During this second year of the pandemic, Central Texas Interfaith leaders made significant impact to address homelessness, economic and health equity, and education funding. Please consider investing monthly so that fights for social justice can continue in 2022.
After a Yearlong Campaign, Clergy and Leaders Secure
$200 Million for Homelessness Prevention & Support
At the end of an intense year of clergy and lay leader action with Austin and Travis County elected officials, over 100 CTI leaders were joined by Mayor Steve Adler and Judge Andy Brown in a celebration and explanation of a transformational investment of over $200 million federal dollars into homelessness ($107M from City of Austin and $110M from Travis County stimulus funding).
Both officials expressed appreciation for the organization's partnership and doggedness in addressing key regional challenges and committed to working to identify dollars for rental assistance, over and beyond the $40 Million that was invested this year.
- Central TX Interfaith Leaders Share Plans for $200M, Will Be Used to Address Homelessness, CBS Austin [pdf]
- Church Leaders Praise City, County for Committing Fed Funds Toward Homelessness, Austin Monitor [pdf]
- Homeless Housing Plans, Spectrum News
- Several Austin City Council Members Concerned About Spending on Homelessness Services, KXAN [pdf]
- Interfaith Group Calls for Immediate Action on Homelessness, Austin Monitor [pdf]
- Headlines / Quote of the Week, Austin Chronicle [pdf]
- Líderes Religiosos Exigen Que las Autoridades Locales Tomen Acción para Ayudar a Indigentes, Univision [video]
- Central Texas Interfaith Calls on Austin-Travis Officials to Invest, Address Homelessness, CBS Austin [pdf]
- Press Conference Footage, Central Texas Interfaith
ENDING CORPORATE WELFARE, SAVING SCHOOL FUNDING
CTI Leaders Play Central Role in Ending Texas' Largest Corporate Welfare Program Which Robbed Potential School Funding for the Bottom Lines of Big Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Corporations
Texas IAF organizations successfully blocked the reauthorization of a longstanding corporate tax exemption that gave industrial and petrochemical companies 10-year tax abatements paid for by Texas tax payers. Killing the corporate welfare bill preserved a potential $1-2 billion in annual funding for public schools and, for the first time in decades, challenged the influence of big oil and gas in Texas.
- In Blow to Big Oil, Corporate Subsidy Quietly Dies in Texas, The Intercept [pdf]
- Texas Legislature Dooms Chapter 331, Which Gives Tax Breaks to Big Businesses, Business Journal [pdf]
- Missed Deadline Could Doom Controversial $10B Tax-Break Program, Houston Chronicle
- A Texas Law Offers Tax Breaks to Companies, but It's Renewal Isn't a Done Deal, Texas Tribune [pdf]
- A Controversial Tax Program Promised High Paying Jobs. Instead, Its Costs Spiraled Out of Control, Houston Chronicle [pdf]
- Losers and Winners from Chapter 313, Central Texas Interfaith
- The Unlikely Demise of Texas’ Biggest Corporate Tax Break, Texas Observer [pdf]
LONG-TERM JOB TRAINING
As the second year of the pandemic continued to reveal gross inequities in the labor market (in terms of pay and exposure to illness), Texas IAF leaders waged battle at the Capitol to preserve funding for long-term job training to support low-wage workers wanting to transition into better jobs. Leaders were successful in preserving $4.2 Million in Texas Adult Career Education funding for the biennium, for which projects from the across the state can petition.
In Hays County, Corridor Interfaith Alliance for Families leveraged $50,000 in county funding for an expansion of Capital IDEA, essentially doubling the county's investment over two years. In sum, leaders leveraged $3.6 Million for Capital IDEA between State of Texas, City of Austin, Travis and Hays County funding.
As vaccines became available, Central Texas Interfaith leaders across the region collaborated with Austin Public Health to bring the vaccine to mobile home residents in Bastrop and South Austin, as well as to targeted neighborhoods in East Austin.
As a result, hundreds of adults and families were protected against the ravages of Covid-19.
BALANCE IN CITY BUDGET PRIORITIES
In the face of a ballot proposition that could have drained hundreds of millions from essential city services like job training, libraries, and Fire/EMS by irreversibly shifting money to police spending beyond its current historic high, CTI worked to educate its membership on this important issue. In photo at right, the Eastside cluster pauses before heading out to knock on doors.
As a result, 57% of CTI supporters residing in Austin participated in the election (approaching 3x the rate of Austin voters at 22%) while turnout in most of CTI's targeted precincts outpaced that of the city.
BUILDING CAPACITY FOR FUTURE ADVANCES
CTI organizers and leaders played a central role in raising $1.6 million in multi-year funding for the Texas IAF Chapter 313 organizing project from several national funders.
CTI additionally raised $1.5 Million in 2021 from dues, corporate and individual investment, and foundations including St. David's Foundation, Michael and Alice Kuhn Foundation, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and a multi-year grant from Episcopal Health Foundation.
While funding from major foundations supports leadership development, institutional recruitment, and special projects, CTI relies on individual contributions and dues to support our non-partisan political work. If you would like to support structural change and the careful development of a nonpartisan constituency of voters, please consider making a monthly recurring donation to Central Texas Interfaith. Individual contributions are one of the few ways available to fund our Get Out The Vote efforts and non-partisan candidate engagement.