Dozens of Austin Interfaith leaders convened at an AISD school board work session to ask the board to abandon the use of an outdated 2005 wage standard and adopt federal Davis-Bacon wage standards, in line with what the City of Austin, Travis County and Del Valle ISD use when paying construction workers for school projects. Leaders from Education Austin, LiUna, Workers Defense Project, Travis Heights Elementary, IBEW, Temple Beth Shalom, St. David Episcopal Church and the Equal Justice Center testified about the benefits to workers, families, the school district and the economy at large. In photo, Minerva Camarena-Skeith explains to Telemundo Austin how Davis Bacon wage standards would benefit construction workers.
Activistas Presionan A Distrito Escolar de Austin para Aumentar Salarios, Telemundo Austin
Rabbi Alan Freeman and Harmon Motch reflect on a 10:1 redistricting civic academy held at Temple Beth Shalom last month in District 10, and what this means in the upcoming election.
In Austin’s District 10, a Focus on Preserving the Good Things, Austin American Statesman
Austin Interfaith leader, Leland Butler of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, points out that District 6 has its pockets of poverty, with "apartment complexes springing up and filling with people who can’t afford central-city rents."
In Austin’s District 6, a Different Set of Priorities, Austin American Statesman [pdf]
Leaders of Temple Beth Shalom are planning a 2-day event around social justice and politics in the public square. On Friday, May 9th, synagogue congregants plan to hear Koreena Malone relate her story about community organizing a brand-new tenants' association to better negotiate with a developer threatening to abolish her affordable housing in South Austin. On Saturday, people will gather to learn more about the City of Austin's 10:1 redistricting and what that will mean for city politics and the capacity for families to advocate on their own behalf.
The rising cost of living in Austin, though perhaps an inevitable twin to the city’s success, undercuts some of the notions ingrained in the city’s ethos: that growth shouldn’t strain longtime residents; that families are an essential part of the social fabric; and that Austin is an egalitarian, socially conscious, arms-open place where anyone can make it, be they starving artist or teacher or tech investor.
“We have a wide range of congregations, in all nooks and crannies of Austin, across all socioeconomic classifications, and all of them are saying the same thing,” said Bob Batlan, an organizer with Austin Interfaith, a network of churches, unions and schools that has made affordability a top priority. “They’re all telling us Austin is becoming less affordable, for just about everybody. And we need to do something about it.”
Austin's Rising Cost of Living Raises Questions About Who Can Live Here, Austin American Statesman
"Austin Interfaith volunteers handed out blankets, towels and food Tuesday evening. They say flood victims need more donations including heaters. "So many people still need so much help," said Ofelia Zapata."
Contact: Bob Batlan (512) 796 1533 - Jim O'Quinn (512) 589 2838
Austin Interfaith Recognizes Council Members for Investing in All Budget Priorities
Austin Interfaith commends council members for approving the reallocation of over a million dollars in the 2013-2014 budget to workforce development and youth programs at parks, schools and libraries while decreasing the tax rate. This is an investment in our children, youth and future skilled workforce.
"Today's decisions are a victory for Austin's future generation--because they're going to have more story times at the library, more hours at the pool and enriching classes after school. We want to see our future doctors, lawyers, and artists come from our own communities, families and education system," said Austin Interfaith leader Reverend Sandy Jones of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.
Austin Interfaith Budget Priorities:
- Primetime Afterschool - $350,000
Restore funding for AISD youth programs.
- Austin Public Libraries - $307,490
Support youth literacy by funding bilingual outreach and children's librarians.
- Capital IDEA - $200,000
Invest a total of $1.13 million in economic development that can end the cycle of poverty.
- Parks and Recreation - $1.455 Million
Provide equitable parks and park programming by investing in underserved parks and pools.
- Summer Youth Employment - $72,000
Restore funding for summer youth programs.
Thank you to council members Martinez, Morrison and Tovo for making the motions to fund these priorities.
Monday, September 9, 2013, Austin City Council members will make important City Budget decisions that directly affect our families. Even though Austin is a growing city, for years funding has been cut in areas that are important to our families, like youth programs, libraries and parks. Austin Interfaith is working with congregations and schools across the city to ensure the budget reinvests in the people of Austin. We can make sure council members hear our voice by working together to make hundreds of calls and emails before Monday morning. It's quick and easy!
In emails please be sure to use the Subject: Austin Interfaith Budget Priorities (otherwise all of our emails will not be counted together!).
Click here for more info and Council Members' Contact Info