COPS/Metro Highlights - 2016

COPS/Metro highlights during 2016 included work on living wages, alternatives to payday lending, getting roads paved, getting school bonds and additional funding approved by voters, accountability assemblies, and celebrating more than 40 years of community organizing in San Antonio. 40+ Anniversary Cover Photo by Ronald Cortes

  • On August 17, COPS/Metro co-sponsored a payday lending workshop with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. 25 leaders from various congregations, St. Vincent de Paul, and a local credit union joined us to discuss the impact of predatory lending and to seek private sector alternatives.
  • Leaders worked with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to raise the entry level wages from $13 to $13.75/hour.  COPS/Metro also gained support from city council to make Project QUEST a line item in the city budget to stabilize funding and recognize QUEST as an economic development strategy.
  • We led a broad-based Get Out the Vote strategy to pass a Tax Ratification Election to raise local revenue for San Antonio ISD.  Among other benefits, the TRE will allow the district to support higher wages for their lowest-paid workers.
  • On October 24, leaders from St. Leo the Great and El Carmen Catholic Churches organized an accountability session with over 150 people and got commitments from the Precinct 1 County Commissioner candidates to raise the county’s minimum hourly wage to $14.50 for direct employees and to $10.00 for contract employees.
  • On October 12, leaders from St. Bonaventure parish and South San AFT gathered 100 people and all candidates from three single-member districts running for the South San ISD board.  All candidates supported our agenda, including raising their entry level wage, supporting after-school programs and investing in infrastructure.
  • In all, COPS/Metro’s Living Wage & Economic Security campaign has raised the wages of about 5,000 City of San Antonio, Bexar County, Bexar County Hospital District, and SAISD workers.
    • It made Bexar County the first public entity in Texas to set a wage floor for contracted workers.
    • It raised the City of San Antonio's funding for the workforce development program, Project QUEST, by 47% over the previous year.
  • Leaders from El Carmen Catholic Church secured $750,000 through Bexar County to conduct a study that will result in paving the roads of Highland Oaks Subdivision. This is the first installment of a $4.4 million project approved by the county.
  • Leaders from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Helotes organized an accountability session with 70 people with candidates for sheriff, state and federal representatives on October 11.
  • With last year's investments from our institutions and business allies, COPS/Metro hired three new full-time organizers.
  • COPS/Metro leaders celebrated 40+ years of organizing in San Antonio with over 1,000 people at our Anniversary Assembly in support of our Economic Security agenda.