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Austin Interfaith ASEC Core Team

Report from the All Saints’ Austin Interfaith Core Team
Post-election 2018

In house meetings held last fall and spring, members of All Saints’ identified their main concerns for our church and our community. Members of other congregations belonging to Austin Interfaith did the same, and together we generated an agenda of issues to put before candidates in the recent elections: Living wages and workforce development; affordable housing; community safety; sustainability; immigration reform, and access to healthcare. (For details see austininterfaith.org.)

On October 21 we held an Accountability Session at University United Methodist Church. Candidates for Mayor and City Council, as well as some candidates for the Legislature and Congress, came before an assembly of over 250 representatives from Austin Interfaith member institutions, and they were asked to state publicly whether they would commit to working with Austin Interfaith to resolve the issues on our agenda. Prior to this Accountability Session representatives of Austin Interfaith had met with the candidates to discuss the issues in detail, so that at the public meeting they would be informed and would be in a position to answer simply “yes” or “no.” The response of all of the candidates present was overwhelmingly positive (except for two candidates’ objections to one sub-point of the issue concerning homelessness).

In addition to the Accountability Session, Austin Interfaith member institutions undertook a get-out-the-vote campaign, asking their members and neighbors to indicate their support of the agenda of issues and their willingness to vote for candidates who also support it. At All Saints’ we gathered some 300 names, which contributed to a total of around five thousand names gathered by Austin Interfaith as a whole. Many of those who signed on were contacted and reminded to vote.

On the local level, candidates who won had expressed their support for Austin Interfaith’s issues: Mayor Steve Adler and Kathy Tovo, District 9. So had the two candidates in the runoff for District 3, Pio Renteria and Susana Almanza. The two
candidates in the runoff for District 1, Mariana Salazar and Natasha Harper-Madison, had planned to come to the Accountability Session but at the last minute were prevented for good cause. Some of the candidates for District 8 came to the
Accountability Session and responded positively, but the two candidates who got into the runoff, Paige Ellis and Frank Ward, did not come. Leading up to the runoff, Austin

Interfaith is planning an accountability session for those candidates who did not or could not come to the event on October 21, as well as a get-out-the-vote initiative. At the Accountability Session candidates were also asked, “If elected, will you meet with representatives of Austin Interfaith within 30 days, to plan how we will work together on our agenda of issues.” This is how the relationship formed prior to the election continues after the election.

We are encouraged by the involvement of many members in this process, which works for the betterment of our community in accord with our faith-based values. We look forward to deepening our involvement in the coming year. Stay tuned.

Your Austin Interfaith Core Team
April Floyd
Michael Floyd
David Guarino
Tom Pollan
Richard Ribb
Merry Wheaton

Service Times

(Choirs on break during Summer)