FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2013
San Francisco Organizing Project and Peninsula Interfaith Action Announce Merger
After 17 years of faith-based community organizing in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and 30 years in
San Francisco, Peninsula Interfaith Action and the San Francisco Organizing Project, both affiliates of the PICO National Network, will merge, effective January 1, 2014.
SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA – Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) has served the Peninsula area for 17 years and the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) has been successful for 30 years, both of them training community leaders and helping low-income families gain access to affordable health care, creating new affordable housing, defending residents against displacement, and creating safer communities. The two organizations will merge, effective January 1, 2014, to create a new faith-based community organizing network that serves the San Francisco Peninsula.
PIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Jennifer Martinez reflects on the merger, “Already, we are beginning to see how our work for immigrant rights, affordable housing, access to health care and breaking the cycle of violence and incarceration will be enhanced by the alliance of these two long-standing organizations. In addition, based on what we are hearing in neighborhoods across the region, we anticipate launching new campaigns, focused on economic opportunity and equity.”
The new organization, called the San Francisco Organizing Project/Peninsula Interfaith Action (SFOP/PIA), will be co-directed by Erika Katske and Jennifer Martinez and will still be based on the time-tested model of the PICO National Network, the largest faith-based organizing network in the country. It will explore new methods, new partnerships, and new visions to address the social justice needs of the San Francisco Peninsula region.
“We are excited to build a stronger, visionary voice in our region,” said outgoing SFOP Board Chair, Joan Pierson of Providence Baptist Church. “The Bay Area needs an organization that will train everyday people in congregations to talk about race and inequality and to ask courageous questions about who and what we value in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.”
The new organization will formally launch with a regional leadership convention in late February.