Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Black Lives Matter

June 3 Action Items

  1. How can you support Black liberation in your community? Use this list of bail funds to find ways to support the movement with your dollar and find resources to learn, support, and give.
  2. Voice your support for racial equity in urging an Aye vote on AB 3070 (Weber) – Anti-discrimination in Jury Selection.
  3. Urge your Assemblymember to vote yes on AB 3073 (Wicks) to make CalFresh preenrollment possible for people exiting the criminal justice system.
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Uncategorized

ELCA reaffirms commitment to combat racism and white supremacy

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reaffirms its commitment to combating racism and white supremacy following the recent murders of Black Americans. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, and George Floyd were our neighbors. Ahmaud Arbery was chased down, shot, and killed by a retired police officer and his son while jogging in Brunswick, Ga. (Feb. 23, 2020). Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was shot eight times by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who entered her apartment while serving a “no-knock warrant” (March 13, 2020). Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, a 21-year-old from Indianapolis died after being shot at least eight times by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer (May 6, 2020). George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis while begging for his life, a block away from Calvary Lutheran, an ELCA congregation (May 25, 2020). As the Conference of Bishops, we condemn the white supremacy that has led to the deaths of so many unarmed Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color in our country. We grieve with, pray for and stand in solidarity with the families and friends of all whose loved ones have been and continue to be victims of injustices run amok, racist violence and the insidious venom of white supremacy.

The ELCA’s social policy resolution, “Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric,” adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, states: “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.” As church, together we must work to condemn white supremacy in all forms and recommit ourselves to confront and exorcize the sins of injustice, racism and white supremacy in church and society and within ourselves as individuals and households.

On May 21, the ELCA Southeastern Synod hosted a webinar: “Becoming the Body of Christ – Condemning White Supremacy” in response to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. This is one of many strategic opportunities happening across this church to address white supremacy and racist rhetoric. On June 17, we will gather again as church to commemorate the Mother Emanuel 9 and to repent of racism and white supremacy. An online ELCA prayer service, including leaders from across the church and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as preacher, is being planned for June 17, 2020, marking the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9. We encourage congregations to reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and dismantling white supremacy that continue to plague this church by marking this day of penitence with study and prayer leading to action.

Signed by ELCA Bishops, including:

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop

The Rev. R. Guy Erwin
Bishop, Southwest California Synod

The Rev. Mark W. Holmerud
Bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod

The Rev. Andrew A. Taylor
Bishop, Pacifica Synod

Categories
State Updates

Bishop Eaton Addresses LOPPCA Followers

A message from Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth A. Eaton, to California advocates on what would have been our second annual Lobby Day today. We are grateful for her unwavering support of our work. This year’s Lobby Day has been postponed to September given the special circumstances of the legislative session during COVID-19.

In other news, we received approval for our permit to gather at the Capitol for Lutheran Lobby Day 2021. We are looking forward to gathering in person next year on May 19, 2020. You can mark your calendars!

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: CalFresh Access for Seniors

May 20 Action Items

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3. Call the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support Calfresh Access for Seniors.

Why?
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.

Please also spend a few minutes contacting your Senator if they are listed below as members of the committee:

Sample script:

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.

Sample tweets:

  • 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

Thank you to the California Food Policy Advocates for this action alert text and information.

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Uncategorized

ELCA presiding bishop issues pastoral message on COVID-19 racism and white supremacy

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. —I Corinthians 12:12

May 13, 2020

Dear church,

Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

During the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am encouraged by your resilience and creativity in our witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am also inspired by your generosity. Through the ELCA COVID-19 Response Fund and our Daily Bread grants, we are providing critical support to struggling yet vital ministries across this church. Through Lutheran Disaster Response International we have intensified our accompaniment of global partners. We are church together.

This is a trying time for us all. At the same time, we know that a disproportionate burden of illness, death, discrimination and harassment falls on communities of color. This pandemic has exacerbated racism and racial inequities deeply entrenched in society and across the church. We see this in the growing anti-Asian racism and the disproportionate number of deaths in black, American Indian and Latinx communities. I have been learning from the leaders of the ELCA’s ethnic associations how the data we see on the news is experienced in real life. I have listened to leaders of color share the impact of this pandemic on their communities — on their lives and on their ministries. These stories are difficult but important, so we are launching a special series on LivingLutheran.org to lift up these voices for us all to hear. We also seek to ensure that our COVID-19 response more effectively tends to the realities of racism and racial inequality. We are church together. 

Recently, in cities across this country, we have seen horrifying anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages displayed during public protests against government orders that are intended to protect lives. No matter our politics or opinions about our elected leaders and their policies, all of us must come together on the basis of our church’s commitments to condemn racism against indigenous people and people of color, white supremacy, sexism, and anti-Semitism whenever they occur. Whether our churches and communities are racially diverse or predominantly white,our work for racial and economic justice for all people is work for all of us. We are church together.

Just as God has joined us to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in baptism, we are joined to each other. Paul helps us to understand this by speaking of the one body of Christ, with many members. While this is always true, perhaps we feel it more acutely in this time of physical distancing. In our longing to be church together, let us be even more intentional in sharing with each other, easing each other’s burdens, consoling each other in our fear and grief, condemning what is contrary to the gospel and living out our baptismal covenant “to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”

In partnership,


The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, ELCA

To learn more, visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups” 

ELCA social statement “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” 

Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent

ELCA social policy resolution “Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric” 

ELCA social statement “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action”  

Declaration of the ELCA to Jewish Community

– –
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

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Uncategorized

House Democrats Introduce The Heroes Act

Bold, Transformative Legislation Meets the Challenge of the Coronavirus Pandemic

A Statement from the Building the California Dream Alliance

WASHINGTON — House Democrats today introduced The Heroes Act, a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation.

The more than $3 trillion legislation protects the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its many provisions, the bill:

Honors our heroes, by providing nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs

Establishes a Heroes’ Fund for essential workers, with $200 billion to ensure that essential workers who have risked their lives working during the pandemic receive hazard pay

Supports testing, tracing and treatment, by providing another $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers

Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household

Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits

Ensures worker safety, by requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, and prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems

Supports small businesses and nonprofits, by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

Preserves health coverage, by protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage and creating a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans

Extends unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed

Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs

Strengthens food security, addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table

Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service

The Heroes Act was introduced by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) and co-sponsored by Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA).

The legislation follows the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.

The text of The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, is here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here.

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Uncategorized

Recovery for All

Progressive Organizations Outline Sweeping Agenda to
Achieve a “Recovery for All” in California that is Equitable and Green

Press Release
May 6, 2020
Contact: Nikki Paschal, 916.444.7170

Sacramento, CA –  The Building the California Dream Alliance, a broad coalition of more than 55 progressive organizations, today unveiled a sweeping set of policy proposals aimed at eliminating injustices in health care, economic opportunity, education and environmental quality that have been exposed and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Governor Newsom, the organizations’ leaders emphasized the opportunity before California now to re-shape a broken economic system that left millions of Californians and their families unable to withstand any level of economic downturn, and to make a sizeable investment in safety net programs needed to ensure a Recovery for All. They also underscored the unacceptable structural racism in our health care system and in the determinants of health – reinforced by economic and environmental injustice – that have resulted in COVID-19’s staggering death toll for people of color.

“This pandemic is a clarion call for transformation across our economic and social systems,” said Regina Banks, Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California.  “Within the first few weeks of California’s effort to slow the virus’ spread, millions of Californians were unable to pay for rent or food – illustrating just how many Californians were living on razor thin margins even in a ‘growing’ economy.  While we give attention to their most immediate needs, California must commit to support their recovery over the long haul and implement the sweeping reforms needed to deliver justice in economic opportunity, education, health care, and the environment.”

Each year the coalition outlines an ambitious agenda to uplift families, empower workers and communities, and expand opportunities for all Californians to take part in the California Dream.  This year’s coalition agenda was released today as state legislators have begun to hold policy hearings on bills and the week before Governor Newsom is set to release a May budget revision transformed significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The disproportionate loss of life in California’s communities of color is devastating and unacceptable — and it was preventable,” said Nourbese Flint, Executive Director of the Black Women for Wellness Action Project. “Systemic racism has persisted in health care access and delivery because we have failed to prioritize eliminating it.  We will not allow inequities to be forgotten when the immediate threat of COVID-19 is behind us, and we will not relent from our fight for health care equity until every Californian has the opportunity to be healthy.”

“Too many workers whom we recognize now as essential have always been treated as if they are expendable,” said Amber Baur, Executive Director UFCW Western States Council. “Now is the time for us to start treating every single Californian as essential, valuable, and worthy of dignity and a voice both at work and in their communities.”

Healthcare and Housing for all people, with no exceptions.

Health Care: Expand Medi-Cal for all eligible seniors, regardless of immigration status.

Health Care:  Increase state subsidies for Covered California.

Health Care: Enact AB 1611(Chiu) which would ban surprise emergency room billing by preventing surprise bills for out-of-network hospital ER visits so consumers are only billed for their in-network co-pay or deductible, and setting a fair provider payment standard.

Healthcare: Clarify that reproductive and sexual health services including abortion, gender-affirming care, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and family planning are essential healthcare that cannot be delayed. In addition, remove cost-sharing for these essential services.

Healthcare: Remove physician supervision for certified nurse midwives to increase access to high-quality, high-value maternity care, reduce race-based disparities in maternal outcomes, and bring California in line with the 46 other states that all do not require physician supervision for certified nurse midwives.

Housing: Forgive unpaid rent accrued by low income households during the crisis. Establish a relief fund for nonprofit housing developers and needy landlords who’s lost rental incomes would otherwise put their business at risk. Eligible landlords shall meet a set of tenant protection criteria. State government should recoup these funds with a temporary or permanent fee on the largest landlords.

Unhoused: Set aside 20% of the total 2020-21 homelessness budget to combat youth homelessness.

Housing: Dedicate significant funding and deploy a set of strategies to reign in speculation in the housing market.

Housing: End predatory displacement financing by requiring state chartered banks and state licensed lenders to develop an anti-displacement financing policy.

A government focused on care and inclusion that lifts all people out of poverty allowing us to live full and happy lives.

 Immigration: Direct local jails and prisons to suspend the transfer of individuals from California’s custody to ICE in order to protect Californians from being subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention where the COVID-19 virus has been rapidly spreading.

Immigration: Expand EITC for ITIN workers and allow it to go into effect retroactively.

Expand Aid Programs: Implement a public education program to get people to file federal tax returns so that they can receive the $1,200 federal stimulus checks.

Nonprofits: Direct departments to continue paying contractors who are underperforming due to temporary closures and suspension or reduction of services associated with COVID-19 and provide expedited or automatic approval process for budget modifications that do not increase the contract.

Small business: Invest in a $100 million grant program for small businesses with 1-25 employees and under $1 million in revenue disseminated by CDFIs and economic development community based organizations to ensure that hard to reach and historically marginalized small businesses and sole proprietors benefit from the program.

SEED Initiative: Maintain the $10 million SEED Initiative currently in the proposed budget.

 Policies and Programs that prioritize workers and communities over corporate executives.

Worker Protections:  Ensure that  workers receive the benefits they deserve by mandating a presumption that contracting COVID-19 or exposure to and physician ordered quarantine due to COVID-19 is conclusively determined to arise out of and in the course of employment for all essential workers.

Worker protections: Require California and its healthcare system to have a long term plan for ensuring we have an adequate supply of PPE.

Worker Protections: Expand California leave laws to ensure coverage for all workers not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act including amending the California Family Rights Act to ensure that workers can take time off to care for themselves or their loved ones without losing their jobs.

Worker Protections:  Create an “Emergency Fund” for workers that cannot access unemployment insurance and other safety because they are excluded by law such as garment workers, childcare workers and undocumented workers

Worker Protections:  Enact, SB 1257 (Durazo) which would eliminate the “household domestic service” exclusion in Cal/OSHA, which sets standards for employers to provide a safe working environment for workers.

Worker Protections: Enact SB 1399 (Durazo) which would put a stop to the most egregious exploitation of garment workers by ensuring that they are fairly compensated for their work and keep the wages they earn.

Payday Lenders: Issue comprehensive guidance to keep payday lenders and Merchant Cash Advance shops from increasing interest rates.

Childcare: Invest $200 million from the CARES Act into the creation of a child care fund to support essential workers child care needs. This investment would fund approximately 80,000 childcare slots.

Safety Net for All: Create a temporary, partial income replacement program for excluded workers who are not eligible for the state or federal benefits administered by EDD and who are unemployed or underemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A just transition to a green, regenerative economy that ensures all Californians have a clean and safe environment where they live, work, play and pray.

Utilities & Water Service: Prohibit utility shutoffs and restore service for any essential service, including but not limited to: broadband, mobile phones, electricity, natural gas, water for those with combined water/sewer utility. In addition, waive all liens, late fees, and penalties on such utilities. This includes implementation of EO N-42-20, immediately ending all disconnections of water service for nonpayment, and restoring service to all those who had water service disconnected since March 4, 2020.

Environment: Implement health-protective regulations that impact clean air, clean water, and environmental health must not be delayed or rolled back, especially not during a health crisis.

Environment: Retain the use of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds for incentives that reduce greenhouse gases and localized air pollution from vehicles.

Environment: Develop an economic stimulus package that aligns spending with good job creation with benefits to public health, the environment, and climate resiliency. Any such plan must be informed by impacted communities.

Environment: Enact AB 345 (Muratsuchi) to ensure that CalGEM finishes the public health and safety rulemaking currently underway, provides resources for impacted communities to participate, and establishes a health and safety buffer zone between oil extraction and communities. As the link between exposure to air pollution and susceptibility to COVID-19 has emerged, CalGEM has the responsibility to establish a setback and any other measures that will help improve public health coming out of this crisis.

Expand and Protect our democratic process, ensuring robust, accessible opportunities for all Californians to determine the future of our government and economy.

Voting: Mail every voter a ballot, require robust in-person voting options and early voting, ensure additional resources for a massive public education and outreach campaign so every voter understands their options to vote safely, and provide poll workers with protective gear and “hazard pay”.

 Public Access: Continue to ensure that the public, and especially those most impacted by decisions, both locally and state-wide, can participate remotely in decision making.

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The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Calls, California Donor Table, California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network, California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earthjustice, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California, Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California, PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice California, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty

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Uncategorized

Register for Lobby Day!

 

Maybe you are interested in politics, but aren’t sure where to jump in. Or maybe you’ve never voted before and don’t know what a legislative district is. Or maybe you’ve met with your legislators before, perhaps many times.

Whoever you are, Lutheran Lobby Day is for you.

WHo

Laypeople, pastors and bishops will convene virtually for our second annual advocacy day with the California State Legislature. While we regret that we cannot gather in person at the State Capitol, we are excited that gathering virtually allows more people to participate.

WHy advocacy?

God calls us through baptism to strive for peace and justice through all the earth. Our advocacy will focus on COVID-19 relief for California’s most impacted communities. Your voice is needed. No experience required!

How do I prepare?

Two training webinars will be offered prior to Lobby Day on May 6 at 12:00 pm and at 6:00 pm PDT. All registrants will receive information about how to participate in one of these trainings.

is there a fee?

The event is free of charge, but donations are always welcome. There will be breaks throughout the schedule.

Can I promote this event?

Yes! Please feel free to promote this event in your synods, churches, and church groups. You can find a flier and a sample email here.

tentative Schedule
9:00am Opening Convocation
10:00am Policy Briefing
10:30am – 2:15pm Virtual Visits with Legislators

 

Recap: Lobby Day 2019

Over 100 people came from all over the state of California advocating to end childhood poverty, to bring clean water to marginalized communities, and for compassionate and sustainable immigration systems at our first Lobby Day!

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Community Development Funds

April 29 Action Items

1. Register for Lobby Day

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.

Lutheran Lobby Day
Wednesday May 20, 2020
9:00am – 2:15pm

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. 

Sample script: Hello. My name is ___. I live in ___, CA.   I am calling to ask Representative/Senator ___ to use Community Development Block Grant funds from the CARES Act to provide rental assistance to impacted renters.   This ensures that families can remain stably housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis. This is important because:

  1. Renters need immediate relief, as they have lower income and savings to weather economic crisis
  2. This is a necessary complement to Gov. Newsom’s moratorium on evictions, which still obligates people to pay rent for months they’ve missed
  3. Rental assistance allows money that people do have to go back into local economies
  4. 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.Goodbye.

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.

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: SNAP Day of Action

April 22 Action Items

1. National Day of Action to Boost SNAP Benefits in Next COVID-19 Package

Contact your Senators and Representatives (call, email, tag on social media) and urge them to include SNAP in the next COVID-19 package. Include the White House in your Tweets and outreach.

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.

Sample script: Hello. My name is ___. I live in ___, CA. I am calling to ask Representative/Senator ___ to boost SNAP benefits in the next COVID-19 relief bill. The next COVID-19 relief bill must include the following SNAP priorities:

  1. boost SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent
  2. increase the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30
  3. 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.Goodbye.

Background from California Food Policy Advocates:

Millions of California families are facing serious hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress has passed a few bipartisan laws that provide some relief – including the Families First and CARES Act – much more needs to be done to prevent increased hardships and support those who were largely or entirely left out of earlier relief packages. Federal negotiations on the next COVID-19 bill are moving forward quickly.

We are hearing the next relief package will include assistance for businesses and hospitals, but not a boost to people who have been left out of relief measures so far (such as immigrants and many people with very low incomes).

We are also hearing that SNAP – one of the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs in the country, and one of the most rapid and effective forms of stimulus we can enact – is also not included in the package. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer are already working on a proposal for another major relief bill, which we have learned could move in late May or June. Now is the time to reach out to Congress as they work to develop their policy priorities for that bill, in preparation for eventual bipartisan negotiations.