Grants In Action

Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land, a Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee, successfully urged City Council to pass a bill in January creating a land bank for Philadelphia’s vacant properties. The land bank will be implemented this year, and Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land — a coalition representing 50 community groups — will monitor the implementation to ensure that communities have a voice in how local properties are redeveloped.

In March,Latino Organizing Fund grantees New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and JUNTOS testified at City Council’s public hearing on the collaboration between federal immigration officials and city police. As a result of the meeting, Mayor Nutter issued an executive order to end most collaborations.

Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) Philly, a Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee, has been helping workers at South Philadelphia restaurant Chickie’s and Pete’s organize against wage theft in the form of tips stolen by the owner. Their efforts paid off in February when workers won back more than $8 million from the restaurant in two separate lawsuits.

Thanks to the organizing efforts of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild), a Racial and Economic Justice Fund grantee, officials are considering an extension of the city’s living wage requirement to cover thousands of subcontracted workers at Philadelphia International Airport. The issue will be settled by a ballot referendum on May 20.

Photo credit: POWER Interfaith
Executive director Bishop Dwayne Royster advocates in March for City Council to include POWER on a committee to enforce minimum wage laws.