National Gathering of Ministers Features COPS/Metro Collaboration w/San Antonio Archdiocese
At a national gathering of Catholic Social Ministers organized by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), COPS/Metro's work with San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller was featured prominently in plenary sessions and a workshop around local organizing for gun safety reform.
During a panel discussion with the Archbishop, Josephine Lopez-Paul shared how COPS/Metro worked with the San Antonio Archdiocese in the aftermath of the massacre at Uvalde in 2022. The Archbishop made an impassioned plea to infuse love into a "culture of death" through faithful participation in the political process around issues impacting life, including gun safety reforms.Read more
COPS/Metro Draws 600 Leaders Online for Accountability Session with Candidates for City Office
[Excerpt from San Antonio Express-News]
More than 600 San Antonio community members tuned in to a virtual accountability session where city politicians and candidates addressed police reform, workforce development, education and February’s power outages.
Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance, or COPS/Metro, hosted the session Sunday in the runup for the city election May 1. Early voting starts Monday.
COPS/Metro Leverages $75 Million for Workforce Development in San Antonio
COPS/Metro, one of the city's most powerful community organizing groups, vigorously lobbied the council to use the federal dollars to help workers who lost jobs during the pandemic to receive retraining. Under the plan, the city would partner with Workforce Solutions Alamo and Project Quest, allowing residents to access weekly stipends of $450 and services such as childcare.
Council voted 10-1 to approve the plan, saying the training opportunities will allow the city to reshape is low-wage economy and residents to access work with better earnings, benefits and job security.
San Antonio Council Votes to Spend Biggest Share of Federal COVID-19 Funds on Workforce Training, San Antonio Current [pdf]
City Council Set to Vote on $80M Plan to Teach People Skills to Earn Higher Wages, News for SA [pdf]
‘Time is of the Essence’: Council OKs $191M COVID-19 Recovery Spending Plan, Rivard Report [pdf]
Debate Over S.A. Stimulus Money a Battle Between Have-Nots, San Antonio Express-News [pdf]
COPS/Metro Immigrant Leaders WIN Access to Their Kids' Schools
One week after immigrant leaders from El Carmen Catholic Church raised the issue of parental access to schools, delivering poignant testimony at a Southside ISD School Board meeting last week, the Superintendent publicly reversed his position.
In a letter that went out to all parents, he announced that any form of photo identification issued by a governmental entity, including a matricula consular ID card, would be accepted when verifying parents’ identities on school campuses.
The issue originally emerged when Sandra, a member of El Carmen Catholic Church in San Antonio, attempted to join her son at his elementary school for lunch. She was barred from campus because she could not show a Texas ID. When COPS/Metro leaders requested a meeting with the Superintendent to discuss the policy, they were initially denied.
It wasn't until COPS/Metro and El Carmen Catholic leaders joined Sandra at the next Southside ISD School Board meeting that the district began to reconsider its position.
Said Vincent Arreguin, a COPS/Metro leader from El Carmen Church, “We continue to be committed in our interest to build the relationship with the district. This is not only a win for our parents but our children who are the most important. We are glad that now there’s clarification about the policy.”
[Photo Credit: Camille Phillips, Texas Public Radio]
Southside ISD Says Wider Range of Government-Issued Photo IDs Now Will Be Accepted for Campus Access, Rivard Report [pdf]
San Antonio Parents Without Texas IDs Barred from Southside ISD Schools, Texas Public Radio
Parents Without Texas IDs Said They Were Barred from Southside ISD Campuses, Rivard Report
Southside ISD's ID Policy Has Some Parents Complaining it Leaves Them Out of Kid's Schooling, San Antonio Express-News
Padres Denuncian Que Este Distrito Escolar Les Prohibe Entrar as las Escuelas Por No Tener Licencia de Conducir de Texas, Univision
San Antonio Catholic Archbishop Calls for Action on Immigration
Immigration was the urgent topic when Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS took the stage at COPS/Metro's "A Cry for Justice and a Call to Action" assembly at Our Lady of the Lake University on June 18, 2018. "We live in very challenging times. Basic institutions of justice are being attacked. People are suffering needlessly," the archbishop declared to a packed auditorium. "This is a time of crisis. We have to make a decision. Do we go along with or challenge these trends?"
The assembly, which had been months in the planning, took on an air of urgency and drew a standing-room-only crowd as it coincided with a particularly tense week in the nation's debate on immigration policy. News had just broken of the Trump administration's policy of separating detained children from their parents - a policy Archbishop Gustavo strongly condemned in his speech as "immoral," "evil," and sinful," echoing similar sentiments expressed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops....
After [hearing a challenge by the Bishop and a DACA participant], faith communities caucused in small groups, then they answered... by pledging to collect 11,500 postcards to be mailed to Texas' congressional representatives in Washington. Archbishop Gustavo took the symbolic first step of signing his name on the first postcards, which will be mailed to Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn."
Archbishop Gustavo Urges Action on Immigration at COPS / Metro Assembly, Today's Catholic
San Antonio Archbishop Calls Separation of Families Immoral, Evil and Sinful, NOWCastSA
COPS/Metro Fights for $6.5M in HUD Funds for Home Rehabs
With three months to decide how to spend $21 Million in HUD funding for affordable housing, several San Antonio Councilmembers are getting direct reminders from COPS / Metro leaders about their campaign promises to invest $6.5 Million in the rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing in older neighborhoods.
In spite of dispute over whether the commitment referred to new money or previous allocations, leaders are pressing on.Read more
San Antonio Express News Calls on County Commissioners to Keep its Promise to Highland Oaks Residents and COPS/Metro
Citing the public safety hazard to children that current road conditions pose, the San Antonio Express-News urged the Bexar County Commissioners court to keep the momentum going on stalled road renovations.Read more
COPS/Metro Secures Pledges In Most Competitive Congressional Race in Texas
Between San Antonio and the US Mexican border, leaders from COPS / Metro and The Border Organization in Del Rio bridged gerrymandered distances to engage Democratic challengers in US Congressional District 23 (Helotes), and Republican challengers (and Democratic incumbent) in House Districts 116 and 117. The joint accountability session drew 175 to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Helotes, Texas and included candidates for Bexar County Commissioner Precinct 2. Leaders also engaged top candidates in House District 21, currently held by Joe Strauss, in a separate assembly.
COPS/Metro Educates San Antonio Residents About $9M Home Rehab Program Leaders Expanded
Less than one year after more than 750 COPS / Metro leaders secured candidate pledges for increased municipal investments in home rehabilitation, leaders are now training hundreds of residents about the new program and how to apply. $9 Million has been set aside for qualifying residents â€” $6.5 Million from federal funds and the rest through the City of San Antonio.Read more
COPS/Metro Hikes Municipal, County Wage to $14.25 /Hour
Months after 750 COPS / Metro leaders challenged candidates for San Antonio City Council and the Bexar County Commissioners' Court to support their living wage agenda in a nonpartisan accountability assembly -- and then delivered 8,555 voters to the polls in support of their agenda -- both Bexar County and the City of San Antonio increased entry wages to $14.25 per hour.Read more