In response to COVID-19, we are hosting live advocacy briefings on Wednesdays at noon. During the half-hour call, we give an update on state and federal legislative priorities and direct a quick advocacy activity. Please join us via Zoom every Wednesday at https://zoom.us/j/389725625.
May 20 Action Items
- Mark your calendars for May 19, 2021 for next year’s Lutheran Lobby Day. We just got our permits approved and pray we will once again gather in person to advocate together.
- God’s Work, Our Hands, Our Voices: Let us know what your church is doing for Sunday, Sept. 13 2020. What sort of advocacy component would you imagine? Email us at Regina.Banks@elca.org and Nicole.Newell@elca.org or just reply to this email.
- Call the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support Calfresh Access for Seniors.
Calfresh applications have gone up 243% compared to last year. Eligible California seniors have very low participation rates due to barriers in access and retention. SB 882 removes these barriers for seniors and adults with disabilities.
Prioritize your outreach to Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena), the Chair of the Committee on Appropriations. This should take you just a few minutes.
- Senator Anthony Portantino, Chair (D-25) (916) 651-4025
Please also spend a few minutes contacting your Senator if they are listed below as members of the committee:
- Patricia Bates, Vice Chair (R-36) (916) 651-4036
- Steven Bradford (D-35) (916) 651-4035
- Jerry Hill (D-13) (916) 651-4013
- Brian W. Jones (R-38) (916) 651-4038
- Connie Leyva (R-38) (916) 651-4020
- Bob Wieckowski (D-10) (916) 651-4010
Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______. I’m calling to urge Senator ______ to support SB 882, a bill that will make it easier for people to access CalFresh, our most powerful anti-hunger program. It is urgent that we simplify the CalFresh application process as more and more people are out of work and need help putting food on the table. SB 882 will make permanent improvements to the program, especially for older adults and people with disabilities. Please vote yes on SB 882. Thank you. [Or choose one or more of the following reasons or tell them your own]
- Californians struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis need quick access to CalFresh, but the process is often overly complicated. We need SB 882 to simplify access to food assistance.
- Only 19% of eligible adults age 60+ receive CalFresh. SB 882 make it easier for people, especially seniors, to enroll and stay connected to our most powerful anti-hunger program.
- CalFresh applications are up more than 200% due to spiking unemployment. We need SB 882 to simplify access and keep people connected to food assistance during and after this crisis.
- Californians struggling to make ends meet during the #COVID19 crisis need quick access to CalFresh, but the process is often overly complicated. We need #SB882 to simplify access now! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
- Only 19% of eligible adults 60+ receive #CalFresh. Let’s make it easier for people, especially seniors, to stay connected to our most powerful anti-hunger program. Plz support #SB882! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
- #CalFresh is a proven positive public health intervention and powerful economic stimulus. #SB882 will help maximize its dual role in California’s immediate and long-term COVID-19 response. Plz support SB 882! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
- #CalFresh applications are up more than 200% due to spiking unemployment. We need #SB882 to simplify access and keep people connected to food assistance. Let’s cut the red tape to put food on their plates! @Portantino @SenatorPatBates
April 29 Action Items
1. Register for Lobby Day
Lutheran Lobby Day
Wednesday May 20, 2020
9:00am – 2:15pm
We will gather virtually with Lutherans from around the state for our second annual advocacy day. Our advocacy will focus on COVID-19 relief for California’s most impacted communities. Following a morning briefing, you will be scheduled for a virtual meeting with your California legislators.
Prior to Lobby Day, we will host two advocacy training webinars on Wednesday, May 6 at 12pm and 6pm PDT.
For more information, click here.
2. Use Community Development Block Grant Funds for Rental Assistance
Contact your California Senators and Assemblymembers (call, email, tag on social media) and urge them to use CDBG funds from the CARES Act to provide rental assistance.
- Renters need immediate relief, as they have lower income and savings to weather economic crisis
- This is a necessary complement to Gov. Newsom’s moratorium on evictions, which still obligates people to pay rent for months they’ve missed
- Rental assistance allows money that people do have to go back into local economies
- It also supports rental owners in operating and maintaining properties
Rental assistance must continue until the economy improves. The provisions will not only help families stay housed during this crisis, but will also help to stimulate local economies.
Thank you for your time.
3. Farmworker Justice in California
You can sign on to this letter to Governor Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom highlighting the challenges California’s farmworkers are facing during COVID and recommendations to address them. The letter was prepared by Líderes Campesinas, a network of female farmworkers and their families working globally since the 1980s.
April 22 Action Items
National Day of Action to Boost SNAP Benefits in Next COVID-19 Package
On Wednesday, April 22, join the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), California Food Policy Advocates, and other national allies and advocates across the country in a National Day of Action urging Congress and the Administration to enact SNAP benefit boosts in the next COVID-19 relief package. Recent reports indicate that the next package would include assistance for businesses and healthcare efforts, but not SNAP — we must insist that individuals and families need immediate relief, too.
- boost SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent
- increase the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30
- suspend all SNAP administrative rules that would terminate or cut benefits.
These temporary provisions must continue until the economy improves. The provisions will not only help households put food on the table during this crisis, but will also help to stimulate the economy.
Thank you for your time.
Get vocal on social: Join FRAC and other partners for a Twitterstorm this Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT as part of the Day of Action. Social Media toolkit here.
Click to tweet: On Wed, 4/22 @12PM PDT, join @fractweets, our national partners and other advocates for a Day of Action Twitterstorm urging Congress and the Administration to boost SNAP benefits and help families put food on the table during #COVID19. bit.ly/fracCOVID-19
Background from California Food Policy Advocates:
April 15 Action Items:
- Federal advocacy opportunity to meet virtually with congressmembers: email email@example.com to get involved. Save the dates of March 24 & 27!
- ELCA Advocacy especially needs California constituents in the following districts: Feinstein, McCarthy, Schiff, Lofgren, Lieu.
- Sign up for Church and State, a discussion on the Government and Civic Engagement draft social message with the chief ethicist of the ELCA, The Rev. Roger A Willer on Tuesday, April 28 from 5 – 6:30pm.
What does advocacy look like in a time of quarantine?
In response to COVID-19, we are hosting live advocacy updates on Wednesdays at noon. During the call, we will answer questions about our state and federal legislative processes and direct quick advocacy activity.