EPISO decides what issues to address by:
- Engaging with hundreds of people in member institutions, and the community, about what issues affect their families
- Identifying shared concerns after hearing from various institutions
- Researching possible opportunities to act on identified issues (for example, understanding the district, state, and federal decision makers regarding high-stakes testing)
- Working with elected representatives or decision-makers to tackle issues
Some of the concerns identified one year can be addressed the next in a state legislative session.
EPISO has a track record of success in:
- $210 million investment in infrastructure for city of El Paso — streets, sidewalks, lights
- $2 million from El Paso Water Utilities to extend water lines to a colonia island serving 120 families
- $4.5 million to extend Edgemere Blvd. from the City of El Paso into Montana Vista
- $1.3 million from USDA to provide clean potable water for 87 families in Canutillo
- $187,000 from the County of El Paso for improvements to the park in Westway.
- $2 million natural gas project for families in Westway and $1 million for water and sewer for Canutillo.
- Negotiated agreement with Sheriff’s department to ensure it does not perform the tasks of Border Patrol
- Press Conference with Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz on the issue of Unaccompanied Minors with letter to President Obama signed by over 100 Bishops and Clergy from the Southwest asking for a humanitarian approach to the issue.
- First-ever verifiable pollution emissions on permits for Arcelor Mittal steel plant in Vinton.
Obtained city funding for Project ARRIBA, a highly successful workforce development strategy that lifted 1200+ families out of poverty into high-demand occupations that pay a family-sustaining living wage with benefits and a career path. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognized it as one of 14 successful workforce models from across the US. The U.S. Department of Commerce placed it among the top twenty programs in the nation representing Workforce Innovation and Economic Adjustment Strategies. According to the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at UTEP, for every dollar invested in the program $24 is returned to El Paso.
Civic Education and Participation: City, County, State, Federal & School District Board of Trustees
- Host nonpartisan candidate accountability sessions prior to elections with 300 and as many as 600 El Pasoans attending.
Provided testimony in Austin regarding school funding and the effects of testing. We are working with the Canutillo and El Paso school districts to begin a strategy for greater involvement of parents in the education of their children.
Pay Day Lending
- Negotiated with City Council to establish an ordinance keeping community members from being trapped in a cycle of debt
- Collaborated with a lending institution to establish a $13 Million alternative lending program.
Wage Theft Ordinance
Worked with City Council to establish an ordinance keeping employers found guilty of wage theft from obtaining and/or renewing a city license. Currently working on a Living Wage Campaign with the City and County.