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Central Texas Interfaith (CTI), a network of over 50 religious and civic institutions comprised of Austin Interfaith, Bastrop Interfaith, Corridor IAF, and related projects in Western Travis and Williamson Counties has launched a non-partisan effort to Get Out the Vote in four Central Texas counties. These efforts include signing up at least 15,000 to support a common agenda of issues. Over 5,000 residents met through small group “house meetings” to identify issues of mutual interest that candidates for local office will be asked to support.
CTI will also host 4 Accountability Sessions, one each in Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop to gain commitments from candidates on affordability, infrastructure, living wages, immigration, healthcare access, and public safety. Candidates for Austin Mayor, including Steve Adler and Laura Morrison, Austin City Council, Hays County Judge and Commissioners, Texas Legislator, and U.S. Congress will have an opportunity to give their public support to the CTI agenda of issues. CTI does not endorse candidates. The first two Accountability Sessions will be held on October 21st, in Travis and Hays Counties.
CTI’s goal is to overcome a divisive political culture by building a network of 15,000 voters who are connected through face-to-face relationships and conversations in congregations, schools, social service organizations, unions, and neighborhoods. Volunteers from CTI are engaging these voters in pews, health clinics, back to school nights, health fairs, and at doorsteps. CTI is on target to conduct over 40 “Sign Up Take Charge” block walks in neighborhoods across Travis, Hays, Williamson, and Bastrop Counties leading up to the November 6 election.
Immediately after the November elections, Central Texas Interfaith will engage the thousands of voters who signed onto the agenda to advocate for these identified priorities with elected officials.
Examples of specific items on the CTI issues agenda include:
Affordability: Economic displacement of families from the Eastside and Southside of Austin to Kyle, Buda, and outside 183 in Travis County.
Education: Cutting of Austin ISD school budget due to inadequate state funding even while Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country
Health Care: Lack of medical personnel who accept Medicaid and Medicare in Williamson County
Infrastructure: Limited funding for infrastructure improvements in central Texas
Immigration: Undocumented migrants afraid to attend church in Bastrop and New Braunfels due to concerns about ICE