BUILD - Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct-Action

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Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct-Action (BUILD), formed in 2003, is a grassroots organization comprising 22 Lexington religious congregations. BUILD is affiliated with the national network Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART) and uses community-organizing practices to achieve constituent-led change for social justice in Lexington. Each year congregations engage in a cycle:

  1. Listening to their members to identify social injustices
  2. Researching the issues to identify solutions
  3. Assembling to meet with local officials to ask for specific, doable, systemic changes to advance social justice. BUILD process

Accomplishments of BUILD

  • Payday Lending. BUILD continues to work with other organizations across Kentucky to promote enactment of a law to cap payday lending rates at 36% to match the federal interest rate cap on loans to military families.
  • Ex-Offender Re-Entry. BUILD won a commitment from the Fayette County circuit court clerk and the Fayette County Detention Center to develop a plan to ensure inmates have state-issued IDs at the time of their release.
  • Affordable Housing in 2011, BUILD secured a commitment from several city council members to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that when implemented will create homes and hundreds of jobs annually.
  • Drugs and Crime. BUILD won a Restorative Justice Program in our Family Court System for youth who are using drugs or alcohol. Faith Lutheran participates with other area churches to support the Restorative Justice program.
  • Healthcare for the Uninsured. The Fayette County Health Department and other providers have supplied primary cares to over 14,000 of Lexington's uninsured adults.
  • Code Enforcement. In response to action BUILD took in 2007, The Code Enforcement Division stepped up inspections of trailer parks in Fayette County to ensure safe living conditions.
  • Drug treatment in jails. Although the drug treatment program for men in the Fayette County jail was known to reduce the recidivism rate from 60% to 19%, no program existed for women. At BUILD's request the mayor instituted a drug treatment program for women.
  • Police/Community Relations. Working with the Police Department, an anonymous safety tip card program was developed that has helped to increase policing of high drug trafficking areas.
  • Fayette County Public Schools. BUILD is working with the local school district to drastically reduce high suspension rates in certain middle schools.
  • Public Transportation. BUILD obtained commitments from LexTran to start an "Employment Bus" route to transport citizens during early-morning hours when regular bus service is not available.

 

 

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