Organizer Jacob Cortes Weighs In on Texas Enrollment Challenge

“Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. So private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1….The [USHHS] department will also finance at least two “navigators” — organizations intended to guide people through the exchange — per state.

But Jacob Cortes, the lead organizer of the group Austin Interfaith, said that might not be enough. ‘The private sector would have to step up,’ he said.”

Promoting Health Insurance, With No Help From StateNew York Times

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Central Texas Religious Leaders Call for Immigration Reform

In a prayer service and press conference organized by Austin Interfaith, Central Texas Bishops and clergy from six religious denominations “pressed Tuesday for reforms centered on keeping families together and allowing unauthorized immigrants to earn legal residency with a path to citizenship….[stating] such principles are key to what they called just and humane immigration reforms.”

Central Texas Religious Leaders: Immigration Change Must be Just, HumaneAustin American Statesman [Printable version]

Lideres de Diversas Iglesias Alzan sus Plegarias por la Reforma MigratoriaUnivision 62

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Central Texas Religious Leaders to Launch Immigration Campaign

 Religious leaders from multiple denominations will launch an interfaith campaign for comprehensive immigration reform

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 10am

at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on 126 W. Oltorf Street.  

The interfaith prayer service and press conference, organized by key leaders from religious denominations across Central Texas, will feature a common statement on shared principles for immigration reform and strategy to encourage legislators in Washington to vote for reform.  

News Advisory Here

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Austin Interfaith Defends Affordable Housing Construction

“If Oak Creek doesn’t remain affordable housing, [Landin] will have to move in with her mother in Bastrop.  Principal Robertson says continuity is key for low-income families.

‘Constant change is not a friend for Title One families,’ Robertson says. ‘Nor is it for students to jump from school to school. That upheaval — some of our most successful families will be thrown into I don’t know what kind of abyss.’

Members of the Travis Heights community are also concerned the school will lose its diverse student population. Minerva Skeith is a Travis Heights parent and member of the local community group, Austin Interfaith.”

For One Austin School, Funding Hangs on Affordable Housing, KUT News

Presentation and Exchange at City Hall, City of AustinMay 13, 2013

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Austin Interfaith & Worker's Defense Project Calls on City to Enforce Own Rules on Economic Incentives & Construction Wages

AAS - Labor advocates ask court to step into Marriott dispute“The Austin-based Workers Defense Project is asking the courts to step into its wage dispute with the developers of the downtown Austin J.W. Marriott hotel under construction....

‘Developers need to keep their promises to taxpayers and workers, and the city must enforce its own rules,’ said Kurt Cadena-Mitchell, a leader of Austin Interfaith, a multi-congregation group pushing the city to establish a standard above minimum wage on construction projects that are granted economic development deals by the city.”  [Photo: Alberto Martinez, Austin American Statesman]

Labor Advocates Ask Court to Step into Marriott DisputeAustin American Statesman

West / Southwest IAF

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Capital IDEA Carves Out Career Paths in Austin

“Representatives from Austin Interfaith and the local business community founded Capital IDEA in 1998, and Steven Jackobs has been heading the organization ever since. Under his direction, the group has helped support, train and find careers for hundreds of Central Texas workers and their families.  Capital IDEA – the IDEA stands for Investing in Development and Employment of Adults – works closely with unemployed or underemployed workers to identify a viable and fruitful career path. It’s a rigorous process that’s designed to ensure that workers are committed to the training and completing it….”

 

Capital IDEA Leads Clients to Career Path, Austin American Statesman

 

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Leaders Celebrate Legislative Reprieve on Living Wages

Sheets’ decision to focus on other legislation pleased Austin Interfaith, a coalition of congregations and social justice groups that has been pushing for the living-wage requirement. At the organization’s request, members of its Dallas-area counterpart and representatives of the Dallas affiliate of the Workers Defense Project met with Sheets, asking him to drop his legislation and citing, among other reasons, a desire for local control in such matters, said Kurt Cadena-Mitchell, an Austin Interfaith leader.

"I think we have a very balanced approach that is good for the city, the taxpayers, companies and contractors,” said Bob Batlan, a member of Temple Beth Shalom and Austin Interfaith involved in the living-wage discussions. “I’m pleased that (Sheets) recognizes the balanced approach.”

Legislator Backs Off Bill to Ban Living Wage RequirementAustin American Statesman

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Austin Interfaith Applauds National Instruments for Living Wage

“National Instruments Corp. won approval Thursday for $1.7 million in city of Austin incentives to support the company’s proposed expansion of 1,000 Austin jobs over the next 10 years….

The deal was praised by representatives of Austin Interfaith because the company agreed to a floor wage of $11 an hour for all jobs, including construction jobs tied to the project. The company also agreed to work with contractors to ensure that construction workers on the project will be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.”

City OK’s $1.7 Million in Incentives to National InstrumentsAustin American Statesman

 
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Austin Interfaith Leverages Republican Support for Medicaid Expansion

In the face of opposition from prominent Texas Republicans and Gov. Rick Perry, an increasing number of local government officials are urging legislators to expand Medicaid and obtain a federal funding windfall....Last week, the Travis County Commissioners Court tweaked a Feb. 19 resolution calling for a Medicaid expansion to satisfy its lone Republican member. That bipartisan support was “absolutely critical,” said Oralia Garza Cortes, a leader with Austin Interfaith, an advocacy group. Sister organizations in Dallas and Bexar counties helped pass similar resolutions.

On Tuesday, a group of Medicaid recipients and uninsured Texans is planning to rally at the Capitol in support of expanding the program."

Local Officials Lobby GOP Leaders to Rethink Medicaid Expansion, Austin American Statesman

 
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