Montgomery is fortunate to be the home of several organizations shining a light on social and economic injustice. While these organizations have a shared goal to create a more just society, each serves a specific role.
Here are a few distinctions that, taken together, make Alabama Arise unique:
- Alabama Arise is completely homegrown and unique to Alabama. Our founding members were Alabama churches and organizations whose members hoped to make utility bills and other basic needs more affordable for low-income people. They learned that the changes they wanted to make could only be addressed by the state legislature. Arise was launched in 1988 as an organization that would mobilize its members to promote legislation to exclusively address poverty issues. While Arise does network with policy organizations from other states, there is no Arise organization on a national scale.
- Arise combines statewide organizing, policy analysis and advocacy to achieve our goals. Alabama Arise conducts independent research and shares findings with state lawmakers to help them understand how policy decisions affect people living in poverty. Armed with sound data, Arise promotes legislative actions to reduce poverty and remove barriers to prosperity. We employ a team of organizers who hold meetings throughout the state to raise awareness and to help people be a part of the democratic process. Timely communications alert constituents when your voices need to be heard. Arise also employs a professional lobbyist through our sister organization, Alabama Arise Action.
- Alabama Arise is inclusive and member-driven. The Arise staff takes our marching orders from our members, who meet every September to choose the next year’s legislative agenda. Proposed issues must address poverty in Alabama. And to make sure that our leadership is also inclusive, Arise requires that at least half our board members be low-income people themselves or represent an organization that directly serves low-income Alabamians.
- Alabama Arise is grassroots. Arise is supported by 150 churches and civic organizations and receives support from national and local foundations, but the biggest growth in recent years has been individual memberships ─ regular people who envision an Alabama where “all people have resources and opportunities to reach their potential to live happy, productive lives, and each successive generation is ensured a secure and healthy future.”
As we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30, Alabama Arise hasn’t yet reached our budget goal. With ten days remaining, we need to raise an additional $7,000 to ensure that we will be able to carry out our mission. Please donate today to support our movement to improve health care, increase funding for education, child care and public transportation, improve life for people in poverty and make a better Alabama for all.