One day before the launch of early voting, hundreds of Border Interfaith and EPISO leaders assembled to challenge candidates for Mayor, City Council and the Board of Trustees for El Paso and Ysleta School Board around the issues most impacting residents’ daily lives.
Specifically, leaders asked candidates to commit to: on-time completion of specific infrastructure projects, opposition to statewide anti-immigrant legislation, and funding for Project ARRIBA to the tune of $1.5 million over five years. City candidates were also challenged to publicly support a living wage for subcontractors who work for the city government.
With the exception of one candidate, the El Paso Times reports that “nearly all the candidates answered yes on all the issues and pledged to support Border Interfaith and EPISO on their agendas.”
At the conclusion of the assembly, leaders in the audience were challenged to take note of candidate responses and communicate what they heard to at least ten voters each before the final Election Day in May.
[Photo Credit: David Burge / El Paso Times]
Grassroots Democracy on Display During EPISO Event, El Paso Times [pdf]
Organizaciones Religiosas se Reunen Con Candidatos Antes de las Elecciones, Entravision / Univision
With over 100 leaders in attendance, Border Interfaith assembled with candidates for County Commissioner Precinct 4 to challenge them to work with the organization for greater regulation of payday lending, a boost to the wage floor for County employees and contractors to $10 / hour, and the investment of $100K in County funds into job training program Project ARRIBA. One candidate, Julio Diaz, committed to the agenda. The other candidate did not. Leaders vowed to spread the word and get out the vote.
Diaz, Haggerty Offer Stark Choices in Race for El Paso County Commissioner in Precinct 4, El Paso Times
“More than 600 people turned out on Sunday to hear more than 30 city and school board candidates speak at a joint forum put on by the El Paso Inter-religious Sponsoring Organization and Border Interfaith.”
City Council candidates were challenged to invest in workforce development program Project ARRIBA, and complete quality of life and neighborhood infrastructure projects within the already established 7-year time frame. Because El Paso public schools mandate standardized testing at least once (and sometimes twice) per week, school board candidates were challenged to reduce the number of standardized tests by 50%. Candidates were also asked to commit to a more equitable way of funding the arts than simply asking parents of participating students to shoulder the cost.
[Photo Credit: Mark Lambie/El Paso Times]
Early Voting Starts Today in El Paso, El Paso Times [pdf]