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State

Bishops Issue Open Letter re: Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg

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AiQ State

AiQ:

It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on this earth. 

Cesar Chavez, in his statement at the end of his 24-day fast for justice

Today’s Actions

  1. #Farmworker Day of Action
  2. Call Senate Committee to Support Food Access for People Leaving Incarceration
  3. Sign On to Ensure School Meals Access
  4. #SafteyNet4All Day of Action

Other bills discussed include AB 3070 – Anti-discrimination in Jury Selection, AB 2542 – Racial Justice Act, and AB 3121 – Reparations Task Force (Similar to HR 40). To support, please visit the committee websites and make a phone call to staff or committees members

Farmworker COVID-19 Study

California employs an estimated 800,000 farmworkers. Most work at seasonal jobs—rarely holding full-time, year-round work—and earn an average annual income of less than $18,000. A recent study found:

  • Nearly 1/2 of farmworkers lost work time & income during #COVID19. 
  • 60% of workers are undocumented & ineligible for most social safety net programs. 
  • 54% of respondents reported that costs, lack of insurance, and/or lack of sick leave prevented them from accessing healthcare, even if ill. 

Read full data summary here.

Food Justice for People Leaving Prison

Support AB 3073: CalFresh Prison Preenrollment with a phone call to one of the following Senators if they represent you or to the committee staff:

CA Senate Human Services Committee

Senate Human Services Committee staff:

  • Phone: (916) 651-1524

Website.

Ensure Access to Meals this School Year: Sign-On to Urge USDA to Extend Waivers by 8/10

If you are leader of an organization, please use this form to sign onto FRAC’s letter for your organization. The deadline is Monday the 10th.

Safety Net for All Day of Action

Immigrant leaders and coalition partners with Safety Net for All are mobilizing across the state – holding actions in San Diego, LA, and Sacramento – calling on our Governor and state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs now. 

Last week’s economic stimulus proposal from the CA Legislature was a powerful sign that our leaders are hearing us. But California’s immigrant families can’t wait to put food on the table and support their families. We’re calling on our leaders to follow-through on ensuring a #SafetyNet4AllofUs by approving a wage replacement program before the end of August!

Here are 3 ways you can support today:

  1. Follow @SafetyNet4All on Twitter and Facebook to amplify the actions today
  2. If you are posting from any of the actions, please tag @SafetyNet4All and use the hashtags below
  3. Share the below posts & tweets!

SAMPLE POSTS

Safety Net for All Graphics here

United Front Week of Action Toolkit here

#SafetyNet4AllofUs

#ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs

#ChooseUsNotBillionaires

#OurFamiliesAreEssential

Twitter

Join us today @SafetyNet4All in San Diego, LA, & Sacramento. We call on state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs & wage replacement for undocumented families! #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

SHARE EVENT TWEET!

Únete hoy a @SafetyNet4All en San Diego, LA, Sacramento. Hacemos un llamado a los líderes estatales a  #Elegir a los inmigrantes invirtiendo en un #SafetyNet4AllofUs & reemplazo de salario para las familias indocumentadas! @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

!Share Tweet en Español!

San Diego: 

Today Aug 5th at 10AM: San Diego immigrant leaders call for a #SafetyNet4AllofUs now! Follow the digital press conference at https://ctt.ec/_39be+ #OurFamiliesAreEssential #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @SafetyNet4All @afsc_org @CPIsd @CHIRLA @SDIRC @seiuusww @unitehere  

SAN DIEGO TWEET SHARE HERE!

Los Angeles:

Undocumented workers lost most jobs of all groups & need of wage replacement now! Join @SafetyNet4All TODAY at 10am @ SPKR Rendon’s, 4909 Lakewood Blvd #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabor  @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

Immigrant families are essential to our state – CA cannot recover unless all families are healthy & safe. We demand #SafetyNet4AllofUs! #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabo @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

SHARE TWEET HERE!

Undocumented families shouldn’t go hungry during the pandemic. We’re asking our leaders to  #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs & invest in #SafetyNet4AllofUs. #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabo @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

SHARE TWEET HERE!

Sacramento: 

Join us TODAY at 11:30am, west steps of the Capitol in Sacramento as we lift up stories of immigrants via the InsideOut portrait project. #SafetyNet4AllofUs  #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @SafetyNet4All @CHIRLA @JRart @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @Ash_Kalra @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

SHARE SACRAMENTO TWEET HERE!

Facebook

Today, we are mobilizing across the state – Los Angeles, San Diego, & Sacramento – calling on our Governor and state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs and wage replacement for undocumented Californians now! Follow us at @SafetyNet4All throughout the day!

SAN DIEGO @10am: Tune into a digital press conference led by immigrant rights leaders at facebook.com/CPISanDiego

LOS ANGELES @10am: Support immigrant workers gathering to share testimony at Speaker Rendon’s office, 4909 Lakewood Blvd, 90712.

SACRAMENTO @11:30am: Lift up immigrant stories on the west capitol steps as part of the Portraits of Urgency art installation! 

#SafetyNet4AllofUs #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs #ChooseUsNotBillionaires

Categories
AiQ Poverty

AiQ: SNAP Increases

State Action

AB 3073 is waiting to be scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Human Services Committee. With 5 weeks left in the session and many bills to consider, Senators need to hear from you to know that this bill is important and must be heard!

LOPPCA is a sponsor of this bill alongside Bread for the World. This bill allows people exiting the criminal justice system to enroll in CalFresh benefits prior to leaving prison, supporting successful reintegration into civic life. 

Federal Action

Tell Congress: Make food access a priority. As negotiations continue through the week, we urge California’s lawmakers to lift up responsible and real solutions to the hardship millions are facing. The next recovery package must include: 

  • a 15% boost to SNAP benefits, 
  • an extension of Pandemic EBT, 
  • an extension of WIC waivers, 
  • and more significant fiscal relief for states and people with low and moderate-incomes–including ALL immigrant households.

Call & Email Your Members of Congress.

Your voice is critical. Urge your members not to leave D.C. without boosting SNAP benefits and enacting other key anti-hunger provisions in the next recovery package. 
Sample Script & Contact Info

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AiQ State UN/National Updates

AiQ: Protect Asylum Seekers

The Administration proposed a rule in the middle of June that would effectively end asylum, a form of protection meant to give refuge to people fleeing for their lives. The proposed rule makes many drastic changes to the way people are able to access this form of protection including: 

  • Taking away due process rights for asylum seekers,
  • Increasing the bar people have to meet to move past an initial interview to impossibly high standards,
  • Eliminating access to asylum for people fleeing violence from non-state actors, including people fleeing due to gang or gender-based violence.

If this rule is implemented, it would mean that thousands of our siblings in Christ, many of whom are already suffering due to changes made to our asylum system, would be unable to seek protection in the United States. As Lutherans and as citizens, we are called to speak up to ensure that people fleeing for their lives can find refuge in this country. 

Please join us in standing up for asylum by submitting a comment against this proposed regulation by July 15th. Take action by: 

1.     Submitting a comment. It is necessary when submitting comments for a proposed rule to customize your message, whether your message is brief or lengthy, to ensure it is counted as a unique comment. Use the following points to guide you in writing: 

  • As a Lutheran, God calls me to walk alongside asylum seekers in need of protection in the United States. This proposed rule stands against my faith values and our nation’s ideals.
  • The United States has welcomed people fleeing persecution, including Lutherans, for centuries. It is immoral and unnecessary to close our doors at a time when so many people are fleeing for their safety.
  • Tell a story of how asylum seekers have made your community better.
  • If you and/or your congregation has an asylum experience, share how it impacts your opinion.

2.     Let others know you submitted a comment and asked them to submit theirs. Use social media to ask others to submit a comment. The more comments that are submitted, the more likely implementation of this proposed rule will be delayed! 

You can check out resources and a toolkit from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, in which the ELCA participates, to find out more about asylum, what this rule means, and other ways to engage. Make your public comment now before the July 15 deadline. Thank you!

SAVE THE DATE! July 23 2020 10:30am-12:00pm


Child Care & End Child Poverty in CA Virtual Advocacy Day Follow-up:2020 Legislative Wrap-Up

On June 4,

2020, we came together as a group of over 250 advocates–child care, food programs, safety net, and anti-poverty champions–for our first all digital “Child Care and End Child Poverty CA Advocacy Day.” We learned, we advocated, and we briefed over 50 legislative offices on our policy and budget overviews that will keep families fed, housed, and cared for.  On July 23rd, we’ll come back for a follow-up to highlight anti-hunger, anti-poverty and child care legislation in California, with input from legislators, advocates, and policy groups. Don’t miss this impactful day- invitation coming this week!

Register today!

Categories
Racial Justice State Updates

Board votes to center anti-racist lens in all policy work

The LOPPCA Policy Council unanimously affirmed a move to center an anti-racism lens to fuel and undergird our advocacy priorities as an organization. The Board will work in conjunction with the Director to develop protocols and guidance for how this will be implemented and measured.

What is an anti-racist lens?

“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.” 

― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

An anti-racist approach confronts and dismantles systems and structures which promote racism and white supremacy. Such an approach is necessary because anti-blackness and white supremacy are embedded in our history, our present, and the pull of the status quo. Racism is devastating, harmful, and at times lethal to people of color, and it is harmful to our common life together as beloved community.

How does ANTI-RACISM apply to policY-making?

“Americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make: People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.” 

― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

White supremacy was historically created by and continues to be promoted through policymaking, whether explicitly in segregated beaches along California’s coast, or implicitly through access to state programs such as clean vehicle rebates and tax credits. We must ask: Who is in power? Who wrote the policy? Who benefits? Who doesn’t? Who suffers? How does this help build a beloved community? Who is missing at the decision-making table?

An anti-racist approach centers voices, experiences, solutions, and realities of Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color. It also promotes the redistribution of power at every level of society: CEOs, federal lawmakers, city councils, school boards, etc. As a church, the ELCA is reckoning with its own alliances to white supremacy and committing to anti-racist practices. Our advocacy work in California allows us to support and amplify policies by and for people of color within our Lutheran tradition and within our state.

2020-21 LEVN Volunteer

The Board also voted to participate as a placement for a local young adult discernment organization, Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network (LEVN). LEVN is located in Davis, CA and provides spiritual formation, vocational discernment, housing, and meaningful work at a non-profit placement site.

LEVN was founded in 2012 on tenets of intentional Christian community, simple living, service of others, solidarity with the poor, promoting justice, spiritual awareness, and vocational discernment. LEVN strives to provide a just and equitable internship opportunity by providing housing, healthcare, and a stipend for and other essentials.

LEVNers, as they are colloquially named, must have a bachelors degree OR 3 years of professional experience OR an equitable combination of college coursework and professional experience. Staff work with volunteers to attain student loan forbearance if needed. LEVNers receive $1000 reentry fund following completion of the program.

The LEVN volunteer at LOPPCA will work remotely doing communications, social media, and administrative duties as assigned to support advocacy in the Capitol and engagement in our churches.

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Uncategorized

LOPP Welcomes New Board Member

Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, the new CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, joins the LOPPCA Policy Council as an ex officio member

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith oversees the strategic direction and execution of the agency’s core mission: ignited by faith, we live out God’s love by embracing, equipping and empowering vulnerable people in Southern California. Establishing a vision for community impact that works across private, public and corporate sectors, Beckwith leads a diverse team of 150+ employees across 18 offices in eight counties, to improve conditions for underserved and marginalized communities.
 
Dr. Beckwith joins the organization from California Southern University where she most recently served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer. She offers a wealth of fiscal and executive management to the position following a 27- year career with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) retiring as the Vice President of Eastern Region, responsible for profit and loss for operations.
 
Supported by the work Dr. Beckwith’s done through the Professional Christian Women in Service organization she established in 2005, and other leadership and empowerment programs she created over her professional career, it is clear her heart is truly aligned with the values of Lutheran Social Services.
 
Dr. Beckwith holds lifetime professional certifications in the area of strategy from the University of Michigan and in leadership from both the Center of Creative Leadership and the Wharton School of Business. She is a graduate of Capella University, with a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization & Management with a Leadership specialization, an MBA with Distinction from Embry-Riddle University, Master of Arts in Business Management from Webster University and is finishing up a second Doctorate of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership from California Southern.

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Commit to Equity

Tweet with us!

The Commit to Equity campaign is hosting a Twitter Storm today, Wednesday July 8th starting at 11:00 AM PST and going on throughout the afternoon.  We are asking organizations to take part by using the #TaxCABillionaires and #CommitToEquity hashtags on Wednesday, July 8th beginning at 11:00 AM. 

California’s 154 billionaires have increased their net worth by 25% during the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, while nearly 1 in 5 Californian has lost their job. The recently passed California budget threatens massive cuts to the services our communities depend on.

We’ve setup an easy click to tweet page here with additional posts and images here:
https://committoequity.org/storm/

Register for Conversation with Bishop Eaton and Bishop Curry

Our thoughts and prayers inform our actions. “Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor” on Thurs, July 9 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. PDT is an online training event jointly hosted by The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to equip you. Both Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, plus advocacy leaders from both denominations, will be part of this time of exploring the nature of faith-based advocacy, the issues to which we can speak, and the ways we can make our voices heard. Rostered ministers, Lutherans, Episcopalians and friends are welcome to the free webinar and will leave with tools and inspiration to make a difference.

Register here: https://bit.ly/advocacyforlove

SNAP Advocacy

Negotiations on the next recovery package are expected to take place when the House and Senate return from the July 4th recess. This may be our last chance to secure critical hunger relief. Before decisions are made, we need your help ensuring that members of Congress are consistently hearing about the need for action over the next few weeks. Call, write, or post on social media targeting Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.Take Action

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AiQ State

AiQ: Ballot Measures

Thank you for joining us for AiQ this week! With the Legislature in CA out of session, our normally full actions are fairly quiet. Still, voices raised together can make a difference on key federal legislation which will be heard in the Senate in the coming weeks.

Ballot Measures

California voters have a lot to decide on in November. Start getting informed with this article from CalMatters.

LegInfo

To learn about bills, get to know California’s Legislative information website. Some bills we are following: AB 3070, AB3073, ACA 5.

SNAP Advocacy

Negotiations on the next recovery package are expected to take place when the House and Senate return from the July 4th recess. This may be our last chance to secure critical hunger relief. Before decisions are made, we need your help ensuring that members of Congress are consistently hearing about the need for action over the next few weeks. Call, write, or post on social media targeting Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.

Categories
Racial Justice

When I Broke by Regina Banks

You remember the story of Jonah and the whale, right? God commands Jonah to preach repentance to his foes in the city of Nineveh. But Jonah wasn’t down with being God’s little messenger. Not about that. Not to them. So, he booked passage on the first ship heading anywhere but there. The Bible tells us plainly that Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”

That worked out about as well as you would expect and after many storms and tribulations Jonah found himself in the belly of a whale; saved from certain drowning by a God with a plan. In the belly of the whale, the reality of the task being asked of him became clear to Jonah. In the belly of the whale, the enormity of the force sending him to Nineveh became clear.

When I announced my intention to go to law school my mother’s family became suspiciously excited. As I went through the application process I talked with them about this school or that. A couple of days would pass, then worked casually into the next conversation somehow would be the stats for that law school’s Criminal Law department. They weren’t subtle. But I of course they thought criminal law. My grandfather was the first Black Genesee County (MI) deputy in the 1950’s. He studied law then finished his career as a magistrate. His only daughter (my mother) was a probation officer briefly. 3 of his 4 sons are, to this day, sworn law enforcement officers. One of them even married a state trooper! Adding a prosecutor to the family would complete the set.

But my distaste for criminal advocacy was years old by then. I was a precocious (read: nosey) kid. I would listen to adult conversations and easily decipher their unimaginative codes. I heard the stories of unnecessarily brutal arrests, cases that went up on scant evidence, hanging judges, and “facilities” (jails and prisons) unfit for humanity. My relatives believed, and still believe, that change can come from within the system and at the very least the system was a little less antiblack during their shifts. But I had no interest in being in the criminal law space. And honestly, I had passively accepted the culture’s prevailing attitudes about crime and criminals. Some neighborhoods simply do require a stronger police presence. I too looked over my shoulder at ATMs for “super-predators.” I took Criminal Law and Evidence because they were required then filled my schedule with Federal Labor and Employment Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. I was going to work a standard 9-5 resolving employment contract disputes via forced arbitration clauses (and get filthy rich doing it!) I kept maps of all the exciting places my jet-set lifestyle was going to afford me. Nineveh was not on the itinerary.

After many storms and trials I learned that my skills and talents lay with legislative and executive advocacy. I learned the basics then studied and honed it as the science and the art that it is. I advocated for domestic violence survivors and employees unfairly paid. I advocated for the fair treatment of our immigrant siblings. I advocated for the poor, the unhoused, the mentally ill. I’ve traveled abroad waving the banner for ecological justice and climate change abatement. And then the children. Always the children. I even found time to advocate for more green space in my own neighborhood. Everything and anything except anything that touched on crime or policing. Sure #BlackLivesMatter. But I don’t have to be the spokeswoman for it.

Then I spent I my three days in the belly of the whale. To be more precise the month of October 2019 broke me. It excised whatever small trace of “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear from the police” remaining in my spirit. Early that month my favorite human, my nephew Xavier, turned 8 years old. He got a new video game that he just loved. He wanted to play it with me. All. The. Time. Sometimes late into the night. We did that. He’s unreasonably scared of spiders. It’s one of those truly annoying things I love about him. I’m constantly called on to go 2 or 3 rooms away and kill the spider that he defiantly heard and is certainly on its way to come and get us. Sometimes he hears them outside. When I’m in a particularly generous mood I go and hunt for his imaginary spiders outside our front door.

Published on ELCA Racial Justice Blog

The Bible tells us plainly that Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”

Stop right now and Google the name Atatiana Jefferson. 

When the news of her death reached the nation something in me broke wide open. It wasn’t just the fact of her death. It’s that her death made headlines for less than one news cycle. I was angry and heartbroken and incensed and grieved and irate and perplexed and exhausted and dying inside. I’m not certain when I was swallowed by the whale. But I was for sure in the belly of the beast; driving along the beautiful California coast from Sacramento to Monterey to offer a keynote address at the synod professional leaders conference– blind through tears. I don’t remember, and it doesn’t really matter what I actually said to the Lord in my car that afternoon. “In my distress I called to the Lord, and the Lord answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and the Lord listened to my cry.”

Through the sacrifice of one beautiful black life, I fortified a voice that advocates for Black bodies.

I’m not yet in Nineveh. I am only now beginning to understand the reality of the task set before me. Through my television screen filled with visions of cities all over the world rallying and rising and rioting I am just now learning the enormity of the source sending me. I am stumbling and fumbling and walking slowly and being led by the Spirit and those who have been on the road longer. I’ve been practicing what I will say when I arrive. I’ve begun saying small snippets in places I would have never dared before. I’ve rallied more. I’ve organized more. Staff meetings are different with me around now (thank you for making space for this, Amy Reumann.) I’ve begun saying in larger and larger spaces that the system we’ve built around crime and punishment requires repentance. I’ve been inviting others into the conversation. But we have not yet arrived in Ninevah. There’s still room for you on the road.

It wasn’t just the fact of her death. It’s that her death made headlines for less than one news cycle.

Regina Q. Banks lives in Sacramento, CA where she proudly serves as the Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy- California. She is very active in her community, dedicating most of her free time to organizing public advocacy to support a host of social and political causes. She is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (a public service organization) and, when permitted, shares her life with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Ender Jay.

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Thank You for the CalEITC!

June 24 Action Items

  1. Write or call Senator Mitchell, Assemblymember Ting, and Governor Newsom to tell them thank you for including ITIN filers with children from 0-6 in the CalEITC. We know that they were juggling a lot of priorities, and we are grateful that the administration is supporting some of our undocumented neighbors
  2. Check out LegInfo and learn about AB 3070, jury selection.
  3. Save contact info for your legislator!
Other Actions you can take:
  1. ACA 5 – Support Racial Justice and Affirmative Action by calling or emailing your senator today.