Over 200 Network of Texas IAF Organization (NTO) leaders and Capital IDEA students and graduates landed at the Texas state capitol to pressure state representatives and senators to restore full funding of the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Fund (ACE Fund), a state funds that support long-term workforce training, at $5 Million. The delegation additionally called on the legislature to support local control and oppose ant-immigrant legislation.Read more
Texas IAF Network Joins Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops in Stand Against Anti-Immigrant Bill SB4
"This bill requires local police and sheriff's deputies to enforce federal immigration laws as if their job of maintaining public order and the public safety weren't difficult enough as it is," said John Elford, senior pastor of University United Methodist Church and member of Austin Interfaith.Read more
One year after raising the minimum wage for employees of the City of San Antonio (from $11.47 to $13 per hour), COPS / Metro Alliance leaders are celebrating again after the City Council passed a budget that includes a second wage raise to $13.75 per hour. This follows an intense two-year campaign with over 1,000 leaders recently assembling with the Mayor and council representatives to remind them of their commitment to a living wage. When the Mayor made some noise about living wages being an 'outsider's' agenda, leader Maria Tijerina fired back with an editorial reminding her that COPS / Metro is a local organization with a robust constituency.
City Council additionally approved shifting funding for workforce development program Project QUEST out from human services into economic development with its own line in the budget. Funding increased to $2.2 million including $200 thousand to cover tuition for the Open Cloud Academy training developed in collaboration with Rackspace.Read more
Said Tom Mendez, "We do not want to hear that the budget is tight -- if it's so tight you should not have given a tax break to the few."Read more
Cafeteria manager Vanita Rodriguez spoke on behalf of her employees, revealing that every one she works with holds down at least two jobs to make ends meet. As the parent of 7 and the grandparent of 24, most of which are SAISD students, she knows that poverty hampers children's capacity to learn. COPS/Metro joined forces with the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel to raise this issue with the School Board and met with all 7 trustees prior to the board meeting.Read more
Following up on its $5 million win from the last legislative session in 2013, Texas IAF leaders succeeded in ensuring that the Adult Career Education (ACE) Grant program (and its $5 million in funding) stayed on the Texas budget. This means that Texas IAF workforce development programs (like Capital IDEA, Project ARRIBA, VIDA, Project QUEST, SkillsQuest and Capital IDEA-Houston) can apply for these funds, to expand the training they already offer.
"Councilman Rey SaldaÃ±a said that while he supports giving relief to taxpayers, he also would support leaving the rate the same if the funding helps increase wages for the city's lowest-paid civilian employees. Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance have been advocating for the increase, which has been backed by some council members."
Says Sr. Pearl Ceasar:Read more
With the aid of multi-colored booklets that clearly lay out how uninsured individuals can participate in the federal exchange, which the healthcare action team of DAI produced, leaders hope to reach hundreds of thousands of uninsured.Read more