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NCG Secures Bi-Partisan Commitments from Gubernatorial Candidates to Protect Medicaid

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650 NCG leaders packed the house at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church for a nonpartisan accountability assembly with three gubernatorial candidates. Leaders succeeded in leveraging bipartisan commitments from all three to protect Medicaid, invest new tax revenue into education and more.

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North Texas Police Accept DAI-Negotiated Parish ID Cards

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After passage of Senate Bill 4, according to Father Michael Forge of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch, several undocumented parishioners told him that they felt unsafe going to church or taking their kids to school. One year later, his church, with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, is making parish identification cards available to his parishioners.

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MOC Commemorates End of REST and Start of More Permanent "Housing Focused Shelter"

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300+ leaders of the Marin Organizing Committee gathered for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the end of a 10-year old temporary shelter program they established, REST, and the start of a new best-practice system of care to end homelessness in Marin County, called Housing Focused Shelter.

"Justice requires permanent housing over a temporary spot on a church floor," said Rev. Jan Reynolds, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael and member of Marin Organizing Committee.

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Working Together Jackson Fights to Preserve Location of Zoo

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When the Jackson Zoological Board announced its intent to relocate from west Jackson to northeast Jackson, Working Together Jackson quickly mobilized for a press conference with Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

Said WTJ leader Heather Ivery, the "intent to leave west Jackson is disheartening -- not only because of the possibility of losing a historic, 100-year old ecosystem, but because of the lack of transparency and involvement of the community in the decision-making process." Mayor Lumumba echoed WTJ's words, calling the proposed $50 million investment required for relocation "disrespectful to the history of the zoo and the folks in the community in which the zoo currently resides."

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Central California Business & Religious Leaders Call for Immigration Reform

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In an event convened by COPA, clergy and judicatories from Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and Jewish backgrounds called on the business community to join them in a collective effort to identify solutions to the lack of immigration reform. Immigrants shared stories about the impact of legalization in the 1980s and the challenges of providing for family without authorization to work.

In turn, agricultural industry leader Wesley Van Camp of agribusiness Tanimura & Antle reaffirmed her commitment to fight for immigration reforms and pointedly noted the absence of industry leaders in construction and hospitality in advocacy efforts. "I take that on as a bit of a challenge," said Don Chapin of Chapin Construction " I couldn't agree more."

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DAI Parish ID Strategy Is In Full Swing, Protecting Families and Rebuilding Churches

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Building on a groundbreaking accord between Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) and the Police Departments of Dallas, Carrollton and Farmers Branch -- in which the police agreed to accept parish identification cards as alternative ID -- upwards of 800 parish ID cards have been issued since the campaign was launched four weeks ago. With some parishes requiring active membership from applicants for at least six months before issuing the card, the waiting list of submitted applications has, so far, exceeded 2,000 applicants and is expected to grow.

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DAI Makes the Case for Public Investment in Job Training

Adriana, a single mother of two, is a Skill Quest participant. Before the program, she earned $600 a month cleaning homes, and the thought of going to school was a dream. Now when she finishes her radiology degree next year, she will be placed in a job in Dallas earning $50,000 to start.

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Dallas Catholic Diocese, DAI Stand w/ Family in Deportation Case

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When Fr. Daza of Nuestra Señora del Pilar Catholic Church heard that his parishioner, Adolfo Mejia, was in deportation proceedings, he immediately picked up the phone and called Dallas Area Interfaith.

"It's the children who suffer," said Fr. Daza.

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AMOS-Initiated Skate Park for Youth Gets $1M Closer to Reality

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Years ago, AMOS initiated conversations with families about what was needed for local youth. The answer that emerged was surprising: a large, well-developed skate park that could provide multiple outdoor recreational activities. For years, skateboarders had turned a public plaza into an ad hoc skatevpark, sometimes — to the consternation of police and adults — turning sculptures and handrails into skateboard ramps. AMOS leaders identified a location in Des Moines and leveraged resources for the park design -- which, when built, will be one of the largest in the United States.

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Together Baton Rouge, Corporate Execs Face Off on Job Creation

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As the Baton Rouge Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) Committee considers new rules for local application of industrial tax exemptions, they heard starkly different stories by citizens and corporate executives. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce proposed dramatically looser rules on tax breaks, excusing some business from paying any taxes for five years, depending on the size of the corporation. Small business owners and citizen leaders of Together Baton Rouge called on the committee to ensure that tax incentives require job creation and serve in its designed capacity to incentivize (future) business investment, rather than pay for past expenditures.

The local nature of this debate is the result of Together Baton Rouge's efforts to de-centralize tax break decisions so that local entities sacrificing the tax revenue can weigh in on industrial tax break decisions.

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