Justice Updates – November 19, 2019

A focal point of our democracy is the right of every adult to vote. Sadly, there are constant challenges and threats to this right.  The League of Women Voters is asking us to contact our representative and ask him/her to support H.R.4,the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA). According to the LWV, “More than 50 years ago, we saw the most sweeping advancement to voting rights with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made racially discriminatory voting practices illegal.  Since the court’s decision in 2013, voters across the country have faced issues at the ballot box including unlawful purges, shortening of voting hours, and the closing of polling places in communities with large populations of voters of color…. The VRAA will strengthen our democracy by ensuring that race is not a factor in determining who has access to the ballot box.” Catholic Social Justice affirms that it is the right and responsibility of each and every person to participate in the political process. No individual or community should be disenfranchised by federal policy. Tell your Representative that you support H.R. 4 by dialing 888-496-3502.

Almost a million children could lose free lunch because of a SNAP rule change.  The change, first announced over the summer, would eliminate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP, as the food stamps program is now known, for more than 3 million people by eliminating something called broad-based categorical eligibility, a policy that gives states the flexibility to waive some asset and income limits for households that receive both SNAP and other welfare benefits. To learn more, click here.

Human Rights Watch reports that loopholes in US labor law make it legal for children as young as 12 to work unlimited hours on farms of any size with parental permission, as long as they don’t miss school. There is no minimum age for children to work on small or family farms. New research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reinforces just how dangerous agricultural work is for children in the United States – and how unprepared most are for what they face in the fields. More US child workers die in agriculture than in any other industry. Every day, 33 children are injured while working on US farms. And they receive frighteningly little safety training, making their work in demanding environments even more dangerous.

Count us in. Watch this one-minute video about why the census is important. 

Fossil fuels and extraction industries have caused massive damage to our environment.  The recent Amazon Synod addressed these issues.  Here are key take-aways from the synod:

  • A concept of “ecological sin,” which is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 340-344, says that the Creator established the world as a web of dependence. When we break that web, all are harmed, and we turn from our Creator’s love.
  • We have compassion for the people who have been victimized by ecological sin, and especially for the indigenous people who suffer invaded, degraded lands and broken families.
  • Divesting from fossil fuels and reducing our overall dependence on fossil fuels, as well as living more simply and sustainably, are concrete ways to recover from this sin.
  • Our God is merciful, and we can recover. Integral ecology, which sees the deep connections between how we relate to God, each other, and our common home, is the way forward.

There hasn’t been a federal execution in 16 years but the administration has stated they will being executions again. As support for the Death Penalty is waning, this moving in the wrong direction. Please call your President Trump and Attorney General Barr that you are opposed to capital punishment.  Read how hundreds of victims’ relatives are asking the administration to stop this.

We hear with more and more frequency people killed in gun violence. More than 34,483 individuals have been killed in 2019.  We don’t often hear of those who were injured but their trauma continues long after the shooting are passed. Read about the survivors of the El Paso Walmart shooting.

Will we have to stop eating hamburgers?  Scientists say we should shift away from carbon-intensive beef toward poultry, fish and plant-based food and toward agricultural practices and food preparation that make the meat we do eat more sustainable.  Here’s what they say.

Need a little fix of joy?  Here’s something beautiful. Bay Area youth activists are creating 15,000 butterflies to stand in solidarity with the migrant children who have been and are currently in U.S. detention centers.  You can act also.  Read about The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful.



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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