In meetings with Hays County Commissioners, Corridor Interfaith leaders in Central Texas emphasized the importance of workforce development in one of the fastest growing counties in the county. The Commissioners Court responded, increasing its public investment in long-term job training by 10% to $55,0000 in the upcoming fiscal year.
Capital IDEA graduate Mary Helen testified, saying: "After working as a paramedic... I went back to college and earned my RN degree. I currently work as an ICU nurse at Ascension Seton Network and provided care to the first COVID patients in our region."
Last night the City of Austin voted on a budget that includes one of the highest living wages for their workers: $20/hr for municipal workers including contracted workers and those employed by corporations benefiting from City tax subsidies. At the urging of Central Texas Interfaith, through meetings with individual council members and communications that persisted even as votes were taken on amendments, the City of Austin expanded emergency assistance for struggling renters and sustained spending on essential human development initiatives including long-term workforce development and after-school programs.
- $20/ hour base pay for all City of Austin staff, contract employees and employees of corporations receiving City tax subsidies - Sponsored by CM Fuentes
- $8 Million in emergency rental assistance - Sponsored by CM Vela
- $3.1 Million for long term workforce development - Sponsored by CM Alter
- Increased funding for AISD programs including Parent Support Specialists and Primetime After School programs - Sponsored by CM Tovo
Central Texas Interfaith commends the Mayor and the entire City Council for investing in these important initiatives.
Austin Interfaith leaders continued the push to shift city budget priorities away from police-dominant public safety to long-term investments in children and workers. At the second public hearing on the budget, Rabbi Alan Freedman testified that while public safety is "critical to existence...our goal should be to have a city where people can live."
He was accompanied by other leaders from Austin Interfaith, Seton Healthcare and UT Austin who all urged the council to invest in long-term job training program Capital IDEA.
[In Photo: Rabbi Alan Freedman]
Unmet Needs: Budget Crunch Time Arrives with Values in Conflict, Austin Chronicle