• End Discriminatory Car Towing in Philadelphia / Fin al Remolque Discriminado de Carros
    [Español Abajo] • Live Stop towing is financially crippling for low-income families. An average Live Stop tow costs $500 to $1,000 in fees and tickets. If a driver cannot pay, or is scared about being undocumented, and does not claim their vehicle within 15 days, the car is sold at public auction. • Live Stop towing leaves families on the side of the street in the middle of the night, putting people in danger. The fear of being pulled over or losing a car has an emotional and mental impact on people. •Philly grew for the first time in 50 years because of the immigrant population. Immigrants are key to a thriving city and help the growth of Philadelphia through starting new businesses, paying taxes, and enriching the city’s culture. Live Stop towing undermines these benefits. • Nearly half a million Philadelphia residents have been affected by Live Stop since 2002. This has a disproportionate effect on undocumented immigrants who are barred from obtaining driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania. Reinterpreting the law will have a tremendous impact on the lives of immigrants and all low-income families in Philadelphia. • This is an opportunity for Philadelphia to be a leader in the state and country. While we work on a statewide campaign for driver’s licenses for all immigrants, regardless of immigration status, Philadelphia can take a concrete step that will alleviate the negative impacts of not having a license. ******************************************************************************************************* • El remolque de vehículos tiene un efecto financiero agobiante para las familias de bajos ingresos. El costo estimado por un encuentro con Live Stop es de $ 500 a $ 1.000 en cargos y multas. Si el conductor no puede pagar, o tiene miedo por ser indocumentado, y no recupera su vehículo dentro de 15 días, el vehículo se vende en una subasta pública. • El remolque de vehículos deja a los conductores en la calle en medio de la noche, poniendo a las personas en peligro. El temor a ser detenido o perder el vehículo tiene un impacto emocional y mental en las personas. • Philadelphia creció por primera vez en 50 años debido a la población inmigrante. Los inmigrantes son clave para una ciudad próspera y ayudan a su crecimiento a través de la creación de nuevos negocios, el pago de impuestos, y enriquecen la cultura de la ciudad. El programa Live Stop que remolca los vehículos menosprecia estas contribuciones y beneficios para la ciudad. • Casi medio millón de residentes de Philadelphia se han visto afectados por el programa Live Stop desde el año 2002. Esto tiene un efecto desproporcionado sobre los inmigrantes indocumentados que son excluidos de obtener una licencia de conducir en Pensilvania. La re-interpretación de la ley tendrá un tremendo impacto en la vida de los inmigrantes y todas las familias de bajos ingresos en Philadelphia. • Esta es una oportunidad para que Philadelphia sea líder en el estado y en el país. Mientras trabajamos en una campaña para que el estado de PA otorgue licencias de conducir para todos los inmigrantes, independientemente de su condición migratoria, Philadelphia puede dar un paso concreto ahora para aliviar los efectos negativos de no tener una licencia.
    3,340 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia Picture
  • No Justice without a 9th Justice: Tell the Senate to appoint a Supreme Court Justice now!
    Today as in the past, we need the Supreme Court to maintain immigrant rights, voting rights, women’s rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, and marriage rights for all who call America home. But the delay in Senate consideration of Judge Garland’s nomination leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court – jeopardizing our freedom, equality, and access to justice. As people of faith from different and diverse faith traditions, we know from firsthand knowledge that millions of our neighbors and their livelihoods are on the line. We call upon the Senate to take action because we recognize and honor the sacred task with which our nation’s Supreme Court justices are charged. Within our western religious canon, we are guided by the words of King Solomon – wisest of judges – who conferred his Proverbs with this purpose: “That (people) may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight, receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity.” (Proverbs 1:2-3) Today the work of justice in our nation is at risk of being thwarted and wise guidance being denied its people by the continued refusal of the Senate leadership to hold hearings. As representatives of many religious and spiritual traditions, we therefore, respectfully urge the Senate to fulfill its duties as outlined in the Constitution by holding a fair, timely, and comprehensive hearing for Chief Judge Merrick Garland. In faith and in shared hope for our democracy,
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  • A Call For An End To Violence Against Black People And Law Enforcement Officers
    Together we watched Alton Sterling and Philando Castile die in police encounters within 24 hours. So far 137 black people have been killed by police this year alone. Some of us are numb and tired; others angry and heartbroken. Then, we watched in shock as a lone gunman disrupted a peaceful protest in Dallas and opened fire on police, killing five officers, followed by another shooting in Baton Rouge killing three officers. We have now entered a moment of deafening crisis -- distrust, division, and ongoing violence. We know that the heinous actions of lone gunmen do not represent the Black Lives Matter Movement. We have marched by your side, prayed with you at vigils, and have heeded your calls to action. In every moment, you have never stopped calling for dignity, justice and respect through peaceful nonviolent protest. But already fear-mongers are using the deaths of these police officers to vilify and stifle the Black Lives Matter movement and erase the justice demanded by Sterling, Castile, and countless others. They are justifying the militarization of police departments, surveillance of black activists, suspicion and profiling based on race, and hostility toward communities of color. Black activists and communities: We ask that you not despair. We ask that you feel our love by your side, and let this love keep you brave and resolute, just as you have made us brave and resolute. We are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Humanist, and other people of moral conscience. We are black, brown, white, gay, straight, lesbian, bi, and trans. We grieve the loss of every Black life lost in encounters with police. We are with you because we know all lives cannot matter unless black lives matter. Law enforcement officers: We see you. You are on the frontlines every day. You are our spouses and children; you are our brothers and sisters; you are our neighbors and friends. You have pledged to protect us: the officers killed in the line of duty in Dallas died while protecting the most vital function of our democracy – our freedoms to march, protest and express ourselves. We ask that you share our prophetic grief. We grieve every police officer killed in the line of duty, and those wounded in attacks, just as we grieve every black son and daughter killed in a police encounter. It is an undisputed fact that systemic racism is a historic and intractable problem across America, including in America’s police departments. We believe the best way to honor all the people we grieve is to find a solution – together. We pledge to dismantle racism with revolutionary love – for police officers and the black and brown communities who struggle each day for dignity. We will hold all perpetrators of violence accountable, even as we build bonds of understanding and respect between police officers and communities. We will call for police accountability, even as we show love and respect for every officer who shares our commitment to end all forms of violence. We will stand by the side of women and men who bleed to give our children a more just and beautiful world. We will not be bystanders. This is our #propheticgrief. This is our #revolutionarylove. We are called to #mendthegap. And #westandwithlove. Signed: Valarie Kaur Michael-Ray Mathews Brian McLaren Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis Bishop Gene Robinson Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson Sister Simone Campbell Rabbi Sharon Brous
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  • People of Faith Statement on Pulse Orlando Shooting
    Our faith traditions call us to love one another, to mourn those who have died, to comfort the despairing, to speak out against injustice, and to work for the transformation of our world. In this time of mixed emotions and responses, we turn to our faith for guidance, hope, and healing. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ people and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community against transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia. We acknowledge that this shooting is part of a larger culture of hostility toward transgender, gender nonconforming, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. We reject the use of religion to promote judgment or violence toward LGBTQ people. We acknowledge that the shooting at Pulse occurred on “Latin Night” and disproportionally affected the Latinx LGBTQ community. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ Latinx people and stand in solidarity with the Latinx community against racism, the targeting of black and brown bodies, and the ongoing criminalization of Latinx lives. We disavow rhetoric that seeks to devalue and dehumanize Latinx people. As we seek to respond to this tragedy, we celebrate the lives of those who were killed and the gifts of their sexual and gender diversity. Our faith traditions draw us closer together—not to further exclusion, fear, or enmity. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ Muslims and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and the scapegoating of Islam for this act of violence. We mourn and seek justice together as a community of faith. We also lift up those who are diagnosed with mental illness. We refuse to succumb to rhetoric that hastily or unduly assigns mental illness as the cause of this tragedy, further stigmatizing those diagnosed with mental illness. As people of faith, we long for a world where love triumphs over hate and fear. Our faith traditions call us to seek justice. We commit to working so that all people can flourish and live whole, authentic lives.
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  • Sign the Religious Freedom Pledge: Standing Together Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry
    BACKGROUND In an historic event at the Washington National Cathedral on October 23, 2015, over 100 faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Muslim communities joined together to commit to reject and speak out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment, and violence based on religion or belief. In the wake of increased hate speech, hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims and persons perceived to be Muslim, it is vital for us all join this same commitment to condemning and speaking out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment, and violence based on religion or belief. America was founded on the ideal of religious freedom, and as Americans of all faiths and none, we need to work together to ensure those promises for all. Ideals don't uphold themselves- it takes action and courage from all of us to advance them. Will you join us in endorsing this Pledge? Beyond endorsing the Pledge, we invite you to join us through hosting an event in your local congregation, where members of your faith community can talk about anti-Muslim bigotry and how the faith community can stand united. FOUNDING PLEDGE ENDORSERS INCLUDE: His Eminence Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Imam Mohamed Magid Pastor Dr. Bob Roberts Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson Dr. Rajwant Singh Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer Dr. Carroll Baltimore Rev. Brent Walker Imam Talib Shareef Rabbi Jack Moline Dr. Azhar Azeez Sr. Patricia Chappell Rev. Barry Lynn Rev. Richard Cizik Imam Omar Suleiman
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  • Tell the Obama Administration to Prohibit LGBTQ Discrimination in Foster Care
    For the more than 400,000 children in foster care across our nation, this action would have an enormous, life-changing impact. The teachings of our respective faiths may diverge on issues of theology and practice, but all speak clearly of our duty to protect the stranger, the orphan and the widow: the most vulnerable members of our society. We are called to do all we can to ensure children grow up with loving, supportive families that will set them on the path toward happy and healthy adulthood. Removing the barriers that currently prevent LGBT adults from becoming parents for these children has the potential to bring an estimated two million potential parents forward to provide loving, permanent homes. The primary reason hundreds of thousands of children remain in, or age out of, the foster care system is a lack of qualified homes. This is a moral travesty. This Administration has made historic progress in the advancement of LGBT rights across the country and your Department has been at the forefront of these changes. Yet, if action is not taken before the end of the Administration to prohibit discrimination in adoption and foster care, a critical piece of this work will remain woefully unfinished. It is crucial that the Obama Administration takes decisive action to ensure that otherwise qualified adoptive and foster parents are not turned away simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, and that LGBT and gender non-conforming youth in care do not face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. A foundational principle of our child welfare services is the best interest of the child. We firmly believe that ensuring qualified parents are not turned away, simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, in addition to protecting youth themselves, is one of the most important steps you can take to meet the needs of children in foster care. Further, we do not believe there should be any exemption to permit religiously affiliated child welfare providers to discriminate against LGBT youth and prospective parents while conducting public foster care and adoption placements and service delivery with significant sums of taxpayer dollars. Such an exemption would undermine this foundational principle by prioritizing the provider’s religious beliefs over the best interests of the children they contract with the government to serve, while also sanctioning discrimination with public dollars. Although the primary responsibility of child welfare agencies and their contractors is to meet a child’s need for safety, permanency and well-being, many LGBT youth face physical threat, harassment, rejection and discrimination from state-funded providers. Due largely to family rejection, LGBT youth are over-represented in child welfare systems compared to their non- LGBT peers, are placed in group homes and residential facilities at higher rates, and often exit to homelessness and increased risk of commercial sexual exploitation. While some states offer explicit protections for LGBT youth, most do not, and an LGBT youth’s safety, well-being, and fair treatment depends largely on a luck of the draw. This month is the last National Foster Care Month of the Obama Administration. We hope you will take this opportunity to use your authority as Secretary to put the needs of children first by issuing guidance ending discrimination against potential adoptive and foster parents and children in foster care based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, without exceptions.
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  • Dear Candidates for President, Senate, and Governors: Will You Advance a Moral Agenda?
    Our moral traditions have a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We believe in a moral agenda that stands against systemic racism, classism, poverty, xenophobia, and any attempt to promote hate towards any members of the human family. We claim a higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values. Please add your name to call on our 2016 presidential candidates, senate candidates, and governors to advance a moral agenda.
    13,311 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Repairers of the Breach PPC: NCMR
  • Protect our children. End the #LeadEpidemic.
    Every child deserves a safe and healthy home. Innocent children are being lead poisoned and our current laws do nothing to stop it. Over 1.6 million low-income families rely on the federal government to provide them with safe, decent, and affordable housing. Yet, the majority of these homes are clustered in areas at high risk of lead poisoning. Lanice Walker learned this truth the hard way. When she received a housing voucher, she felt like she could breathe again, like her children finally had a place to grow and thrive for the first time. Shortly after moving into her new home, Ms. Walker’s hopes were shattered when all of her young children were diagnosed with lead poisoning. Unknowingly, Lanice Walker and her family had moved into a home that was rife with lead hazards. Today, her youngest children Emaurie and Mahogahny receive special education services while Ervin struggles to speak. This mother’s dream of security became a tragic reality. (Mahogahny is pictured above. Photo credit: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune) Across the country, families like the Walker's have been exposed to dangerous lead hazards in their homes, with poor and communities of color disproportionately at risk of harm. These risks are multiplied by outdated policies that don’t respond until after a child suffers severe brain damage. Our respective faiths teach us that life is sacred and as such we each have a responsibility to care for one another and protect the most vulnerable in our society. It is time to pay more than lip service to these beliefs because, in this case, inactive faith invites death. Taking action to end the #leadepidemic is a way to respond to the call to confront and eradicate that which harms the most vulnerable in our human family. To ignore the threat of lead poisoning, or the devastating effects it has on our children, is to turn our backs on all we hold to be sacred and true. The Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016 will identify lead hazards before a child is harmed, ensure that federal policies reflect the prevailing science, and allow families living in toxic homes to move if they so choose. These actions are critical to stem the tide of lead poisoning and represent the long overdue solution to a widespread problem that has endangered far too many lives. Signing this petition is a good first step in calling on our country’s moral consciousness to protect our children and telling Congress that we wont stand by as more children are lead poisoned. Called to do more? Here are some suggestions: Spread the Word to Project Our Children - Movements grow in strength as people are engaged. Make sure this crisis is known more broadly by sharing with your networks and communities by word of mouth, on your website, in your newsletter, on your social media pages. The more people know, the more they can protect themselves and others at risk of lead poisoning. Here are some informative articles that can be shared with your community: The Poison in Our Walls: http://nyti.ms/1VTRv8P We Know How To Stop The Epidemic Of Lead Poisoning. So Why Aren’t We?: http://bit.ly/1ZwWM4q Legislation to protect children in public housing from lead exposure introduced in House and Senate: http://bit.ly/1pIrACr Durbin, Quigley target lead hazards in Section 8 housing with new bill: http://trib.in/1QSE6pi Federal housing policy leaves poor kids at risk of lead poisoning: http://trib.in/1QlbIzc Chicago medical clinic prescribes legal help for housing: http://apne.ws/1pIrWcn Stand with Us and Join the Movement - Partner with us for change as a faith leader or as a community. Let others know that faith inspires action to end the #LeadEpidemic through your endorsement. Add your organizations, institutions, and communities to the growing list of those publicly standing in solidarity through endorsement as a means of addressing this #LeadEpidemic harming our nation's children. (Send us a message through our Facebook page to endorse the bill as a community or organization.) If we act together, we can end the #leadepidemic!
    129 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Alicia Crosby
  • Tell Congress To Vote For A Budget That Helps Flint
    The recent tragedy in Flint, Michigan makes all too clear what occurs when severe austerity budgets are implemented: innocent people suffer. And all too often, it’s low-income and communities of color that suffer the most. That's why the People’s Budget includes $765 million for Flint to replace toxic pipelines and provide needed health, education, and other services for our people exposed to lead. The teachings of our respective faiths are steeped in the understanding that we have a communal responsibility to care for the most vulnerable in society. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, ensuring that all workers receive a fair wage are not simply policy positions: they are sacred obligations. The People’s Budget would also invest in housing, education, transportation, clean energy and safe water to create millions of jobs. It would increase educational opportunities by providing Pre-K and debt-free college for all. And it would fulfill our communal obligations to our parents and grandparents by increasing, not cutting, Social Security and health care. In short, The People’s Budget, if passed, would set our nation on the path toward a fair and healthy economy. You can read more about the "People's Budget" here: http://1.usa.gov/2200IQb Our government should serve all of its citizens. By bolstering the social safety net for those who most need it and prioritizing measures that reduce the growing inequality in our nation, The People’s Budget does just that, and it deserves the support of Congress. We urge you to vote for it when it comes to the House Floor. Thank you for your consideration.
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  • Tell the Obama Administration: Stop the Deportation of Asylum Seekers Hilda Ramirez and her son Ivan
    Hilda Ramirez is an asylum seeker in danger of deportation to a country where her family will be subjected to violence, discrimination, and extreme poverty. A 28-year-old Mayan mother from San Marcos, Guatemala, Hilda fled to the United States with her 9-year-old son Ivan after facing threats of violence. Arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 hoping to find safety, she was instead detained at the border and jailed at the Karnes detention center with her son in inhumane conditions for 11 months. There, Hilda participated in a courageous hunger strike with another 77 immigrant moms to shut down family detention centers.1 Hilda was eventually released on bond and forced to wear an ankle bracelet. After several months of staying in an Austin shelter for immigrants, the danger of impending ICE raids became overwhelming, leading Hilda and Ivan to seek Sanctuary in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas while she fights deportation orders for herself and her young son. Although she was previously unable to win her asylum case, she continues to appeal her case with the assistance of legal counsel. After the recent decision from the Obama administration to target Central American asylum seekers for immigration raids and deportation, many immigrant communities have been left in a state of fear. As a result, many families and individuals in danger of losing their lives and loved ones are looking for safe haven and support with legal services. Already, more than 120 people have been apprehended in the raids, 77 people immediately deported, including parents with U.S. citizen children.2 Another round of raids has been announced, but no one knows where or when they will happen. OUR VALUES Families like Hilda and her son should not be targeted by immoral and unjust ICE raids. They should be provided the safety they seek, not met with further violence and discrimination. With continued raids announced, it is more important than ever that we stand with Hilda, Ivan, and all our immigrant brothers and sisters living in danger of deportation and separation. On February 9th, 2016, Hilda and Ivan took the prophetic and courageous step to enter into Sanctuary at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Hilda explains that, "I feel safe here. I don't think immigration agents will break down the door and take me away. That is why I came here." Sanctuary is a place where God’s love and protection is a living reality. Our faith demands that we treat refugees as neighbors. Our faith demands that we open our doors, even when others are shutting theirs. As people of faith and people of moral courage, we cannot stand idle in midst of the inhumanity of raids, deportation and detention. We must be in solidarity with Hilda, Ivan and our immigrant neighbors who are facing similar situations where a deportation could have fatal consequences when returned to their countries of origin. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Hilda and Ivan, and all people suffering because of the United States’ inhumane mass deportation system. Your support of immigrants and refugees as a person of faith or a person of moral courage can help us put pressure on the Obama administration to use their power to end unjust and inhumane raids and deportations. Watch the video of our press conference at St. Andrews Church: https://vimeo.com/154776260 [1] "Mothers held at Texas detention centre go on hunger strike to demand release," The Guardian. April 1, 2015. [2] "U.S. authorities begin raids, taking 121 illegal immigrants into custody over the weekend," The Washington Post. Jan. 4, 2016.
    3,762 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Jim Rigby
  • Stand with Native Alaskans: Protect the Arctic Refuge
    For decades, the Gwich'in people have been defending their ancestral land and culture from the imminent threat of oil exploration and drilling. For daily sustenance, the Gwich’in depend on the Porcupine caribou herd, whose birthing patterns would be disrupted by oil exploration. The Gwich'in call the caribou birthing grounds "the sacred place where life begins," and they believe the caribou and Gwich'in people share a piece of each others' hearts. Defending the ecological integrity of the Arctic Refuge is also about defending the lives, livelihoods, spirituality, and culture of the Gwich'in people.
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  • Join In Interfaith Friendship and Support for Sonoma County's Muslim Community
    An alarming wave of Islamophobia is sweeping our nation. It has taken the form of hate crimes, profiling and verbal attacks. Increasingly inflammatory political rhetoric has included calls for internment camps and halting the resettlement of Muslim refugees who are fleeing war and terror. As people of many faith backgrounds living and worshiping in Sonoma County, we, the undersigned, and so many other people, are committed to working for justice, equality, inclusion and safety for all the members of our community. We are keenly aware that the scapegoating of religious minorities has never ended well - in this country or elsewhere - and we do not want to see it in our county or under our watch. We call on this community to oppose and reject Islamophobia in all its forms. We will not be silent or indifferent. We call on all people of good conscience to stand up for peaceful coexistence. We call on this community to extend the hand of friendship to our Muslim neighbors so they know they do not face this challenging time alone. Sponsored by: INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF SONOMA COUNTY SonomaCountyInterfaith@sonic.net (707) 206-2650 Endorsed by: Interfaith Council of Sonoma County, First Congregational United Church of Christ – Santa Rosa, Congregation Ner Shalom – Cotati, Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, Redwood Forest Friends Meeting, Congregation Shomrei Torah – Santa Rosa, Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Santa Rosa, Islamic Center of North Marin, First Congregational Church of Sonoma - UCC, North Bay Organizing Project, Institution of None And All, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, Congregation Shir Shalom – Sonoma, and Presbyterian Church of the Roses – Santa Rosa
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    Created by David Hoffman