Monday, March 25, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Participates in SURE -Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity- Nehemiah Action Assembly at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Monday March 25, 2019

Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE) was founded in 1998 when clergy from diverse congregations throughout Sarasota recognized the need to unite with one another for form a powerful voice to press for necessary change in the community.

Here are some accomplishments:
SURE got commitments from the Superintendent to implement the Direct Instruction (DI)reading comprehension program in elementary schools where less than 50% of students were reading at grade level beginning in 2003. By 2004, because of DI, Sarasota schools saw huge gains in the number  of children reading proficiently.

Crime and Drugs
SURE got the Sheriff to implement a comprehensive substance abuse rehabilitation program in the county jail in 2010. To date, this program has cut recidivism among drug  and alcohol addicted offenders from 75% to 13%.

Mental Health:
In 2016 SURE pressed local officials to secure 2.4 million over the course of three years for a Comprehensive Treatment Court. This court helps homeless people with mental illness get into 6 months of housing and wrap around services. This program currently serves 120 people per year.

Civil Citation:
This year, over 70% of eligible youth received a Civil Citation instead of arrest.

School Suspension:
This year SURE asked Superintendent Todd Bowden to establish Restorative Practice pilot schools and training to reduce suspensions in elementary and secondary schools. Mr. Bowden agreed to implement these practices and training in the Sarasota Schools.

Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund:
Commissioner Hagen Brody agreed to champion SURE's Housing Opportunity Fund to make a motion at the city commission meeting on 4/15/19 to authorized staff to identify funding to reach the goal of  $5 million in annual and dedicated funding for Housing Opportunity Fund and to receive a report back from staff by July 1st so that this funding can be included in the 2020 budget.

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