Repairers of the Breach
Repairers of the Breach works to reconnect our shared faith traditions with public policies rooted in the moral values of justice, fairness, and the general welfare, which are embedded in the federal and state Constitutions; and train clergy and lay moral leaders and advocates to become fusion-movement leaders and to freshen the great wellsprings of our democracy based on past moral movements that have made possible the great progressive victories in our history.
New Campaign Campaigns
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.10,363 of 15,000 SignaturesCreated by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Dear Attorney General Sessions: Take a public stand for full restoration of the Voting Rights ActWe are alive again in a time of unprecedented attacks on the hard-won voting rights of African Americans and all people of color. Your new office at Main Justice—adorned with the photographs of influential, courageous civil servants—is a weathered but enduring symbol of the best and the worst of our nation’s history and the power of the law to protect those seeking to overcome the tyrannies of racism and inequality. Prior to passage of the Voting Rights Act, a predecessor of yours, Robert F. Kennedy, was sworn into the office as the 64th Attorney General in a time of national turmoil. The building housing your office now honors his name. Yet at that time, many predicted that he could not be a full friend to civil rights— that he could not identify with the plight of African Americans and those in the pits of poverty, living under the yoke of subjugation and centuries of oppression. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, though, made a choice. After far too many spilled their blood marching unbowed in defense of our children’s futures and our dignity, the Department of Justice did not sit out in the fight for Black political power and the fundamental right to vote. The Department of Justice took a side. It was the side required by the Constitution then, and it is required by the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act now. Where there was resistance to equal opportunity and equal rights for all citizens, Attorney General Kennedy’s Department, imperfectly, but in accordance with the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, the anti-poll tax Amendment of 1962—and then, instrumentally, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964—stood with the people fighting for our dignity, justice, and the soul of American democracy. Now, as then, not one of us can stand on the sidelines. Least of all the Department of Justice. It is our belief that we must choose which side of history we will inhabit, and that each new day and every new role we take on holds within it a possibility to choose the right side. As the newly-confirmed 84th Attorney General of the United States, the time to choose is now undeniably upon you. The Voting Rights Act, an act you hold chief responsibility to provide oversight for is not and never has been—as we believe you would now agree—“a piece of intrusive legislation.” This act is the heart of our country’s obligation to the martyrs of Selma and signals nationwide that racism will not control our country’s future. Your predecessor Robert F. Kennedy famously said, "Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." You are beginning on a new journey. As thousands gather in Selma on this historic occasion, as our chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Sessions, we call on you to stand now for fully restored voting rights, human rights, and for equal justice under the law. If you are willing, please reply affirmatively to this request. We welcome your endorsement of the immediate renewal of the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. If you are unwilling, we will not be moved in our determination to demand that we live up to the full promises and obligations of our Constitution and to stand with the people of these United States against the scourge of racism and for our deepest held moral values. In the struggle for Truth and Justice, The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II The Rev. Dr. Traci D. Blackmon Penda Hair, Esq. Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner Hank Sanders, Esq. Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner Irving Joyner, Esq. Sister Simone Campbell, SSS The Rev. Mark Thompson The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Jim Wallis Valarie Kaur The Rev. Noel Castellanos The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson The Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis The Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, Bishop Gene Robinson The Rev. Brian McLaren4,262 of 5,000 SignaturesCreated by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
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.13,133 of 15,000 SignaturesCreated by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II