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“An Introduction to GBIO’s Housing Justice Campaign” by Mac Stephen

You might have heard that GBIO has ratified and started a new Housing Justice Campaign, which will be the major focus of GBIO efforts for the next 18 months.

This campaign will address the state-wide challenges to safe and dignified public housing, affordable rental and homeownership, and access to supportive housing for citizens returning from incarceration. Because access to affordable housing is so pervasive a problem and affects people in so many different situations, GBIO has launched a consolidated effort to educate, engage, and prepare people to act on opportunities for change in their own communities, as well as to pursue a set of major initiatives on the state level.

This introduction will go into greater depth on what you can expect in the coming months so that we may all work together to make this campaign a success!

Here’s a timeline of our efforts, created after extensive research and meetings with local and state lawmakers, as well as community leaders and organizations. This timeline will focus the energy of all 62 GBIO member institutions and provide deadlines to hold ourselves accountable and better ensure progress towards justice.

Cycle of Organizing: Housing Justice Campaign diagram

As you can see, we are currently in the “Build our Power” stage of this campaign. This phase is all about getting the word out. Each member institution will be holding a “Teach-in” so that every congregation, including ours, can learn about the issues and the avenues towards justice that exist. Stay tuned for the Temple Israel “Teach-in” date!

Throughout the Housing Justice campaign, we will be joining together for actions large and small. Actions may include meeting with our state legislators or sending emails to local officials in our cities and towns. Our goal is to make a measurable change in our communities, as part of the might that GBIO can bring.

Expect to see more blogs in our Did You Know series that will examine Housing Justice issue areas one by one. Here you can learn more about lives and families that are impacted every day from the housing injustices around our state and what GBIO—all of us together—are doing to fix them.

We hope that you will join us in this transformative work to change housing systems that perpetuate injustice. If you are looking to learn more, please reach out to one of Temple Israel’s GBIO liaisons, Anne Licciardello and Laura Guggenheimer.

For now, you can get a jump-start on learning about Housing Justice! Go online to watch the 6 Affordable Housing Trainings coordinated by TI’s Ted Greenwood and led by TBZ member Jonathan Klein.

About Temple Israel and GBIO

Temple Israel has been actively engaged in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a multifaith coalition of 62 institutions fighting for social and racial justice, since the late 1990s. This year, we’ve continued our active support of GBIO’s current platform issues: affordable housing, mental health/substance use and recovery, and re-entry for citizens returning from incarceration. Temple Israel has a “Core Team” of 15 members which is an action group of Tikkun Central. Temple Israel is a dues-paying member institution, so all TI members are GBIO members. There are many opportunities to be involved in this work in big and small ways!

GBIO Team at the MLK Shabbat