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.
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…
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.
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 CreditOverview: 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)
On a Federal level: If your Congressperson is a Republican email or call them and urge them to support the full stimulus package! California EDD: Let Regina know if you have contact with someone involved with EDD decision making. California Earned Income Tax Credit: While EITC Awareness Day Has passed, the information in their social media toolkit is still valid. Please use their resources on your social media posts. Go to https://www.caleitc4me.org/Resources/ for the tool kit and more resources.
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!
Be sure to read this excellent blog linked at the bottom of this post by the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy. Also consider these action steps from ELCA Advocacy. Peace Not Walls – JanuaryUrge the Biden administration to restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and bilateral assistance to Gaza and the West BankReauthorize VAWA including Strong Provisions for Native WomenVAWA funds shelters and crisis centers, supports a national hotline for victims, and trains law enforcement to better investigate violence against women and offer support to survivors. https://blogs.elca.org/advocacy/actual-renewal-and-repair-after-capitol-breach/
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…