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AiQ Hunger Issues Immigrant Justice Poverty Uncategorized

Action for March 31st from AIQ

Bills to support right now in Food and Farming: 
SB 464 (Hurtado) – Food for All – Would expand the CalFresh benefits available to undocumented immigrants in California (While these folks are not eligible for the federal SNAP program, California has funding through a parallel program to CalFresh that provides food assistance for people ineligible due to documentation status – this program needs further development, outreach, and funding to meet the needs of Californians. This bill is in committee process. (Long-term relief bill)

AB 221 (Santiago) – Emergency Food Assistance during COVID-19 to Undocumented Immigrants and their families. This bill was amended in the Assembly om March 30, 2021 (short term relief bill). 

Quick facts to share: – These bills affect food, labor, agriculture, and public health organizations alike, i.e. our neighbors. Approximately 57% of farmworkers are unauthorized to work in the United States. Undocumented immigrant restaurant workers are 25 percent more likely to experience food insecurity. We know that farmers of color are undercounted and many undocumented. populations are currently ineligible for any food assistance beyond foodbanks.  Access to our state food assistance program (SB 464) and immediate food dollars (AB 221) is a public health benefit.

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AiQ Health Care Homelessness & Housing Hunger Issues Uncategorized

Action and News for March 24th From AIQ

Important: Contact Diane Feinstein by phone or email and strongly urge her to support ending the filibuster! It the only way that meaningful legislation will be passed.

LOPP-CA is following several state bills. The most important are:

Housing: AB1199 creates a corporate landlord registry, AB15 Provides Covid relief eviction limitations

Healthcare: AB1400 Guaranteed Health Care for All AB1132 Health Care Consolidation and Contracting Fairness Act of 2021. Assembly-member Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) introduced a package of bills to address health care affordability, access, equity, quality and cost containment. AB650 Would see health care workers receive up to $10,000 if they worked on the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Immigrant Justice: AB221 This bill would provide Emergency Food Benefits for immigrants adversely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and excluded from federal aid.

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AiQ Enviroment Racial Justice Uncategorized

Action and News for March 10th From AIQ

Deb Haaland’s confirmation to lead the Department of the Interior could be in jeopardy. If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Indigenous person to manage the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education. Both are part of the Department of the Interior. She would also oversee more than 480 million acres of public lands and nearly a dozen federal agencies, including the National Park Service. Both California senators are collecting letters and emails of support for her. Please consider writing a letter of support.

Northern California Kelp Forests: An analysis of satellite imagery has found that the kelp forest that only eight years ago formed a leafy canopy along the Northern California coast has almost disappeared. This is a huge environmental concern. For articles with more information click on these links: USNEWS, CLICK THIS LINK to find out about the State of California Natural Resources Agency Kelp Forest Restoration Project in Mendocino County.

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Events Uncategorized

Virtual Lutheran Lobby Day Is Coming May 19th, Save the Date!

Join with Lutheran Office of Public Policy for an exciting day! Meet our partners! Meet with your representatives! Do it all virtually! Watch our website for updates and details!

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Faith advocacy aids Newsom’s decision to sign executive order for conservation by 2030

California joins the global effort to fight climate change by taking on the goal to conserve 30% of state lands by 2030, making us the first in the nation

Faith based organizations, alongside numerous other non-profit, environmental advocacy, and legislative efforts paid off today in a innovative and far reaching executive order to protect California lands and waters.

2020’s Legislative session has been filled with many powerful moments for LOPP-CA, and our collective power as those moving in Christ has only become more and more apparent. The signing of this Executive Order N-82-20 (full version here) aligns with our priority of Environmental Stewardship set at the opening of this year, and is specifically important because of how much our advocacy mattered in this fight – faith organizations, and especially LOPP-CA, were notably instrumental in placing this issue as a moral priority in California.

LOPP-CA’s Director Regina Banks spoke to this victory by saying “California Lutherans have been closely tracking imminent dangers to safe, affordable drinking water, as well as the environmental racism at play in who does, and does not, have water security. As the climate crisis, pollution, and irresponsible corporate practices have made water stewardship increasingly difficult, we welcome the opportunity to leverage the Governor’s executive order, which sets clear guidelines for conservation, to protect and redeem California’s watersheds. The God-given life-sustaining gift of water requires our careful stewardship, so all people and creation can endure for generations to come.” 

This is a monumental achievement, and our church has a right to be proud of our work today. Here is a link to a statement from Creation Justice Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition – of which LOPP-CA is a member – dedicated to advocating for care of God’s creation. Faith leaders across the US have been pushing for this 30% by 2030 goal via a letter writing campaign, and California is the first to see these advocacy efforts pay off!

We can and often do make a difference; the spirit moved in this victory, and will continue to do so as we reach further to make our world a better place. Join with us in celebration today, and with us in further advocacy on issues in the upcoming year!

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Governor signs AB 1876, making Expansion of EITC into law!!

WE. HAVE. WON!

There are no words that can truly express how great a victory this is for all. The Expansion of the EITC to immigrant ITIN Tax Filers puts California on the right side of history, and is nothing short of God’s compassion and justice coming into the world.

Prior to this week, hundreds of thousands of people were locked out of one of California’s most influential and powerful poverty-fighting measures, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Over 600,000 ITIN number holders were suffering the unjust position of working hard, building economies, paying taxes, but receiving no tax refund. No longer. Vulnerable communities such as migrant workers in healthcare, farming, service work and so much more are now covered in the EITC.

 

This win means so much, and has been a long time coming. The Cal-EITC Coalition, of which LOPP-CA is a proud member, has fought hard and won a campaign spanning more than four years and involving more than 60 organizations. This in means care for the vulnerable. This win means California is the second in our nation to take this step in  protecting so many vulnerable non-citizen immigrant communities. This win means God’s love is extended to more of the body of Christ, and for that there cannot be enough celebration. 

Below we have linked the Cal-EITC Coalition’s official press release, which holds more information on this monumental victory:

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/1/?ui=2&ik=02197ef57f&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-

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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.

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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

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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

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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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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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