Nicole Newell joins this year’s ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellows with a background in accompaniment, advocacy and teaching, both at home and abroad. She brings a background in food justice, having worked in kitchens and on small-scale farms to develop context for sustainable food practices. With a BA in Practicing Theology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, Nicole has a love for Lutherans and served with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Washington, DC from 2015-2016. She grew up in Des Moines, IA. Nicole is eager to bring her passion for the intersections of faith and justice to effect policy-level change in California.
Our communities are bracing for nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin on Sunday. Planned raids are reported to focus on 10 major cities where the Department of Justice has sped up immigration cases for thousands of recent arrivals.
Lutherans have a deep-rooted history in refugee and immigrant issues. One of every six Lutherans in the world was a refugee or displaced person after WWII. The God-given dignity in all people and value of family unity have been cornerstones of ELCA faith-based advocacy, and we understand that many immigrants, as well as their families, are both afraid and confused by recent developments. Daily experience of ministries, Lutheran organizations and members “keep before us – so that we do not forget – the grim realities many immigrants face and the strength of character and resourcefulness newcomers demonstrate,” notes the ELCA social message, “Immigration.”
A compilation of resources, updated today from an original posting on June 28, can be found in “Responding to our sorrow with action” on the ELCA Advocacy blog. At the meeting place of our knowledge and values, Lutherans have acted and can continue to respond.
Here is a slideshow from Lutheran Lobby Day. It is nothing short of amazing that we had over 100 people advocating to end childhood poverty, to bring clean water to marginalized communities, and for compassionate and sustainable immigration systems at our first Lobby Day! Our new Director, Regina Banks, is doing a fabulous job!
Our new director, Regina Banks, is already hard at work! LOPP-CA participated in the End Child Poverty in California Advocacy Day at the state capital today. Over 40 organizations came together for the event to support the final report and recommendations of the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force.
What do you think it will take to end childhood poverty in California?
The Policy Council of Lutheran Office of Public Policy is thrilled to announce that Regina Q. Banks, JD will join the Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California as Director. Banks has served as Policy and Legislative Director for both statewide memberships organizations and within the California Assembly. Her skills and relationships will support LOPP-CA’s expansion goals.
Ms. Banks is a proud alumna of Valparaiso University School of Law where she was a Jurist Scholar and Lincoln University of MO. She states, “I look forward to the marriage of my analytical and advocacy skills with my deep and abiding faith. I admire the work of the LOPP-CA and will work diligently on their behalf for policies that strengthen people and families and honor the majesty of God’s creation.”
The Capitol was full of excitement this week as statewide elected officials and legislators were sworn into office and got to work. Governor Gavin Newsom began inauguration day Monday, January 7, 2019 with a closed-door interfaith service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento. Faith leaders from around the state- and across faith traditions- offered prayers for Gov. Newsom and first partner Jennifer Siebel. The service culminated with the a rousing sermonette by Rev. Dr. Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church, and president of the San Francisco Chapter of the NAACP, during which some 40 interfaith clergy were invited to stand together and invest the First Family with the prayers and support of the statewide family of faith. The San Francisco Interfaith Council hosted the service. At noon, Newsom was sworn in as the 40th Governor of the State of California in a ceremony on the West Steps of the Capitol complete with gospel choir.