ISAIAH leaders, was passed by the legislature and gives unprecedented new protections to homeowners facing foreclosure.
VOTER RESTRICTION AMENDMENT DEFEATED (2012)
Against what looked like overwhelming odds, ISAIAH threw everything we had into the fight to defeat this cynical attempt to restrict the vote in Minnesota. Through this campaign, we succeeded in having powerful multi-faith, multi-racial interactions that reached more than 2.4 million people. ISAIAH’s efforts have been recognized in the media as a “key piece of a coalition that helped produce the greatest upset of the 2012 election season.”
TRANSPORTATION JOBS EQUITY (2010)
ISAIAH leaders secured a commitment from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) to invest $6.2 million in apprenticeship and training for low wage workers, people of color, and women. In a time when bipartisanship seems impossible, we worked with former U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad and current Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel, an appointee of Governor Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Mee Moua and Rep. Alice Hausman to make this victory possible.
ST. PAUL’S BLUEPRINT FOR SAFETY (2010)
ISAIAH’s Domestic Violence Task Force was a moving force behind St. Paul’s Blueprint for Safety, a manual for St. Paul’s criminal justice response to domestic violence. The Blueprint establishes a system-wide best practice in dealing with domestic abuse in our communities and to prevent homicides.
CENTRAL CORRIDOR LIGHT RAIL (2009)
ISAIAH working with a coalition of groups, organized and won local, state and federal support for adding three new stops to the central corridor light rail line on University Avenue in St Paul. These stops will be located in low-income and racially diverse communities that were left out of the original design.
HEALTHCARE FOR CHILDREN (2009)
Along with other partners, ISAIAH successfully supported the “Cover All Kids” bill at the State Legislature last spring. This bill allows Minnesota families to purchase subsidized health insurance for their children.
HEALTH CARE REFORM (2009)
ISAIAH organized 550 people into a rapid response team to keep the pressure on federal elected officials for healthcare reform. We organized over 60 health care Sundays and met with our Members of Congress. Joining with tens of thousands of people across the country – we brought about the first successful vote in Congress on health insurance reform in generations.
TRANSIT FUNDING (2008)
ISAIAH leaders have been champions of a vision for a transportation system that works for everyone, including those unable to drive. ISAIAH marked a huge victory with the successful passage of the transportation funding bill. This bill provides, for the first time ever in Minnesota, a dedicated stream of funding for public transportation.
AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING IN ROBBINSDALE (2008)
The Robbins Way Senior Housing Project, with 36 units of affordable senior housing, will be built through the efforts of the ISAIAH team at Faith Lilac Way Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale.
CREATING A REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE (2008)
After St. Cloud was listed in the top five for number of hate crimes in the state from 2002 through 2006, ISAIAH leaders in partnership with Create CommUNITY organized support for a Regional Human Rights Office. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Governor Pawlenty signed a proclamation establishing a locally-funded, state-run human rights office that will include investigative and enforcement authority.
WORKFORCE HOUSING IN MAPLE GROVE (2008)
Forty-six lower-income working families will have a safe, decent place to call home in Maple Grove after a victory by Housing for ALL, a coalition of Maple Grove churches including ISAIAH members. Because of the coalition’s outspoken support of this project, the City Council approved the Maple Village development plan with 46 units of workforce housing with the possibility of an additional 56 units being built later.
“LEVEL PLAYING FIELD” CAMPAIGN WINS JOBS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS (2007)
ISAIAH leaders were instrumental in making sure that the millions of public dollars going into the new Twins ballpark would benefit many of us and not just a few of us. Because of our work, the Hennepin County Commission approved a development agreement that sets the hiring goal of 30% of all construction hours be performed by women or minorities and that community groups be part of the pipeline filling these jobs.
LIVING WAGE ORDINANCE FOR THE CITY OF SAINT PAUL (2007)
A Living Wage Ordinance was voted on and passed in the St. Paul City Council and signed into law by our Mayor. Hundreds of workers will get living wages so that they can take care of their families. Companies asking for large amounts of taxpayer dollars including Walmart and Target will no longer be able to pay their workers poverty-level wages and get a subsidy for it from our city.
In 2001-03, the state legislature cut almost $4 million in annual funding for battered women’s shelters and services with devastating impacts on Minnesota’s 27 shelters. In 2005, ISAIAH and its coalition partners were successful in completely restoring the Crime and Victims Services budget of $1.2 million and $400,000 of the cuts for the shelters. Continued work by ISAIAH leaders restored an additional $1 million in state funding for shelters during the 2007 legislative session.
STRENGTHENING THE LIVING WAGE ORDINANCE IN THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS (2005)
The new ordinance strengthens city policy relating to companies doing business with Minneapolis. It defines a Living Wage as 130% of the federal poverty level, applies the living wage standard to contractors; and, for the first time, includes meaningful enforcement and monitoring provisions.
ST. CLOUD POLICE DEPARTMENT SIGNS COMMUNITY POLICING AGREEMENT (2005)
This agreement between the St. Cloud Police Department, ISAIAH, and ten organizations representing Communities of Color, addresses biased policing, outlines a complaint process, specifies the separation of ICE and police duties, and highlights ways to improve relationships. Community leaders continue to work with the Police Department in building respectful relationships, recruiting officers of color, and monitoring the effectiveness of the community policing agreement.
PUBLIC EDUCATION (2005)
ISAIAH was instrumental in creating the “We the People Keep the Promise” education coalition to insist that our elected officials make good on their responsibility to provide for our communities today and invest in the future by providing quality education to all Minnesota children. This work resulted in an increase of almost $800 million in education funding, a slight net increase after inflation. Members of the coalition included, ISAIAH, Parents United Network, and the Minnesota PTA.
FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION VICTORY (2005)
The federal Transportation Equity Act–A Legacy for Users, was signed into law. ISAIAH and transportation equity allies worked hard to pass this legislation. It guarantees more than $700 million for the Job Access and Reverse Commute program and increases the federal shore of projects to 80 percent; it clears the way for local hiring agreements that could create job and training opportunities for low-income residents on more than $200 billion in federally funded highway projects; and, it requires public participation plans be developed with local residents in transportation planning.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE ST. CLOUD REGION (2002)
Organized a successful regional workforce housing campaign that resulted in the five cities in the St. Cloud region – St. Cloud, St Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park – agreeing to enter into a five-year joint powers agreement ensuring that 15% of all new housing built in the region is affordable.
Significant accomplishments of ISAIAH predecessor organizations included:
Organized a broad coalition of supporters in a successful campaign for $68 million to clean up polluted industrial “brownfields” in core cities and suburbs. This effort has resulted in the development of thousands of new permanent industrial jobs paying good living wages.
MERCADO CENTRO SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Organized a partnership with non-profit CDC’s and neighborhood associations that resulted in a $1.7 million dollar cooperative called the Mercado Centro that houses over 40 neighborhood Latino entrepreneurs and their businesses in Minneapolis.
Provided leadership to a broad-based coalition that resulted in a record increase of state funding ($45 million) for the production and preservation of affordable housing in Minnesota.