Advocacy & Parish Organizing

Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes that directly affect people’s  lives and situations. This includes helping shape or change decisions in public policy that directly affect our political, economic and social systems. Many times these policies and decisions are intertwined with our Catholic faith, giving us the opportunity to be witnesses in carrying out the Church’s mission through our promotion of what is just.

In addressing the plight of those around us, we are truly living out Christ’s message to love and serve all those in need. Our faith calls us to be advocates for justice in our own communities, as well as for those across the world.

Why Community Organizing?

The Office of Public Policy & Social Concerns began focusing on the value of community organizing as a tool to develop leadership and deeper relationships around issues that clearly affect the dignity and respect of our communities. Community Organizing utilizes the tools given to us by our faith, our experiences, and begins to construct a vision that seeks to bring out the full potential of our parishes, families and societies.

Beginning in the summer of 2004, nearly all parishes have been working toward the availability of affordable housing by building better relationships with their legislative representatives and encouraging others to vote with our faith's values in mind.

We look forward to continuing our mission and utilizing the leadership our parishioners possess to develop a society and public policy that speaks to the reality of our communities.

The Office of Public Policy & Social Concerns offers Advocacy Training for anyone or any group interested at any of our Archdiocesan parishes. Our goal is to learn what issues you or others in your parish community are facing, and work together in addressing them. Issues could by anything from poor street lighting in our neighborhoods to job loss or lack of health care for our families. If you are interested in learning more about Advocacy and how you can work with others to address the root causes of social injustices in your community, contact us at (415) 614-5570.

Learn About Community Organizing

PICO is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities. Since 1972 PICO has successfully worked to increase access to health care, improve public schools, make neighborhoods safer, build affordable housing, redevelop communities and revitalize democracy.

PICO helps engage ordinary people in public life, building a strong legacy of leadership in thousands of local communities across America.

Groups Affiliated with PICO in the San Francisco Archdiocese:

SFOP works in over 30 congregations and schools representing 40,000 San Franciscans to develop community leaders and grassroots campaigns. SFOP has a broad-based constituency and our leaders influence public officials to make better decisions about important issues that affect us all -- health care, affordable housing, neighborhood safety, workforce development and education.

Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) creates justice in communities by addressing local problems, putting faith into action, building hope and finding solutions. PIA helps ordinary people achieve extraordinary results for their communities.

News Feed - PICO National Network

Raise the Wage
Faith leaders and state collection garner more than enough signatures to get minimum wage and earned sick days on the Massachusetts ballot.

PICO faith leader Rev. Marilyn Dixon Hill to Congress: Obamacare is already working
Speaking at a hearing held by the Subcommittee on Health, Rev. Dixon Hill spoke up for people in her community who have been able to enroll in Medicaid and, for perhaps the first time, have affordable coverage for their health care.

National Fast for Families

Thanks to Rep. Denham
Faith and community leaders thank Congressman Denham for standing up for a path to citizenship and urge him to press House Republican leaders and colleagues for a vote this fall.

Dignity for low-wage workers
Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) in Missouri and Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) in Massachusetts are leading efforts to raise the minimum wage and provide benefits such as paid leave.

Justice for All, Not Just for Some
On the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, PICO Louisiana and Lifelines to Healing launched the Justice for All, Not Just for Some campaign to end Louisiana’s mass incarceration crisis.

Praying for a path to citizenship
Last weekend, faith leaders in Indiana, Florida and Massachusetts organized prayer vigils to encourage their members of congress to support an earned path to citizenship.

Lifelines to Healing National Bus Tour

PICO national network turns up the heat on 30 House members with “Summer for Citizenship”
Month-long 12 state effort to secure citizenship in the House starts with rally at Speaker Boehner’s Ohio office.

New citywide faith organization presses mayoral candidates to make jobs, inequality focus of post-Sandy economic development
1,400 people attend event led by clergy and Sandy victims, tell candidates that all New Yorkers need to benefit from rebuilding efforts.

Vigils for citizenship
See our nationwide movement to create a path to citizenship for ALL 11 million aspiring Americans.

Prayer vigils for citizenship
Clergy, congregations and community leaders are lifting up prayers for American immigrants and lawmakers outside the offices of members of Congress encouraging them to publicly support a fair, direct and inclusive path to citizenship.

Highlights from PICO's first Women in Ministry
Women in Ministry Prophetic Voices Gathering, as it was reported in social media.

Missouri Clergy meet with the Governor to promote Medicaid expansion
Two hundred clergy and faith leaders gather for Faith and Families Summit.

Investing in communities,transforming lives: The Minneapolis-St. Paul Light Rail Project
The 3-minute video produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows how community organizations in Minnesota, including ISAIAH, a PICO federation played a major role in improving access to healthy options for low-income communities in St. Paul.

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