Inspired, strengthened and sustained by faith, the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing is committed to confronting the unconscionable and unacceptable reality of homelessness in New York City. Recognizing society's shared responsibility and working as partners with those who have experienced homelessness, the Assembly will mobilize communities of faith to empower all people, to advocate public policies to eliminate homelessness, and strive for the transformation of society.

60 Minutes -- Hard Times Generation

60 Minutes segment on family homelessness.

60 Minutes -- Congress: Trading stock on inside information?

60 Minutes takes on the practice of members of Congress enriching themselves by trading in markets impacted by legislation the, themselves, pass.

City Council Reviews Operations Of New York's Potter's Field

From Huffington Post:

A City Council oversight committee held a hearing Friday to review the operations of the oft-forgotten cemetery at Hart Island, New York City's potter's field, where some 850,000 people are buried, most of whom are either unclaimed, unidentified or whose families couldn't afford a funeral.

The Council was receptive to the pleas of advocacy groups to improve public access to the island, purportedly the world's largest tax-funded cemetery, particularly for those whose loved ones are buried there and for better record-keeping.

The Vatican meets the Wall Street occupiers

From Washington Post:

By Published: October 26

Will we soon see a distinguished-looking older man in long, white robes walking among the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in New York’s Zuccotti Park? Is Pope Benedict XVI joining the protest movement?

Well, yes and no. Yes, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a strong and thoughtful critique of the global financial system this week that paralleled many of the criticisms of unchecked capitalism that are echoing through Lower Manhattan and cities around the world.

The report spoke of “the primacy of being over having,” of “ethics over the economy,” and of “embracing the logic of the global common good.”

In a knock against those who oppose government economic regulation, the council emphasized “the primacy of politics — which is responsible for the common good — over the economy and finance.” It commented favorably on a financial transactions tax and supported an international authority to oversee the global economy.

A Good Approach on Wall Street

from New York Times:

After more than a month of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, the complaints are mounting. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, perhaps reflecting the irritation of his former colleagues on Wall Street, has said “the Constitution doesn’t protect tents. It protects speech and assembly.” And he suggested last week that the city would start enforcing city rules on marches by the protesters unless they have the required permits.

Fortunately, the people most inconvenienced by the encampment, its neighbors, have a more sensible response. Community Board 1, which represents residents and businesses in Lower Manhattan, is expected to vote Tuesday evening on a resolution that endorses the right to protest and opposes “the use of excessive and unnecessary force by the City of New York” or the owners of the park, Brookfield Properties. (The resolution also endorses the extension of the “millionaire’s tax” in New York State to soften cuts to education and other services.)

The community calls on everyone involved, including protesters and elected officials, to address the problems this event has created around the park. The resolution asks for drums, tambourines, bugles, air horns, shouting and chanting to be limited to two hours at midday. That’s not realistic, but it might be a place to start talks about whether the all-night noise must continue.

The resolution, written by Julie Menin, the community board chairwoman, asks the city to arrange for off-site, portable bathrooms to be paid for by local donors. The community board also wants the city’s 311 operators to document complaints about noise or lack of hygiene in the park.


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