Interfaith Community Organization
Our congregation was a founding member of the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization (ICO) in 1999, and we have a proud history of working with other faith communities (such as First Congregational UCC, Second Samoan UCC, St. Athanasius Catholic, St. Lucy’s Catholic, St. Luke’s Episcopal, United With Hope UMC) and other supporters in Long Beach to increase justice for all residents of the Greater Long Beach area.
In the past eighteen years, with our partner congregations we have addressed myriad local concerns, including traffic problems, street lighting, crime, sanitation and youth activities. We have collaborated on improving air quality, access to health care, shelter for the homeless, the need for affordable housing, and immigration concerns.
An early major victory, spearheaded by our congregation, created the first year-round homeless shelter in the City of Long Beach. Most recently we collaborated with our ICO partners and many others across the State of California to pass Proposition 47, which reduces the penalties for certain low-level felonies, and establish programs to encourage people to exercise their new rights to have criminal records reclassified.
As noted above, ICO occasionally partners with other community groups to work on social justice, becoming part of broader efforts of statewide and even national concern.
Like the other congregations, we have a Local Organizing Committee that identifies key issues within the congregation and then works toward solutions, typically in partnership with ICO members. UUCLB’s ICO-LOC meets monthly, and everyone is welcome to attend, either to observe or to become involved. Attending these meetings is an excellent way to find out what issues are of concern in the greater community, and what other organizations are doing to address the issues.