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FAITH FRONT; A blessing or a purse, it's your choice
[HOME EDITION]
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Coalitions; Religious organizations; Neighborhoods; Urban planning; Community support; Social activism
Author: Winston, Diane
Date: Apr 16, 2006
Start Page: M.2
Section: Current; Part M; Editorial Pages Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

THIS WEEK, Jews and Christians observed major holidays that celebrate freedom. Jews held Passover Seders, the ritual meal commemorating the exodus from Egypt and the Jews' long march to freedom. Christians marked Easter, the resurrection of Christ and his triumph over death.

[Clyde Oden Jr.] and his congregation did. They joined One LA-IAF, a coalition of 100 schools, congregations, unions and nonprofits dedicated to improving city life. IAF stands for the Industrial Areas Foundation -- the oldest and largest community organizing group in the United States.

The group encourages members to solve their neighborhood's problems. By pursuing change and winning small victories, members experience the freedom to make a difference. Members of One LA-IAF have blocked the demolition of low-income homes in Pomona, fought the expansion of the Bradley dump in Sun Valley and registered 1,500 new voters in Maywood in a campaign to undo city policies that discriminated against undocumented workers.

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