Joe Chrastil and Maribeth Larkin are the Regional Organizers for the IAF Northwest, providing training and support for the leaders and organizers of the IAF affiliated organizations in Washington, Oregon, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Sister Maribeth Larkin, SSS is a Roman Catholic Woman Religious, a vowed member of the Sisters of Social Service of Los Angeles. In 1976, while doing parish- based social work at Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles, she began participating as a leader with the United Neighborhoods Organization (UNO), a local organization affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. She attended IAF national training in Texas in 1976 and in Chicago in 1978. She was hired as an organizer with UNO in 1978, and has been organizing with IAF ever since in LA, New York, Texas and now the IAF Northwest.
In Texas, she helped develop a statewide network of strong church and congregation-based organizations like Dallas Area Interfaith, EPISO in El Paso, and COPS in San Antonio. In LA, she helped lead a strategy to consolidate the four IAF affiliated organizations into a new metropolitan-wide organization, One LA/IAF.
In her organizing work, Sister Maribeth assists institutional leaders from churches, synagogues, schools and unions in learning how to develop relational power and engage in a process of practical democracy. She teaches ordinary people how to shape and influence public policy around issues including education reform, increasing wages and benefits, and health care availability.
She has served on the National Staff of the IAF in the US, and regularly assists with IAF national and regional trainings.
In addition to her organizing work, in 2005 through 2010, Sister Maribeth was an elected member of the General Council of the Sisters of Social Service (the governing board of her religious congregation).
Joe Chrastil has been organizing since 1979, including the last 27 years in Washington State.
He has extensive experience in building and launching action-oriented community organizations - focusing on leadership development and capacity building - that have addressed a wide range of issues related to jobs, immigration, health care, education, energy, housing, and transportation.
Working with leaders and other organizers he has helped:
- Launch the Spokane and Sound Alliances
- Lead a statewide campaign to secure passage of legislation (called “the most comprehensive and groundbreaking green jobs legislation of our time”) that directed $15 million into creating new community-based energy efficiency retrofit programs
- Launch a three year parent organizing project working with parents in public schools to have more voice and take responsibility in providing equitable education opportunities for all kids
- Generate support for campaigns for three different county and school district measures to raise revenue for school construction and transportation all of which won with 69% ‘yes” votes.
- Provide senior IAF support in the building of the Metro Vancouver Alliance and the Sydney Alliance
- Support the growth of Health Equity Circle student organizations, introduce community organizing training into family medicine residency programs and launch clinic based organizing initiatives.
Contact the IAF Northwest by email or call (206) 838-8505.