Civic Academy on codeNEXT & Affordable Housing Educates and Agitates

Hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Austin Interfaith Affordable Housing Team, the latest civic academy on codeNEXT drew 120 mostly East Austin residents to learn about the proposed zoning overhaul, share their housing stories and identify opportunities for concrete action before the final City Council vote.  

Photo Album Here 

Info Sheet on codeNEXT

Flyer for Public Hearing 10am Saturday, April 28th

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Moving Towards Healing after Bombings in Central Texas

As the immediate threats to safety due to the bombings over the past several weeks in Central Texas have been brought to an end, the victims, their families, and our whole community will move into a phase of healing from these tragedies.   Our support and prayers are with all of those affected.  Several of the victims lived, worked, and worshiped in the very neighborhoods that our organization works in most closely.  Fundraising sites (see below) for the victims and their families have been set up, and we urge you to consider donating to help support them in their time of need.  We are humbled by the families of these victims, who even in their inconceivable loss, have found it in their hearts to pray for the perpetrator and his family.

We also thank the over 500 law enforcement officers for their tireless work in ending this horrific period, making our communities safe, and in beginning to evaluate these events to make our community even safer in the future.  Our community will always be safest when residents, community leaders, and law enforcement work together leveraging relationships that have been built before a crisis hits.

As we move into Holy Days in the Christian and Jewish faiths, we are reminded of the importance of neighborliness in its truest sense: getting to know those who share your neighborhood, community, and city in genuine, face to face relationships.  This is the best investment we can make in our shared welfare, health, and well-being in Central Texas.

To make a donation to the victims and their families, please visit the following fundraising sites:

Stephan House

Draylen Mason

Esperanza Herrera

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Bastrop Interfaith Secures Candidate Commitments in Fight for Drainage, Immigration and Bridge Repair

Leaders from Bastrop Interfaith, an initiative of Austin Interfaith, met with candidates for Bastrop County Judge this week to discuss drainage, immigration, bridge repair, and drug treatment.

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Bastrop Interfaith Secures Park Light Installation & Cleanup

1705-Bastrop-Interfaith-Leaders-Win-Lights-Cleanup-for-County-Park.jpg

Bastrop Interfaith leader Alma Lopez lived in Stony Point in western Bastrop County for thirty years. She grew angry about people doing and selling drugs, abetted by darkness, at a long-neglected Stony Point park. "That is my neighborhood and my friends and family don’t want those things happening here,” she said.

Two months after Bastrop Interfaith organized its first assembly, leaders secured lights for the park, with the Commissioners Court unanimously approving a contract with Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. The Cooperative will pay for the lights while the County will pay for the monthly electricity bill. Leaders additionally secured $1,500 for park cleanup.

The community wide cleanup will be the first step of many, according to Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape. ”Anything we do is a giant step from doing nothing.”

“It’s a small cost to pay,” asserted leader Maria Vargas.

Bastrop Interfaith is an expansion project of Austin Interfaith.

Bastrop County Supports Community-Wide Cleanup at Stony Point, Austin American Statesman [pdf]

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Austin Interfaith Got Out The Vote in the Runoff Election

After making over 2,300 phone calls and knocking on over 900 doors in four targeted precincts, Austin Interfaith leaders helped ensure that voters made their voice heard in District 10 during this most recent runoff election.  

Leaders engaged in hundreds of nonpartisan conversations at the door (and by phone) to secure commitments to vote on Election Day.  Leaders also left reminder voice mails and fliers to ensure that voters knew when and where to vote.  As a result, where leaders had face-to-face conversations, Election Day turnout increased by 5-16% compared to 2014 Election Day turnout in a comparable runoff election.
Congratulations, Austin Interfaith! 
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Last Chance to Vote in Local Runoff Races

TODAY -- Tuesday December 13 IS ELECTION DAY for AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE & COUNCIL DISTRICT 10

If you did not vote early, be sure to vote today.  Polls will be open from 7am - 7pm. In Travis County you can vote at any polling location.

Only Voters in District 10 can vote in District 10 runoff

Austin City Council District 10 Candidates

Alison Alter vs. Sheri Gallo 

Austin Community College Board of Trustees

Place 4 candidates:

Sean Hassan vs. Michael J. Lewis

Place 9 candidates:

Julie Ann Kitsch vs. Guadalupe Sosa 

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Austin Interfaith Holds Accountability Assembly

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Austin Interfaith Helps Reduce Residential Energy Rates

1608_-_ATX_-_CBS_-_Richard_Halpin_-_Austin_Energy.jpg[Excerpt from CBS reporting below]

“Richard Halpin with Austin Interfaith chimed in, ‘Everybody gets a decrease. And in this day and time for our utility to give everyone a decrease is a major step forward.’ Affordability advocates applaud the action as a step in the right direction. Halpin says, ‘We at Austin Interfaith are pleased that everyone worked so hard to create a decrease for all Austin ratepayers and particularly for those neighbors who are most at risk.’”

Austin Energy Residential Customers to See Reduced RatesCBS [pdf]

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AI Proposes Reorganization of City Budget

1607_-_ATX_-_AAS_-_Typical_Austin_Homeowner.jpgLeaders of Austin Interfaith joined a press conference hosted by Councilmember Delia Garza to demand more priorities like Capital IDEA job training, parks and after-school programming like Victory Tutorial and Primetime for children.

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."

[Photo Credit: Deborah Cannon / Austin American Statesman]

Budget Strives to Address Council Directives, Austin Monitor [pdf]

Typical Austin Homeowner Could Pay $150 More in Taxes, Fees Next Year, Austin American Statesman [pdf]

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Leaders Fight for Affordable Housing on Congress

1606_-_ATX_-_Austin_Chronicle_-_Heights_on_Congress.jpgAt last month's assembly, resident leaders of the Heights On Congress apartments told stories about their concerns with relocation now that the property owner is seeking permission to rezone.  The children of those residents belong to Travis Heights Elementary School, whose PTA reached out to Austin Interfaith for help in developing a plan with the owner and developer that will serve the interests of the residents and their children.  At the assembly, they secured the support of the Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and AISD trustees.  In photo are local leaders Angie Gonzalez of the Oak Creek Village Tenants' Association and Rev. Brian Ferguson of Wildflower Church.

[Photo Credit: Jana Birchum, Austin Chronicle]

Heights on Congress Start Organizing: City, Developer Discussing Relocation Plan, Austin Chronicle

Austin Affordable Housing Crisis, Fox News

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