• Sign on to the Pastoral Letter on the El Paso Shootings
    Mr. President, we recognize that you are a symptom of our decaying moral fabric and you have ignited a modern day wildfire. The coals of white nationalism are always smoldering in our common life, and they have fueled the violence of indigenous genocide, slavery, lynching and Jim Crow. Stop stoking the fires of violence with racist words and policies. Mr. President, you must repent in word and deed if your leadership is to bring us together, rather than tearing us apart. To Members of Congress and our elected representatives, we ask you to ensure our domestic tranquility. You can take immediate action to stop the President’s racist attacks on immigrants. You can act to ensure voting rights, pass gun reform to keep weapons of war out of our communities, end federal programs that send military equipment to our local and state police departments, pass immigration reform that allows us all to thrive and build up the country, ensure good jobs and living wages and relief from our debts, and guarantee health care and social programs that meet our needs. The lies of white nationalism have prevented action on all of these issues, and those who have enabled the President or remained silent are culpable. As you return to Washington D.C, we call on Congress to honor the August 28 anniversary of the March the Washington and the murder of Emmett Till by passing an Omnibus Bill that offers a comprehensive response to the systemic racism that connects the issues facing 140 million poor and low-wealth people in this country. To all candidates running for President in 2020, we call on you to address both the violence of racism and the policies of racism and white nationalism in the public debates. We ask you to connect these policies of systemic racism to poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, militarism and a distorted moral narrative that accepts, justifies and perpetuates systemic violence. To our movements and organizations on the ground, do not go back to your silos; instead we must build a moral fusion movement. We have been organizing in separate streams, often along lines of race, issue area or geography, but we need much more than our own fights can win. This is not the time to become entrenched in those divisions. We need to come together across race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, issue, geography and other lines of division to make a fight for everything we need and make sure we are all in – nobody is out. To those who have embraced the lies of white nationalism and racism, we humbly recognize the power of fear. We live in a time when many people do not know if they will have work today or health care tomorrow. Many families do not know what agency is coming for them or their children. We do not know who to trust and have been left to fend for ourselves and whoever we believe to be on our side. Let us find strength in our pain, mourn our losses, and remember that we are all part of a common human family. Let us reject every attempt by politicians and corporate interests to pit us against one another. Let us confess that white nationalism is a myth that has not served most people, even those it claims to protect. Let us fight for each other and for a world where everyone can thrive. To our religious leaders and people of faith, we call on you to offer moral leadership in the public square. If you have condoned the lies of white nationalism or remained silent, you have failed to keep your sacred vows. We ask you to recall the struggles of our ancestors so we can work together to build up a more perfect union in our common life. We call on all people of faith and conscience to sign on to this letter and share it throughout your networks. Let us prevent this violence from defining who we are as a nation and people. Forward together, not one step back. Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, President, Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union of Reform Judaism Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Red Letter Christians
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  • STOP JAILING CHILDREN AND DEFUND HATE
    As justice-seekers inspired by our faith, we honor the dignity of every person. As Pope Francis said: “These are not mere social or migrant issues… Migrants are first of all human persons.” We affirm the sacred human right of all people to seek asylum. We urge Congress to: --Reduce Funding for Deportation, Detention, and Border Militarization; Support Funding for Refugee Resettlement and Asylum When determining federal appropriations for FY 2020, we urge Congress to reduce funds for CPB and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. Refuse to provide any additional funding for a border wall; instead allocate resources to support refugee resettlement and access to asylum --Keep Families Together and Invest in Alternatives to Detention We call for an end to family detention this year, by December 2019, and urge Congress to increase funding for less costly, more efficient, community-based alternatives to detention. --Exert Robust Oversight over Detention and Uses of Federal Funding We urge Congress to require additional inspections of ICE facilities, ensure ICE publishes public weekly reports, and create a detention ombudsperson to strengthen oversight. Congress should also prohibit federal funds from being used to: enforce Muslim or refugee bans, deport or detain DACA, TPS, or DED holders, and carry out immigration enforcement operations at “sensitive” locations including schools, churches, and hospitals. We call on President Trump, and all who play a part in these cruel acts, to stop terrorizing our immigrant neighbors and stop tearing families apart. We call on our elected officials in Congress to withhold funding from CBP and ICE that enables them to raid communities, separate families, and detain children and families. We call on immigration enforcement officers and agents to turn away from cruelty and choose compassion.
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  • Take The FOR Truth and Reparations Pledge
    The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), the Truth Telling Project (TTP), Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Coming to the Table (CTTT), representatives from the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), and others have come together to think about how reparations in our lifetime might be possible. It will be possible with you. Take the pledge today! * I pledge to approach reparations as a spiritual journey that speaks to my own humanity and liberation of myself with those most impacted; * I pledge to learn more about how structures and institutions built on slave labor continue to disenfranchise people in the African diaspora and devalue Black lives; * I pledge to learn more about America’s history and its foundation of chattel slavery; * I pledge to acknowledge, I benefit from this gross moral and material harm just by being white in this society; * I pledge to acknowledge and work to heal the moral and material harm of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which continues to manifest harm in Black communities; * I pledge to follow the leadership and be patient with those who are impacted by slavery and its legacy; * I pledge to learn how to participate in reparations in my local community and encourage my networks to do the same; *I pledge to act in ways that limit my complicity in violence against Black People (this may mean divesting in investments that harm Black People); * I pledge to give and support (healing, material goods, assistance) without expectation on how these should be used; * I pledge to give and support in ways that may not always make me feel good, but help me develop as a person and put others first; * I pledge to take this message to my family, friends and community, calling those in with love rather than through guilt; * I enter into this pledge to be a part of the healing necessary to transform this nation’s and my relationship with descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.
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  • LGBTQI Catholics and Allies: We support the Equality Act!
    The Equality Act, a bill jointly introduced in the US House of Representatives (HR 5) and US Senate (S. 788), would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The US House of Representatives voted in favor of passing the Equality Act on May 17, 2019. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. If passed, it would provide consistent nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQI people in all aspects of their lives, including employment, housing, education, and more. These protections would occur at the federal level, ending the patchwork of protections that vary from state to state. It’s time for full and equal protections for all! The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposes the Equality Act, using questionable arguments that are counter to our understanding of the Catholic faith. DignityUSA and our members represent the significant majority of Catholics who believe in equal protections for all vulnerable groups in society. In January 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 69% of Catholic Republicans and 84% of Catholic Democrats believe homosexuality should be accepted by society. DignityUSA has 50 years of experience advocating for LGBTQI acceptance in the church and society – and we’re not stopping now. Are you with us? Add your name and join us in telling Congress to pass the Equality Act today! LGBTQI people live in every part of our country, as members of virtually every family and deserve the full protections of our nation’s laws. This means equal access to public services, including health care, housing, education, and employment regardless of gender or orientation. It is time to remove the many structural barriers faced by the LGBTQI community for too long. It is past time to pass the Equality Act. Sign the petition and raise your voice in support of the Equality Act. Stand with the majority of US Catholics in who believe in respect and justice for all! Learn more at www.DignityUSA.org
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  • Sign to Support Moral Witness Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
    We know God hears the cries of God’s people who are suffering increasingly under the vengeful leadership and harmful policies of our current administration. Policies that ignore the cries of poor and sick people, children, immigrants and refugees, women, and, even yet, the cries of the lands torn open and polluted. We, as a nation, have lost our way. In such moments, God’s call to action is made known through the voice of the prophets: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression.” (Isaiah 58:1) As President Trump and his administration let the nation suffer, we must lead with a unified proactive and creative response that is not confined by “Right” or “Left”, Democrat or Republican, but is rooted in the clear moral Center of right and wrong. It is time to warn the nation and call this administration to repent of their sins. Friends, it is time for us to go together to the palace gates with a clarion call: --Stop the weaponization of judicial appointments! Attend to the 14th Amendment, the bedrock of equal protection under the law. Uphold the constitution. --Stop mandating a census question designed to ensure millions are uncounted! Attend to the 140 million poor and low wealth. --Stop the abuse of executive power to pollute our communities with pipelines and privatizing public resources! Attend to our water and air. --Stop the assault on the Affordable Care Act and on health care for women and children in poverty! Attend to the health of your people. --Stop the brutal treatment of the stranger at the southern border! Stop warehousing children in detention camps! End child detention. Attend to compassionate and humane immigration policies that affirm the divinity within all human beings. Instead of covenantal leadership for justice, compassion, healing and the empowerment of all, these sinful acts of the current administration pursue subjugation: subjugation of racial, religious, ethnic, and gender minorities; of women; of children; of the suffocating middle class, workers, family farmers, the poor, and people who fall sick; of immigrants and refugees; of the free press; of the Constitution; even of Earth, our common home. This hate-filled subjugation violates the Covenant. It must not stand. Just after Ramadan, Shavuot and Pentecost, hundreds of faith leaders will journey to DC. Of those hundreds, some may hear the call upon their spirits to engage in nonviolent moral action. Some may be called there as witnesses. But all are needed to bear witness together in this moment. The Scriptures do not call us to ideological purity tests or to precisely worded positions on each aspect of sensitive topics. Instead, Jeremiah calls to us at the heart of our deepest religious convictions and the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution: love, justice and equal protection under the law. We cannot be divided. We cannot be complacent. We must act so that people are called to a moral awakening. In the wake of the new post- Mueller report reality, we must deliver a moral report. June 12th becomes a bridge between the sacred festivals of the Abrahamic communities. The Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Interbreathing that gives life to ALL traditions, all communities, all life-forms, is speaking through us. We must journey toward freedom and awaken this country once more. It is time. June 12th. Signees: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Moral Monday Architect President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Traci D. Blackmon Associate General Minister United Church of Christ Rabbi Mordechai Liebling Director of Social Justice Organizing Program, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid Ameer/President The Muslim Alliance in North America Mother Dr. Ruby Sales Director and Founder of Spirithouse Project Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Director, Kairos Center Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rabbi Dr. Arthur Ocean Waskow Director, The Shalom Center Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Director, School for Conversion Bishop W. Darin Moore, AME Zion Presiding Bishop Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer General Minister and President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association Pastor Michael McBride National Director, FIA’s LIVE FREE Campaign Lead Pastor, The Way Church Rev. William H. Lamar IV Pastor, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Washington, DC Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church New York, NY Aisha Hauser, MSW Director of Lifelong Learning, East Shore Unitarian Church Bellevue, WA Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Zacharias Pastor, John Wesley AME Zion Church Washington, DC Rabbi Elyse Wechterman Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Sahar Alsahlani Executive Council Member, Religions for Peace, USA The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins Director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness Rabbi Justus Baird Dean, Auburn Seminary * By signing this petition, you agree to receive emails and updates from Repairers of the Breach.
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  • Sonoma County — United in Kindness
    Communities like ours around the country—and around the world—are gathering in solidarity to denounce acts of violence and hate. An urgency for peace and reason is bubbling up like a geyser ready to burst in a powerful show of force for change. The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County (ICSC) invites you to take part in a campaign titled “Sonoma County—United in Kindness.” The painfully tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings and other horrific incidents underscore how compelled we are to take a stand. It is time. Let’s stop the fast-moving fire of hatred with a stream of tangible and sustainable acts in our workplaces and communities. First action: ICSC with your help will gather thousands of signatures on the declaration, Sonoma County—United in Kindness (see below). We’ve done this before with the 2016 campaign rejecting Islamophobia. Please sign the declaration yourself and share it with others on social media. Encourage friends, neighbors and strangers to envision Sonoma County—United in Kindness. Unify our community in a desire to build good will, harmony and kindness. Together, not alone, we can change our world and positively impact our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and how we treat each other every day. Next action: Take sensible actions for a sustained campaign to ensure a Sonoma County—United in Kindness. We will call on county and city officials, school district administrators, faith congregations, business leaders, police agencies, courts, radio and TV stations and other news media to embrace our vision and to come up with a sustainable plan of action. Dozens of local groups are already making progress toward positive change. To succeed, this important campaign needs each one of us. Can you see downtown lamppost banners with “Sonoma County—United in Kindness”? How would a county united in kindness feel to you? As our campaign moves forward, be part of the groundswell. Offer your ideas and work on projects that empower your vision. Keep up with our meetings and activities by reading email updates and announcements. Step forward now to create a safer, more humane and joyful community for ourselves and our children, a Sonoma County united in kindness. Sign the declaration! Pass it on! (Read the declaration text, below.) In hope and faith, Mohammad K. Jabbari Founding member, Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Chair, Sonoma County—United in Kindness Campaign UnitedInKindness@interfaithsonoma.org _________________________________ A Declaration of Unity by Sonoma County Residents SONOMA COUNTY—UNITED IN KINDNESS We the undersigned believe that freedom from hateful speech, bullying, discrimination, and violence is a human right. We believe all of us benefit from living in a diverse community. Everyone, especially children and youth, requires a place to grow and learn in peace and safety, guided in kindness and caring. We are proud that our half-million Sonoma County neighbors come from so many of humankind’s backgrounds, beliefs, and traditions in pursuit of joyful and healthful living. To sustain these strengths, we affirm trust in a social fabric that does not permit harm to individuals and groups based on distinctions of ability, age, appearance, ethnicity, gender identity, language, race, religion, sexual preference, and socio-economic position. We call on all Sonoma County residents to find ways to create this pluralistic social fabric. We call on our leaders in education, government, business, health, and faith to build, through education and initiatives in their areas of influence, a county that honors human rights. In recognition of these desires for unity, we jointly declare Sonoma County—United in Kindness. Sponsored by:the Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Endorsed by: Alternatives to Violence Project — North Bay Council • Appleseed Friends Meeting (Quakers) — Sebastopol • Comité VIDA • Commission on Human Rights of Sonoma County • Community Church of Sebastopol, United Church of Christ • Congregation Ner Shalom — Cotati, CA • Congregation Shomrei Torah • First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa • Homeless Action! • Indivisible Petaluma • Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative • Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California • Journey Center — Santa Rosa • Joyful Noise! Gospel Singers • LezResist! • Metropolitan Community Church of the Redwood Empire • Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indigena — Sonoma and Napa Counties • North Bay LGBTQI+ Families • North Bay Organizing Project — Santa Rosa • North Bay Organizing Project, Petaluma division • Of One Soul Project • Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County • The Peace Crane Project • Petaluma Community Relations Council • Presbyterian Church of the Roses — Santa Rosa • Racial Justice Allies of Sonoma County • Redwood Forest Friends Meeting (Quakers) — Santa Rosa • Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League • St. Patrick's Episcopal Church — Kenwood • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church — Sebastopol • Unity Church of Santa Rosa
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  • Faith leaders call on Congress to support the No Ban Act
    Religious faith or national origin should never be an obstacle to whether we extend a hand of welcome to the refugee or the immigrant. To close the door to those who are Muslim or of other faiths, is not a faithful expression of the principle that all are created equal. This manner of exclusion weakens what has made our country strong – a commitment to stand with the vulnerable, the oppressed, the suffering, regardless of their religious faith or where they come from. Our faith communities have historically played key roles in assisting refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, and other newcomers with housing, language, jobs, and social supports necessary to integrate and thrive. Yet, over the last two years, the administration has undertaken a series of attacks against our refugee, asylum seeking, and Muslim neighbors. Together, the Muslim ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries, asylum ban that wrongfully and illegally blocks people who cross between ports of entry from applying for asylum, and refugee ban that seeks to dismantle the resettlement program deny vulnerable families their fundamental right to safety, condemn them to return to unfathomable danger, and prolong family separation. To restrict thousands of people based on discrimination forsakes our nation’s ideals of compassion, hospitality, and welcome. We cannot condone excluding people based on their nationality or religious background, but instead must work toward inclusivity and justice for all. We are guided by our faith to love God and love our neighbors, whoever they may be. We cannot separate the two, and seek to be welcoming of all people because loving God means loving our fellow human being. We pray that our country reflects principles of both welcome and of religious freedom, and that we remember the value of diversity. At no other time has our moral responsibility to uphold these principles been greater. The NO BAN Act upholds principles of religious freedom and our moral obligation to welcome. It would ensure that no one is banned from our country based on religious or nationality-based discrimination. The bill seeks important changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by outlawing discrimination in the entry of immigrants or nonimmigrants based on religion, in addition to the protections against discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth, and place of residence already in place. The NO BAN Act also amends the provision of the INA that has granted presidents the authority to suspend or restrict the entry of non-citizens by limiting this authority to align with responsible uses of the power by prior Democratic and Republican administrations, and by putting in place key congressional notification and reporting requirements as important safeguards against any future abuses of this authority. We urge our members of Congress to cosponsor the NO BAN Act and be bold in choosing moral, just policies that welcome, regardless of faith or national origin, and provide refuge for vulnerable individuals seeking protection in accordance with our nation’s highest ideals.
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  • Stand with Young People in Supporting LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in The United Methodist Church
    While the statement summarized here was originated by the youth and young adults of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, and originally presented for signatures during a young people’s ministry event in Sacramento, California on March 9, 2019, we believe it speaks for many others, both within and outside the conference and The United Methodist Church, who are disturbed by the church’s continued rejection of inclusive language toward LGBTQIA+ persons – and, in the case of the most recent action, the imposition of more punitive measures against non-compliant clergy. Our LGBTQIA+ siblings are beloved children of God, whose gifts are vital to the life of the church. We recognize that for many who identify as LGBTQIA+, church is a refuge. Consequences of rejection include (but are not limited to) mental health issues, homelessness, and suicide. We call for our beloved Church to act, and we will be ready to act alongside you, living out our founder John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules: “Do no harm. Do Good. Stay in love with God.”
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  • Send Love & Solidarity to the Muslim Families of New Zealand: Pledge to Fight White Nationalism
    On Friday afternoon, March 15th, a white supremacist opened fire in multiple mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 50 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in an act of "extremist rightwing violent terrorism." As people of many faiths and beliefs – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Humanist, and others – our hands tremble with the horror at this bloodshed in a sacred space. This massacre was fueled by the same white nationalist hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship -- Sikhs in the gurdwara of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Black Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We move swiftly to show the Muslim community of New Zealand worldwide solidarity. Prayers mean nothing without action. This act of mass violence was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. In signing, we express our shared grief and moral outrage, and we pledge to call out hate in all its forms -- in our schools, workplaces, houses of worship, and homes. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. We pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures. And when we grow tired, we will remember the faces of those who have been killed and take one another's hands and continue our labors for love and justice in their name.
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  • Fight Against Environmental and Social Injustice
    We all have a fundamental right to clean water, air, a healthy environment, and a livable climate. These rights also require the public resources needed to monitor, penalize, and reverse the polluting impacts of fossil fuel industries. We are committed to ending environmental injustice, including climate injustice, and the policies that stem from it. Fight against environmental and social injustice. Sign our petition now to fight against all instances of environmental injustice across our nation. We’ve seen the far-reaching and devastating impact of ecological injustice on low-income communities and communities of color everywhere from a proposed pipeline that could devastate a historically Black community in Virginia to a county in Alabama with untreated wastewater that may have affected the health of thousands. Last week, Reverend William J. Barber II and former Vice President Al Gore embarked on a tour of the South to hear from and stand with communities in Virginia and Alabama that are being impacted by ecological injustice wrought by political and corporate greed. Throughout the tour, they heard stories from impacted people that make it clear: These acts of injustice are beyond scandal – they are sin. As a nation, we must recognize how poverty, racism, and ecological concerns are interconnected, and that we cannot address one without addressing the others. We must stand up against these immoral policies creating systems in which corporate greed allows for the destruction of poor communities. Sign our petition to support our fight against environmental and social injustice. *By signing this petition, you are agreeing to receive emails from both Repairers of the Breach and The Climate Reality Project.
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  • Remove the Deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment
    The Equal Rights Amendment is a U.S. Constitutional amendment that will empower women, reaffirm the rights of men, and allow for the U.S. Supreme Court Justices to provide protections for those persons in the LBGT Community as all people should be treated equally under the law.
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  • Cover Healthcare Costs for Coal Ash Affected Communities
    WHY: People in the broader public, who do not partake in the private profit of Duke Energy--and its pressure to weaken NC DEQ regulations--should not have to pay with their health and even, sometimes, their lives. WHAT: Clean and affordable, in-home drinking water is a must. Breathable, healthy air is a must. Homes and homeplaces that did (and should) have monetary value in everyday working families must be protected for the vital (and sometimes sole) investments that they are. Having one's health is also a must--life free from the cancers and lung, heart, brain, skin, and reproductive disorders to which exposure to coal ash toxins are linked. WHEN: Pay for healthcare coverage costs in a tiered model, triaging first to most-expensive healthcare (brain tumor, rare neurological conditions, strokes and temporary or permanent paralysis, birth defects). Begin in 2020, and continue paying in 2 year increments for healthcare costs incurred by coal ash communities' residents through 2036 when coal ash is fully excavated from ponds; and in steady rates for 30 years following. Duke Energy and NC DEQ must cover all related costs where residents' homes and businesses test positive for heavy metals, radon, and other coal ash associated dangers. This must occur regardless of other health conditions--since these are usually worsened by exposure to industrial toxins, and should not be abused as a loophole to get out of accountability. Toxic exposures take many different forms in health symptoms--the effects depend on the resident's initial health proclivities and what mix of coal ash metals and carcinogens and radioactive materials they were exposed to, at what times of their life (e.g., childhood, in utero, while pregnant, during adolescent puberty, while a resident, an employee, or a schoolchild). Use the precautionary principle--taking action before it is too late to prevent the massive loss of human potential to morbidity, mortality, and other irreplaceable resources where the true costs of coal ash are reflected and magnified. BENEFITS: Health is the foundation of everything in one's life--from caring for one's family to keeping a job, from remaining physically mobile and mentally sound, to staying out of debt as incurred from medical care costs. Healthcare coverage costs are rarely factored in to the upfront costs of US coal production and coal ash waste storage, but they are burdensome, unjust, and must be addressed. Health harms of coal production and coal ash waste storage are dispersed throughout targeted local communities that bear the brunt of coal production harms. Coal-affected communities with steam stations and waste sites in NC are--as they are nationally in what are called "sacrifice zones"--disproportionately lower- and middle-income, split across county/town lines. Within those income and zoning categories, coal and coal waste affected communities often egregiously over-represent people of color in relation to the existing demographics of each region, and among a mix of Black, Brown, and White residents' distribution in affected neighborhoods. Full coal ash excavation must take place in NC, moving coal ash waste in unlined and seeping ponds and pits instead to lined, un-leaking and well-maintained, above-ground and onsite landfills. The cost and the timeline are not an issue that should delay or minimize plans for full excavation once and for all in NC--which must catch up to SC and VA where excavation is occurring to measurable benefit to local health, water, air, and economies. What matters are the prosperity and vibrancy of local rural communities, the stability of housing, and direct support for human health in NC "environmental justice communities of concern". IN SUM: Cover healthcare costs of coal ash affected NC communities now--and budget healthcare coverage into the projected "cleanup costs" Duke Energy and NC DEQ are considering. Account for the real costs of coal and lax safety laws to human lives in NC workplaces, rural economies, close-knit communities, and everyday families. Thank you, bless you! It will feel so good to do the right thing! FURTHER INFORMATION: 1. US Commission on Civil Rights on Healthcare Costs for Coal Ash Affected Communities: FULL TRANSCRIPT: (see highlights) https://bit.ly/2DKEqLe FURTHER INFO: http://itisinyou.org/ejhealth 2. Cancer Clusters--Impossible to Prove but We Still Must Act: NEWSWEEK - www.newsweek.com/2016/07/29/geographic-cancer-clusters-industrial-polluters-481423.html ON SCIENCE: www.facingsouth.org/2016/05/nc-produces-flawed-study-to-dismiss-cancer-cluster.html 3. Camp Lejeune Act--A Model for Covering Health Costs from Toxic Water, "Janey Esminger Act 2012": PROTECTING MARINES: www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24734458.html AND www.newsobserver.com/news/business/health-care/article10114484.html NEED FOR BIPARTISAN ACCOUNTABILITY: www.rollcall.com/news/Obama-Administration-Moves-to-Deny-Justice-for-Camp-Lejeune-Veterans-234417-1.html
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