The Alliance for a Just Society works to develop strong grassroots organizations that transform their communities, making them more equitable and just.
With our strong organizing, policy, and communications teams, the Alliance centralizes the tools that transform grassroots leaders' passion into the power to effect policy change.
Through our investments, we and our partners have achieved many victories since our founding in 1993. The following are just a few examples:
Bringing the promise of health to all
- Contributed to the passage of historic health care legislation by playing a leadership role in the Health Care for America Now campaign. The Alliance put organizers on the ground around the country, researched insurance company abuses, and mobilized small business leaders. The historic health care legislation will guarantee affordable health coverage to millions, set new rules for insurance companies, and take important steps toward addressing racial inequities in health.
- Won expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program, including lifting barriers that left many immigrant children without health care
- Working with grassroots Native leaders, helped secure inclusion of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act in federal health reform legislation
- Secured agreements from hospitals in Idaho and Washington to give quality treatment to all their patients by providing interpretation, translation, and financial assistance
- Won state legislation increasing oversight of private insurance companies, expanding coverage, and reducing costs of prescription drugs
- Founded the Health Rights Organizing Project, a national network of grassroots organizations dedicated to health for all
Building welcoming communities
- Trained hundreds of grassroots leaders to hold conversations on immigration and community values among their friends, families, and neighbors.
- Developed and distributed nationwide an immigration board game that is transforming the way people think about our immigration system
- In Boise, Idaho, led the organizing of an unprecedented, 15,000-person march, in support comprehensive immigration reform, in Boise. And, in Seattle, helped diverse immigrant groups organize two 50,000 person marches.
Protecting wages and budgets
- Won farmworker minimum wage and farm labor contracting bonding protections in Idaho, living wage ordinances in Montana and Oregon, and the indexing of the minimum wage to inflation in Washington
- Blocked utility rate hikes and expanded consumer protections in Idaho
Fighting for nutritious food
- Won improvements to the federal Food Stamp Program, including removal of eligibility barriers for many immigrants
- Crafted model access-to-benefits campaigns that use innovative grassroots testing projects to document and reverse discriminatory practices in state agencies. Community groups used these projects to address under-enrollment in programs such as Food Stamps.
- Helped our affiliates win state legislation addressing hunger, such as Washington's Act for Hungry Families
“The biggest roadblock to our country’s economic recovery”
Re-Posted with permission from The New Bottom Line
Since early 2012, New Bottom Line has driven the campaign to get President Obama to dump Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Today, the organization celebrated the news that the president finally made a nomination for the permanent director of FHFA. New Bottom Line also urges Congressman Mel Watt to support principal reduction at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in his new position, as well as supporting the vital role they play in ensuring homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all communities. Continue reading
Oregon Action! nailed another victory to move municipal money out from under major banks. After many months working to engage local municipalities on responsible banking practices, OA! moved the Ashland City Council to unanimously pass a resolution authorizing the city to move some of its money out of Wells Fargo and to establish accounts at local credit unions. The amount they have moved is at the fullest extent insurable by law.
More importantly the ordinance sets in motion the process for the city to establish responsible banking criteria for banking services contracts.
Oregon Action and the Oregon Banks Local Coalition has been working for over 3 years to encourage state and local municipalities to begin the process of moving their money– what advocates call divestment– out of the big banks and into more locally controlled institutions. Divestment from major banks to local banks increases economic dividends for municipalities and the state.
Since Oregon’s banking landscape is dominated by the large banks, encouraging local banking by our cities is of three goals for this movement:
- Keep more Oregon money in Oregon,
- Bolster the local banking sector, and
- Increase small business lending.
Ashland now joins other victories and current initiatives in Corvalis, Portland, Gresham, and Clatsop County.
On August 2, members of Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network successfully disrupted the foreclosure auction of ICAN member Ashlee Wemhoff’s home in Lewiston, Idaho. Ashlee’s home was put into foreclosure after her husband had an accident and was unable to work. Continue reading
Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network today applauded the Obama Administration’s proposed rule change allowing spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay together in the United States while family members work to gain permanent U.S. residency. Continue reading
The election in November of 2010 shifted the political ground both in D.C. and in many state legislatures. These political changes brought efforts to repeal the ACA and to reduce the national commitment both to Medicaid and to critical programs funded as a part of reform. The efforts by the political right to reset the national agenda challenge every gain we’ve made. Although the fight for health care has moved from front page news to the trenches, we have seen some impressive achievements this past year: Continue reading
Last week, the Seattle City Council, in a historic voted, passed a new city-wide standard ensuring that workers will have access to paid sick days. The vote tally was a resounding 8-1, a testament to the broad support the proposal garnered from key stakeholders in the community – including local small business owners. Continue reading
Yesterday, President Obama announced that undocumented immigrants without criminal records facing deportation can stay in the U.S. The government is saying that many of them might be able to apply for a work permit. Continue reading
Big bank lobbyists have been putting on a full-court press in Washington, D.C. to roll back components of the financial overhaul passed last year and free Wall Street to go back to the “business as usual” that led to the financial crisis in 2008.
The bankers are gunning for the new Consumer Protection Bureau and its leading champion, Elizabeth Warren. They’re lobbying to starve regulatory agencies of the funds needed to enforce the provisions of the new law. And on Wednesday, they went after small businesses with an amendment to delay (read, kill) new rules limiting debit swipe fees. But this time, the bankers lost. Continue reading
Last week, the Washington state “Foreclosure Fairness Act” was signed into law, marking a major victory in a long, multi-year fight by advocates for low-income borrowers, including the Statewide Poverty Action Network and Washington Community Action Network (an Alliance affiliate.) Continue reading
On January 5 Make the Road New York, an Alliance for a Just Society affiliate, won passage of comprehensive New York City legislation that will crack down on dangerous housing conditions that endanger the health and well-being of families. Continue reading