#GivingTuesday for radical space!

 

Donate Now!

A year ago, #saveSJAC won.

And then Trump was elected.

But because of you and the thousands of others who believed in a long-term place for movement-building in Portland, we were here. A go-to resource for people organizing — from immediate street actions and community check-ins, to the long resistance.

And we’re still here. We’ll be here for the next uprising, the next creative crisis. And we’ll be here for the many long moons in between, the regular work of learning, growing, and crafting radical cultures.

How?

Over the last year, with further investment by community members, we refinanced the mortgage — making the building financially secure for the long term. We also negotiated ongoing leases with the low-income residents that ensures their stability and rights. And maintained a consistent, respectful food cart tenant in the kitchen.

With that, combined with regular donors contributing monthly, we’re now able to make our grassroots event space available regardless of means!

Thanks to you. Continue reading

Support SJAC! #GivingTuesday

Thanks to broad support from our community, the Social Justice Action Center is here to stay! We’ve saved the building. Thank you!

Now, help us launch programs to make the best use of it we can, in support of grassroots organizing especially among marginalized communities. These include:

  • regular movement-building trainings and political education series facilitated by organizations and groups that use the space,
  • open mic fundraisers to showcase local music and spoken word, and
  • a mural design project to represent the visions of core communities.

Your donation today helps us focus on this work!  Please donate online or by check — make a onetime gift, or mobilize your pocketbook even further and make a recurring contribution!

There’s another way to help! If we can refinance our mortgage in the next short while, we can lock in historically low interest rates — which have started rising. This can save us potentially hundreds of dollars every month — and our community can make that happen by helping us find a total of $70k in mortgage-backed personal loans to unlock the bank loan.

So, please help us find people who are able to loan us $5,000 or more for five years, at an interest rate between 0% and 4%. If someone inherits some money, or has a nest egg for retirement, or the like, this can be a phenomenal alternative to the risky, amoral stock market or the low returns on a bank account.  Email sjac@riseup.net with any leads.

Thanks!
the SJAC coordinating committee

SJAC is here for you

dumptrump-cropIn a moment of danger and need, a moment that calls for connection and organizing, solidarity and creativity, SJAC is here for you.

If you need a centrally located, accessible location to gather in these days of defiance, despair, and determination: check the calendar for open times and contact us. We’ll expedite your requests and try to make it as easy as possible, with money not an object.

Example gatherings:sjac-gather

  1. Circles to share feelings of fear, rage, numbness, hope, shame, depression, faith, and whatever else is alive.
  2. Organizing direct action for resistance and mutual aid during ICE raids
  3. Cultural events before and/or after marches
  4. Delegates from various organizations hammering out tactical agreements for collective and autonomous action
  5. Providing a base for physical/emotional medics during ongoing street actions
  6. Childcare co-op for parents who don’t want to take their kids to a meeting/march/uprising
  7. A dry place for prayers and ceremonies of courage and dedication
  8. An open house for newcomers to movement to hear about all the different kinds of ways they can get involved
  9. All the brilliant other ideas you may have…

En la lucha,
SJAC coordinating committee

Victory! #SaveSJAC next steps

SJAC.adamYES!

Together, we did it — we gathered enough caring, committed people to pitch in and #SaveSJAC!

This morning, we passed the $20,000 minimum goal we needed to avert foreclosure and lay the foundation for financing the purchase of the building.  In the last few hours, your work sharing the news and the need made all the difference, as dozens of people discovered the project and made the choice to invest in our movements’ future — in the heart of Portland.

Take a moment to breathe and let that sink in. YES!

Now, of course, there’s more to be done:

  • We’re planning on hosting a community effort for beautiful murals on the walls, and facelifting the space, improving the windows and insulation;
  • We’re fundraising for a community organizer who can link with grassroots movements and communities, learn about what they need, and make SJAC a place in which collective mutual aid becomes standard practice; and
  • We’re continuing to build our capacity to subsidize marginalized groups that need the space, but don’t have enough cash to pay the amount we’d otherwise need to operate.

This is the ongoing support that community-building takes.

And in this moment of success, in which the incredible power of the people is so visible, our community donor has offered to match up to $5000 more of sustaining Friend of SJAC subscriptions, over the upcoming week.

Let’s make the most of this moment. If you’ve given a one-time gift, consider whether you can double your investment with an easy $5 or $10 or $25 a month — and have a full year matched by our generous donor!

Just think:

  • $10/month for a year pays for materials for a whole mural!
  • $25/month can subsidize the meetings of Casa Wovoka (Native narcotics anonymous), or IWOC (Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee), or Strike Debt!, or any of the other amazing groups that meet here!
  • And if 300 people sign up at just $5/mo, that completely pays for our part-time community organizer!

Finally, if you’re in a position to offer a highly secure loan to SJAC, secured by the mortgage, at a charitable rate (0%-4%), that’s an incredibly valuable way to save us significant money every month on interest charges.  One of these has been pledged already, and a handful more will make all the difference.  Contact us for details!

Let’s spread the word, and tell our friends and companerxs: the people, united, have saved SJAC — and let’s build on that victory by becoming ongoing Friends of SJAC, right now.

¡Si, se puede!

Holding Ground was an amazing success!!

img_2335

More to come, but what an incredible event tonight, everyone! Thanks! Awesome young artists telling it like it is, a wide variety of groups sharing about their work “holding ground” in Portland, and how important SJAC is — great conversations among participants, and a good leg up for SJAC fundraising. We’re close, but still need a bit more! We’ll be tallying the totals overnight and updating early tomorrow, but keep the social media flowing.

Remember: pledge just $10/mo for a year right now, and SJAC gets a total of $240 with the match! Spread the word!

 

SJAC presents: Holding Ground, Oct 4

sjac-holding-groundor, How community organizations can resist rent spikes, together!

Tues, Oct 4: 5:30p doors open, 6:30p program.

Speakers: Margot Black, Portland Tenants United; Robert Van Pelt, Tututni Siletz & Umatilla (SJAC board); Grant Neal, Casa Wovoka Native NA; Jonny Cool, local musician, and more!

Rents in Portland are rising, and long-term grassroots institutions are being forced out. But the Social Justice Action Center is bucking that trend!

Join us for a special open house at the Center where we share our model for grassroots organizing in the heart of Portland, especially by and for marginalized communities and organizers of color.

We’ll have a silent auction, friendly music, and timely conversation about how to build long-term places for grassroots groups to share.

Learn how you can get involved in this important moment as we raise the $20,000 we need to save our building and purchase it for community movements. Contributions to SJAC are matched dollar for dollar till we make our goal!

It’s a commonplace that rents in Portland — for housing and for organizations — are through the roof, with landlords and developers making bank on affluent incomers, and the rest of us pushed to the brink.

Many community groups that have played a vital role in creating the Portland that has attracted so many, are now forced to move or close. From radical bookstores to artists’ co-ops, from underground publishers to alternative cafes, many of those that don’t hew to the Division St. veneer (and have deep pockets) are being pushed out.

This won’t last forever. But to keep community organizing strong — whether among marginalized communities that are increasingly forced to the perimeters of the city, or among creatives and radicals scrapping to keep the spark alive closer in — we need places in the heart of Portland as permanent homebases.

Our conversation will feature people who’ve experienced the recent changes firsthand, and will discuss various approaches to keeping community places open and available. We’ll especially look at opportunities for our movements to own properties, protecting them from speculation, and how we can best get there — showcasing SJAC’s own current campaign to buy its building.kboo-logo

Join us! And join the struggle…

Co-sponsored by KBOO, 90.7 FM.

Capital Campaign to save SJAC

Free political prisoners, at SJAC

Event at SJAC: Free political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim! Left to right: Chauncy Peltier, Walidah Imarisha, Ahjamu Umi, Blaque Butterfly, Mic Crenshaw (SJAC board member), Kent Ford, Mike Libretto Jackson. Credit: Adam Carpinelli.

Update 10/6/2016: YES! Together, we did it — we made the minimum needed to #SaveSJAC. Now, let’s keep the momentum going to ensure we have the best mortgage possible, and grow the programs that SJAC is so well-placed to offer movement-building in the heart of Portland.

Click here to learn more about our next steps. Thank you, Portland!


Upscale blight getting you down? Then help us! 

SJAC is threatened with foreclosure. But we have the opportunity to save the building for good! To do it, we need community support to raise $20,000 by October 5th. Let’s buy this building — protecting this invaluable resource from rent spikes and the whims of landlords — forever! Si, se puede!

(See Testimonials.)

Marginalized communities are being pushed further and further from the heart of Portland, and from each other. The Social Justice Action Center (SJAC) is a community organizing and low-income housing non-profit committed to remaining a central, accessible location for grassroots gatherings.

Located on SE 12th and Oak, SJAC has over the last year provided a wide variety of groups low-to-no cost use of the space: KBOO, Portland Tenants United, Native Narcotics Anonymous, the Colombia Solidarity Group, Jericho political prisoner support, Strike Debt, the Jacobin reading group, and many more.

How You Can Help
For a limited time, we have an option to buy the building for well below market value. We are on track to secure the bulk of our financing, but we need your help for the down payment.

Here are three big ways to help:

  1. Make a donation to our capital campaign (or use this direct link to our crowdfunding site)! This contribution* is an investment in the grassroots future, and is crucial to demonstrate to lenders that we have widespread community support.
  2. Make a mortgage-backed personal loan to SJAC for a larger sum, on favorable terms!
  3. Spread the word to your friends and family. Use email or social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pokemon Go (lol). Whatever works, get this opportunity into the hands of as many people as possible.

* To be sure it’s tax-deductible, make your donations via our fiscal sponsor, the Alliance for Global Justice. See https://sjacpdx.org/contribute for more.

We’re counting on you!

Background
The building we’re buying was built in 1873 and according to local stories was a safe boarding house for women. More recently the ground floor has been used as a series of restaurants, while the upstairs houses primarily POC and/or queer low-income residents.

For over a year, SJAC has been running programs supporting our purpose of supporting marginalized groups building grassroots power amongst themselves and with each other. Our board and advisory council include prominent and respected members of these constituencies.

SJAC now has the right to buy the building for about 75% of its market value — this is known as a charitable “bargain sale”. We are seeking $100,000 in personal mortgage-backed loans at 0-4% interest, and $30,000 in direct contributions to support the purchase. The remainder will be financed through a local credit union.

We have demonstrated our capacity to generate ongoing money to pay such loans — we have been using the former restaurant kitchen to host food cart prep, which provides the bulk of our monthly income. In addition, we hope that many of our capital campaign supporters will become monthly supporters at the level of that “cappucino or three”, allowing us to grow our organizing to scale with the need! Request our business plan and pro forma for more details.

Spring Gathering and Open House!

The Social Justice Action Center – SJAC – invites you to a Spring Gathering and Open House

SJAC is a new initiative that secures a “Community Space” owned and used by our grassroots organizations that represent low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, GLBTQ, youth, and other marginalized groups.

SJAC offers space for 10-40 people to gather, organize, build relationships with each other, and gain experience working across differences towards mutual understanding and solidarity.

Special appearance: SJAC advisory council member Mic Crenshaw
(http://miccrenshaw.com/) will update us on December’s Afrikan Hiphop
Caravan and drop some revolutionary rhymes.

When: Saturday, March 12, 3-7 pm (stay the whole time, or drop in!) Programming starts at 4 pm.

Where: SJAC, 400 SE 12th (corner of Oak St, one block north of Stark)

Please join us to:

– find out how your group can participate and help energize SJAC.

– join a conversation about ways SJAC can help with movement building.

– get informed about how to reserve SJAC for your group’s meetings and events, workshops, art exhibits, celebrations, etc.

– enjoy tasty snacks, drinks, and music. Bring something to share, if you like.

– touch base with your friends and comrades, meet new people ‘en la lucha’

– learn how you can support SJAC financially.

For more information, write to sjac@riseup.net