PCICEO Executive Team member Rev. Leah Sandwell-Weiss (St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church), told the council that, “JobPath provides parents not only the opportunity to move up to middle-class jobs, but also the opportunity to improve their lives with better housing, education for their children, and family life.” Both she and Art Mendoza (JobPath Board member and President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)), stressed the importance of public funding for education, economic development and anti-poverty efforts. He said, “Now is a great time to invest more in these students, not less: this reduction will impact the number of students we serve and it sends the wrong message about the City’s economic recovery.”
Pima County Interfaith will follow-up with the Mayor and Council and challenge them to set meetings with at least 20 area businesses until the funding gap has been erased. It will also challenge Council Members Steve Kozachik and Shirley Scott to participate in these meetings.
On another note, on Tuesday the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a tentative budget that includes a 16% increase of funding for JobPath to $500,000.