TO:SOCIAL SERVICES PROVIDERS/OTHER CONCERNED CITIZENS
ATTN:PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
RE: Warning PCIC, V.I.P. and East Valley Interfaith Council intend to reinvent the wheel of social services then own it-at your expense!
Dear friends and co-workers serving the poor and disadvantaged:
The Arizona Rural Human Services Network is writing to alert you regarding the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) and its proposed Family Development Fund. Also how it could eventually close your doors, and put the disadvantaged persons you serve out on the street. The Valley Interfaith Project (V.I.P.) and the East Valley Interfaith Project in Phoenix under the guise of Welfare Reform seek to divert Social Service dollars to support their agenda.
What is PCIC and V.I.P.
Some say they are nothing more than a religious Political Action Committees (PAC), but they are more! In light of the above, it may be worth your time to educate yourself about the PCIC and VIP plans and its threat to the proven local social service delivery system.
The PCIC Plan
In case you have not heard, PCIC is demanding from local officials and the private sector 10 million dollars to implement their plan. Guess where the money will come from? (click here to see related Arizona Daily Star article)
How PCIC would fund the Plan
Frank Pierson the PCIC leader has indicated that the sources would include the city and county discretionary funds. Do you receive these funds for the services you provide? Furthermore, PCIC intends to tap the private sector which would divert money away from The United Way and other community charities and fundraisers.Would this affect you?
Also, PCIC is targeting the 20 million dollar social services block grant from the State. This would be disastrous, since the only hope for making Welfare Reform work would be wasted on the PCIC plan and the bureaucracy it will create. If this were to happen, Welfare Reform will be even harder on the poor. (click here to see PCIC Plan or Tucson Weekly article)
All this looms just at the time when we are reeling from the disastrous cutbacks from the 1980's and now face the chaos which Welfare Reform will create. Guess whose door step the thousands of displaced welfare recipients are going to show up? Not PCIC, as their plan does not address Welfare Reform! Thousands of the poor could be displaced by a diversion of resources to PCIC.
What PCIC Plan Offers
The PCIC Family Development Fund calls for 10 million dollars to train less than 1000 clients ($10,000 each) and place them on jobs ranging from $8.00 to 12.00 per hour - all this as we say "adios" to MICROSOFT. Don Diamond at the recent PCIC convocation reportedly raised the same concern, as he doubts these jobs would be available in the private sector.
Ten million dollars represent more money than all the Pima County discretionary funds allocated to outside agencies for the last decade!
It also is equal to the entire amount of money raised by United Way annually. Non-the-less, PCIC is demanding a blank check in that amount even though they have no track record or accountability for the funds it now receives.
About PCIC Leader Frank Pierson
According to the Arizona Daily Star (Oct. 20, 1987) Mr. Pierson was featured in an article entitled "Oracle investor hit by plunge (stock market) must end long hiatus from work." As you read attached article, would you want this big time loser in the stock market managing millions of local social service dollars?(click here to see Arizona Daily Star story)
Even though PCIC preaches cooperation, it takes every opportunity to slam local service providers in order to justify why they should create a new bureaucracy and take over the local service delivery system.
They claim that you are "unresponsive, inefficient, and not getting the job done."
PCIC tactics include intimidation and harassment of local elected officials who don't give into their demands. They prey on the poor by knocking at their doors and offering them social services if they join PCIC. Jobs for youth can require attending PCIC solidarity type meetings, etc.
It has been reported that PCIC troops have stormed many neighborhood meetings and taken over high visibility projects for which they then claim the credit.
Also, it has been reported that some of their zealots have invaded schoolrooms and verbally assaulted teachers that did NOT go along with their religious values. (click here to see Tucson Weekly "Currents")
PCIC Legal Status as a Political Action Committee
To further educate yourself about PCIC, you must understand its fundamental mission that is toreinvent the social service wheel and then run it, and they intend to do it with your funding sources. Also, PCIC is not a local concept, rather part of a national movement which has their own outside consultants, grant writers, community organizers along with retreats to indoctrinate local organizers in their "take over" tactics. PCIC has no demonstrated experience, accountability, or professional experience in social services. About all they do well is talk a lot and harass those who do not agree with them.
PCIC lets you believe that all the churches support them. The truth is most churches will not have anything to do with PCIC because they feel that group is operating contrary to scripture. As Luke 16:13 says "you cannot serve two masters" God and Government money. (click here to see guest comment)
PCIC'S Planned Front Organization
It is important to know PCIC plans to circumvent Church & State, and IRS issues and control the social service dollars. Frank Pierson was quoted in the Arizona Star, March 1st, 1997 "the money would be controlled by a 25 person, nonprofit corporation of business and community leaders," avoiding any possible church/state violations. Guess who would control the board PCIC sets up? PCIC of course.
How PCIC is funded
PCIC initial fund of 100,000 dollars came from the Industrial Area Foundation (IAF) of Austin, Texas run by Ernie Cortez, an interfaith organizer. PCIC also receives token donations from some of its churches and religious supporters. The Industrial Area Foundation was founded by Saul Alinsky, and presently the IAF board is made up of four men and one woman. Their objective is urban organizing, or in PCIC's case, urban domination of resources. These funds have targeted Tucson's south side for organizing in order to launch the PCIC agenda. The Industrial Areas Foundation is funded by the Campaign for Human Development (CHD) in Washington, D.C..
However, PCIC should not be underestimated, as has been the downfall of major social services delivery system in cities where they have taken over. By the way, their counterpart in Phoenix is the Valley Interfaith Project. Warn your groups there to be wary of this outfit, as they have the same intentions as PCIC.
Meanwhile be careful and do not allow PCIC to infiltrate any of your community projects with their religious agenda no matter what they promise you - as PCIC rarely delivers on its promises and most likely never will. Remember once their foot is in the door they will do whatever is necessary to take over. Educate your staff and board members of the PCIC menace - ask for their assistance in warning the disadvantaged persons you serve and other community members.
Community Opposition and Boycott
The good news is that this year the PCIC bottoms up economic summit was censured and boycotted by The Arizona Rural Human Services Network (ARHSN). Last year's PCIC political accountability convocation was uncontested and had front page color photos and articles. This year their plans were challenged. (click here to see Boycott & Censure Resolution)
Furthermore, The United Way Government Committee unanimously voted down the PCIC one million dollar proposal, which would have duplicated already existing job training services at three times the cost.
The Arizona Rural Human Services Network is made up of 33 primarily rural grass-roots community-based organizations (click here for more information) that must struggle to make ends meet to serve its disadvantaged clients. They receive very little funding and rely heavily on volunteer efforts. However, they are strongly united in purpose to help the poor to help themselves.
This group, like David, has cast a stone at the giant PCIC and hit them between the eyes.(click here to see Hispanic press coverage)
Their message to you, the urban counterparts, is that you need to get organized to counteract the PCIC agenda.
You must raise your voice and expose the fallacy, the duplication, and high cost of the PCIC plan. Furthermore, to indicate that if there is to be any additional funds they should go to meet the shortfalls of Welfare Reform, not some unworkable PCIC scheme.
Leaders such as George Miller, Raul Grijalva, Steve Leal, and Jose Ibarra need to hear your concerns and what is at stake, you can bet PCIC is talking to them. They need to be alerted to the negative effects already being felt from the Welfare Reform cuts and the funding crunch to expect in the future. Also, that this is hardly the time to be distracted by PCIC when tens of thousands of elderly, children, and poor families can't pay for their rent, utilities, or health care, and go to bed cold and hungry. You must point out that PCIC plan would only add another layer of expensive bureaucracy.
Do not be afraid of PCIC and their tactics. Furthermore, you need to show that what PCIC proposes is already being done professionally at far less the cost. Share your statistics and success stories.
Consequences of Inaction
If you do not get organized and make your voices heard then the poor and disadvantaged you serve will suffer the consequences down the road once PCIC gets control of the funding. By then it will be too late, as they will be forced to go along with the PCIC religious dominated agenda, or face cut off or denial of services.
Bottom line, tell local officials that the churches, which pay no property taxes, should be asked to pay for their Family Development Plan,not the taxpayers. Warn them, in light of the Welfare Reform, the consequences to the poor of this community once their services are cut off.
The ARHSN Network and the rural people have spoken and will stand beside its urban partners in this struggle. Our rural rallying point has been "Si Se Puede" (Yes We Can), which Cesar Chavez used to mobilize the poor migrant farmworker to stand up under adversity and fight for their cause. For further inquiries write the Network at P.O. Box 11971 Tucson, AZ. 85734Sincerely,
President Arizona Rural Human Services Network