Thu Oct 3, 2013
Flagstaff City Council Passes Resolution for Immigration Reform -Northern Arizona Amigos

The Flagstaff City Council, by a vote of 6-1, approved a resolution supporting comprehensive immigration reform during a meeting held on Oct. 1 at City Hall. Supporters of the measure spoke before the council prior to the vote, voicing their support. Following the vote, the supporters gathered in the lobby for a celebration, along with an impromptu planning session to map out future action.

The effort was led by the Northern Arizona Interfaith Council,

Wed Oct 2, 2013
Straight Talk from Immigrants at COPA Meeting with Sheriff -Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak took steps toward building trust with the local immigrant community by hosting a town hall meeting Monday to discuss fears around deportation.  Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action, a Watsonville-based community advocacy group, organized the event to address unreported crime in immigrant communities.

Fri Sep 27, 2013
North AZ Interfaith Rises to Challenge of AZ Education Funding Crisis -The Daily Courier

Northern Arizona Interfaith Council and about 800 teachers, school staff and community members, including business owners, filled the Mile High Middle School auditorium Wednesday night to talk about school funding for the three districts in the quad-city area...Special guests at the meeting included Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Rep. Karen Fann, and Prescott Valley Commercial Development Group chairman.

Tue Sep 17, 2013
Austin Leaders Leverage $2.38 Million for Youth & Young Adults -Austin American Statesman & others

Austin Interfaith worked from the ground up to get its priorities included in the budget….It represents the interests of low-income families and has become a familiar presence at City Hall in recent years. Austin Interfaith leaders mobilized members to show up en masse to city budget hearings to plug these programs, meet with council members and bombard council offices with calls and emails in the days leading up to the final budget vote. The nonprofit was elated that council members agreed to spend money on all of Austin Interfaith’s priorities, totaling $2.4 million.”

Fri Sep 13, 2013
VOICE Wins $30 Million for Foreclosure Rehab Pilot in VA -Washington Post

Each time Ron Taylor steps outside the squat brick townhouse he rents in the Manassas neighborhood of Georgetown South, the house next door is a reminder of how things used to be. It’s his old home, now vacant. The yard, where he once carefully carved a planter from a tree trunk, is overgrown with weeds. Taylor, 68, and his wife lived there for about a decade before it was foreclosed on last year...

Wed Sep 11, 2013
OTOC Leverages Nearly $1M for Demolition & Training in Omaha -KETV

OTOC leader details why housing demolition is needed in Omaha.  Lead Organizer: Joe Higgs.Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) leaders applauded the decision of the Mayor and City Council to finalize $957,000 for demolition of condemned houses and $25,000 to support job training in the 2014 Budget...

Fri Sep 6, 2013
COPS / Metro Convenes 100 Stakeholders Re: ACA Planning -San Antonio Business Journal

Sr. Gabriella speaks to press with Congressman Doggett and Judge Wolff.  Lead Organizer: Jorge MontielWith about 100,000 Bexar County residents eligible to get healthcare insurance through the exchange, leaders from COPS/Metro Alliance and University Health System brought together close to 100 community stakeholders to evaluate ACA implementation readiness and identify concerns. 

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...