Veatch Program

2016 Veatch Program Annual Report

The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock provides support for efforts within the religious and spiritual mission of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock where their purposes are best served by outside agencies acting under the Veatch Program and the Congregation.

Grantee Highlights

Breakingviews: Wal-Mart wage bump
WARNING: If you pay taxes, this will probably upset you

Published on May 13, 2015 This is how our tax dollars make low wages possible at America's largest, most profitable corporations. 

Join Jobs With Justice as we fight to hold these companies accountable.

Jobs with Justice Education Fund (JwJEF) is among the leading networks in the country waging the fight for social and economic justice and struggling to maintain our democratic rights in the workplace and the community. JwJEF was founded in 1987 with the vision of lifting up worker rights struggles as part of a larger commitment to justice. In more than 40 cities in 25 states across the country, JwJEF’s network is forging coalitions of labor, religious, student and community organizations that are committed to long-term economic and social justice advocacy. JwJEF is grounded in the belief that all workers should have collective bargaining rights, labor and employment protections, employment security, and a decent standard of living. By bringing together diverse groups and voices at the national and local levels, they are creating innovative solutions to the problems workers and working families face today. National campaigns in which they are engaged include Caring Across Generations, POWER, Debt Free Future, Future of Work initiative, and Change Walmart Change the Economy. Most recently Jobs with Justice, through their Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign, helped 500,000 Walmart Workers Get a Raise. • In February of 2015, Walmart agreed to raise the minimum wage for all employees to $9 an hour this year and $10 an hour in 2016. • The estimated value of the raise is $1.4 billion in the first year and $2.2 billion in the second. • This raise will help 500,000 Walmart employees including those at 13 Walmarts on Long Island. • The victory is the result of years of organizing by Veatch Program grantee Jobs with Justice through their Change Walmart, Change the Economy campaign, which organizes workers and shareholders while educating the public and mobilizing community members to demand justice.

Spotlight Article Link

February 19, 2015 Walmart Succumbs to Pressure, Announces Plans to Raise Wages

Spotlight Organization Links

Making Change at Wal-Mart Jobs with Justice

The Veatch Site Visit April, 2015 to St. Louis, Missouri

[video width="640" height="300" mp4=""][/video] As noted in the May 5 and May 19, 2015 issues of the Quest, a delegation combined of 10 people from the Veatch Board of Governors, Veatch Staff and the UUCSR Board of Trustees, visited with Veatch grantees doing important groundwork in Missouri. Grantees visited include Missouri Organizing Collaborative, working to change the culture of democracy in Missouri by employing community organizing strategies to increase voter participation and affect public policies; Missouri Rural Crisis Center, working to preserve family farms, protect the environment and advance economic and social justice; GRO Grassroots Organizing, working to increase civic engagement in rural Missouri, build support for statewide corporate accountability campaigns and increase resources for social safety net programs; Communities Creating Opportunity, working to support the efforts of faith-based community groups organizing to advocate for living wage jobs, quality healthcare and racial equality in Missouri and Kansas; and the Organization for Black Struggle, working to support community organizing efforts in St. Louis County to combat structural racism and police brutality. For more information on this Site Visit, please be sure to check out the May 5 and May 19 issues of the Quest. Video Link: 2014 Year in Review ~4 minutes, with contemplative but engaging music. Lifts up stats and campaigns from 2014.

The Annual Veatch Bustrip to meet with a grantee was different this year. It was "busless" and included FIVE grantees!

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January, 2015: PICO - Unlocking the Power of People

[video width="640" height="300" mp4=""][/video] Every January we look forward to hearing from some of the amazing leaders working with Veatch grantee organizations. The guest speakers for our recent Veatch Sunday--January 11, 2015--are especially powerful—and timely. PICO: “Unlocking the Power of People” was our theme, and we featured leaders from the PICO National Network and two local affiliates. PICO is one of the major “institution-based community organizing” networks in the country, with 52 member federations in 200 localities in 18 states. PICO works with approximately 1,200 religious congregations representing 35 different traditions. It has a strong record of bringing powerful faith voices into important regional, state and national fights over issues including immigration, education, foreclosure, jobs and other issues critical to working people. The preacher on Sunday, January 11, was the Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, Director of Clergy Organizing and lead organizer for PICO’s Prophetic Voices Initiative, which is training faith leaders to participate more effectively in the struggle for racial and economic inclusion in the U.S. Rev. Mathews, who joined the PICO senior leadership team in January 2008, celebrates twenty-eight years of pastoral ministry this year. He has been spending a good deal of time in recent months on the ground in Ferguson, MO, helping organizers working with a community in deep conflict. After UU Café last Sunday, Rev. Mathews was joined for a panel discussion by leaders from two local PICO affiliates: Doran Schrantz, Executive Director of ISAIAH, a multi-ethnic congregation-based community organization in the Twin City and St. Cloud regions, formed in 2000. ISAIAH’s 100 member congregations represent over 175,000 people. Its mission is to promote racial and economic justice through intensive leadership development and collective, faith-based actions and Eva Schulte, President and CEO of Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) based in Kansas City, MO, a faith-based, non-partisan organization focusing on five primary initiatives: housing and community development, safe neighborhoods, healthcare, economic empowerment, and youth development. CCO brings people of all faiths together to build relationships, develop strong leaders, and improve the quality of life in our communities. Each of these staff leaders will be accompanied by a volunteer leader from their organization –the Rev. Paul Slack from ISAIAH and the Rev. Ken McKoy from CCO. One goal of the January 11 presentation was to help the congregation better understand the role that faith communities are able to play in addressing racial discrimination, mass incarceration and police violence, especially as it disproportionately and adversely affects low income communities and people of color.

Article links: Link to PICO’s facebook page: EBASE (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy) was selected for the "Grantee Spotlight" in December, 2014. December, 2014 We have exciting news to share from EBASE (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy): On November 4th, “81% of voters said YES to raising Oakland's minimum wage to $12.25 with paid sick days!  We are incredibly excited because this means that starting on March 2, 2015, 48,000 workers will receive a raise and 57,000 will be able to stay home when they or their family are sick without losing wages. Wow!” “Thank you so much to the UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock for your support of EBASE work in partnership with the entire Lift Up Oakland Coalition.  Along with ACCE, Oakland Rising and all our coalition partners, we spoke with tens of thousands of voters through coordinated civic engagement programs.  EBASE's faith-rooted organizing program reached 4,000 people through their congregations during our "labor in the pulpit program" and signed up dozens of small businesses as endorsers through our #Shopin4MeasureFF campaign. It's been pretty incredible!” EBASE East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy“What's particularly exciting is that beyond raising wages, we are clearly building a movement for economic justice that sets us up for the next win.” For 15 years, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy’s (EBASE) mission has been to advance economic, racial, and social justice by building a just economy in the East Bay based on good jobs and healthy communities. EBASE is the only advocacy organization in the East Bay region that builds alliances across community, faith, and labor to advance social and economic justice policies.  Since its inception in 1999, EBASE has improved the lives of 20,000 people through winning eight living wage policies for 2,000 workers; securing better workplace conditions for 17,000 workers; and connecting 1,000 local residents to family-sustaining jobs.  Recent accomplishments include:

  • EBASE convened Revive Oakland, a community-labor-faith coalition of 30 organizations. In 2012, Revive Oakland won the landmark Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Good Jobs Policy with the City of Oakland, which included living wages for all workers; 50% local hire and 25% hiring of disadvantaged workers; opportunities for people with criminal records; the creation of a job training and resource center; and, the creation of a long-term Community Oversight Commission.
  • The opening of the Job Resource Center, which has become a respected member of the workforce development community. Thanks to the vision EBASE spearheaded, the Center is already becoming a national resource and model for other communities looking to boost local resident participation in long term construction careers.
  • Convening labor, community, and faith organizations that are working on issues that impact low-wage workers such as OUR Walmart, the Fast Food Fight for $15, and ACCE. Together, they have used coordinated strategies to maximize community organizing, leadership development, and media presence.

As the economy continues to come back, it is not enough to simply create more poverty-wage jobs. EBASE is addressing the root causes of economic injustice by creating good jobs, expanding opportunities and shifting to a more just and healthy economy for all.  EBASE is uniquely positioned at the nexus of community, labor, and faith to create policies that raise the floor for all workers and open the door to meaningful economic opportunity for marginalized communities. Here are links to articles:,_Measure_FF_%28November_2014%29 Link to EBASE’s FB page:  

Make the Road New York was selected for the "Grantee Spotlight" in November, 2014.

Make the Road New York (MRNY), a New York based grantee, with headquarters in Brooklyn, as well as an office in Queens, two in Staten Island and one in Long Island, continues to help drive the WASH NY campaign, laying the groundwork for union contracts and improved conditions in the entire car wash industry. In May 2014, after working with MRNY organizers, workers at Five Star Car Wash in Queens signed the seventh union contract in New York City. Workers there had been paid as little as $4 an hour with no overtime pay, even though they often worked 60 hours or more per week. Since then, an eighth car wash has voted to unionize but has not yet signed a union contract, and a ninth car wash has a union election later this month. The Five Star contract came a few weeks after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced settlements totaling $3.9 million with two related car wash chains owned and operated by employers notorious for exploiting their employees. (Together they own more than 20 car washes – about 10 percent of all car washes in New York City – and employ about 1,000 workers.) The investigation had been launched with information that MRNY’s legal team had painstakingly gathered from working on dozens of individual wage-theft cases.  MRNY has helped maintain this campaign’s momentum by galvanizing broad community support, securing support of elected officials, and organizing citywide events that connect workers from different car washes. One example was its April 2014 Car Wash Workers Assembly that drew 200 carwash workers from across the city. Make the Road NYClick here for  a July, 2014 New York Daily News story.   

Ai-Jen Poo was selected for the "Grantee Spotlight" in October, 2014.

We just received some great news from Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a Veatch grantee leader who spoke here on Veatch Sunday in January 2013. Ai-jen has been named one of this year’s recipients of a $625,000 MacArthur grant (sometimes referred to as a “MacArthur genius award”). Ai-Jen helped initiate the Caring Across Generations campaign to create 2 million new living-wage home care jobs, expand training for home care workers, and establish a pathway to citizenship for those who are undocumented. Here’s what she writes:

“I want to share some exciting news with you -- I received a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship! The fellowships are awarded to creative individuals whose work has the potential to improve the world we live in. And it’s a huge honor to see my name among visionaries whose work is transforming our world.

“As honored as I am, I know this award is not about me. It is a direct reflection of the thousands of domestic workers and caring people whose courage and dedication have built our movement to win dignity and respect for domestic workers, women, and families. “That’s why I'm thrilled to announce that I’ll be using the funding from the award to endow a fellowship program to give caregiver and domestic worker leaders the opportunity to spend focused time working to shape the future of care in America. “With 42 affiliates in 26 cities, the National Domestic Workers Alliance would not be where it is today without the domestic workers and allies who have given their hearts, their time, and their vision to build this movement. Our movement is strong and our movement is growing. This fellowship will give a new generation of domestic worker leaders the opportunity to bring their vision and leadership to our work. “This celebration is bigger than me -- it's about our movement. . . This award is a direct reflection of the impact of our work together. Thank you for everything you’re doing to make it all possible. With much love and appreciation, Ai-jen” We extend our congratulations Ai-jen Poo, one of a host of extraordinary Veatch grantee leaders. It is our hope that this well-deserved recognition will ensure greater awareness of her work on behalf of low-wage home care workers in America. Ai Jen Poo at SR Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2000 she co-founded Domestic Workers United, the New York organization that spearheaded the successful passage of the state’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2007, DWU helped organize the first national domestic workers convening, out of which formed the NDWA. As Co-director of Caring Across Generations, Ai-jen leads a movement that is inspiring thousands of careworkers, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and lawmakers to work together to ensure that all people can mature in this country with dignity, security and independence. Ai-jen serves on the Board of Directors of Momsrising, National Jobs with Justice, Working America, and the National Council on Aging. She is a 2014 MacArthur Foundation fellow, a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Other accolades include the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Award, the Independent Sector American Express NGen Leadership Award, and Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list. For the Caring Across Generations website, click here. For an NBC News Story, click here.