News & Success Stories

MACG Hosts Leadership Training at NE Portland Prison

August 2019

August leadership training at Columbia River Correctional Institution.

This weekend, ten MACG members went into the Columbia River Correctional Institution in NE Portland, to participate in our Leadership Institute for Public Life training with 14 incarcerated men. 

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Extension of Planning Law Opens Way To Greater Affordability

The Sydney Alliance of community organisations has welcomed the extension of an important planning law to all NSW councils – opening the way to building more affordable units in new developments across the state.

The Alliance of over 40 not-for-profit organisations says the extension of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 70 (SEPP 70) to all Local Government Areas, announced this week by Planning Minister Anthony Roberts MP, is an important step towards improving rental affordability.

The Alliance had long campaigned for the law to be extended to all councils.

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MACG Year in Review

Developing and supporting leaders is the key work of MACG.  It puts us solidly in the middle of the grassroots effort to strengthen Democracy that’s moved across the country in the past months.  


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2018 Full of Leadership for the Common Good

December 15, 2018

As the year comes to a close, Sound Alliance is celebrating our accomplishments and getting ready for the new year.

In 2018, we executed on our mission, developing everyday leaders to work together towards the common good:

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Tri-City Alliance Trains 25 New Community Leaders

December 1, 2018

25 budding leaders from a diverse number of Tri-Cities civic organizations gathered together in November 2018 to learn how to work together for the common good.

The content of this Leadership Institute for Public Life was based on the philosophy and practices developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in over 75 years of organizing experience.

Training Nov 2018

Participants came away with expanded knowledge of these topics:

  • Why organize?– Participants examined the history, traditions, and values of our labor, faith, community and educational organizations.

  • Fundamental organizing skills– Participants learned tools to conduct individual relational meetings, listening sessions, research, negotiations and action to help obtain a concrete, winnable outcome.

  • Strengthening our institutions – Participants learned how to engage people systematically in a culture that is relational, action-oriented and reflective.

  • Problems vs. issues – Participants learned how to focus from general problems to concrete, winnable issues by using relational power in the public arena to negotiate for the common good.

There was good energy and enthusiasm from the participants.  Our sister affiliate, the Spokane Alliance, partnered with us, sending a professional organizer to train the group.

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Sound Alliance Trains 60 at Know Your Rights Workshop

June 21, 2018

The Sound Alliance Immigrant Rights Action Team only set up 40 chairs at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Federal Way on June 21, 2018.

Then 60 people piled into the room, filling it to capacity to hear Jay Stansell, J.D. present a workshop entitled “Reclaiming the Constitution.  Knowing, Defending, and Using Your Rights in the Face of Injustice.”

For two hours participants asked questions and received training on topics such as: who is at risk of deportation, constitutional rights that everyone has when questioned by enforcement agencies, and preparing and building confidence to exercise those rights to protect friends or family.

Some important learnings included:

  • Using the right to remain silent (even refusing to answer the question “Where are you from?”), which could be the crucial difference between entering the deportation system or not.

  • You have the right to refuse searching and entering private property, unless there is a judicial warrant signed by a judge – NOT an ICE administrative warrant.

  • We all have the right to an attorney

While there have been a lot of Know Your Rights trainings, especially for immigrants themselves, the Immigrant Rights team discovered a need for trainings in English that could educate allies.   Kailey Harem, Federal Way Education Association, sparked the idea when she expressed the desire to be trained to better support her undocumented students.

Others who attended the training expressed similar desires, suggesting that there are communities who want this type of training and who are not being reached.

Next steps for the Immigrant Rights Action team are to discover which communities want to be trained and providing those trainings for them, or setting up a Train the Trainer so people can educate their own communities.

In addition, the team wants to “go public”, perhaps getting institutional leaders such as school boards or heads of medical clinics to commit to integrating basic Constitutional Rights training into their cultures.

The team is always looking for more leaders.  Contact Roberta Ray, University Unitarian Church, to get involved.

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