- Sunday Buses & Late Night Buses begin in the fall of 2016, thanks to the leadership of the Transportation Authority. ISAAC was a key partner in getting the August 2015 transit millage facts out to voters–through our 24 congregations & organizations and through our presence at the Bank St. Farmers Market and events in other parts of the county’s central urban district. ISAAC co-founded Friends of Transit with Disability Network Southwest Michigan in 2005, and has worked since then for the Sunday & late night buses that begin this fall.
- Special education won strong community support with successful passage of the KRESA millage on May 5. ISAAC was an important partner in the effort to educate voters about the importance of the KRESA millage for all children in our county. Rising Special Education costs and school budget cuts result in less money for all kids. This 1.5 mil increase will yield $11 million for our county’s 9 school districts and 6 charter schools that would otherwise come from their general funds. ISAAC joined a strong Get Out the Vote effort, sent out 1700 letters to voters, and raised awareness in our congregations to help make this a successful campaign to benefit all kids in our county.
- “Ceasefire” initiative is moving forward. In February 2015, thanks to support from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and leadership from the City, a group of KDPS officers and community leaders, including ISAAC, went to “Ceasefire” training together at John Jay University, where David M. Kennedy teaches his strategy for reducing youth violence–called a “miracle” in other cities. ISAAC originally brought Kennedy here to speak at an ISAAC Banquet and to meet with community leaders and KDPS. We are building partnerships across the community to make “Ceasefire” a reality here.
- Vote YES for Kids’ success means supportive housing for homeless families with children in our county’s public schools. ISAAC was one of the leaders of the broad partnership that educated voters about homelessness among children in every school district in our county. On Nov. 3, 2015, county voters passed a $5/year millage for the Local Housing Assistance Fund, so at least 100 families each year will receive partial rent subsidy & counseling, starting in mid 2016. See www.voteyesforkids.net for details.
- Anti-racism was chosen as a top ISAAC priority. In September 2015, ISAAC held a Racial Healing and Action Service. Close to 300 community members attended and over 100 individuals committed to participating in ERACCE anti-racism workshops. At the ISAAC Issues Convention in October 2015, anti-racism work was chosen as one of our top three priorities for 2016-17. Since then, ISAAC has sent numerous community members to ERACCE “Introduction to Systemic Racism” and “Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism” workshops, and is sending more all year. You’re encouraged to go too! See eracce.org for descriptions and dates.
You can be a part of this work to “do justice” (Micah 6:8) in our community. Your participation and gifts help ISAAC create support for policies that give opportunity to all people in Kalamazoo County and across Michigan.