We support our affiliates in researching issue areas affecting their regions, and sharing solutions with each other.
Many of our IAF Northwest affiliates are currently addressing housing affordability including affiliates in Portland, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Missoula, Seattle and Sydney.
We support these alliances in researching creative ways to address long term housing affordability for lower wage workers or people with barriers to housing such as mental health, addictions, or conviction records. Solutions include changing city policies, risk mitigation, and land trust creation.
Our affiliates in Edmonton, Missoula, Calgary and Portland are addressing mental health issues. We support our affiliates in researching and sharing solutions with each other, such as increasing governmental support for mental health services, or brainstorming creative ways to reduce isolation/depression.
The IAF Northwest organizing methodology itself addresses isolation in that it brings people together to share stories and reduce stigmas of societal pressures that may be affecting individuals.
The IAF Northwest affiliates focus on Health Equity Organizing initiative that works with health clinics, residency programs, and students to use community organizing tools and practices to address the social determinants of health - the conditions in our community where we work, live, and play, that have been demonstrated to influence our health far more than medical care. There is immense interest within the healthcare world to address the social determinants, but direct services to individual patients (e.g., housing referrals, food vouchers, resume workshops) are not enough to address community-level issues like unstable housing, food insecurity, unemployment.
For several years, IAF NW affiliated organizers across New Zealand have fought to increase the number of public and private sector employees who are making at least the minimum living wage. The IAF NW supports these efforts and the collaboration taking place between Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton organizers, community groups, and policymakers and hopes the knowledge and experience gained by the Living Wage Movement can be put to work across the NW region.