Categories
AiQ Events Hunger Issues Poverty State UN/National Updates

Action for March 3rd from AIQ

Please consider attending Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD)! This is an annual national gathering of Christian advocates and activists. We worship, delve deeply into the pressing issues of the day, and lift our voices by speaking truth to power on Capitol Hill. The 2021 theme is ““Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored.” EAD 2021 is an opportunity to support this global movement centered on and led by the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities. Together, we will passionately advocate and reimagine a world that lives out the values of justice, equity and the beloved community. EAD 2021 will be a virtual gathering, to be held April 18-21, 2021. Register now!

Great news: LOPP-CA is now a part of First 5 California. We have a seat on their round table

Nicole Newell is back with LOPP-CA! She will be coordinating Lutheran Lobby Day. Lobby Day will be virtual and held on Wednesday, May 19th. The keynote speaker will be announced soon.

This legislative session LOPP-CA along with Bread for the World will be watching the movement and focusing on these three bills:

• SB 107 CalFresh: Simple for Seniors, which makes it easier for seniors to access healthy public food assistance
• SB 364 End Child Hunger, which establishes universal school meals for all kids in public schools and creates a stopgap nutrition program for school breaks and when campuses are closed
• AB 221 Emergency Food for All, which grants food assistance access to immigrants, regardless of status.

Others may be added later.

You can research the progress of any state bill by going to https://legiscan.com/CA/legislation and searching for the bill by bill number or key words.

Categories
AiQ Children's Issues Hunger Issues Poverty State

Action for February 24th from AIQ

Consider signing up for Chase Tibb’s podcast Faith and Capital at: https://faithandcapital.buzzsprout.com/

Write a letter to your state senator and/or assemblyperson stating that as Christians we affirm the Right to Food for all people – access, nutrition, food security, and dignity. In 2021 Californians will be speaking up about the Right to Food. Please personalize your letter and use your own words when possible. Be sure to include the bill numbers and names. Urge them to support the following hunger related bills:

• SB 107 CalFresh: Simple for Seniors, which makes it easier for seniors to access healthy public food assistance
• SB 364 End Child Hunger, which establishes universal school meals for all kids in public schools and creates a stopgap nutrition program for school breaks and when campuses are closed
• AB 221 Emergency Food for All, which grants food assistance access to immigrants, regardless of status.

Categories
AiQ Poverty State

Action for February 10th from AIQ

Let your pastor and congregation know by an announcement in church or a newsletter article that these are some important bills that Lutheran Office of Public Policy-CA will be working on this year.

SB 108, as introduced, Hurtado. State Healthy Food Access Policy. This bill would declare that it is the established policy of the state that every human being has the right to access sufficient healthy food.

AB 221, as introduced, Santiago. Emergency Food Assistance for all. The State Department of Social Services shall provide a food assistance benefit statewide to low-income California residents, regardless of their immigration status.

AB 614 (Eggman)—“Farm to Food Bank” Tax Credit
Overview: This bill would increase access to the food donation tax credit for agricultural growers by expanding the list of qualified donation items to food banks and other non-profit organizations by including other fresh food items not currently in statute, as well as various shelf-stable dietary staples. 

Emergency food and diapers bill. (no number yet)

Categories
State Updates

Legislative updates and Bill summaries: end of session 2020

*Being updated regularly

This legislative session was full of highs and lows, unexpected turns, and strained by a global pandemic, climate catastrophes and more. LOPP-CA has followed multiple bills throughout this time, diligently following legislation that embodies our moral understanding of God’s commandment to run after justice and peace in all ways. 

“…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Excerpts from the Beatitudes


Now is the end of the legislative year 2020, and there are five bills we have tracked that have made it past the legislature and currently sit on the Governor’s Desk. The bills and a brief summary of each are below:

 

Food Access: extending God’s table to the most vulnerable

  •  AB 826: Emergency food assistance: COVID-19 – This measure creates an one-time fund for emergency food assistance that will help millions of people throughout California find food security during this COVID Crisis; This bill specifically uplifts immigrant communities that have been left out of many pandemic relief efforts. See a bill fact sheet made by California Association of Food Banks here.

VETOED

  • AB 3073: CalFresh: pre-enrollment – California is the largest food producing state in the U.S, but still faces the tragic truth that 1 in 8 Californians are food insecure. Bill AB 3073 expands the CalFresh program to those disenfranchised through the carceral system, giving guidelines to both pre-enroll the currently incarcerated as well as enroll formerly incarcerated people. This bill is designed to extend the basic human need of food towards some of our most vulnerable.

PASSED

Racial Reconciliation: repairing harm, embracing the full Body of Christ

  • AB 2542: Criminal Procedure: discrimination (California Racial Justice act) – This bill creates a legal pathway to the sin of racism within legal prosecution. Specifically, it disallows criminal prosecution on the base of Race, Ethnicity, or National Origin and paves a way to legally challenge racial bias within any criminal case. This is a monumental bill toward gaining racial equality in California. A fact sheet for the bill is found here.

PASSED

  • AB 3070: Juries: Peremptory Challenges LOPP-CA supports this bill as another attempt for California to address systemic racial injustice. This Bill bolsters the legal framework of identifying and rectifying racial bias in the jury selection process. There are many key changes to the current legal process made, all of which can be found by viewing the bill analysis here.

PASSED

  • AB 3121: Committee to Study Reparations – This legislation creates a 8 person committee to begin the difficult work of reckoning with the legacy of racism and slavery in the U.S,  which will ultimately make recommendations on how best to address Reparations towards African Americans. More on this bill can be found here.

PASSED

 

Worker Protection: guarding those that serve others

  • AB 2043: Occupational Safety and Health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 -Introduced by Representative Robert Rivas in District 30, the bill, “Ensures enforcement by Cal/OSHA of its COVID-19 guidance, funds a targeted bilingual outreach campaign to educate agricultural workers on Cal/OSHA guidance, as well as COVID-19-related paid sick leave and workers compensation benefits, and directs Cal/OSHA to track and report workplace investigations related to the agricultural industry.” This bill was introduced as a package to support California’s vulnerable and necessary farm workers, neighbors that provide food for our entire nation. More on the bill here.

PASSED

Anti-poverty Legislation: expanding our social net to hold those that work

  • AB 1876: Expanding California EITC to Immigrant ITIN Filers – This is a long standing battle to broaden the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which current immigrant ITIN tax filers do not receive. The Federal and State income tax return credit is one of the most powerful tools available for lifting people out of poverty, and this legislation would expand EITC guidelines to include many hard working Californians.

PASSED


This is powerful news, and we are uplifted to see that some change-making bills have the chance to move our state closer to God’s vision of love. We need to fight for change, in all ways possible. We need leadership from Governor Newsom in signing these measure into law.  Advocate by calling or emailing here the Governor before September 30th!

 

Categories
Events State UN/National Updates Updates

During Hunger Strike, Faith Leaders Hold Vigil for Immigrant Justice

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2020

Contact: 
Regina Banks: regina.banks@elca.org, 916.208.5334
Rhonda Rios Kravitz: rhondarioskravitz@gmail.com, 916.712.7169
Susan Lange: susanlange.uu@gmail.com, 650.291.4603

Faith leaders host nationwide candlelight vigil in solidarity with detained undocumented immigrants leading hunger strike and other actions to protest inhumane and unsafe conditions in ICE detention facilities

The Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California along with faith-based policy organizations across the country condemn deplorable conditions in ICE detention facilities and stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants on hunger strike at the Yuba County Jail while a majority of those detained at Mesa Verde Detention Facility are currently infected with COVID-19.

CALIFORNIA — The nationwide vigil, scheduled for Friday, August 21, will be held in solidarity with detained undocumented immigrants at the Yuba County Jail, who began a hunger strike on Wednesday morning in response to reprehensible conditions at the facility, including arbitrary restrictions and practices that ignore COVID-19 distancing restrictions and common sense practice–and now the Nevada City fire, one of hundreds of fires ravishing California, is just 30 minutes away from the jail.

The vigil will also support the demands of individuals held at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield. These demands include an end to practices ignoring isolation measures as more than half of the detainees held at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is spearheading the virtual vigil. Registration is open to all regardless of faith affiliation, and clergy from multiple traditions will be present. The candlelight vigil will begin at 7pm PDT / 10pm EDT on Friday, August 21. The Lord’s Prayer, in different languages, will be at the center of the vigil. Register via bit.ly/2QhXKVf

Regina Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California, stated: “This could force a local government to take a stand for immigrants and refuse to participate in what has been inhumane treatment.” Faith advocates organizing the vigil seek to be a moral voice in the midst of state-sanctioned suffering and terror. 

The vigil will take place simultaneously with two rallies in support of the strikers at each detention facility.

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Categories
State

Bishops Issue Open Letter re: Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg

Categories
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 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.

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