Activist Groups COPS and Metro Alliance Spreading Message to Suburbs

y Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News 

COPS/Metro  Alliance, San Antonio’s decades-old social issues and voter rights  coalition, has long been identified with the inner city. Now the group  is taking its populist message into suburbia, WOAI News reports. 

The  organization last night hosted a town hall at Our Lady of Guadalupe  Catholic Church in Helotes, and invited Republican and Democrat  incumbents and challengers for state and Congressional offices that  represent West Bexar County and San Antonio’s south and west sides to  attend and publicly state their positions on four issues: restoring  Texas public school funding; immigration reform; reining in the “payday  lending” industry; and increasing job training and re-training programs  for displaced workers and in historically under-served areas. 

The  priorities forum drew a near-capacity crowd made up of members of more  than a dozen area Roman Catholic parishes and at least one Protestant  church. 

Speaker  Ana Esparza, a community advocate for the South San Antonio Independent  School District, said it’s time for state government to restore cuts made to public education. 

“We want them to bring money back into the schools so our programs are not cut,” she said. 

Organizer  Steve Mendoza said payday lending’s current business practices  victimize not only the urban poor, but increasing numbers in working-and middle-class neighborhoods. 

“We’re  not against someone or a business making profit,” Mendoza said. “It  should be in line with what other banks need to conform to.” 

Mendoza  says COPS/Metro Alliance decided to become active in more conservative,  affluent suburban communities outside the city's inner and outer  freeway loops because emerging economic and social challenges are not  defined by geography or political affiliation.

With  the 2018 midterm elections less than three weeks away, COPS/Metro  Alliance today launches a get-out-the-vote phone banking and canvassing  initiative.  

Next week, organizers say, the organization will announce another major outreach program.  

COPS, or Citizens Organized for Public Service, and the Metro Alliance  are a coalition of school groups, churches and unions that, since the  early 1990s, have worked together to amplify citizen voices on issues  affecting San Antonio.

PHOTO :Members  of COPS/Metro Alliance deliver postcards from local immigration reform  supporters addressed to state and Congressional offices that represent  West Bexar County and San Antonio's south and west sides during  Tuesday's COPS/Metro Alliance town hall meeting at Our Lady of Guadalupe  Catholic Church in Helotes.   Photo by Morgan Montalvo

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