With one leader clearly gagged standing on the step of City Hall, COPS / Metro Alliance leaders denounced a new San Antonio city rule prohibiting non-profits from talking to City Councilmembers about the budget. Leaders pointed out that the new rule amounted to a gag order, even for nonprofits not requesting City funds for themselves.
Said Rosa Araujo-Iracheta of St. Philip of Jesus Catholic Church, “For some agencies, this blackout period has been in effect since March...That's over five months of being shut out!”
Let the Non Profits Lobby, San Antonio Express News
Activists Protest City Council's Ban on Lobbying for Funds, San Antonio Express News
Clergy and leadership from Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Catholic and Muslim congregations of COPS / Metro delivered a joint statement calling on the President and Congress to demonstrate hospitality to children arriving on the border from Central America.
“Don’t send them back as if they were animals,” argued Fr. Walter D’Heedene of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Speakers underscored that each child should have an attorney, get thorough processing (accorded in the 2008 Wilberforce Act) and have more exposure to vetted religious and social service organizations so that they do not become isolated.
COPS / Metro Alliance is one of five Texas IAF organizations calling on Congress to preserve the protections that currently exist for Central American children.
[Photo Credit: Tom Reel, San Antonio Express-News]
Interfaith Group Calls for Just, Kind Policies Toward Child Immigrants, San Antonio Express News
(Jul-1-2014) Message to the White House regarding the massive influx of refugees–minors and young families–arriving from Central America and Mexico:
Dear President Obama,
We have all been deeply moved by the images of the young mothers, children and adolescents now detained under miserable conditions at our southern borders. They are clearly refugees, fleeing the drug wars in homelands now boasting the highest murder rates in the world. We must honorably meet our international obligations to grant these people safe and humane shelter here. We Americans are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants. This is our national heritage.
We do not take lightly our government’s concerns for national security or the orderly control of immigration affairs. However, the solution does not lie in punishing the victims. Instead, we strongly urge immediate action on the following measures:
COPS/Metro Launches Living Wage Fight in Bexar
COPS/Metro Alliance leaders & allies kicked off their Living Wage Campaign on Tuesday morning at the Bexar County Commissioners Court, asking elected officials to raise the county's minimum wage, currently set at the Federal Poverty Level. In response, Judge Wolff asked the County Manager to immediately begin a study of the wage scale and to meet with a COPS/Metro delegation within 7 days.