Ormond Beach: UU Society Daytona Beach Area

UU Society of the Daytona Beach Area 2013-2014

(UUSDBA) Ormond Beach, FL 32176   www.uuormond.net

 Congregationally Based Community Organizing

UUSDBA is an active member of Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony (FAITH), a congregationally based community organization (CBCO) that is a member of DART, a national network of CBCOs. FAITH is an interfaith organization with 32 member congregations. FAITH focuses on identifying systemic social problems, determining potential means for changing the system to address them, and obtaining commitments from appointed and elected officials to bring about the necessary change. It is truly a community-wide organization, and its members come from diverse economic, educational and religious groups including the local Islamic Society and a Sikh group.

For the last three years, FAITH has advocated for Volusia Safe Harbor, a shelter for the homeless. The Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless, Halifax Urban Ministries, Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare, Halifax Health Medical Center, the country sheriff, the Daytona Beach police chief, Daytona Beach City Commission members and mayor, Ormond Beach City Commission members and mayor, and the Volusia County Council have publicly endorsed the proposed shelter. A consultant, Dr. Robert Marbut, had been hired by the city of Daytona Beach to assess the situation of the homeless in Volusia County and has since been hired to implement a plan to create Volusia Safe Harbor. The crucial next step at this time is for the cities and the county to allocate the funds for necessary and ongoing operational expenses.

Another FAITH issue has been to increase the use of civil citations by local law enforcement instead of arresting youth who’ve committed misdemeanors and have not received civil citations previously. We were successful in increasing its use by local law enforcement in 2014 and 2015. UUSDBA gives $500 annually to FAITH. In addition, members give approximately $2,500/year in the form of individual donations.

In 2014-2015, we and nine other DART organizations are attempting to strengthen and expand the current statute governing civil citations by making issuing a civil citation the default option for eligible youth and allowing youth, at the discretion of law enforcement, to be issued more than one civil citation. A bill has been filed in the Florida Senate and House and as of March 5, 2015 is awaiting committee consideration and approval.

An issue new to FAITH in 2014-2015 is Ban the Box. The box is the checkbox on employment applications that asks if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. The use of such boxes often prevents anyone with a history of arrest and/or conviction from any consideration for employment.

Witness Against the Death Penalty

UUSDBA members are notified of opportunities to witness against the execution of prisoners by the state of Florida. Every time an execution is scheduled, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church of Daytona Beach rents a large commercial bus and anywhere between 30 to 40 of its members and two or more UUSDBA http://www.uuormond.net

members travel to a location across the road from the Union Correctional Institution, a state prison, in Raiford, FL, where all state executions are conducted. The people on the bus join with other death penalty opponents from around the state in holding a vigil scheduled to coincide with the execution. A large Standing on the Side of Love banner is displayed at the witness.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Rev. Roshaven and about a dozen UUSDBA members participated in MLK day activities in Daytona Beach beginning with a breakfast at Allen Chapel, AME Church, followed by a march, and concluding with a worship service at Greater Friendship Baptist Church.

Response to Racially Biased Law EnforcementRev. Roshaven participated in two prayer vigils organized by the Volusia County Black Clergy Alliance and several members attended each one. Rev. Roshaven and a number of members participated in two Community Unity Days organized by the Black Clergy Alliance in response to the events in Ferguson, MO. Rev. Roshaven and Marion Alsted, a member, led the program portion of the first Community Unity Day.

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