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.

New Member Joins TMO!

ChurchNew Hope Missionary Baptist Church joined TMO in February of this year. This new institution is located in Northeast Houston and led by Rev. Tracy Phillips.

Congratulations Doug Pierre!

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Healthcare Marketplace Still Open for Business

1401 - Healthcare Enrollment AcademyTMO leaders are informing communities that there is still time to enroll in the healthcare marketplace with sessions at Evangelist Temple, Assumption and Liestman Elementary (Alief "ISD). The deadline to enroll is March 31. still time to enroll in the healthcare marketplace with sessions at Evangelist Temple, Assumption and Liestman Elementary (Alief "ISD). The deadline to enroll is March 31. English presentation here.

Assumption leaders Maribel Guevara, Lourdes Badillo and Nolvia Artiga hosted a large Spanish healthcare session on Jan. 12. Spanish presentation here.

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Seminar with Rabbinical Scholar

1401 - Eskenazi & Bagby-Grose.jpg

Leaders of TMO joined representatives from sister organizations of the West / Southwest IAF for two days of study with rabbinical scholar Dr. Tamara Eskenazi.

[Burton Bagby-Grose, a TMO leader at First Congregational, is pictured with scholar and author Dr. Tamara Eskenazi in Las Vegas on Feb. 1.]

Clergy and leaders read and discussed Torah commentaries on Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

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Search for New Leaders Continues

TMO leaders from across Harris County gathered Jan. 21 to craft an organizing strategy for 2014. Texas IAF Supervisor Sr. Christine Stephens framed a conversation about pressures on families and institutions needed to counteract them. Leaders decided to adopt the role of "talent scout" for the next four months.

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Oped: Still Dreaming About Reform

The Houston Chronicle included the following in its editorial about immigration reform:

131023 - Houston Chronicle Pic - ImmigrationCardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, bottom right, speaks during a press conference at St Paul's United Methodist Church urging the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, in Houston. Individuals from The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) and members of an Interfaith coalition of Houston area religious leaders urged congress to keep families together, protect workers and "Dreamers," and provide a workable path to citizenship. These faith leaders find the "Safe Act" bill unacceptable, as well as any legislation that addresses only border security. (Photo Credit: Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Full Article, Houston Chronicle

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King: Proposed Immigration Reforms Would Unfairly Brand Children as Criminals

Diana stood before the cameras and the microphones and in a quiet, nervous voice began to tell her story about coming to America. The 18-year-old, who will be graduating from high school this year as a member of the National Honor Society, spoke in perfect English. She spoke effusively about her love of Houston and Texas and America. If you were to meet her on the street, you would not have the slightest suspicion she had not been born in this country.

Full Article, Houston Chronicle

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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:

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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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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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