Friends of Central Texas Interfaith
We had planned for 2020 to be a year of Get Out The Vote campaigns, non-partisan candidate Accountability Sessions, and formally launching our 8 geographic organizing clusters across 10 counties. It was all of these, but when COVID-19 hit this past spring, we felt a renewed call to live out our mission more than any time in our 30-plus year history. During a year in which many of our families have experienced immeasurable loss, we also feel fortunate to be in a position to positively address COVID’s challenges.
Below are just some of the accomplishments the clergy and leaders of Central Texas Interfaith achieved in 2020:
- Launched 8 geographic Organizing Clusters across the region in Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, Brazos, and McLennan Counties through two rounds of local cluster meetings, and added several new institutional members.
- Held 10 non-partisan candidate Accountability Sessions across these counties in the Spring Primary Elections, Fall General Elections and Runoffs with candidates for U.S. Congress, State Legislator, County Commissioner, County Sheriff, and City Council.
- Held town halls and meetings focused on a COVID-19 with County Judges and Mayors in Travis County, Bastrop, Hays, Williamson, and McLennan Counties to address health and economic impacts of COVID. Town Halls in Travis County and Waco had 150-200 participants.
- Won over $40 million in Rental Assistance and Income Assistance at the City and County Level
- Successfully testified at Texas Public Utility Commission for moratorium on cutoffs and assistance program for low-income individuals.
- Raised nearly $4 million public dollars for the long-term job training program Capital IDEA in the Central Texas area including $2.5 million from City of Austin, nearly $800,000 from Travis county, $30,000 from Hays County, as well as bi-partisan supported state funding.
- Advocated at City Council, APD, and Office of Police Oversight for community policing, effective oversight, recruitment from communities of color, and race equity training among officers.
- Implemented a year-long Spanish language organizing training and leadership development initiative “Reconociendo Al Extranjero” with 50 leaders from 12 congregations.
- Successfully conducted the largest “Get out the Vote” (GOTV) campaign in the organization's history with over 215 leaders making over 11,000 phone calls to low propensity voters in 17 precincts. In 16 of 17 precincts these low-propensity voters actually outvoted their precincts as a whole during early voting.
- During the Dec 2020 Austin City Council Runoff, 38 Central Texas Interfaith leaders called 1,680 registered voters to encourage them to vote in the runoff election for Austin City Council District 6 and 10.
- Raised a broad-base of over $650,000 for the organization including member institution dues, individual contributions, corporate contributions, and foundation funding.
If you are in a position to give this year, we ask that you think first about direct relief programs that provide food, clothing, economic and healthcare support for those in need.
If you would also like to support the work of creating structural and institutional change through Central Texas Interfaith, you may give here.
Please have a safe and happy holiday,
Central Texas Interfaith