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Ana Garcia-Ashley
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Veteran community organizer Ana Garcia-Ashley is the Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation -- a grassroots network of non-partisan, faith-based organizations in 17 U.S. states, South Africa and the United Kingdom, that organizes to empower ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives.

Garcia-Ashley began organizing in 1981 after graduating from the University of Colorado in Denver. Deeply interested in the intersection of politics and faith, Garcia-Ashley also attended the Iliff School of Theology. She joined Gamaliel in 1992 as the lead organizer of MICAH in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she led one of the most successful campaigns in Gamaliel’s history: winning a $500 million commitment from local banks to invest in affordable housing. As a result, 7,000 low-income families in Milwaukee were able to buy homes. Garcia-Ashley also founded Gamaliel’s statewide Wisconsin affiliate, WISDOM.

Entries by Ana Garcia-Ashley

Community Organizing Can Deliver Jobs and More Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 5:41 PM

It was heartening to see Missouri's Attorney General finally take action by suing at least 13 municipalities due to their excessive court fees last week.

As the ACLU and the NAACP target the Ferguson Florissant school district to get more diverse representation on their school board, which...

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An Open Letter to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch

(2) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 11:44 AM

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Image of Bob McCulloch via Slate

All week long I have been scratching my head trying to understand your announcement of the Grand Jury decision Monday night.

I listened closely that evening as you spent nearly 30 minutes...

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Mr. President, Here's How to Help Ferguson Today: Give Youth Access to Federally Funded Jobs

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 9:01 PM

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In California, leaders of North Bay Organizing Project honored the 49th anniversary of regulations governing hiring on federal construction and other contracts by calling for changes that would help put America back to work and make sure employment of people of color more closely...

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#AfterFerguson: Faith-based Organizing's Approach

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 1:23 PM

Indulge me for just a few minutes here. While what we at Gamaliel fight on are depressing issues, right now, at least, I'm kind of giddy. It's not often that a two-time Pulitzer-winning journalist basically endorses everything we are doing.

He didn't use our name and wasn't referring...

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Corporations Hope Court That Gave Them Speech in 2012 Will Rob Unions' Power Next Week

(4) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 1:52 PM

Co-authored with Rev. John Welch, Gamaliel Board Chair

We wanted to share news about this upcoming Supreme Court decision -- if you are so moved to send a version of this letter to the editor of your own, you can do that here.

For our allies in the...

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Hope Reborn From Fast for Immigration Reform

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 5:19 PM

For me, it started with an invitation from a friend, Mary Kay Henry of Service Employees International Union, to visit the Fast for Families tent on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Their fast, which inspired me and thousands of others to fast in the weeks since, memorialized immigrants' journey...

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Will the Meeting Between Pope Francis and President Obama Foster a 'Social Justice Spring'?

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 8:57 AM

The following blog has been reposted from U.S. Catholic.

Ever since I read that President Obama and Pope Francis will meet at the Vatican later this month, my hopes for the year have been rising.

Not just for the two of them--although as a Catholic and as director...

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'Please Don't Separate My Parents'

(21) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 12:19 PM

"Please don't separate my parents."

That plea was made by six year old Elianna Romero of South Bend, Indiana to an aide to Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN).

She and her mom, Julie Romero, were among the 400 or so activists yesterday who paid unannounced visits to 18 home...

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Immigration Reform Only 'Half-Done'

(12) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 11:20 AM

Today I am going to be visiting Rep. Paul Ryan's office in Racine, Wis., to sing "Happy Birthday" and to present him with half a birthday cake and balloons. Members of WISDOM will be with me, Catholic nuns, pastors and immigrants. It's part of a national...

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This Mother's Day, All I Want Is a Moratorium on Deportations

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Every day we wait for a clear path to citizenship, 1,100 families lose someone to deportation. This includes mothers of U.S. born children and dreamers. I have spoken first-hand with children who have experienced the forced separation of a parent due to deportation. It is always devastating. Psychologists...

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Don't Let the Boston Bombers Stop Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(8) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 4:06 PM

Lawmakers who are against immigration reform are exploiting what happened in Boston as a failure of immigration policy.

While we do not yet have all the facts on how or why the Tsarnaev brothers turned against a country that took them in when their parents said they were being...

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Dear Senate Gang of Eight: We Are Almost There

(3) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Around 2 a.m. last Wednesday morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced the long-awaited comprehensive immigration bill, S. 744, or the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The image of Sen. Schumer flanked by his colleague Sen. Durbin (D-Ill.) and bleary-eyed floor and committee staff stands as...

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Boston Marathon Tragedy Can Test Our Faith

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 11:33 AM

What happened at the Boston Marathon is often inexplicable and can test our faith.

As I write this, three people are confirmed dead and more than 175 people injured with 17 in critical condition. The loss of life and the sheer violence of this premeditated act are unfathomable but...

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This Headline Is Long Overdue: Associated Press Drops 'Illegal Immigrant' From Stylebook

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 6:55 PM

The Associated Press announced April 2 that they will no longer use the term 'illegal immigrant' to describe people who are living in the country without citizenship. Associated Press dropped it from the AP Stylebook, a book of print rules considered the grammar bible for most newspaper editors and reporters...

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You Reap What You Sow: Sequestration

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 4:01 PM

Our country is in the midst of sequestration and I can't help but think, "We voted these people into office and somehow it's our fault." You reap what you sow, or so the Bible says in Galatians 6:7

While President Obama dines with Republicans, discussing partisan support, the

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Supreme Court Justice Scalia Should Take a Cue From Pope Benedict XVI

(10) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 6:11 PM

When you are not serving the people, it may be time to step aside. And not serving the interests of the people is exactly what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did Wednesday when he called a vital protection, a "perpetuation of racial entitlement." As a woman of color,...

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It Doesn't Matter Who Is to Blame for the Sequester

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:53 PM

While Congress bickers about who came up with the sequester, we are fast approaching the March 1 deadline when devastating across-the-board cuts to education, infrastructure, public health and safety, transportation, and job training will automatically take effect. Days from now, 70,000 children could be 'kicked-off' of head-start programs, 13,000 teachers...

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Bravo Mr. President, Now Let's Get This Done!

(5) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 2:42 PM

Yesterday, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to the people of the United States of America. In response to the State of the Union Address, I have issued the following statement:

President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address to the...

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We Remain Vigilant and Want a Timeline

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 3:05 PM

President Obama stated his plans to fix the "broken immigration" process here in the United States, calling for "commonsense" immigration reform. While we applaud the bipartisan efforts by our U.S. Senators and the president, the concern is that special interests will prevail and Congress will veto the legislation.

In...

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Gamaliel Speaks About One of Its Own Becoming POTUS

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 1:00 PM

As President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term, I could not help but feel a sense of pride. Afterall, he started with Gamaliel as community organizer, a place where I now serve as its executive director, the first woman of color to have the title.

There...

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