Immigration was the urgent topic when Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS took the stage at COPS/Metro's "A Cry for Justice and a Call to Action" assembly at Our Lady of the Lake University on June 18, 2018. "We live in very challenging times. Basic institutions of justice are being attacked. People are suffering needlessly," the archbishop declared to a packed auditorium. "This is a time of crisis. We have to make a decision. Do we go along with or challenge these trends?"
The assembly, which had been months in the planning, took on an air of urgency and drew a standing-room-only crowd as it coincided with a particularly tense week in the nation's debate on immigration policy. News had just broken of the Trump administration's policy of separating detained children from their parents - a policy Archbishop Gustavo strongly condemned in his speech as "immoral," "evil," and sinful," echoing similar sentiments expressed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops....
After [hearing a challenge by the Bishop and a DACA participant], faith communities caucused in small groups, then they answered... by pledging to collect 11,500 postcards to be mailed to Texas' congressional representatives in Washington. Archbishop Gustavo took the symbolic first step of signing his name on the first postcards, which will be mailed to Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn."
[Image Credit: NOWCastSA footage]
Archbishop Gustavo Urges Action on Immigration at COPS / Metro Assembly, Today's Catholic
As part of an ongoing campaign to increase funding for owner-occupied housing rehab and affordable housing, COPS/Metro has gotten involved in the City of San Antonio's Affordable Housing Taskforce.
Andy Sarabia, a founding member of COPS/Metro Alliance, encouraged attendees Saturday to rally support for recommendations by sharing their sentiments with their local elected leaders and City Manager Sheryl Sculley.
“I urge you to contact your Council person to get behind this,” he said. “We’ve got the mayor, who seems to be behind this, but do not forget the city manager. The city manager has a big say in all this. Together, we can put this over the top.”
[In photo, Sr. Gabriela Lohan speaks with Mayor. Photo Credit: Edmond Ortiz, Rivard Report]
Mayor’s Housing Policy Task Force Reveals Recommendations, Rivard Report
St. Leonard Catholic Church organized a "Human and Spiritual Development" Assembly in which seventy-five (75) parishioners attended and participated in small group conversations about the role of the church in their lives.
With three months to decide how to spend $21 Million in HUD funding for affordable housing, several San Antonio Councilmembers are getting direct reminders from COPS / Metro leaders about their campaign promises to invest $6.5 Million in the rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing in older neighborhoods.
In spite of dispute over whether the commitment referred to new money or previous allocations, leaders are pressing on.
“We ask that you consider $6.5 million for new applications in the 2019 budget, and that those funds be allocated specifically for owner occupied housing rehab,” clarified Maria Tijerina, a leader of COPS/Metro.
Express News Calls on County Commissioners to Keep its Promise to Highland Oaks Residents & COPS/Metro
Citing the public safety hazard to children that current road conditions pose, the San Antonio Express-News urged the Bexar County Commissioners court to keep the momentum going on stalled road renovations.
Editors credited COPS / Metro Alliance with helping persuade the Commissioners to allocate funds for the project.
Close to 200 parent, teacher and community leaders packed the cafeteria of Beacon Hill Dual Language Academy to challenge elected officials to work with them to improve the school.
On stage, in response to direct questions from COPS / Metro leaders, SAISD Trustee Christina Martinez committed to securing the resources to expand Beacon Hill’s dual language program, to identifying solutions to traffic issues currently leading students to wait outside in the rain during dismissals, and to securing the funding to demolish the old school (if funding for building renovation cannot be secured).
In response to leaders’ challenge, City Councilman Roberto Treviño committed to securing funding to renovate the old school building and to ensuring that the City of San Antonio would do its part to ensure the traffic-related safety of children. State Representative Diego Bernal pledged to expand state funding for dual language programs and to work with Trustee Martinez to address issues with a Union Pacific property.
COPS / Metro leaders committed to working with each other to expand the dual language program and train for leadership development to strengthen the constituency that supports Beacon Hill Academy.
To Demolish or Renovate: Beacon Hill’s 1915 Campus Building in Limbo, Rivard Report [pdf]
Between San Antonio and the US Mexican border, leaders from COPS / Metro and The Border Organization in Del Rio bridged gerrymandered distances to engage Democratic challengers in US Congressional District 23 (Helotes), and Republican challengers (and Democratic incumbent) in House Districts 116 and 117.
The joint accountability session drew 175 to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Helotes, Texas and included candidates for Bexar County Commissioner Precinct 2. Leaders also engaged top candidates in House District 21, currently held by Joe Strauss, in a separate assembly.
Join us at an Accountability Session with candidates for US Congressional District 23, Texas State Representative Districts 116 and 117, and Bexar County Commissioner Precinct 2 on Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church-Helotes (13715 Riggs Road; Helotes, TX).
Less than one year after more than 750 COPS / Metro leaders secured candidate pledges for increased municipal investments in home rehabilitation, leaders are now training hundreds of residents about the new program and how to apply. $9 Million has been set aside for qualifying residents — $6.5 Million from federal funds and the rest through the City of San Antonio.
This effort is a key part of the “Decade of Neighborhoods” campaign launched by COPS/Metro last year.
512 people were trained in just one week.
[Photo screenshot from FOX News coverage.]
We seek leaders who are willing to work to build our institutions and our organization. Find out how our network organizations in Texas are doing at the State-Wide Issues Assembly on Saturday, December 2, 2017.Read more