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MOC Leaders Fight to Keep Subsidized Childcare Open in Fairfax, CA


"Ross Valley residents and civic leaders testified this week in support of maintaining a children’s center for low-income families at Deer Park in Fairfax...

Gail Dorph of the Marin Organizing Committee said the value of supporting children extends to the whole community. “The world exists because of the breath of small children,” she said. “When we support children, we’re supporting the existence of the world.”

[Photo Credit: Alan Dep, Marin Independent Journal]

Ross Valley Residents Extol Value of Child Care CenterMarin Independent Journal [pdf]


350 CCG Leaders Leverage Commitments from Denver Mayoral Candidates

At an assembly that drawing 350 leaders from 20 institutions of Coloradans for the Common Good (CCG), community leaders secured commitments from Denver Mayoral runoff candidates around eviction, wage theft, mental health, and workers' pensions. 

After CCG leaders shared personal stories, candidates were asked to answer 'yes' or 'no' to ten proposals addressing specific housing, mental health, gun safety, workers' rights, and immigrants' rights issues.

“If the answer is 'Yes,' we’re going to cheer and applaud,” explained CCG leader Joyce Brooks.  “If the answer is 'No,' we’ll just be silent and wait for them to elaborate at the end."  Kelly Brough responded affirmatively to all ten proposals while Mike Johnston answered YES to nine of the ten.

Both candidates committed to extending subpoena power to the City’s Auditor to effectively investigate cases of wage theft.  

Yes or No? Coloradans for the Common Good Holds Reverse Mayoral ForumWestword [pdf]

Recap of Commitments Made at Mayoral Accountability AssemblyColoradans for the Common Good

With Guidance from Action Tulsa, Senate Bill 261 Prevents Student Loan Servicers from Deceiving Borrowers


"Senate Bill 261, authored by state Sen. John Montgomery, R-Lawton, and state Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, in 2021, directed the attorney general to prepare a written statement including an “Oklahoma Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” which contains language prohibiting student loan servicers from engaging in acts that mislead or deceive borrowers.

According to the language, servicers are prohibited from misrepresenting or omitting any material information in connection with the servicing of a student education loan, including misrepresenting the amount, nature or terms of any fee...

...Provenzano said the librarian and ACTION Tulsa asked her to see that rights for students require servicers to disclose the consequences of payment plan changes."

[Photo Credit: The Journal Record]

New Law Strengthens Student Borrower's Bill of RightsThe Journal Record [pdf]

On 20th Anniversary, COPA Renews Covenantal Relationships


"In many of our faith traditions, the idea of covenant provides a template for understanding the way COPA thinks about our work. This means going above and beyond the social contract that establishes the state, government, and laws that bind us … by widening our circles of attachment across income, social, cultural, religious, and racial divides – and creating moral commitments to one another, with shared values and ideals that compel us to work together, despite our differences, for the common good....

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AMOS Celebrates Launch of $1.8M Mental Health Workforce Initiative in Polk County


"On May 18, 100 Polk County residents celebrated the launch of a new mental health workforce program at a Mental Health Workforce Kickoff at Corinthian Baptist Church. The $1.8M mental health workforce investment from Polk County’s ARPA funds will go towards up to $20,000 in loan payments for 90 new mental health professionals. To be eligible, therapists must commit to work for 5 years at a Polk County community-based mental health provider, have a masters degree, and student loan debt....

Dr. Cathy Beck-Cross, LMSW, EdD, Associate Professor of Social Work at Grand View, is excited. "We are thrilled for this opportunity for Grand View master's degree graduates entering the workforce to provide mental health services. Polk County, like the rest of Iowa, has a shortage of licensed therapists, especially ones who are bilingual. Many thanks to County officials who moved this initiative forward, and to AMOS for their advocacy in the process."

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In Wake of Legislature's Failure on Gun Safety, COPS/Metro Organizes for Local Reform


"Our state legislators cannot muster the courage to act on the will of the people. Why? They fear the vocal minorities who have made gun possession an idol worthy of greater reverence than the lives of our fellow citizens. This is an abomination before God.

Frustrated by the cowardice and inaction of the state legislators, San Antonio congregations are now working to reduce gun violence. Under the banner of COPS/Metro Alliance, 175 church leaders united to ask city of San Antonio and Bexar County leadership to create a public education campaign emphasizing gun owners’ responsibility to store their firearms safely and to provide safe handgun storage boxes for vehicles.

It’s past time for lawmakers to come to their senses and listen to the residents they represent."

[Photo Credit: Pictures Left: Rev. Rob Mueller. Sam Owens, San Antonio Express News]

Texas Lawmakers Fail the Courage Test on GunsSan Antonio Express News [pdf]


TWM Engages Michigan Secretary of State, Grand Rapids Police & 5 State Legislators in First Public Action

A standing-room-only crowd of 350 people packed Trinity Reformed Church on a Saturday morning for Together West Michigan’s (TWM) first public action assembly since its launch last year.  In this meeting, institutional leaders secured commitments from: 

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Medicaid Coverage for New At-Risk Mothers Advances to Senate, with Support from Texas IAF


The bill would provide six months of Medicaid coverage to qualifying new moms....and could have a massive local impact.

More babies are born on Parkland’s Health’s insurance plan than in eight states. Extending coverage for those families would improve outcomes for tens of thousands of women in North Texas. Groups like Dallas Area Interfaith, a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-issue group of religious congregations, schools, and other non-profits in Dallas, are working to get the bill passed.

The bill would also be a boon to the state by giving the mothers access to primary care and preventing downstream costs.  “HB 12 going to save the state money,” says Dr. Barry Lachman, a pediatrician and ...DAI [leader]. “What we spend in preventive services will pay off for these mothers.”

HB 12 remains in the State Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.

[Photo Credit: iStock]

North Texas Rep. Toni Rose's Bill Would Add Coverage for new At-Risk Mothers, AgainD Magazine [pdf]

Texas IAF: Resurrecting Tax Giveaway Program is a Bad Idea for Texas


Chapter 313 was one of the country’s worst examples of crony capitalism, funneling billions in Texas taxpayer dollars to out-of-state interests. The program still costs Texas taxpayers over $1 billion a year in tax breaks to major oil, gas and manufacturing companies — money that could go to educating our children.

Dallas Area Interfaith, the Texas IAF, allies and a bipartisan group of legislators killed the reauthorization of Chapter 313 in the 2021 legislative session. Rather than leaving the program in the grave, industry groups are actually proposing to resurrect Chapter 313 this legislative session and make it worse in the form of House Bill 5.

Last September, in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, industry groups painted an apocalyptic vision of Texas’ economy without Chapter 313. Their statements were based on opinion. Fortunately, we can look to Louisiana to see if their fears are merited.

In 2016, Louisiana reformed its version of Chapter 313, the Industrial Tax Exemption Program. The reforms generated $760 million in new tax revenue for schools and other public entities with no negative impacts on jobs. In fact, capital expenditures grew after the reforms.

Louisiana’s experience mirrors studies on economic development incentives. The Upjohn Institute found that “75% to 98% of the time, the same decision would have been made without the incentive.”

Similarly, a 2017 University of Texas study of Chapter 313 estimated that between 85% and 95% of Chapter 313 projects would have been located in Texas without the incentive. These incentives matter much less than other factors such as the labor force, education, infrastructure and access to markets and materials.

[Image Credit: Van Es]

Paying for the 'Texas Miracle'Dallas Morning News [pdf]

Texas House Passes Plan to Bring Back Corporate Property Tax Breaks for Major ProjectsDallas Morning News [pdf]

First Ever Texas HBCU Legislative Caucus Launches with Support of CTI

State lawmakers and Huston Tillotson students announced their intent to form Texas' first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus to help provide the state's HBCUs with "necessary resources and support to thrive."  This effort is an outgrowth of a three-year partnership between Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) and Central Texas Interfaith (CTI), involving leadership education and preparation of students studying political science.  Fannie Akingbala, a leader from Ebenezer Baptist Church, co-chaired the press conference.      


HBCU students helped organize the caucus, which hopes to assemble state lawmakers from both the Senate and House who represent, attended or support HBCUs and obtain funding for them "commensurate with the role they have played in developing the prosperity" of Texas...

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