Check here for regular updates on our ongoing actions related to COVID-19 response and recovery. View our resources page here. Our full COVID-19 Response Platform is available here.
Dallas Eviction Ordinance Passes with Faith in Texas Support! (April 22, 2020)
You did it! After 729 emails, an open letter with over 1900 signatures, multiple meetings with Council Members, and a half dozen speeches in front of City Council, we are pleased to share that today Dallas enacted an ordinance to prevent evictions, giving residential tenants impacted by COVID-19 60 days to address rent before eviction filings can begin. This ordinance is in effect now and will remain in effect until the end of our current State of Emergency order.
Thank you to everyone who signed a letter, sent an email, reposted to their social media accounts, and otherwise worked to create pressure and urgency around this ordinance. We are also grateful to Councilman Adam Bazaldua for bringing this ordinance forward and fighting for it every step of the way.
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to pay rent, your landlord is now required to give you notice that you have a right to a 60-day grace period before evictions can be filed. You simply need to write your landlord describing how you have been impacted by COVID-19 and provide any evidence you have. You can find more resources for tenants on our COVID-19 Resource Page.
Join our Rapid Action Network
As we confront the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can feel as if little is in our control. Our elected officials are making decisions that will impact individuals and families for years to come, such as whether to stop evictions or release people from jails who are being held because they can’t afford bail.
We have an opportunity to ensure that we are heard as decisions are made. Join the Faith in Texas Rapid Action Network (RAN), an intricate-yet-simple text tree system that is activated at strategic moments to influence decision-makers about key public policies. While participating in the Rapid Action Network, volunteers can expect to make strategic calls and emails to decision-makers, sign and share petitions and letters on their social media platforms, and take other urgent actions to make sure nobody is left out or left behind in our response to COVID-19.
We have two upcoming RAN trainings: Tuesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 9. During the training, you will receive a full briefing on our COVID-19 Policy Platform, learn about how to make effective calls and emails to decision-makers, and practice using the Rapid Action Network.
Take Action to Stop Evictions in Dallas (April 6, 2020)
Dallas City Council Members Bazaldua, West, Medrano, Arnold, and Blackmon have proposed an ordinance to prevent evictions. This measure is important because, while Dallas County Justices of the Peace have halted eviction hearings, landlords are still able to file evictions and deliver a “Notice to Vacate” to tenants. The Emergency ordinance prevents this by requiring landlords to give a tenant a notice of proposed eviction prior to giving an impacted tenant a notice to vacate, which gives the tenant at least 60 days to respond, including curing any delinquent payments, before an eviction is filed.
Mayor Eric Johnson chose not to prioritize this urgent ordinance and place it before the full Council but instead sent it to be considered at an unspecified time in the Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Human and Social Recovery and Assistance under the leadership of Councilmember Adam McGough. Despite the committee meeting on April 2, it still has not been considered.
Help us support our neighbors at risk of eviction by using this form to send an email to your Council Member and Mayor Eric Johnson in support of the Emergency Ordinance.
Act Now to Protect Incarcerated People in the COVID-19 Crisis (March 27, 2020)
The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Dallas County jail continue to grow. As the virus spreads in other jails at a rate that is 77% higher than in the general population, our public officials are still not taking the necessary actions to save the lives of incarcerated people.
On Sunday, March 29, Governor Abbott issued an executive order that will make it even harder for thousands of people in jails to be released. At a time when it is crucial that we affirm no one is disposable, Governor Abbott is using this crisis to push an agenda that will further punish those who are too poor to afford their bail. This does not make us safer but will create more deaths in jails across the state.
Use this form to tell our sheriff and judges to take action NOW to protect our incarcerated loved ones!
Call for Fair Treatment and Protection for Incarcerated People Affected by COVID-19 (March 25, 2020)
As formerly incarcerated people ourselves, and those who are leading grassroots work with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations, we have worked in a coalition with other Dallas grassroots organizers and faith leaders to create a platform for Dallas County’s response to COVID-19. We believe that God is on the side of the oppressed, the vulnerable, and the forgotten. If we are to stand with God we must stand with them. For this reason, we urge the county to respond to the needs of the people being held in the county jail – those who, because of their confinement, are especially vulnerable to a deadly COVID-19 outbreak. Read the full platform and add your signature here.
Tell Congress that #WeDemandEquity (March 23, 2020)
Our legislature will soon vote on another COVID-19 stimulus bill. Unless we all speak up, the needs of the most vulnerable will be left out of another relief package. It is imperative that our Senators and Representatives hear from their constituents right now. Click here to email your Senator and Representative.
Protect Our Community From Eviction and Utility Shut-Off During the COVID-19 Crisis
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Faith in Texas and other members of the Communities United for a Greater Dallas Coalition petitioned Dallas city and county officials to establish a moratorium on all evictions and utility shut-offs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis and 90 days thereafter. Read the full letter and add your signature here.
Faith in Texas has signed on to the following letters related to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts:
Call for Credit and Debt Protections to Address Financial Distress From COVID-19 (link not available)
Letter to the Department of Justice to end 1325/1326 Prosecutions (link not available)