- Abolishing Colorado’s Death Penalty
We could all use a bit of good news, and we are happy to share this with you. On Monday, Colorado Jared Polis signed into law a bill abolishing Colorado’s death penalty, and also commuted the sentences of the three men currently on the state’s death row. This is in line with Catholic teaching and with our own corporate stance asking for a repeal of the death penalty.
- Fracking Companies Bailout
It’s time to take a stand against the Trump administration’s latest move to prop up polluters. Citing economic instability amid the coronavirus outbreak, the administration is considering a plan to give fracking companies a massive bailout.
Fracking is damaging to the environment, releasing harmful greenhouse gases, spilling toxic chemicals, and disturbing wildlife with heavy equipment. If the Trump administration succeeds in bailing out these fracking companies, the environment we love and the climate we share will be at even more risk from this harmful form of fossil fuel extraction.
- The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
All in-person “We Must Do MORE Tours” have been canceled.Three digital mass meetings will be held, one each month in March, April and May.
The first of these digital mass meetings will be this Thursday, March 26, at 8.30pm ET/ 5:30 pm PT. Please join us for the Poverty Amidst Pandemic: Everybody’s Got A Right to Live Digital Mass Meeting, featuring testifiers from Arkansas, Washington, Kansas and Missouri.
During the mass meeting, we ask all attendees to commit to shine a light on poverty by lighting a candle in remembrance of those who have died from COVID-19 and poverty. Tune in at Facebook.com/ANewPPC
- 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge
Food Solutions New England network will launch a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge on March 30.
The Challenge is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of race and racism in our food system and about inspiring ways to dismantle racism and build an equitable food future that works for everyone.
Those who sign up for the Challenge will receive an email prompt each morning with a short reading, video or podcast.
Peace & Justice Weekly Updates
Join Dominican Sisters of Peace as we strive to bring PEACE and justice to our world in this post-truth era. Each week, our Justice Promoter will share important information (including action alerts, prayer opportunities and much more) that will help you to spread peace in your own local community and our world at large.
– Colorado is the 22nd state to *abandon* the death penalty! The bill repealing the death penalty passed last month, and Governor Polis is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
- Click here to sign & share the petitions for upcoming executions in Alabama and Texas.
- Plan now to participate in other protests, such as the 27th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court, and/or the next Tennessee March4Mercy on May 31 in Nashville. Click through to order postcards you and your community can send to Governor Lee.
– The “New Way Forward Act” would roll back immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities.
The New Way Forward Act would:
- Reduce mass incarceration by ending mandatory detention and banning for-profit immigration jails.
- Allow immigration judges to consider a person’s individual circumstances during deportation proceedings, allowing more people to remain with their families and move forward with their lives without fear that an old offense could lead to deportation.
- Allow independent federal judges to review certain decisions of immigration judges that the 1996 laws unfairly tried to remove from judicial oversight.
- End federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions for people who cross the border seeking freedom, safety, opportunity, or to reunite with their families.
- Advance racial justice and address obstacles to equal justice in the criminal legal system by limiting deportation for drug convictions and other offenses that result from enforcement that disproportionately targets communities of color.
- Protect communities and local resources by ending the harmful practice of local police acting as deportation agents or carrying out mass deportations with ICE.
- Allow people previously ordered deported to apply for the opportunity to come home.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance has created a petition that calls on Democratic candidates to sign the New Way Forward Act into law within their first 100 days in office. Click here to sign the petition.
– The Eco-Justice Committee notes that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si on care for our common home. Materials for the celebration of those events will be sent to Motherhouses, Retreat Centers, Eco-Centers/Farms, ODU, Albertus and Dominican high schools in the next few days.
The information is drawn from the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Eco-Justice Committee.
– The March issue of “Stop Trafficking” has been released by the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Click here to read.
Mobilize in March for Dreamers
Senators will be in their home districts March 16-20. This is an important opportunity for you to visit with your Senator and talk to him or her about protecting DACA recipients.
On November 12, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments on the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and is expected to issue a ruling on the legality of the DACA program in late April-June.
The Catholic Bishops continue to express their support for Dreamers and sent letters to the House and Senate supporting legislation to protect these young people from deportation and family separation.
- Please use these talking points to plan what you say to your Senator. You can also print and leave behind this DACA backgrounder in your own meetings.
- Need help on how to set up a meeting? Click on this link for “How to Set Up an In-District Meeting with your Lawmaker.“
Support a “National Bureau for Gun Safety”
The Justice Conference of Women Religious is calling for a National Bureau for Gun Safety that would lead a campaign to reduce gun deaths based on proven public health practice. Please consider signing the petition provided calling on Congress to create this important bureau.
There is a successful precedent for this action. In 1966, faced with rapidly rising motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths on our roads, the National Highway Safety Bureau (NHSB) was created to promote and implement safety technology and practices, such as seat belt use, as well as to support research into causes and contributing factors. This approach has been credited with reducing motor vehicle mortality by two-thirds over the subsequent thirty years.
Now, we must direct this strategy towards one of the deadliest threats we face today, preventing deaths at the hands of gun violence. Gun violence kills 40,000+ people a year. In the wake of shooting after shooting, we’ve got to figure out the root causes and how to prevent the next tragedy before it happens.
The National Bureau for Gun Safety (NBGS)’s mission would be to lead and coordinate a multidisciplinary, multifaceted campaign to reduce gun deaths based on proven public-health practice. NBGS would be run by experts in public health, medicine, engineering, communications and law enforcement, and:
- Be transparent and nonpartisan;
- Take the lead in setting the nation’s research agenda and developing, testing and implementing safety technologies;
- Set out legislative priorities for saving lives;
- Oversee campaigns to encourage behaviors likely to reduce gun injuries and;
- Direct priorities for enforcing gun laws, in concert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Sign the petition: Congress must establish the NBGS to reduce gun deaths. Click HERE to sign.
Stop the Death Penalty
The Death Penalty Action Center is calling for action on pending executions by signing petitions provided in the links enclosed. The center also provides information on upcoming legislation on the death penalty. Please take a minute and respond to the requests for action. This is a good follow up action to our corporate stance on the death penalty.
- Petitions for Pending Executions (TN, AL (new) & TX (new) ) Sign & Share Now!
- Paused Executions With Active Petitions (TX, TX, FL & TX)
- Active Legislation (AL, CO, DE, IA, OH, UT, VA, WV, WY)
- Upcoming/Ongoing Campaigns & Protests (TN, DC, Federal)
Mobilize for Dreamers in March
Please show your support for Dreamers by encouraging your representative to protect Dreamers!
Our Catholic Bishops continue to express their support for Dreamers and have sent letters to the House and Senate supporting legislation to protect these young people from deportation and family separation.
As the SCOTUS DACA decision date approaches, we ask you to continue to voice your support for Dreamers with your Senators in local meetings during the Congressional recess next month, which is March 16-20, 2020.
- Use the talking points that CSMG attendees used in their Hill meetings and leave behind the DACA backgrounder in your own meetings.
- Need help on how to set up a meeting? Click on this link for “How to Set Up an In-District Meeting with your Lawmaker.“
The latest edition of the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, Stop Trafficking, focuses on the role of race in trafficking. Click here to read the February issue.
Object the Use of Landmines
On January 31, 2020, President Trump lifted the restrictions on the use of landmines by U.S forces. This decision reverses a 2014 Obama administration ban on the use of such weapons.
Allowing the use of landmines puts countless lives at risk in areas at war or previously at war. As the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor noted in a report last year, 71% of the casualties caused by landmines in 2018 were civilians.
For further details please click on this link.
Please contact President Trump on the White House comment line by calling (202) 561-1111 or click here to send an email.
A Letter from the Border
Sister Esther Calderon has sent an update regarding the effect of the “Remain in Mexico” protocol enacted by the Administration last year. Border Patrol has been returning at least 30 people a day back into Nogales, Sonora (Mexico) with orders for these families to report to Ciudad Juarez to begin their asylum hearings. The families must not only find a way to travel the 350 miles unassisted from Nogales to Juarez in time for these scheduled hearings, but must also find a way to survive within Mexico with little to no resources.
Human Rights First documented 636 publicly reported cases of kidnapping, gang rape, torture, assault, and other violent attacks against asylum seekers and migrants returned to Mexico—likely only the tip of the iceberg. Among these were 138 kidnappings or attempted kidnappings of children.
Speak out Against an Unfair “Peace” Plan
The release of President Donald Trump’s long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian “peace plan” took place yesterday during a joint Trump-Netanyahu press conference. All the Israeli apartheid deniers, from Sheldon Adelson to Jared Kusher to mayors of the West Bank settlements, were in the room as Trump and Netanyahu announced a plan for even deeper repression of Palestinian rights. It has blown open the door for Israel to complete its theft of the West Bank. Congress must act immediately.
Palestinians had no say in the process. They rejected the plan in advance and have made clear that their rights, dignity, and lands are not for sale.
The plan calls for:
- Annexing almost all of the West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley;
- Rejecting the Palestinian right of return;
- Carving the West Bank into swiss cheese such that no contiguous Palestinian state could ever be possible;
- Insisting that Palestinians accept a permanent status where they have no control over their borders or their self-determination.
Speak out against “peace plan that isn’t” by clicking here, or by calling your representative.
Suffering at the Border
Norma Pimentel, a sister of the Missionaries of Jesus, and executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley sheds light on human suffering she is witnessing at the border as a result of the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP). Click here for her letter to President Trump following his State of the Union address.
The latest issue of the STOP TRAFFICKING is now available. Please click here to read.