FRAMING THE WORK OF THE FEDERATION FOR 2011
The Federation's work is currently centered in two primary areas:
1. Organizational development/expansion; and
2. Developing an economic and education issues agenda to revitalize Northwest Indiana.
The decision to restructure the Federation is rooted in a newly formed vision and long term plan to increase the organization's efficiency, resources, presence in the region, and influence over policy and planning decisions. In the summer of 2010 the Federation adopted this new vision, clarified and defined roles for members of the clergy caucus and board of directors and created standing committees devoted to the core functions and purposes of the Federation. The four (4) standing committees are: Resource and Fund Development, Strategic Expansion, Issues/Strategic Campaigns, and Leadership Development/Core Teams.
Some of the concrete work that has come about due to the new organizational structures includes:
A new dues schedule to be implemented in 2012,
Membership of less than 150 $600.00 annual dues; payable @ $50 monthly
Membership of 150 - 210 $1200.00 annual dues, payable @ $100 monthly
Membership of 251 - 350 $1800 annual dues, payable @ $150 monthly
Membership of 351 and Up $2400.00 annual dues, payable @ $200 monthly;
A renewed emphasis on sending members to week long IIRON Training: (the board of directors committed to sending 10 new members to training in both February 2011 and July 2011; that goal has been met for February 2011);
While the Federation builds organizational capacity, the leadership is also developing a multi-issue agenda which addresses the serious economic gaps in high poverty zip codes in Northwest Indiana.
The Federation seeks jobs. We want people in high poverty, high unemployment areas to benefit from the development projects that are coming into the urban core. We want good paying jobs.
While several issues have been identified, the reconnection of Cline Avenue, the Regional Bus Authority or Bus Commission, and the Gary Airport Expansion are of priority because of jobs required to complete the projects, or their necessity in getting people to jobs. Consequently, the Federation will pursue community benefit agreements to make sure that federal dollars are not used to further disparage those who have historically been disparaged. All the emerging development projects will be placed in a framework of jobs. The RBA must be funded so people can get access to jobs, schools and services.
The Federation will work with stakeholders to create local school councils in communities with low-performing schools. Local school councils will hold the school system accountable locally and at the state level for quality and effectively performing schools and monitor state intervention process in low performing schools. Federation Task Forces are being formed to mobilize and advance this work.
Each member congregation will need to commit at least two (2) people to each Task Force to assure success.