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8% is the rate by which violent crime is lower in U.S. metro areas where unauthorized immigrants are most prevalent. Property crime is also lower in immigrant-heavy regions, by 10 percent.

 

Spanish EHL Class Graduates

 
Our Graduating Class

Last Tuesday on December 10th, Texans Together graduated our latest EHL class at Our Lady Of Guadalupe church in Baytown, Texas. This was the first in a new series of classes oriented toward the Spanish speaking community with the entire curriculum being offered in Spanish. The class was taught by Chris Shillaci and lasted six weeks and everyone learned a lot and had a great time.

Time for Caring

 
Thank You! Your support has made it possible for Texans Together to train and engage 225 minority grassroots leaders since 2011, and develop the best organizing staff in Texas. In 2014 we plan to expand our Empowering Houston Leaders program, spreading grassroots leaders across the Greater Houston area before the November elections. Please consider a year–end gift so that we can train even more grassroots leaders to empower their neighbors to get involved in their communities and vote.  

$15 Wage in Fast Food Stirs Debate on Effects

(This story was written by Steven Greenhouse and orginially appeared in The New York Times.)
 
As fast-food workers plan yet another round of one-day strikes on Thursday in cities around the country, labor leaders, economists and industry officials continue to debate the potential effects of raising wages at companies that often assert that such increases would raise consumer prices and shrink the work force.

VP Biden meets with Texans Together staff in Houston

After a bumpy rollout of the Health Insurance Marketplace, enrollment was slow, to say the least. But the HealthCare.gov website is working better than ever and Texans Together is ready to double down on our efforts helping Houston to get covered. During his recent trip Houston, Vice President Joe Biden met with a small group of community leaders for an informal update on the progress of the exchange website. Among that group were Texans Together's Executive Director Charhonda Cox and Field Coordinator Eva Calvillo. 

What's in your Flounder?

(This article was written by Jakie Young an environmental geologist and organizer with Texans Together.)

The San Jacinto River is highly sought after for water sports, fishing, swimming, and waterfront living. Little do most Houstonians know that the river is polluted with toxic waste containing Agent Orange (dioxin), mercury, and many other toxic chemicals. The San Jacinto River Waste Pits, impoundment sites built in the mid ‘60s, are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Priority List. Niagara Falls’ Love Canal was once on the same list, and is known as a “national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations”. The San Jacinto River Waste Pits are headed in the exact same direction.

In Report, 63% Back Way to Get Citizenship

(This article is by Julia Preston. It originally appeared in the New York Times on November 25th, 2013.)
A consistent and solid majority of Americans — 63 percent — crossing party and religious lines favors legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally, while only 14 percent support legal residency with no option for citizenship, according a report published Monday by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.

Congratulations EHL Grads!

Wednesday night a group of highly talented Harris County Residents completed Texans Together’s Empower Houston Leaders class. After seven weeks learning about civic engagement, recruiting, and direct action organizing, these newly trained leaders are ready to join Houston’s grassroots organizing network, EHL.

Over the course of their class the students focused on a group project to GET OUT THE VOTE for the 2013 municipal elections. Students used the skills they were taught to engage friends, family, and neighbors on the issues they cared about and turned them out to make their voice heard at the ballot box.

 

Signing Up for Health Insurance in California Was Hell, But I'm Glad I Did It

(This is an article by Eric Kingsbury. It was originally  published by the the  The New Republic.)

As a nearly 25-year-old, healthy, non-smoking male living in San Francisco, I’ve spent the last six months preparing to be screwed by the Affordable Care Act. Everywhere I’ve turned there’s been talk of "rate shock," and a "War on Bros," with even the most reassuring pieces telling me that my premiums would likely go up. And all of that came before website glitches hobbled exchanges nationwide, even here in California. It was enough to convince me to consider just paying the $95 penalty and going uninsured yet again. Then I actually logged on.

I was uninsured for about 10 months. Both of my parents lost their jobs—and their insurance—during the Great Recession, with the coverage I received through my father expiring at the end of 2012. Working as an unpaid intern at The New Republic, and living off of unemployment insurance and the money I made by selling my car, I wasn’t in the financial situation to consider insurance for the first six months of the year. Finally, I got a well-paying contract job at a Bay Area tech firm in August, but the staffing agency that employed me offered such an awful plan that I was better off buying insurance on the individual market. I decided to risk going uninsured a little longer.

It's Time to Hold Greenwashers Accountable

Every day more and more companies are stepping up to do more for the environment. Amongst rising concerns of climate change, water conservation, and a desire to preserve our natural resources, consumers are looking for eco-friendly options when purchasing goods and services. Waste-reducing measures like paperless payroll or buy back programs from cell phone companies help businesses save money and improve public image. But not all companies take their commitment to conservation as seriously as others. While some companies walk the walk, others only talk the talk.

Staff Profile: Khris Schneider, Organizer Extraordinaire!

Texans Together is blessed to have an amazing staff of dedicated professionals who work to make Houston better every single day. One of our hard working organizers is Khris Schneider, who recently joined our staff after interning for Texans Together in his Spring semester at U of H earlier this year. Learning how to build a civic project from the ground up, Khris helped to organize a group of volunteers to attend the Save Texas Schools rally in Austin. At the capitol, Khris and others honed lobbying skills, meeting with legislators and their staff to discuss education policy, medicaid expansion, and other issues important to the Lone Star State.

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Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296

713-782-8833

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by Dr. Radut