The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) is an organization of institutions dedicated to developing power and leadership among citizens in order to transform the city. We work to create relational power that can build and strengthen each member institution as well as shape public policy for the common good. TMO was formed in 1980 to give a voice to people who are usually excluded from major decisions that affect their lives. TMO is a part of a larger network of organizations known as the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a nationwide organizing institute with a fifty year history. TMO is also part of the West / Southwest IAF regional network and the Industrial Areas Foundation national network.

TMO believes that a truly democratic society requires the active participation of ordinary citizens. When people lack the means to connect to power and participate effectively in public life, social relationships disintegrate. Our model of relational organizing helps build real community. It generates social capital through a tight web of relationships across lines of race, ethnicity, class, faith, and geography. This social capital enables us to participate fully in public life and to become more effective actors in our communities.

Houston Clergy Urge Lawmakers to Defeat Immigration Enforcement Plan

Houston clergy joined dozens of immigration reform supporters Wednesday to call for Congress to reject legislation that would permit tougher penalties and enforcement for an illegal presence in the United States.

At a news conference organized by The Metropolitan Organization, leaders also urged those who oppose the SAFE Act to contact their representatives in Congress and ask for comprehensive immigration reform...

[Photo Credit: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle]

Full Article, Houston Chronicle

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Healthcare Enrollment Bootcamp

TMO and the Houston Interfaith Sponsoring Committee recently graduated one hundred leaders from its healthcare bootcamps; all of which have committed to returning to their congregations and institutions to teach others about the federal healthcare marketplace. Congregations are also planning walks and neighborhood rallies to raise awareness. Click on graphic at right for updated presentation in English, Spanish version here.

For more information contact Lead Organizer Elizabeth Valdez: [email protected].

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Houston Clergy Urge Lawmakers to Defeat Immigration Enforcement Plan

[Excerpt below]

At a news conference organized by The Metropolitan Organization, leaders also urged those who oppose the SAFE Act to contact their representatives in Congress and ask for comprehensive immigration reform.

This spring, a bipartisan group of senators proposed the first major overhaul of U.S. immigration policy since 1986.

The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, backed by House Republicans, would allow state and local governments to draft immigration laws that did not conflict with federal statutes. The bill, approved by the House Judiciary Committee this summer, also gives state and local law enforcement agencies more power to arrest and charge immigrants for overstaying visas or entering the country illegally while shifting a visa overstay from a civil to a criminal matter.

[Photo Credit: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle]

Houston Clergy Urge Lawmakers to Defeat Immigration Enforcement PlanHouston Chronicle

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Clergy Urge Support for Immigration Reform

130423 - JHV - Rabbi David LyonCalling for humane immigration reform grounded in civil and human rights, some 40 Houston-area clergy came to the bimah at Congregation Beth Israel on April 23 to urge support for a bipartisan Senate immigration bill. In a press conference organized by The Metropolitan Organization, the religious leaders applauded the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), the first major immigration proposal in several years, aimed at comprehensively overhauling the nation's immigration laws....

Full Article, Jewish Herald-Voice

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Business Leaders Join Clergy in Support of Immigration Reform

Stan Marek, of Marek Brothers Construction, stood alongside Texas judicatory leaders in support of immigration reform at a press conference organized by TMO. Marek asserted that if the legislature does not pass immigration reform this year, that President Obama should instate it through other administrative means, as was done with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In photo, Stan Marek speaks out for immigration reform.

Full Article, La Voz de Houston [Spanish]

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Faith, Business Leaders Encouraged by Immigration Bill

When Gabriel Nieto was brought to this country, she was young and already dreaming of becoming a teacher. Only one semester away from graduation from the University of Houston-Downtown, she can accept a teaching position, now that her DACA application has been approved.

Religious leaders gathered from across Houston, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel said the highest priority should create a process for undocumented immigrants like her to earn legal status and eventual citizenship.

[Photo Credit: Nick De La Torre, Houston Chronicle]

Full Article, Houston Chronicle

TMO Responds to Bi-Partisan Senate Immigration Bill, Texas Catholic Herald News

Clergy Urge Support for Immigration Reform, Jewish Herald Voice

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Lideres de Iglesias Urgen Por Reforma Migratoria

Sacerdotes, ministros, pastores, obispos y rabinos de diferentes denominaciones religiosas de iglesias de esta ciudad lanzaron un llamado a Washington. Los religiosos piden una reforma migratoria integral que respete la dignidad y derechos de cada persona. Dirigentes de iglesias lanzaron su pedido este martes desde el altar de la Sinagoga Beth Israel de esta ciudad...

Full Article, La Semana de News

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Death, Taxes, God & Medicaid

Interfaith activists, recalling friends and loved ones who have died for want of health care coverage, rallied at the Capitol Wednesday in support of expanding the Medicaid program to cover more uninsured Texans...

Full Article, Houston Chronicle


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Interfaith Groups Rally for Medicaid Expansion

Two hundred leaders from TMO and other organizations of the Texas IAF gathered on the front steps of the Capitol to demand that the Texas legislature approve the expansion of Medicaid, which would help over on million Texans obtain access to health care services.

[Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa, Texas Tribune]

Full Article, Texas Tribune

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TMO Leaders Celebrate Bulldozing of Blight in Alief

Leaders celebrated the roar of a bulldozer in an Alief neighborhood whose residents have waged a four-year battle to get rid of an abandoned, burned-out condominium complex. In photo at right, Houston Mayor Annise Parker attended the demolition of abandoned apartments.

TMO fought to have the apartments torn down in order to reduce drugs and prostitution near an elementary school. Parents additionally engaged police officers in a conversation about safety issues near Alief schools.

Civic Activists Win Fight Over Eyesore Condos, Houston Chronicle

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