Blog

Read the latest updates from LOPPCA.

UN Update: January 2020

Lutheran Office for World Community, United Nations, New York, N.Y. Dennis Frado, director ELCA HIV & AIDS STRATEGY: In Commemoration of World AIDS Day (1 December each year), LOWC Program Associate Rebecca Anderson spoke on ELCA’s HIV & AIDS Strategy at a one-day Symposium (7 December 2019) hosted by the Peoples’ Community Evangelical Lutheran Church’s HIV Awareness project, in Baltimore, MD. The theme was “Ending AIDS 2030, Act Now.” Dr. Ulysses Burley III (CEO of UB the Cure) focused his presentation on the UNAIDS Fast-track strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. 30 countries worldwide account for 89% of new HIV infections. The UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy stresses the necessity of concentrating its resources towards the most affected cities and communities within those countries most affected. This requires significant commitments from both national and international sources. Ms. Anderson highlighted the Strategy’s recognition that “the body of Christ has AIDS… [we are] a church that is HIV positive.” The Strategy urges the Church to turn outward in compassion through a multifaceted approach of prayer, charity, advocacy and education in combatting the HIV & AIDS pandemic. ELCA, in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation, have been working with companion churches, partners, the government and civil society to “halt the spread of…
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2020 Legislative Session Opens

The California Legislative Session begins today, January 6, 2020 and will run through August 31, 2020 with recesses throughout for members to meet with constituents in their districts. We are looking forward to following bills in the California Senate and Assembly in four areas: Hospitality: Immigration & Migration Shelter: The Unhoused Sustenance: Sustainable and Equitable Food & Farming Systems Human Rights: Deep Childhood Poverty We also look forward to Lutheran Lobby Day on May 20, 2020 at the Capitol building in Sacramento, where we will share our policy priorities and values as Lutherans with our representatives. All are welcome. Registration opens March 1, 2020. This year, Director Regina Q. Banks and Hunger Fellow Nicole Newell will continue visiting and hosting advocacy trainings in congregations throughout the state. We are grateful for these partnerships and will continue to work with ELCA Advocacy, our Synod partners, CalLu, and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in building a more just California.
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Worship Resources for COP25

This week, LOPP-CA joins many other faith leaders and advocates at COP25 in Madrid to call our leaders to repentance and action on climate justice. In collaboration with these faith leaders, we have created A Path of Hope, worship resources for COP25. The Conference of Parties, known as COP, is the body responsible for implementing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The parties are the 197 nations and territories which have signed on to the Framework Convention in commitment to reducing emissions and developing. The first COP meeting was in Berlin in 1995, after the UNFCCC was formed in 1992. COP25 is the 25th yearly meeting of the Conference of Parties. Collect for the COP Regina Q. Banks, Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy of California God our creator, God our provider, God our nurturer and our sustainer and our guide, we have failed you. In love you have given us a home, and we have fouled it. Your children now gather in Madrid at the COP 25 climate change meeting to deliberate about how to mend what we have so callously broken. Strengthen them Lord. Pour out your spirit on the hearts of the participants. Instill in the delegates hearts that are humble and minds that…
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National Update: November 2019

EXTENDED SNAP COMMENT PERIOD  |  PARIS AGREEMENT WITHDRAWAL  |  GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY ACT  |  PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN  |  CREATION CARE WEBINAR ADVOCATES RESPOND DURING EXTENDED SNAP COMMENT PERIOD:  When new information from the Department of Agriculture was highlighted, estimating that more than 800,000 students access to free and discounted meals if a proposed rule change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was adopted, Lutherans used an extended comment period to express their opinions. The proposed rule change to “categorical eligibility” of extremely poor communities would terminate SNAP access for nearly 3.1 million people. Thank you for your response through the ELCA Advocacy Action Center. We will continue to monitor the situation and report updates.   PARIS AGREEMENT WITHDRAWAL REACTION:  Religious and community partners are deeply concerned by the United States’ formal withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as announced Nov. 4 by the Trump administration. Global cooperation is required to address this critical moment in time. Future generations will live with profound impact of the actions we take today. “We see the despoiling of the environment as nothing less than the degradation of God’s gracious gift of creation,” reads the ELCA social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice.” Caring, serving, keeping, loving, and living by wisdom,…
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U.N. Update: November 2019

Lutheran Office for World Community, United Nations, New York, N.Y. Dennis Frado, director HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: The United Nations General Assembly held a High-Level Meeting for the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), on November 20, 2019. This convention protects the rights of children everywhere to be free from discrimination, violence, and neglect and remains the world’s most ratified treaty. Opening Remarks were given by H.E. Mr. Tijani Muhammad-Bande (President of the General Assembly), H.E. António Guterres (UN Secretary-General), Ms. Henrietta Fore (UNICEF Executive Director), and other Special Representatives/ Rapporteurs. These top UN officials noted the important gains that had been made over the past 30 years and urged refreshed commitments. The meeting featured a “kid’s takeover” segment with participation of children and goodwill ambassadors through speeches, multimedia, and artistic performances across the three themes of Climate Change, Humanitarian, and Education. A  meeting concluded with Member States invited to provide their interventions on their perspectives regarding the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. You can access the full event on http://www.webtv.un.org NEVER IS NOW SUMMIT ON ANTI-SEMITISM AND HATE: LOWC Director Dennis Frado joined Kathryn Lohre, ELCA…
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ELCA at COP25

By Ruth Ivory-Moore, Program Director for Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) gets underway in Madrid, Spain today, and an unprecedented number of people from the ELCA are present as part of an ELCA Advocacy delegation – including Lutheran state public policy office directors, young adult leaders, global companions and members of the Lutherans Restoring Creation network. Negotiators and civil society observers meet annually at conference of parties (COP) conferences to hammer out resolutions to remedy, mitigate and adapt to a warming climate. Despite being in a crisis situation, where severe weather patterns are intensified and disaster damage and loss of life are more frequent, we must and can turn this around. This moment in time involves using all tools at our disposal with a recognition that our human existence is interlinked with all of creation. “Lutherans are called to listen to the cry of the Earth along with the anguished cry of every broken soul so that we assume personal, ecclesial and public leadership in addressing both human justice and Earth justice together,” reads “Why Lutherans Care for Creation.” We are equipped at COP25 to use God’s creative wisdom to take stock of where we are now and where we need…
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October 2019 Update

by Regina Q. Banks, Director POLICY COUNCIL MEETING AND PRIORITIES: The policy council of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA met at the Luther Center in Glendale, CA on October 26, 2019 to discuss the legislative priorities of the ELCA and LOPP-CA, welcome new staff and plan FUNdraisers for the upcoming program year. It was a great meeting and much was decided. Look for updates soon. But set your calendars now for LUTHERAN LOBBY DAY 2020: Wednesday May 20, 2020. We will use this opportunity to again engage with legislators and staff on issues of concern to Lutherans across the state. Our priorities for 2020 have shifted but continue to reflect a deep concern for the least and the last in our communities, and care for creation and justice in our golden state. We will continue to advocate for the elimination of Deep Childhood Poverty and accompany those who immigrate to and migrate within California. After listening to your concerns during our congregation visits and in consultation with our partners at Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, we are adding engagement with and for the unhoused to our portfolio of issues. And with the addition of Nicole Newell as our Hunger Advocacy Fellow, we are adding food and…
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UN Update: October 2019

Lutheran Office for World Community, United Nations, New York, N.Y. by Dennis Frado, director THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: During October, UN Special Procedure mandate-holders and other experts delivered reports to the General Assembly’s Third Committee (on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues), as mandated by the Human Rights Council. These reports focused on the advancement of women, indigenous issues, the protection of children and the promotion and protection of human rights to name a few. The meetings were chaired by H.E. Mr. Christian Braun, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg and can be viewed online here. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Women, gave opening remarks on the Third Committee’s session on Advancement of Women, highlighting that “violence against women and girls and the renewed pushback against women’s rights remain pervasive around the world so as we prepare for the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2020, we need renewed commitment from all.” The Secretary-General focused two reports on Advancement of Women, titled “Improvement of the situation of women and girls in rural areas” and “violence against women migrant workers.” A report was also submitted by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Special Rapporteur on the…
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