Today, we present our ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of September. Please read below for important information on ELCA Advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., across the country and throughout the world. To read the full version of the update and for more information on advocacy efforts from our Lutheran State Advocacy offices, visit our blog!
ELCA Advocacy, Washington D.C.
ADVOCACY ON “GOD’S
WORK. OUR HANDS.” SUNDAY: On Sunday, Sept. 9, we look forward to celebrating
the ELCA volunteer day of service and action, “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. This
year, ELCA Advocacy has shared advocacy resources, including a sample letter to Congress supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act and a Voting Rights Fact Sheet. Be sure to check out all the resources and
activities on the “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
REGISTRATION: Tuesday, Sept. 25, is National Voter
Registration Day. The day draws attention to voter registration deadlines
across the nation and encourages prospective voters to sign up, check their
status or volunteer for further democratic participation. Additionally, new #ELCAvotes resources
will be released later this month, including:
new Bible study that looks at instructive parallels between the early church
community found in Acts 4 and how we vote our faith values in society; and
voting guide for people facing homelessness, including congregation resource
tips on facilitating voter registration.
Be sure to check ELCA Advocacy social media
in the coming weeks for #ELCAvotes engagement around #ELCAvotes!
BILL UPDATE: It is a crucial moment in the
legislative process for the farm bill as it moves to the conference committee,
and many important policies dealing with local efforts against hunger and
international food security are at stake. A farm bill fact sheet on international
food aid will be distributed by ELCA Advocacy later this month. Additionally, faith leaders from certain states are joining a petition to Congress, urging their lawmakers to support a farm bill that
reduces hunger and improves nutrition.
“PUBLIC CHARGE” RULE:
ELCA World Hunger and Advocacy are monitoring a rule change being considered by
the Department of Homeland Security. Historically, the U.S. government has
restricted immigration applications if it is determined an immigrant would be a
“public charge,” that is, they would likely depend on cash assistance or
long-term medical care. The rule expansion will raise barriers for people to
obtain and maintain legal immigration status in the U.S. if they or their
dependents access public benefits.
to the ELCA World Hunger blog written by an Advocacy staff member highlights the
short period for public comment. Those of us active in hunger-related ministry
are encouraged to consider the potential impact and prepare to comment in opposition
to this rule.
Lutheran Office for World Community
|UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Ms. Espinosa (right) is congratulated by Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, following her address to the General Assembly. Also pictured is Secretary-General António Guterres.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: On June 6, the General Assembly elected
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés president of its
upcoming 73rd session. She is only the fourth woman to hold that position and
the first since 2006. Espinosa Garcés noted that she is also the first woman from
Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the Assembly.
Garcés has previously been minister of foreign affairs and human mobility, minister
of defense, and coordinating minister of cultural and natural heritage. She was
the first woman to be named permanent representative of Ecuador in New York,
after having served as ambassador in Geneva. She said, “As you know, I am also
a poet as well as a politician. As such, I am fully aware that no view is
useful if we do not see, and no word has value, if we do not listen. I will be
ready to listen to you all and work for, and with you.” Read her vision
Garcés has published more than 30 academic articles on the Amazon River,
culture, heritage, development, climate change, intellectual property, foreign
policy, integration, defense and security. She has also published five volumes
of poetry and received the Ecuadorian National Poetry Prize in 1990.
ASSEMBLY SPECIAL EVENTS:
forum on a culture of peace
meeting: Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
25 – Oct. 1 General debate
Sept. 26 High-level
plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total
Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Sept. 26 High-level
meeting on the fight against tuberculosis
Sept. 27 High-level
meeting to undertake a comprehensive review of the prevention and control of
APPOINTMENT TO U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: U.N.
Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Michelle Bachelet of Chile the
next U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. In September, she will succeed
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan.
Bachelet ended her second
four-year term as president of Chile in March 2018, having already held the
position between 2006 and 2010. The
first woman elected to Chile’s highest office, after her first term, she joined
the United Nations as the first executive director of the newly established U.N.
Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N.-Women).
A long-time human rights
champion and ground-breaking leader, Bachelet is a pediatrician who began her government
career as an adviser in the Ministry of Health, rising quickly to become the
first woman to lead the ministry in 2000 and its Defense Ministry in 2002.
She became involved in Chilean
human rights activism in the early 1970s. She and her parents were political
prisoners, and her father, a general in the air force, died in prison. After
their release, Bachelet and her mother spent several years in exile. She
returned to Chile in 1979, finished school and became a pediatrician and public-health
advocate. Bachelet also studied military strategy at Chile’s National Academy
of Strategy and Policy and at the Inter-American Defense College in the United
Lutheran state advocacy efforts across the country
Find out all about the vast and incredibly important work and top priorities of Lutheran state advocacy networks across the country by visiting the ELCA Advocacy Blog.
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