At All Saints Church one of our core values is putting our faith into action. We believe our personal journeys of faith are informed by and made accountable to the world’s deep needs when we commit ourselves to the courageous and risk-filled work of peace and justice. We take action locally, nationally and globally on issues from hunger & poverty to marriage equality; from ending torture to building interfaith bridges of understanding; from peacemaking to immigration reform; from environmental sustainability to economic justice.
This week’s Action:
Each week we put our faith into action.
This Sunday we are writing our Senators and our members of the House in support of the Democracy Is for People Constitutional Amendment.
Recent Supreme Court decisions concerning money in politics have:
- Equated corporations as people,
- Equated spending money as speech, and
- Lifted all limits on how much individuals or corporations can contribute to campaigns.
The most recent ruling, McCutcheon v. FEC, allows just a handful of ultra wealthy donors to donate nearly 50 times the earlier limit in an election cycle. McCutcheon puts party policy and politics in the hands of a few hundred people privileged only by their wealth, not by the quality of their ideas. This corrosive system will result in a government for the highest bidder, instead of, by and for the people.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table and on line: Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Members of the House.
Additional materials are also available for download:
- Democracy is for People Amendmentt
- Citizens United Explained
- House Cosponsors of the Amendment
- Video The Story of Citizens United v. FEC (approximated 5 minutes)
On April 6 we wrote our Senators and our members of the House in support of H.R.3892, The Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights.
It includes a range of important upgrades to our system of financing higher education, including restoring basic consumer protections—such as bankruptcy protections and a statute of limitations for collection of student loan debt—as well as changes to give student borrowers greater purchasing power and greater peace of mind. The bill would boost our economy while strengthening the rights of citizens.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table or you can download them here:
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Members of the House
We encourage you to add your own comments.
Summary of HR3892 The Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights.
On March 30 we wrote the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) regarding their proposed regulations governing solitary confinement in California prisons.
The proposed regulations do not appear to alleviate current conditions. This new reform effort still maintains the basic conditions at Pelican Bay, and will continue to keep prisoners in isolation for vague gang affiliation based on artwork, literature, communications, or informants’ testimony that does not meet California's judicial standards for reliability in criminal trials. We urge the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reconsider these regulations and move towards a system of humane incarceration.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table along with a Factsheet. We encourage you to add additional comments based on one or two items from a “List of Problems with the STG/SDP” that is also available on the Action Table. Click on the links to download the Action Table materials.
On March 23 we wrote the California state legislature in support of Senate Bill 899, which will repeal the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule in the CalWORKs program to assist families in need.
Current state law prevents parents receiving assistance through CalWORKs from receiving an additional grant for any child born to the household while any member of the household is receiving aid. SB 899 will end the MFG rule, protecting the health and safety of infants and children born into poverty and ending the state’s practice of inserting itself into the private reproductive and medical decisions of poor families.
Here are a copy of the letter and a fact sheet.
On March 16 we wrote our representatives in the California state legislature in support of two bills that would help reduce gun violence in California.
The first bill is AB 1964 that will ensure that all handguns purchased through a dealer in California will meet all safety and firing tests and contain all state required handgun safety features. The bill would close a loophole in current law that allows any person to purchase a semi-automatic handgun if it was previously modified to be a single shot weapon. These modifications are easily undone after the sale of the gun.
The second bill is SB 53 that will establish a system to record and monitor the purchase of ammunition. California has enacted legislation designed to keep guns out of the hands of those legally barred from owning them, but it has done little to regulate the purchase of the ammunition that fuels gun violence.
Here are a copy of the action letter and fact sheets on AB 1964 and SB 53.
On March 9 we wrote our representatives in the California state legislature in support of SB 970, which would define and limit the use of solitary confinement on minors at state and county juvenile correctional facilities.
“Juveniles sent to solitary are more likely to reoffend, more likely to commit suicide, and more likely to suffer a lifetime mental illness. Its widespread use is counter-productive and shameful, and this bill will finally bring some common sense restrictions to its practice.” (Quote from Sen. Yee, bill sponsor and a child psychologist)
Please sign a letter to your State Senator and Assemblymember. They are available at the Action Table or you can download them here.
Background Flyer on SB 970
On March 2 we wrote our representatives in the United States Congress in support of two pieces of legislation designed to counteract some of the damage done by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
The two bills are:
- The Government by the People Act in the House, H.R. 20, and
- The Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate, S. 2023.
Both acts would set up a system of public financing for House and Senate candidates by providing matching funds to small donations on the condition the candidate foregoes large donations. Please sign a letter to your Senators and House member.
The letters are available this Sunday at the Action Table, or you can download them here: Sen. Boxer, Sen. Feinstein, House of Representatives. An informational flyer is available here. You can also sign an online petition at People For the American Way.
On February 23 we are petitioned the new FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, to save Internet Neutrality.
A federal appellate court has recently struck down the FCC’s Open Internet Order and internet providers are now free to discriminate—block or slow down—any web site or application they choose. We are asking the FCC Chair to reverse the Bush Administrations deregulation of internet providers and reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service, which will give the FCC the legal framework to regulate it, and implement new open access rules that will save Net Neutrality. Protecting our basic freedom is fundamental to all economic and social justice issues.
Please sign a petition at the Action Table or sign the online petition at Credo Action.
Click on the following links to see more information on this issue:
Net Neutrality Background Flyer
Candace Clement: Five Epic Fails in the FCC’s New Net Neutrality Plan
Paul Krugman: Barons of Broadband
On January 19 we asked parishioners to sign letters to their members of the U.S. House and a petition to California’s Senators and Congressional Leadership calling for a revival of the Voting Rights Act.
Last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act requiring pre-approval of changes in voting law in certain jurisdictions. It has been announced that a bi-partisan group of legislators will introduce legislation next week to restore pre-approval and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. This week we ask you to sign a petition to our Senators and Congressional leadership and a letter to your member of the House asking them to support this legislation.
A copy of the letter to House members is available here. You can also sign an online petition at People For the American Way. A link to a USA Today news article on this is available here. A blog post with comments on the proposed legislation from the NAACP and Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network is available here.
On January 5 we asked parishioners to sign letters to their members of Congress supporting a social and economic justice agenda in the new legislative session and, specifically, support the renewal of extended unemployment benefits.
Congress failed to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program before they left for vacation. The result? Three days after Christmas, 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans lost their unemployment benefits. If Congress doesn't act now, 2014 promises to be a very bad year for the long-term unemployed. 3.6 million more people will lose what little income they have. This doesn't make it any easier for them to find jobs. It means evictions, foreclosures, children without school clothing. And it means money taken out of a still-fragile economy.
Sign letters to your member of the House, Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein. You can also sign a petition supporting extended unemployment benefits at the following website: Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
On December 22 parishioners signed letters to Congress asking that they oppose granting “fast-track authority” to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP).
The TPP is a major international corporate trade agreement being negotiated by our government and a dozen other nations largely in secret. Granting the Trans-Pacific Partnership such fast-track authority without fully vetting is undemocratic, and would allow this trade agreement to bypass much of the legislative process, including public hearings and amendments, before coming to a vote. Trade agreements like this have major environmental, human rights, and economic justice implications that must be fully reviewed before approval.
Sign letters to our members of Congress and for more information about this trade agreement. Here are letters to House Members, Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Boxer. You can also use this link to CREDO Action for this.
Here are links to the following fact sheets and articles:
Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know about the Trans Pacific Partnership
Fact Sheet: Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority
Article: The People Can Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Article: Why Do We the People Have to Read TPP on Wikileaks?
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
On November 10 we asked that you contribute to relief for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
On September 8 and 15 we asked you to raise your voices on the impending military action in Syria and contribute to relief for victims of the Syrian civil war through ERD (Episcopal Relief and Development). You can still take action through the links below.
To donate online to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) use this link to the ERD website.
If you saw the wonderful presentation by Sr. Diane Donoghue of Nuns On The Bus in the Forum on June 16 and would like to support their efforts at immigration reform, you can do so by going to www.nunsonthebus.org.
On February 2 we sent letters to the LA County Board of Supervisors asking them to renew support for Homeboy Industries. If you would like to learn about Homeboy Industries or donate to them, you can use the links below:
Los Angeles Times article on Homeboy Industries
Donate to Homeboy Industries
Find Your Representatives
You can find your member of the United State House of Representatives at www.house.gov.
You can find your member of the California State Assembly at www.assembly.ca.gov.
You can find your member of the California State Senate at www.senate.ca.gov.
You can find your member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors at http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/OnlineDistrictmapApp/.
Volunteer for the Action Table
If you would like to help with the Action Table ministry by giving 15 or 20 minutes of your time after one of the Sunday services, please use this Doodle link to sign up. Thank you.
For more information, visit the Peace & Justice pages and explore where your deep gladness meets one of the world’s deep hungers – and join us in putting your faith into action.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare," is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
One of the great peacemaking challenges of our time is the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and All Saints Church’s long standing commitment to peace with justice has called us into that challenge.
We asked the Rev. James Lawson, a key strategist and organizer of the Civil Rights Movement, and close advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to teach us about nonviolence in a very successful Lent study group of over 100 people. Many All Saints members also participated in a series of workshops he led on Nonviolent Civil Disobedience. Economic Justice and Nonviolence Working Groups emerged separately out of these sessions, and were later combined to maximize capacity and collaboration. This group was mandated to create opportunities for Peace & Justice ministries to implement principles of both economic justice and nonviolence in their work of service, advocacy, and equipping.
All Saints Church stands firmly against torture. We have joined forces with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to urge Congress to create an independent commission of inquiry into investigate U.S. torture policies and practices.
We are -- all of us --in some sense immigrants and sojourners, strangers in a strange land seeking a homeland. Some of us or members of our families have personally experienced hardships and, at times, unspeakable indignities, in coming to America.
At All Saints Church we are committed to the proposition that peace and justice making are not options for the world’s great religions. Rather peace and justice making are central mandates for us all the world’s great religions.
All Saints Church is proud to have been in the forefront of the struggle for marriage equality in the State of California just as we have been in the forefront of LGBT equality in the Episcopal Church.