Press

Fri Sep 6, 2013
Project Quest Partners with Rackspace for Cloud Academy -San Antonio Express News

Project Quest, a local jobs training program established in 1992, has partnered with San Antonio-based Rackspace to recruit individuals interested in enrolling in Rackspace's Open Cloud Academy. There have already been 17 Project Quest students enrolled in the Cloud Academy, and Quest is seeking city funding to expand participation by its clients....

Thu Aug 29, 2013
150 Arizona Leaders Meet with McCain & Grijalva Re: Immigration -Arizona Interfaith

Clergy and laity (including Catholic Bishop Gerald Kikanes and other denominational bishops) assembled for lengthy, frank and bipartisan conversation with Senator John McCain and US Representative Raul Grijalva about the strategy needed to pass immigration reform this fall. Both concluded...

[Photo Credit: Glenn Jenks]

Wed Aug 28, 2013
Texas IAF Reconstitutes Launchpad (Job Training) Fund to $5M -Texas Tribune

The Launchpad Fund, which gave nonprofits $10 million starting in the 2010-11 biennium to support career training programs for low-income students, will be replaced by the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Grant program. The ACE grant program will award about $5 million under a similar model to nonprofits for the next biennium....

Wed Aug 28, 2013
Border Interfaith & EPISO Leverage $1.5 Million for Training -KTSM - Channel 9 News

Citing evidence that the regional return on investment for Project ARRIBA's workforce development is $26 for every $1 invested, the City Council of El Paso voted to increase funding to $1.5 Million over five years...

Mon Aug 12, 2013
AZ Interfaith Meets with Sen. McCain, In Support of Immigration Reform -Arizona Republic

Taking full advantage of the August recess, Arizona Interfaith leaders met with Senator John McCain for frank conversation about the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform.  Judicatory leaders and key Arizona clergy discussed with the Senator how to broaden Congressional support for reform that includes a path to citizenship.

Sat Aug 10, 2013
How Austin's Marriott Incentive Deal Fell Apart -Austin American Statesman

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez and Jacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith stand with workersJacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith engages with Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez, Reverend John Elford of UUMC and Rev. Fred Krebbs of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Louis Malfaro of AFT

If there was anything City Council members and the company building a downtown JW Marriott could agree to in the wee hours of Friday morning, it was this: the deal they struck two summers ago to get the hotel built unraveled...  More here.

Thu Aug 8, 2013
Migrant Reform Protests Urged -Arizona Daily Sun

Roberto isn’t a legal Arizona resident, but he has a dream of becoming one.

He also has a 2-year-old daughter with a serious illness who needs his care.

Now, thanks to a traffic stop, an arrest and the start of deportation proceedings, he is on the verge of losing both....

Mon Jul 29, 2013
Interfaith Groups, Non-Profits Back Bill to Stop Sex Trafficking -Las Vegas Review Journal

A Catholic from Mexico City and a rabbi from England are riding to Carson City...

Mon Jul 22, 2013
NYT Cites Capital IDEA-Houston as Factor in Class Mobility -New York Times

“Houston is one of the few southern cities where upward social mobility is as high as cities in the Northeast and West… Roughly 22 percent of Houston children who grew up in the poorest fifth of the national income distribution have ended up in the top two-fifths today, according to the study.

In Houston, programs like Capital IDEA assist underemployed individuals who have obstacles in the way of furthering their education. In addition to helping pay tuition, Capital IDEA fast-tracks students through the remedial courses that can otherwise divert them from finishing their degree….”

Capital IDEA-Houston was established by institutional members of The Metropolitan Organization in Houston.

Fri Jul 19, 2013
Austin Interfaith Weighs in on Enrollment Challenge in Texas -New York Times

Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act.  So private organizations are wokring to education Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1....

Mon Jul 15, 2013
Stalwart Citizens, Not Just Police, Deserve Credit as Crime Ebbs -The New York Times

About the work of East Brooklyn Congregations in New York City.

Mon Jul 15, 2013
Quests' Results..'Extraordinary’ Says Head of City Taskforce -San Antonio Express-News

“Trying and difficult circumstances, namely the closing of San Antonio’s Levi Strauss plant, inspired the visionary leadership that created Project Quest more than 21 years ago. Different, but equally challenging circumstances, have led to redefining that vision that will carry Quest forward stronger than ever for the next 20 or more years.

Quest, a nationally-awarded workforce development agency, was founded by COPS/Metro Alliance, leaders of the business community, the city of San Antonio, the state of Texas and the regional Private Industry Council…”

[Photo of AJ Rodriguez By William Luther, San Antonio Express-News]

 

Tue Jul 9, 2013
Unions Need to Rethink How They Build Power. Now. -Working Life

In recent weeks, unions have found themselves inadvertently under attack. In the ALP’s attempt to make itself re-electable federally, unions were said to be “part of the problem”. It’s true that a few corrupt union leaders have done nothing to help the labour movement in recent years, but working people in this country are in real trouble if the values unions bring to our public sphere are weakened.

Mon Jul 8, 2013
COPS / Metro Challenges Rep. Lamar Smith, Stance Shifts on DREAMers -San Antonio Express-News

At a meeting at his district office last week, Rep. Lamar Smith said something that surprised members of Communities Organized for Public Service/Metro Alliance, a church-based advocacy group that supports comprehensive immigration reform.

According to a COPS/Metro member present at the June 24 meeting, the Republican congressman listed reform measures that he could support, including tightened border security, a guest worker program and the DREAM Act....

Tue Jun 25, 2013
AMOS Heats Up Debate Over Race & Juvenile Justice in Iowa -Des Moines Register

Citing concerns about an exponential rise in juvenile filings and detention holds, clergy leaders of A Mid Iowa Strategy (AMOS) are calling on their County Supervisors to voteagainst increased funding for juvenile attorneys, calling it a “direct result of the more punitive approach” recently taken towards children. An editorial written by several clergy triggered a heated response by the County Attorney (both pieces included below).

AMOS advocates a return “to the best practice model the County Attorney’s office pioneered from 2006-2009” which made good use of “informal adjustments and alternatives to detentions for non-violent, non-repeat juvenile offenders.”

Troubling Changes in Polk County JusticeDes Moines Register

Critics Misleading People Over Juvenile JusticeDes Moines Register

Restore Justice For Our YouthAMOS

Mon Jun 24, 2013
1,500 Delegates Launch 'Common Ground' in Vallejo, California -Times Herald & Daily Republic

Cheering Delegates of St. Basil Catholic Church (photo)“An enthusiastic crowd of about 1,500 people filled a Vallejo high school gym Sunday afternoon to welcome a new multi-county organization to the community.

Common Ground was introduced at the convention, which was attended by members of its 15 member institutions, and Napa and Solano counties and state elected officials...."

Wed Jun 19, 2013
Central Texas Bishops Call for Immigration Reform -Austin American Statesman & Univision

In a prayer service and press conference organized by Austin Interfaith, Central Texas Bishops and clergy from six religious denominations “pressed Tuesday for reforms centered on keeping families together and allowing unauthorized immigrants to earn legal residency with a path to citizenship….

Tue Jun 11, 2013
Predatory Learning -Boston Review

Several months ago, on a damp gray afternoon, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Racine, Wisconsin, just a few blocks from the Lake Michigan shoreline. That weekend a colleague and I would be conducting a leadership training session with teachers, parents, and community leaders...

Thu Jun 6, 2013
Nevada Governor Signs Anti Sex Trafficking Bill into Law -Las Vegas Review Journal

Any pimps out there? Keep your hands off young girls and boys or you might be sent to prison for a long time.  Gov. Brian Sandoval on Thursday signed Assembly Bill 67 to create the new crime of sex trafficking.  The bill, championed by state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, is directed at pimps who take over the lives of young people, often homeless and runway children, and turn them into prostitutes.

Mon Jun 3, 2013
Advocates: Pr. William communities to get $30 million for housing pilot program -The Washington Post

Millions in funding for a housing pilot program that would go toward restoring communities affected by the 2008 foreclosure crisis in Prince William County will be promised by two major financial institutions and a Virginia housing agency Monday, according to Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement.

Prince William suffered more than 20,000 foreclosures during the housing market collapse and was the hardest hit locality in Virginia, according to the coalition of interfaith groups, which has organized around housing issues in the county. The $30 million pilot program would buy and rehabilitate about 100 vacant, blighted townhouses and provide for 1,500 affordable rentals in some of the Prince William communities most affected by the collapse — around Dale City, Georgetown South in Manassas and Williamstown in Dumfries.

 

Thu May 30, 2013
Senate Sends Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Bill to Gov’s Desk -CT News Junkie

bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license received final passage Wednesday night as a group of advocates watched from the Senate balcony. Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a nonpartisan interfaith group, pushed for the legislation in meetings with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and encouraged them to move forward with it. The organization of about a 15,000 people was founded in 2011, but this was their first full-court press for legislation. It was an uphill battle. All four bills that would have permitted these drivers’ licenses died in the Transportation Committee, but the organization with the support of Rep. Juan Candelaria of New Haven was determined to find a vehicle for passage.

Mon May 27, 2013
Interfaith Group Takes Leading Role In Political, Civic Issues -Hartford Courant

Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut has played advocate for social and economic justice since the nonpartisan interfaith group's founding in November 2011.

Most recently, CONECT successfully pushed for legislation to enable undocumented immigrants to acquire driver's licenses. The group argued the move would not only allow undocumented immigrants to feel secure driving their kids to and from school and themselves to and from work, but would benefit all motorists because immigrants would have to be tested on their driving skills and would be able to register their cars and buy insurance.

Sun May 26, 2013
Yuma County Clergy Fight for Immigration Reform & Medicaid -Yuma Sun

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas joined nearly 100 members of churches of different denominations from the area who gathered … to organize a campaign in favor of not only a new immigration law but also efforts of Gov. Jan Brewer to expand the state’s health program for the poor: the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

Wed May 22, 2013
Could Medicaid expansion decrease drug court costs, save local taxpayer dollars? Cleveland judge says yes. -Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge David Matia estimates that area residents could save millions in local taxes if the offenders he sees in drug court had health insurance.
And if Ohio were to expand Medicaid, as being debated by state legislators, many of the defendants in his court would qualify for the state and federal health insurance program for the poor.... As the clock ticks on a decision, local lobbying for expansion has stepped up: On Monday, community activists held a rally at the Neighborhood Family Practice Center, a federally qualified community health center on Cleveland's West Side. In addition, Greater Cleveland Congregations announced that dozens of volunteers from area religious organizations and neighborhood groups will go door to door in the legislative swing districts of Rocky River, Berea and Solon this week to urge people to contact their legislators. 

Mon May 20, 2013
School facilities bill grew from grass roots -Baltimore Sun

Michael Dresser got it right in describing the trajectory of the Baltimore school facilities bill as going from "non-starter to law," but the story goes far beyond the elected and appointed officials who worked hard to make the deals and shepherd the legislation to passage ("City schools bill a political showpiece," May 17).

The deeper story must include the herculean efforts of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC), the innovative policy advocacy work done by the ACLU of Maryland and the powerful community organizing of groups like BUILD and Child First. Our elected officials don't do this by themselves. They were propelled to act by the incredible urgency and public will created by the BEC. BEC made the problem of broken-down, substandard schools real, laid out a vision for a solution and created the imperative so elected officials had to act.

Over the last three years, BEC organized hundreds of meetings in schools, neighborhoods and churches to train and mobilize leaders. Coalition members held dozens of meetings with elected officials, gaining commitments that decent school buildings would be their number one priority for 2013. BEC organized huge rallies in Annapolis including February's 3,000-person rally for new and renovated schools.

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