Valley Interfaith Decries Judge's Injunction, Reminds Immigrants that DACA Remains in Effect
The press conference started with the story of teacher in 2001, invited from Mexico to teach in MacAllen in 2001 -- then disinvited when 9/11 attacks led to dramatic changes in the treatment of immigrants.
Clergy and leaders of Valley Interfaith convened at St. Mary Catholic Church to call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, remind undocumented immigrants that the 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order is still in effect and to urge potential beneficiaries of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) to prepare now for the event that the hold on the executive order is lifted.
Coming Out of the Shadows, Brownsville Herald
Faith Leaders Work with Immigrants Amid Hold on Immigration Action, Valley Central
Valley Interfaith Comes Together for Immigration Reform, NBC News 23
Coming Out of the Shadows, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith Fights for Chemical Cleanup, Puts Weight Behind New Hospital District
At an assembly with officials of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Valley Interfaith leaders argued that the failure to clean up a 33-acre benzene spill is behind the cancer and other illnesses impacting families living in the area. Leader Frank Pena alerted the assembly that while a legal settlement on the spill resulted in payouts, it did not result in needed environmental cleanup.
That same week, Valley Interfaith threw its political weight behind ballot Proposition 1 for the creation of a new hospital district to drawn down additional federal dollars expand and improve care for local residents.
Organizacion Pide Respuestas Ante Contaminacion De Quimico Debajo de Viviendras, Univision 48
Valley Interfaith Throws Its Weight Behind Hidalgo County Hospital District, Rio Grande Guardian
Local Organizations Announce Support for Hospital District, The Rio Grande Valley Monitor
Valley Interfaith Urges Pharr Officials to Address Concerns of Colonias
Valley Interfaith leader Eddie Anaya, organized a forum in Las Milpas to identify the concerns of colonia residents of Pharr. He brought 20 leaders with him to a city-sponsored forum later that week to relay their priorities: a satellite library on the Southside of Pharr, public transportation, improved police response, and identifying an alternative water supply.
"The most important thing about this is teaching our people to voice their opinion and understand the process," said Anaya.
Las Milpas Residents Turn Out for Pharr Project Forum, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith Examines Benzene Plume Near Church
Valley Interfaith is drawing a connection between stories of cancer-related deaths, three gas stations and a benzene plume moving through a neighborhood blocks from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in McAllen. Leaders are in the midst of a research campaign with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas state legislators and County Commissioners to get to the bottom of the benzene plume. Discovery of the toxic gas plume emerged from a listening campaign about the concerns of Rio Grande Valley residents.
Nearly 900 Valley Interfaith Leaders Celebrate 30th Anniversary
Gathering at the Pharr Events Center in the Rio Grande Valley, Valley Interfaith leaders celebrated their 30th anniversary with stories of historic achievements, blessings for recent VIDA graduates, and presentations of strategies for healthcare enrollment, education and comprehensive immigration reform. Veteran leaders like Fr. Alfonso Guevara lauded Valley Interfaith as a 'university of public life' that helps people do 'what politicians can no longer do' -- tapping into local relationships, learning what matters to people and developing people's capacity to achieve extraordinary things through collaboration with others. In photo, leaders bow head in prayer at start of celebration.
Valley Interfaith 'Gave Me the Guidance and Means That I Needed'; Nonprofit Celebrates 30th Anniversary, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith Turns 30, by Fr. Alfonso Guevara, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith to Celebrate its Third Decade, The Brownsville Herald
Guevara: Valley Interfaith Makes the Politicians Look Good, Rio Grande Guardian
Organizaciones Locales Discuten Temas de Inmigracion e Educacion, Telemundo
Photo Gallery, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith Healthcare Enrollment Meeting Draws 220
Valley Interfaith's healthcare summit in Edinburgh drew 220 leaders from member congregations and schools. The meeting was held in collaboration with three Hidalgo County commissioners and State Representative Sergio Munoz. Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia declared, "I stand with Valley Interfaith in calling for a coordination meeting...to discuss tangible strategies for educating our uninsured population about how they can access the federal marketplace." Leaders are planning a November "'check up' on the new marketplace in the Rio Grande Valley,' Valley Interfaith leader Eddie Anaya told the Guardian.
Judge, Congressman, Valley Interfaith Plan Major ACA Marketplace Meeting, Rio Grande Guardian
Valley Interfaith Launches Spanish GED Program
"Valley Interfaith consists of 25 churches of different creeds, one of eight similar organizations in the state, among a network distributed throughout the US. This organization has created a community program in which non-English speakers can obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma, also known as a GED. 'The idea is for people to be able to take the exam in Spanish,' says Lilia Garcia, a member of Valley Interfaith. 'We prepare them with intensive classes in math, social sciences and natural sciences....'"
Inicia Programa Paisano, El MaÃ±ana
Superintendent Agrees to Expand RGV Adult Education Efforts
"On Thursday evening, King spoke to over 100 adults who are either participating in the Valley Interfaith GED program or waiting to do so. The house meeting was held at St. John the Baptist's in San Juan. Speaking in Spanish, King praised those participating in the GED program and spoke about his vision for scaling up what Valley Interfaith has started....
....asked if the GED en EspaÃ±ol program could be scaled up to match the obvious demand, King had no doubts. 'I have no doubt at all. We will find a way to do it.'"
King Plans to Scale Up Valley Interfaith Efforts, Rio Grande Guardian
Valley Interfaith Brings Spanish GED Prep to Hidalgo County
In civic academies on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Valley Interfaith leaders learned that there were almost no Spanish GED classes or testing sites in the County of Hidalgo and a lack of classes to prepare. This led some to travel hours to Brownsville â€“ the only available site in the Rio Grande Valley.
Leaders worked with the McAllen Independent School System and St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church to expand Spanish language GED preparation classes, and with South Texas College to begin Spanish GED testing in Hidalgo County. Today, more than 60 students are enrolled.
Valley Interfaith Plans to Expand GED En Espanol Program, Rio Grande Guardian
NTO Rallies with Hundreds For Texas Medicaid Expansion
"Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday on the front steps of the Capitol to rally in support of Medicaid expansion....Willie Bennett, along with 45 other members of the Dallas Area Interfaith, turned up for the march that snaked down Congress Avenue and up to the Capitol. Bennett said more than 3,000 individuals and 38 institutions had signed up in favor of Medicaid expansion."
"Anderson and her 66-year-old mother, Martha Anderson, were among about 60 Tarrant County residents who gathered at the St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Fort Worth ... for the 200-mile bus trip to Austin. The trip was organized by the Allied Communities of Tarrant (ACT)" in coordination with the Network of Texas Organizations, including Austin Interfaith, The Border Organization, EPISO, Border Interfaith, TMO, WIN, WTOS, Valley Interfaith and COPS / Metro Alliance.
Protesters March on Texas Capitol for Expanded Medicaid, Star Telegram
Hundreds March to Capitol to Show Support for Medicaid Expansion, Dallas Morning News