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    Dallas Municipal ID Draws Local Support, Faces State Resistance

    [Excerpt below]

    A handful of Dallas-area churches, with the support of Dallas Area Interfaith, started issuing their own ID cards this year. Police departments in Dallas, Carrollton and Farmers Branch have been given discretion to accept those church cards as a form of identification.

    Socorro Perales, a senior organizer at Dallas Area Interfaith, said her group was excited about the possibility of a city-issued card....

    [Photo: Dallas Morning News]

    Dallas Draws Local Support, Faces State Resistance as it Inches Closer to Issuing City ID CardsDallas Morning News  

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  • DAI Targets Districts, Boosts Voter Turnout, and Makes Change

    [Excerpt below]

    Rinaldi's district in northwest Dallas County was one of five targeted by Dallas-Area Interfaith, a group that organized canvassing and phone banks to pump up voter turnout.

    At an election night watch party at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas, a television report flashed on the screen and showed that Rinaldi was losing. Lily Rodriguez (in photo above) shouted out: “Why don’t you call immigration now?”

    Rodriguez said she had quietly fumed when Rinaldi called ICE on protesters, but took action and began pushing parishioners at another Catholic church to vote.

    She’d talked to them about the size of the Hispanic population, which in Dallas County is 40 percent and larger than any other group. “Hispanics are the majority and we continue to think like minorities,” Rodriguez said.

    Interfaith organizer Socorro Perales said members were determined to get more people to the polls. Two weeks before polling began, the nonpartisan group held a community event at a church that brought in 2,000 people and five candidates, all Democrats.

    “They are learning to organize, strategize, and this actually works,” Perales said.

    All five candidates won, including Colin Allred, the Democrat who beat Republican incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions, a staunch ally of Trump, in the District 32 race for Congress.

    Perales said she didn’t go after the low hanging fruit — those registered who had previously voted. Instead, she sifted through lists of registered voters who didn’t vote in the last election.

    “They are just not used to voting,” Perales said. “There are enough registered voters and, if we can broaden the base, we can win. And we did.”

    [Photo Credit: Ashley Landis, Dallas Morning News]

    Latinos Could Turn Texas Blue in 2020 if Enthusiasm Holds, Some Say, Dallas Morning News [pdf]

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  • 2,000 DAI Leaders Descend on Hottest State, Congressional Races in Texas

    On a Sunday October evening, two thousand leaders and parishioners from Dallas Area Interfaith institutions assembled at the Christian Chapel Temple of Faith to challenge candidates from the Texas Tribune’s 2018 Hotlist, including Texas House Districts 105, 107, 114, and 115, and US Congressional District 32. Republican and Democratic candidates for Coppell, Richardson, and Dallas Independent School District School Board positions also participated.

    At the assembly, DAI leaders publicly challenged each candidate to, if elected, commit to working with them on immigration, job training, expansion of healthcare, payday lending, and public education. All participating candidates, including local Republican candidates, publicly committed to partner with DAI leaders in supporting and / or crafting policy in these areas.  One journalist reported that “in a city that’s sharply segregated by race and class, the forum was a rare example of cohesive pluralism.”

    The assembly and Get Out The Vote actions are the culmination of a two-year campaign on behalf of the families and communities of Dallas. Less than a year ago, DAI leaders successfully negotiated with Police officers of the cities of Dallas, Farmers Branch, and Carrollton to accept Catholic Parishes ID’s as a form of identification. For immigrant families, having a photo ID could help prevent deportation. Since then, the parish ID strategy spread to the East Coast through DAI’s sister organization in Baltimore, BUILD. Leaders from BUILD testified at the October 14th assembly that Baltimore police officers have committed to accepting the IDs as a valid form of identification.

    Since then, leaders have pushed forward with parish-based Get Out The Vote walks across the Dallas area, so far knocking on hundreds of doors and contacting thousands of voters by phone.  DAI has also partnered with the business community to encourage voters to participate in the midterm elections through a downtown press conference.

    DAI Accountability Voter Forum [video]

    Texas' Minority GOP Voters: Republican Allies Have Vanished, McClatchy

    Why Dallas Republicans Skipped an Interfaith Forum, Rewire.News

    Archdiocese of Baltimore Will Offer ‘Parish ID’ to Immigrants and Others Who Have Trouble Obtaining Legal ID, Washington Post

    To Help Immigrants Feel Safer Around Police, Some Churches Start Issuing IDs, NPR

    Texas 2018 Hotlist: The Most Competitive Races in Texas’ Midterm Election, Texas Tribune

    From Levi’s to Southwest Airlines to Walmart, Business Tries to Turn Out The Vote, Dallas Morning News

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  • DAI & Business Community Work Together to Boost Voter Turnout

    [Excerpt below]

    On Wednesday, several groups are planning a news conference in downtown Dallas to continue pushing for higher turnout. They also plan to encourage candidates to speak at public forums.

    “Unless people feel connected to the issues affecting them, they’re not likely to vote,” said Josephine Lopez Paul, lead organizer for Dallas Area Interfaith, a coalition of congregations, schools and nonprofits.

    As residents learn about issues and candidates, they'll be drawn into the process. And institutions can have a bigger impact.

    “If their business and church and school are saying the same thing — go vote — then we’ll see a rise in voting,” Paul said.

    From Levi’s to Southwest Airlines to Walmart, business tries to turn out the vote, Dallas Morning News
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  • DAI Parish ID Effort Featured in HBO Special

    In response to undocumented families expressing fear about reporting crimes -- even when they themselves are victims -- because of an inability demonstrate who they are, Dallas Area Interfaith and the Dallas Catholic Diocese worked together to create a solution. 

    Last year, 1,500 leaders stood with Bishop Edward Burns to invite three police department chiefs to allow their officers to accept parish identification cards, in order to help build trust between the community and the police.  Police department chiefs from Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Dallas agreed.

    This year, parishes in the Dallas Catholic Diocese have issued tens of thousands of parish identification cards to parishioners, who now feel more confident in relating to the police.  HBO covers this story in a special segment: 

    Catholic Church is Now Issuing Undocumented Immigrants ID Cards, HBO

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