Founded 1997, the Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice is a coalition of religious leaders in Santa Clara County who are called by their sacred text and traditions to work for justice and stand up for the poor.
The Interfaith Council involves people from many faith perspectives including Methodist, Lutheran, Jewish, Moslem, Roman Catholic, Nondenominational, Congregationalist, Unitarian Universalist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Buddhist.
Ensuring Dignity and a Voice at Work: The Interfaith Council helps the voice of the working poor to be heard through writing letters, meeting with workers and management, participating in delegations, and sponsoring vigils, events and programs.
- Hotel Workers’ Rising – We support hotel workers of the Santa Clara Hyatt seeking a dignity and respect at work. ICEJ has gathered 6,000 pledges of support from over 50 Santa Clara County congregations.
- Justice for Janitors – In 2008, we took a stand alongside 5,000 janitors working at high tech facilities who struggled for and won better wages, affordable family health care and safe working conditions. In 2009 we supported Cisco janitors facing lay-offs through Interfaith candlelight vigils and chaplaincy on picket lines.
Advocating Social Policy: The Interfaith Council speaks out on issues that improve the quality of life for working families, provide better jobs and strengthen our community.
- City of San Jose Living Wage Ordinance – In 2008, the Interfaith Council provided leadership to a coalition of community activists, small businesses and union members which succeeded in extending the San Jose Living Wage Ordinance to airport workers earning substandard wages without benefits.
- Supporing Affordable Housing – Leadership from the faith community raises public attention around the affordable housing crisis. The Interfaith Council co-sponsors education and advocacy efforts with affordable housing groups.
- Protect City Programs Serving Working Poor – The Interfaith Council has participated in public forums and city budget hearings to advocate against making drastic cuts to healthcare access, public transportation, and other programs that assist working families. One specific effort included participation on the Community Budget Working Group, where religious leaders added their voice in supporting innovative solutions and ideas amidst challenging economic times.
- Limiting the Impact of Big Box Stores – The Interfaith Council leaders spoke at Santa Clara City Council to protect quality of life for its citizens by supporting an ordinance to prevent the building of “big box” stores. Currently, we are working with a Milpitas community communilty coalition to prevent a Wal-Mart expansion that threatens good jobs at local grocery stores.