• 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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  • It is just to investigate allegations against Brett Kavanaugh before final vote
    Without a proper investigation, the Senate Judiciary Commiteeman and the full Senate can not possibly render a just and informed opinion on the standing of Kavanaugh as a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Evidence could include witnesses accounts, medical records, and other sources that we can not possibly know of at this time. The Supreme Court renders decisions that impact every aspect of the day to day lives of all Americans. It is unfair to rush an appointment through without deference to collecting the facts that will allow a reasoned vote for or against a person being considered for such a position of power for decades to come. The American people deserve to know that any SCOTUS justice has the highest legal and moral integrity in serving the country in such an impactful way.
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  • Pro-life Evangelicals Call for A Pause in Culture War
    Evangelicals, fueled by the political strategies of the Religious Right, have long eyed the Supreme Court as a battle site in the war to overturn Roe v. Wade. President Trump has chosen Judge Brett Kavanaugh from a list hand-picked by far right-wing organizations, rather than the non-partisan American Bar Association, which had vetted nominees for nearly every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination poses grave danger to the rights and protections of historically marginalized communities. If the Senate confirms his nomination, his confirmation would entrench a conservative majority, posing an existential threat to the civil rights and protections of people in the only growing segment of the evangelical church: evangelicals of color. Conservative majority rulings have already whittled away voting rights, undermined desegregation, and weakened protections against police brutality. As evangelicals, we say no! Abortion rates for American women are at an historic low but have increased among poor women because economic hardship is the primary driver of abortion. The way to reduce abortion is not by escalating culture wars but by reducing poverty. We now call on all evangelicals to Pledge to Pause the culture war by taking three actions: 1. FAST for God’s discernment after 35 years of a culture war mindset. We recognize that three things happen in war: * There are only allies and enemies, no human beings. * You cannot be wrong in war. You are always right. The other is always wrong. * There is always collateral damage in war. 2. LISTEN to the stories and testimonies of the people of color in the pew right next to us. 3. ACT on our prayerful, informed discernment by calling our Senators to demand they replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy with a moderate independent Justice. Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121 Download the #PledgetoPause toolkit and start today: https://freedomroad.us/2018/07/pledgetopause/ --- Lisa Sharon Harper is the founder and president of Freedom Road, LLC, the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed, "The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right," and an Auburn Senior Fellow. [1] Supportive statements from evangelical women: https://freedomroad.us/2018/07/evangelical-women-culture-war/ [2] Supportive statements from evangelical men: https://freedomroad.us/2018/07/calltopause/
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  • We Challenge Trump’s Evangelical Defenders To Live TV Debate About Faith & Public Policy
    As you can watch here (https://on.msnbc.com/2NX9ryx), MSNBC has offered to host this round table on faith in the public square. Please either respond to their producers who have reached out to you or let us know an alternate public venue in which you prefer to “give an answer for everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have,” as Scripture says we must always be prepared to do (I Peter 3:15). Sincerely, Bishop William J. Barber, II, Pres. & Sr. Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis , Co-Director, Kairos Center for Religion, Rights & Social Justice Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director, School for Conversion
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  • Carmela Libre: Stop the Deportation of Carmela and her 4 Children now!
    SANCTUARY/SANTUARIO On December 13th, 2017, Carmela, Fidel, Keyri, Yoselin and Edwin took the prophetic and bold step to enter into Sanctuary at Church of the Advocate, a member congregation of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. “I am taking Sanctuary to fight for my family, to protest our deportation orders and the injustices of the immigration systems. Everybody deserves to live with dignity and safety,” said Carmela. El 13 de Diciembre del 2017, Carmela, Fidel, Keyri, Yoselin y Edwin tomaron el paso audaz y profético de tomar Santuario en la iglesia Church of the Advocate, miembro del Nuevo Movimiento Santuario. “Estoy tomando Santuario para luchar por mi familia, para protestar nuestras ordenes de deportacion y las injusticias de los sistemas de inmigracion. Todos merecemos vivir con dignidad y seguridad,” dijo Carmela. CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE/IGLESIA CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE Drawing on its long legacy of organizing for social justice, the Church of the Advocate is responding to the mounting attacks on immigrants and other communities of color by joining the movement to build Sanctuary for all. The Church is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a National Historic Landmark, and is well known for providing spiritual enrichment, social services, and community programming in Philadelphia. It is also the site of the ordination of the first female priests in the Episcopal Church in 1974. Basada en su largo legario de organizar por la justicia social, la iglesia Church of the Advocate está respondiendo a los ataques contra los inmigrantes y otras comunidades de color uniéndose al movimiento para construir Santuario para todxs. La Iglesia esta el en Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos, es un Sitio Nacional Histórico, y es muy bien conocida por proveer enriquecimiento espiritual, servicios sociales, y programación comunitaria en Filadelfia. También es el sitio de ordenación de las primeras sacerdotisas en la Iglesia Episcopaliana en 1974. CONTEXT/CONTEXTO Deportations continue to wreak havoc in immigrant communities as the Trump Administration has increased immigration arrests by 45%. The federal administration explicitly targets “Sanctuary” cities such as Philadelphia, and it has stripped young people, refugees, asylees, and other populations from conditional relief programs like Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and DACA. Asylum law, even when applied to its full extent, does not protect the lives of people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by violence and poverty exacerbated by U.S. foreign policy. Las deportaciones continúan causando estragos en las comunidad inmigrantes mientras la Administración de Trump ha incrementado los arrestos de inmigrantes por el 45%. La administracion federal explicitamente ataca a las ciudades “Santuario” como Filadelfia, y ha robado a lxs jóvenes, refugiadxs, recipientes de asilo, y otras poblaciones de programas de relieve condicional como el TPS y DACA. Las leyes de asilo, aun cuando son bien aplicadas, no protegen las vidas de las personas que han sido desplazadas de sus países de origen por la violencia y la pobreza exacerbada por la política exterior de los Estados Unidos.
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  • The Open Internet is Under Attack. We Vow to Protect It.
    Two years ago, millions of us rose up in a movement to protect the open Internet, and we won. The open Internet is a space where all of us -- no matter the content of our beliefs, color of our skin, size of our wallets -- have an equal voice. We will not let President Trump's appointee overturn net neutrality protections. In this critical time, we need net neutrality now more than ever to fight and defend the future of our democracy. Our marches, vigils, petitions, and calls to action depend on organizing on an open Internet. So we vow to continue to champion faith and moral voices in the fight to protect the open Internet as a moral imperative. We, as people of many faiths and backgrounds, ask lawmakers to do the right thing as a moral imperative.
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  • Faith Leaders to President Trump: Don’t Use Religion to Discriminate
    The religious freedom upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. The draft executive order flies in the face of that rich diversity by enshrining one religious perspective--on marriage, gender identity, health care, and the role of houses of worship in partisan politics--into law, above all others. This is neither what religious freedom means in the eyes of the law, nor what religion itself means to millions of Americans of faith. The religious freedom of individuals and organizations, including that of clergy and houses of worship, is already protected by the First Amendment and federal law. Additionally, we as clergy and faith leaders, stand by the right of anyone to hold beliefs that may differ from our own. But for many of us, supporting LGBTQ individuals and families is a principle of our faith, and that needs to be respected as well. Furthermore, freedom of religion guarantees us the right to hold any belief we choose and to act on our religious beliefs, but it does not allow us to harm others in the name of those beliefs. We are appalled by the widespread discrimination that this draft order would unleash across all areas of life--including in some cases with taxpayer dollars--on our congregants, our neighbors, our families, so many Americans we may never personally know, and indeed even many of us personally. As people of deep faith committed to a country that supports robust religious expression, and in the spirit of equality and justice, we urge you to return to the true meaning of religious freedom. We must never allow this precious freedom to be used to discriminate against broad swaths of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care. We urge you to refrain from issuing this executive order or any substantively similar policies on their own, or as amendments to existing executive orders. Sincerely, Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life, Washington, D.C. Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Washington, D.C.
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  • We Declare Revolutionary Love as the Call of Our Times
    We, people of faith and moral conscience, reclaim Valentine's Day as a Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising. We resist all executive orders and policies that put people in harm’s way. We commit to fight for social justice through the ethic of love -- love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. On Valentine's Day, we will rise up across the U.S. and around the world in music, poetry, dance and action to declare that #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times.
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  • We Support Civil Disobedience as #MoralResistance.
    The President has directed our government to construct a wall on our southern border, punish sanctuary cities, facilitate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and construct a pipeline despite the protests of indigenous people. He has made statements to roll back voting rights and police brutality protections. Most recently, he closed our borders to refugees for 120 days and has banned all immigrants from select Muslim-majority countries for a period of time -- a de facto Muslim ban. Altogether, these policies target people for who they are, not anything they have done. The danger of this presidency is no longer hypothetical -- it is happening now. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King wrote that all nonviolent campaigns have four steps: collecting evidence of injustice, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. The President's executive orders confirm evidence of injustice. Faith leaders have continued to ask for a meeting with no response. Many of us have fasted, prayed, or meditated in self-purification. (You can take this 6-hour meditation with Repairers of the Breach on how to prepare for moral resistance: http://www.breachrepairers.org/moralresistance). We are now ready. People of faith and moral conscience around the nation are preparing for direct actions to protest the laws and policies of this administration. We pledge to support nonviolent civil disobedience as a form of #MoralResistance. We will learn about the moral framework for civil disobedience and choose a role for ourselves, whether as protesters, medics, legal observers, witnesses, or care providers. We will train in civil disobedience as practiced and perfected by thousands before us. And we will show up in the time, place, and manner we are needed. Nonviolent civil disobedience is grounded in the ethic of love – for others, opponents, and ourselves. When people use civil disobedience to protest not just a single policy but widespread injustice, then this act of love becomes revolutionary. It can change a community, a culture, even a country. #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times. We pledge to answer the call together.
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  • Dear Mr. Trump: Will You Advance a Moral Agenda?
    Pursuing a more perfect union is serious work for any human being. We want to pray for you because we know this is an especially difficult task today. In the prophetic tradition, we want to exhort and challenge you because you cannot do this work alone. Our sacred text honored by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike declares we must do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. America’s Constitution begins “We the people…” because it points toward a form of government that requires a broad and engaged coalition of citizens in order to thrive. We want to pray and point towards these essential goals. Mr. Trump, we hope it is your desire to be successful. Success is measured by how we welcome the stranger, care for the sick, care for the poor, and care for the hungry in practice and in policy. In order to be successful in the eyesight of God, leaders must repent when they are wrong, and they must be committed to promote that which is rooted in justice and good will. As clergy dedicated to the care of souls, we know you can neither succeed in a way that pleases God nor fulfill the duties of your office unless you repent. All of us, even persons who hold powerful positions, are called to repent when we violate the deep principles of love, justice, and mercy towards all, especially the least of these. Since your election, our communities have been fractured by harassment and intimidation. People of color and religious minorities are afraid. Poor working people who you appealed to in your campaign are disappointed that you have attacked their union leaders while appointing Wall Street elites who use them to your Cabinet. We are deeply concerned by the policy vision that your Cabinet selections suggest. After inviting Steve Bannon’s white nationalism into the Oval Office, you nominated Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department—a man who did not receive Senate approval for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of his long history of racial discrimination in Alabama. If he maintains his past positions on civil rights and voting rights, he could overturn and undermine years of victories and protections secured and signed in the blood of the martyrs. Equally insulting to African-Americans is your nomination of Ben Carson, a black man with no experience in government or housing, to head HUD. But race can never be separated from class in America. We are equally concerned about Andy Puzder’s resistance to the movement for a living wage, which impacts over 60 million Americans and 54% of all African-Americans. We are concerned about Tom Price’s expressed commitment to repeal the ACA and take away healthcare from people with preexisting conditions, veterans, and nearly 30 million Americans. We are troubled that you have chosen several people to lead federal agencies that they have publicly attacked in the past. Both this nation and the rest of the world desperately need your heart to grow into a source of courage, so you might work with all people of goodwill to uphold the most sacred moral principles of our faith and constitutional values, which are: 1. Protecting and expanding voting rights and ending voter suppression and unconstitutional gerrymandering. We must also pursue women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, labor rights, religious freedom rights, all with a commitment to the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law. 2. Pro-labor, anti-poverty, anti-racist policies that build up economic democracy through employment, living wages, the alleviation of disparate unemployment, a just transition away from fossil fuels, labor rights, affordable housing, direct cash transfers and other support for all families struggling to get by, and fair policies for immigrants; and by critiquing policies around warmongering that undermine our moral standing and ability to address domestic issues; 3. Equality in education by ensuring every child receives a high quality, well-funded, constitutionally diverse public education, as well as access to community colleges and universities and by securing equitable funding for minority colleges and universities; 4. Healthcare for all by expanding Medicaid in every state, ensuring access to Medicare and Social Security, moving decisively towards a universal, transparent, and equitable healthcare system, and by providing environmental protection and protecting women’s health; 5. Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown and poor white people and fighting the proliferation of guns; We do not believe that these are left or right issues. They are right or wrong issues. And while we know no human being is perfect, we wish to speak with you about these moral issues because far too much is at stake for you to succumb to your worst demons while in public office. Our faith calls us to love all people but this love can never refuse to tell the truth and stand against hate, systemic racism, and economic inequality. We cannot simply congratulate you on your victory and say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. We are bound by our vows to tell the truth in love and stand together for justice, love and truth. As this tumultuous year draws to a close, we will hold a National Watch Night service on December 31st at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC. We will gather to remember the enslaved people who came together to celebrate the possibility of a more perfect union of the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Like them, we will also enlist free women and men to fight for freedom and justice for all people in 2017 and beyond.
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  • 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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