Leaders of COPS/Metro Alliance, a broad-based organization of churches, schools, and unions, will hold an Accountability Assembly with San Antonio City Council and Mayoral Candidates on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the St. Henry Catholic Church Parish Hall (1619 S. Flores Street; SATX 78204). The leading Mayoral and Council candidates from Districts 1-8 have been invited. Nearly 500 delegates from COPS/Metro institutions are expected to attend. Leaders will share stories about immigration, housing, workforce development and wages, and the candidates will be asked to respond to specific questions about these issues.
One program that helps train workers for living wage occupations is Project QUEST. Rhiannon Reyes, a single mom, was a first-year student at San Antonio College studying to become a registered nurse. While enrolled, she was earning $20,000 annually as a waitress to cover expenses, but she was barely making ends meet. She joined Project QUEST in her second year. Because of their assistance, she could cut back on work to focus on being a student and a mom. Upon graduating from San Antonio College, she was able to get a better job and pay for her BSN through Texas Tech University. She is now earning $70,000 annually at Methodist Hospital in the Intermediate Medical Surgical department. She takes care of people when they leave the Intensive Care Unit. Reyes notes that "because of Project QUEST I am financially independent and the breadwinner for my family. I now have the time and resources to give back to my community."
COPS/Metro leaders will ask candidates to commit to working with them on other important issues, including greater investment in housing rehabilitation. “Not all homes qualify for the weatherization program,” said Maria Tijerina of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. “There are senior citizens and people on fixed income that pay $200 and even as high as $400 a month on their utility bills. We need a strong plan for housing rehabilitation to protect our seniors in the harshest summer and winter months.”