Community Organizing

Statement from PACT Board Officers: Reconciliation & Moving Forward Together

We, as PACT, sincerely apologize for our decision to rescind the award to honor Zahra Billoo for her leadership in the local community. In our efforts to be responsive to one set of leaders, we inadvertently participated in efforts to silence a faith leader and close partner expressing moral critique of an ongoing human rights crisis in Palestine. In fact, conversations are much needed about the injustice that occurs every day in Palestine, and its connection to the issues we work on including racism, border walls, and police violence.

Holy Thursday Prayer & Foot-washing at ICE Facility in Morgan Hill



Contacts: Fr. Jon Pedigo (English/Spanish) 408-757-6344;  Akemi Flynn 408-504-8030; Erik Poicon(English/Spanish) 408-838-1883;

Holy Thursday Prayer & Foot-washing at ICE Facility in Morgan Hill


WHO: Faith and grassroots community leaders with PACT: People Acting in Community Together; Supervisor Dave Cortese.

WHAT: Faith leaders will ask ICE officers if they can conduct a foot-washing with detainees held at their facility. Leaders will also address. Protest the unjust enforcement activity tearing our community apart. Indiscriminate ICE activities result in arrests and the indefinite detention of long time, law-abiding residents

WHEN: Thursday March 29 at 12:00 p.m            

WHERE: 220 Vineyard Blvd., Morgan Hill, Ca, 95037

WHY: Holy Thursday is a day of solidarity and prayer. Santa Clara County continues to be targeted by ICE operations which continue to create fear in our community. In order to show solidarity with those being detained by ICE, faith leaders will offer to wash the feet of those that are being detained as a sign of solidarity, equality and to prepare them for the long and dangerous journey that awaits them. In the last 10 days,  Santa Clara Rapid Response Network has received at least 90 calls from concerned community members claiming they have seen or have had family members picked-up by ICE. Faith Leaders will respond to Sheriff Laurie Smith for permitting ICE agents enter county jails which is in violation of the Santa Clara Detainer Policy and the CA Truth ACT.


Also, PACT faith and community leaders will gather again for a Good Friday Peace Vigil:


WHEN: Friday, March 30 at 5:00pm           

WHERE: Outside Dr. MLK Library, corner of San Fernando & 4th St, downtown San Jose


WHY: On Good Friday, as Christians gather around the world to remember the state-sanctioned killing of Jesus, PACT clergy and leaders will join the weeklyFriday Peace Vigil to connect the story of our faith with the ongoing story of peace seekers in our world.  

When war continues, state executions take lives, and economic and racial inequalities continue to grow, we recognize that Jesus is being crucified again and again in the suffering of people around the world. 


PACT: People Acting in Community Together is a multiracial, multi-faith organization that empowers people to create a more just community.  PACT has more than 30 member congregations and partner schools representing 50,000 people in Santa Clara County. PACT is part of PICO California and the PICO National Network, one of the largest grassroots community networks in the country.!/PACTSJ


PICO California is the state’s largest community organizing network. We organize in 73 cities, 15 school districts, and in more than one-half of the state's Senate and Assembly districts.  PICO California was established in 1994, bringing together local federations from throughout California to affect meaningful budget and policy change at the state level. Over the past 20 years, our organizing and policy advocacy has resulted in increased investments in education and healthcare, and in programs and services that are critical for working families. Together, we represent 480 congregations and 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds committed to advancing racial and economic justice in California through organizing, advocacy, and voter engagement. Visit to learn more. PICO California and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office.

Tom Steyer with Faith Based, Latino & Community Leaders stand up against the divisiveness of the election


Clergy “Bless the Ballots” to proclaim Voting is a Sacred Act & call for unity in the face of intolerable levels of economic and racial inequalities.

WHO:              Tom Steyer, President of NextGen Climate, friend and supporter of voter empowerment confirmed to speak. Dozens of Latino, immigrant, low income, voters of color and clergy who have engaged marginalized communities through sacred conversations, voter registration, and voter education.

WHAT:            Faith and community leaders proclaim that voting is a sacred act and that a moral agenda brings about policies for strong families, economic dignity and racial justice.

Diverse faith and community leaders pledge their commitment to building an inclusive community - transforming the electorate to reflect the diversity of our community, standing up for those who are forgotten and scapegoated.  We reject politics of hate and fear.  No matter what happens on Election Day, we will work as multi-faith, multiracial partners to build a community that respects, includes and values all our people

WHEN:           Monday, November 7th, 5:15pm

WHERE:         St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 405 S. 10th St San Jose 95112

VISUAL:         Clergy leaders and community members of racial and religious diversity “Bless the Ballots,” a basket of ballots and voter materials that represent our hopes for our struggling families, on this eve of the election.

WHY:              Our Latino, immigrant, low income and faith communities have mobilized in response to the vast economic and racial inequalities in our valley that shows up as an affordable housing crisis, exploitation of workers, inequity in public education and need for justice system reform.

We are transforming the electorate to reflect our diversity by holding sacred conversations, registering marginalized communities and offering voter education in immigrant, low income, and communities of color.

“As a faith community we believe that every person is valued. Their story is valued, their concerns are valued and their vote is valued,” said Pastor Jennifer Goto of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

“In 2014, only 35% of eligible voters in Santa Clara County vote, and those most marginalized are Latino voters, people of color and low income voters. We are making sure everyone is part of the democratic process. Especially when such critical issues like affordable housing, worker exploitation, education funding and mass incarceration are all on the ballot and decided by narrow margins.”

People Acting in Community Together chosen to be honored at first-ever Awards where state leaders honor “Nonprofits of the Year”

On Wednesday, June 22, PACT: People Acting in Community Together will be honored as a Nonprofit of the Year at a celebration of California Nonprofits Day at the State Capitol.

PACT has been selected by Assemblymember Evan Low as an exceptional nonprofit organization in his district community. PACT will join other nonprofit leaders from across the state being honored at this inaugural California Nonprofits Day.

Empowering everyday people for over 30 years in Santa Clara County, PACT teaches people how to speak up and take action in the public arena through grass roots organizing in order to solve our most pervasive social issues of our day.

PACT Board Members Barbara Hansen, Bonita Krasnopoler and Greg Smith will travel to Sacramento on Wednesday. “We’re honored that Assemblyman Low has chosen PACT to receive this award. We share with him the desire for shared prosperity and a just society,” said Hansen.

The award recipients will visit the Assembly Floor and then will be honored at a luncheon at Sacramento’s Sheraton Grand Hotel, with presentations from former Senate President ProTempore Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymember Rich Gordon, and Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits).

 “Nonprofit organizations are vitally important to the economy and well-being of California. But too often nonprofits are ‘hidden in plain sight.’ We are thrilled that the State Assembly has passed a resolution putting the spotlight on nonprofits as an economic power that uses that power for the common good. We congratulate all of the award recipients on being honored for the great work they do every day to make California a better place,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations, representing and promoting California’s growing nonprofit sector and working to bring the full power of nonprofits to strengthening communities.

South Bay leaders urge their community to vote and volunteer to get out the vote in Gilroy

SAN JOSÉ, CA                                           

WHO:         More than a hundred community members from St Mary Parish and Gilroy concerned for their community who want a high voter turnout during these important Mayoral and Presidential Elections.

WHAT:        Faith leaders in Gilroy will hold a Community Forum to teach people that their voice matters. Even if they've never voted, can't vote, or haven't voted in a long time, to come and learn how to exercise their voice during these elections.

WHEN:        Monday, April 25 7:00pm

WHERE:      St. Mary Church, 11 1st St, Gilroy, CA 95020

WHY:          Faith leaders in Gilroy united for a better future for everyone facing injustices like eviction, low wages, and the impact of discriminatory immigration policies urge their community to stand up and vote because their voice matters. People who’ve never voted, can't vote, or haven't voted in a long time, will come and learn how to exercise their voice during these elections.

After the pope’s visit to the United States and of his message to a young undocumented immigrant that, "The world has to be more aware that the exploitation of each other is not a path… All of us have responsibility for everyone. No one can say: 'my responsibility reaches here.' We are all responsible for everyone, and to help ourselves in the way that each one can…"

Faith leaders will bring their community together united for a better future for everyone to give powerful testimony, provide information about voter registration and important laws, and how to become a Citizen.