Click here for West/Southwest IAF Key Victories in 2018

Veteran Columnist Says: Don’t Let Politics Diminish Capital IDEA

"When University of Texas researchers studied the long-term benefits of an intensive Austin job training program called Capital IDEA, they found that graduates enjoyed a steady trajectory in earnings and within six years earned salaries that were $12,000 a year higher than participants in ordinary job-placement programs.

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Capital IDEA Boosts Outcomes for Graduates AND Their Children

Capital IDEA graduate Eloina Serna stands with her son."Eloina Serna wasn't the only one in her family who benefited when she signed up with Capital IDEA.... 90 percent of children who are now 18 or older earned a high school diploma and 64 percent of those children earned a college degree or are currently enrolled...."

Capital IDEA was founded in 1998 by Austin Interfaith, in partnership with Central Texas business leaders, to lift "families out of poverty through workforce training, especially in high-demand occupations such as health care, information technology, utilities and skilled trades." Capital IDEA graduate Eloina Serna poses with son in photo above.

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Together Baton Rouge Rebuilds: Cemetery, Bridges, Transit

"More than 150 community activists on Tuesday applauded a state agency's move to sue the owners and overseer of a historic north Baton Rouge cemetery they say has fallen into an embarrassing state of neglect.

The three lawsuits...set the stage for appointment of a receiver to take over managing Gilbert Memorial Park Cemetery, Assistant Attorney General Ryan Seidemann told members of Together Baton Rouge at a luncheon meeting at St. Mary Baptist Church." In photo, leader Roena Wilford shows how graves crisscross.

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400 COPA Leaders Commit to ‘Stand Up Take Charge’ Campaign

In mid-November, more than 400 COPA leaders (from 24 institutions across Monterey and Salinas counties) launched their first-ever "Stand Up and Take Charge" campaign with a goal of organizing 20,000 voters in support of a common agenda of issues including health care, education, affordable housing, economic opportunity, immigration and safety. Leaders see this as a way to engage in public life and cut through the state of divisive, hyper-partisan politics in California. Leaders ratified a year-long plan that includes a regional agenda of issues, a core team of 60 captains, 400 leaders responsible for signing up 50 voters each and accountability sessions with county supervisorial candidate in May and US Congressman Sam Farr in October.

One LA Assembles to Address Health, Homes and Schools

In a November meeting, One LA assembled 678 people from 20 institutions to consolidate organizing and recruitment efforts in the San Fernando Valley and conduct public business around foreclosures, healthcare and education. State, city and school district officials committed to working with leaders to pressure banks to lower loan amounts, pass an Assembly bill that would give state officials the power to regulate increases in health insurance rates, and improve the health of school meal plans while attending to children's tastes.

Communities Gather for Change, Los Angeles Daily News

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WTOS Leaders Celebrate Power Behind Victories

"Sometimes the 'least expected' grandmother-type stands face to face with an elected official, not only getting that official's attention, a hearing, but also getting a mayor's personal cellphone number and an important friendship....It is in the power of churches from all areas of the city coming together to speak up, to fight for justice that WTOS obtains credibility among local city, county and state officials in their efforts to speak together..."

Glenda Harbert: Coalition Makes All Our Lives Better, San Angelo Standard Times

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OTOC Endorses Changes to Inspection Fees

Increase fees for code violations

Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) endorses the proposed amendments to the Omaha Municipal Code that would authorize fee increases for code violation re-inspections.

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One LA-IAF Fights for Community Driven Foreclosure Prevention

While interviewed on KCRW's 'To the Point', One LA-IAF leader Yvonne Mariajimenez asserted that the One LA foreclosure prevention plan "provides a better return for investors than going through with foreclosure." This is the same plan that has been adopted by the City of Los Angeles.

Beltway Bubble, KCRW


IAF Co-Director Ernesto Cortes Speaks on Workforce Development

IAF Co-Director Ernesto Cortes Jr., participated in a panel discussion alongside Robert Walsh, NYC Small Business Services Commissioner, and Ray Suarez of PBS Newshour; the event was hosted by the Aspen Institute.

Cortes asserts, "There are all kinds of sectors which are begging people to come into their profession, but unfortunately there are not the long-term job training programs to revive those skilled workers.... A lot of the work we've had to do is the political work of creating the political will create the funding streams to pay for training..."

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Building on Win, TMO Fights Wage Theft as Immigration Strategy

Building on an Austin victory criminalizing wage theft statewide, TMO institutions take the fight against wage theft to the pews.

"For The Metropolitan Organization, the wage theft law is not just about employees' rights; it is a way to carry out immigration reform in the current political climate. The Rev. Kevin Collins (photo right), the organization's co-chairman, says that... they will still benefit from the reform.

[Photo Credit: Wenjing Zhang, New York Times]

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