Dallas Area Interfaith

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What is DAI? - 2015

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Dallas Area Interfaith develops leaders within its member institutions, and those leaders organize to bring about the change they seek to create a better world for all here in north Texas. They do so by focusing upon issues of greatest concern and interest to the members of their respective congregations, synagogues and other institutions. In 2015, the answer to "What Is Dallas Area Interfaith?" is multi-faceted, but easily answered by downloading and reviewing the PDF flyer linked below. What to know more?  Ask any DAI Leader!


DAI Calls Upon City Council for Adequate Rest Breaks for Dallas Construction Workers

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DAI Draft Letter to Dallas City Council calling for adequate rest breaks for Dallas constrcution workers, November, 2014Clergy and institutional leaders of Dallas Area Interfaith are preparing to deliver a letter to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and members of the Dallas City Council calling for adequate rest breaks for all Dallas construction workers. You may DOWNLOAD a copy of the draft letter in PDF, and the full text of the letter is quoted below. If you are a clergy member or institutional leader of any DAI member institution, you are invited to add your name as a signatory to that letter by completing the linked FORM or by calling the DAI office between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm, Monday through Thursday, at 214-689-5988.

The full text of the draft letter will be printed on the letterhead of Dallas Area Interfaith.

November, 2014

Dear Mayor Rawlings and the Members of Dallas City Council:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to urge you to support a rest break ordinance for Dallas construction workers.

Dallas is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented growth and has one of the highest rates of new construction in the United States. According to the 2010 U.S. census, roughly 225,000 construction workers live and work in the Dallas Metroplex. Yet, these men and women are laboring in the most deadly state in the country to work in construction. Build a Better Texas: Construction Worker Conditions in the Lone Star State, a 2013 study published by the University of Texas-­‐Austin, Build a Better Texas: Construction Working Conditions in the Lone Star State, found that 33% of Dallas construction workers do not receive rest breaks, and 12% have witnessed a coworker faint on the job due to heat exhaustion.

The importance of regular rest breaks for workers is undeniable. Construction workers engage in strenuous physical activity and often labor in extreme heat. Under such conditions, regular breaks to rest, hydrate, and cool off in the shade are critical to ensure that workers perform their jobs safely and effectively. Working without rest dramatically increase one’s risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. Yet these heat-­‐related illnesses are entirely preventable if workers are given sufficient rest breaks during the workday.

We believe that rest breaks are a basic human right. Yet there is no state or federal law mandating breaks for workers. Instead, employers are simply expected to do the right thing. Although many responsible construction businesses do already provide regular rest breaks to their workers, too many employers in our community do not.

For these reasons, we ask that City Council take action to guarantee all Dallas construction workers at least ten minutes of rest for every four hours of work. We ask this out of deep respect for the men and women who build the City of Dallas, as well as the many honorable construction employers who already prioritize the health and safety of their employees.

Passing a rest break ordinance in Dallas will have an extraordinary impact on the physical and economic welfare of Texas construction workers and their families. These men and women build our homes, our offices, and our schools. They deserve dignity and respect. Join us in standing with Dallas construction workers by recognizing their basic right to rest.


cc: Pro Tem Mayor Tennell Atkins; A.C. Gonzalez, City Manager; RyanS. Evans, First Assistant City Manager


Texas Way Forward - A Campaign to Bring Health Care to Texans Based on Three Numbers

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DAI Way Forward Plan for Making Healthcare Available for More Hard Working TexansDallas Area Interfaith is part of IAF a network 10 organizations in Texas that are non-partisan and represent over 400,000 families in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Austin, El Paso, West Texas, Laredo and Del Rio Eagle Pass. The IAF Network has been working to create healthy communities across the state for over 40 years. Dallas Area Interfaith and the other IAF organizations continue committed to build the power so that ALL poor and working families have access to health care. Below is the state of health care in Texas.

1 Million

One million Texans are in the coverage gap because Texas chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Unless they are pregnant or disabled, adults (19-64) with incomes under 138% of poverty level do not qualify for Medicaid in Texas. 69% are in working families but most do not have access to employer-based coverage, all have limited income available to buy coverage on their own, and none qualify for subsidies through the exchange. Clinics and hospitals will continue to serve this population but this system is stressed by increasing demand and limited resources. Experience in other states shows that failing to cover these people would result in an estimated 8,400 premature deaths each year.


In addition to generating an estimated 231,000 new jobs in Texas by 2016, the stimulus from the additional federal funds from 2014 through 2017 would also generate an estimated $1.8 billion in new state tax revenue, offsetting half of the $3.7 billion in state match required, as well as generating $2.5 billion in local revenue. It would also boost the economy by $67.9 billion and reduce the current $1.8 billion in annual hospital charity care costs.


Federal funds will pay 100% of the costs for the first year, gradually decreasing to never less than 90%. Savings from the cost of existing local and state programs plus the increase in tax revenues from the boost to the economy would cover Texas’ share of the costs. Property owners could see a significant savings in local taxes going to support indigent health care in their counties. Policy holders could see a reduction in premiums due to the reduction in unreimbursed care which is currently reflected in the amount of their insurance premiums. In addition, premium tax dollars would offset some of the cost to the State.

Premium Tax

What is a premium tax? This is the tax that is charged on every health insurance premium. Estimates are that for every $100 dollars the state gets back 7 ½ cents. This money goes into the general revenue budget.

CLICK HERE or on the image at the left to download a PDF of the DAI Way Forward, including a breakdown by county of benefits and savings to Texans.


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