While COVID-19 has turned our world upside down in unprecedented ways, our advocacy work continues to be essential in developing coordinated and inclusive responses that support all Americans.
The California Legislature went on an extended recess beginning in mid-March which has been extended for the next month. Advocacy has therefore focused on urging the Governor to enact a true moratorium on evictions and mortgage protections, include Individual Taxpayer Identification Number filers in any relief at the state level, and more. Even so, we continue to support state bills related to COVID-19 relief, such as CalFresh, Simpler for Seniors and CalFresh, Prison Preenrollment and the Racial Justice Act for when the Legislature reconvenes. We are also assisting our partners in accessing federal CARES and Families First provisions and shifting our advocacy to the federal level when necessary.
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California instituted a new program to engage our Policy Council, pastors and members of Lutheran congregations in California. We call it Advocacy in Quarantine.
- We set a weekly Wednesday Zoom meeting where LOPP-CA staff offer a roughly 25 minute overview of the federal government’s response to Covid-19, the State of California’s response, and pending state legislation we are following and sponsoring. We also highlight the work that our allies and ministry partners are doing in the state.
- We then direct them to actions that would take them about 5 minutes to complete (I.e.; call or tweet the governor to release prisoners and ICE detainees on #FaithfulFridays)
We are grateful for an incredible response from our members, and we’re getting feedback from our ministry partners that the calls are already being noticed. We are seriously contemplating how this can become a part of our programing when we go back into session.