Dallas Area Interfaith Targets Districts, Boosts Voter Turnout, Makes Change
Rinaldi's district in northwest Dallas County was one of five targeted by Dallas-Area Interfaith, a group that organized canvassing and phone banks to pump up voter turnout.
At an election night watch party at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas, a television report flashed on the screen and showed that Rinaldi was losing. Lily Rodriguez (in photo at right) shouted out: “Why don’t you call immigration now?”
Rodriguez said she had quietly fumed when Rinaldi called ICE on protesters, but took action and began pushing parishioners at another Catholic church to vote.
She’d talked to them about the size of the Hispanic population, which in Dallas County is 40 percent and larger than any other group. “Hispanics are the majority and we continue to think like minorities,” Rodriguez said.
Interfaith organizer Socorro Perales said members were determined to get more people to the polls. Two weeks before polling began, the nonpartisan group held a community event at a church that brought in 2,000 people and five candidates, all Democrats.
“They are learning to organize, strategize, and this actually works,” Perales said.
All five candidates won, including Colin Allred, the Democrat who beat Republican incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions, a staunch ally of Trump, in the District 32 race for Congress.
Perales said she didn’t go after the low hanging fruit — those registered who had previously voted. Instead, she sifted through lists of registered voters who didn’t vote in the last election.
“They are just not used to voting,” Perales said. “There are enough registered voters and, if we can broaden the base, we can win. And we did.”
[Photo Credit: Ashley Landis, Dallas Morning News]
Latinos Could Turn Texas Blue in 2020 if Enthusiasm Holds, Some Say, Dallas Morning News [pdf]
Austin Interfaith Challenges Candidates for Sheriff
Austin Interfaith Calls for Compassion in Sheriff's Race, Time Warner Cable
City of Austin Denounces 'Secure Communities' w/ Austin Interfaith
City Hall Chambers, filled with 300 supporters of the resolution, erupted in cheers as the Mayor announced the 7-0 vote.Read more
NCG Big Players in Congressional Hearing on Deportations
Testimony from 'Nevadans for the Common Good' detailed how the failure to address a broken system is tearing apart families, harming children and weakening communities in Southern Nevada, thus highlighting how policy implementation at the local level is ultimately dehumanizing people.Read more
Sound Alliance Reaches Agreement on ICE Detainer Requests in King County
300 leaders of the Sound Alliance and their allies reached an agreement with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski to support an ordinance that would change how the County handles ICE "detainer requests". Under current practice, when undocumented immigrants are arrested and taken to the County Jail, ICE often sends requests to the jail to hold them at County expense until ICE can transfer them to a nearby for-profit immigrant detention center. Under the ordinance, the County will stop honoring these requests except when an individual has been convicted of certain violent or serious crimes.
People from a diverse mix of faith, labor, and community organizations at the assembly were excited to have an opportunity to strike a blow against our nation's unjust immigration policy at a local level. King County has a population of over 2 million residents and includes the City of Seattle.Read more
Nebraska Leaders Improve Police & ICE Treatment of Immigrants
After leaders of OTOC's Immigration Action Team challenged Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to ensure that immigrants stopped by OPD officers receive fair treatment, OPD issued an official bulletin to all officers informing them that the matricula consular could be accepted as valid identification. (The matricula consular is an identification card issued by consulates verifying the place of residence for foreign nationals.) Photo shows leaders in early encounter with Chief Schmaderer.
OTOC leaders also met with the head of Douglas County Corrections and the regional director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about ways to reduce the number of immigrants with small children being detained in Douglas County jails while they await deportation hearings. ICE has now implemented a new release program which allows up to 100 persons who would otherwise be detained to return home to their families while they await their hearings.