The Advocacy Action team has been busy! Each month, we have brought to our Second Sunday Tables items of concern. We have asked for your signatures on letters and petitions, and you have come through, expressing resounding support on our actions.
We’ve been active in supporting—or opposing—local ballot measures. Thanks to your signatures, voters will now have a chance to support the Portland Clean Energy Fund in November. This month, we spoke out against Statewide Measure 105 which would rescind Oregon’s decision to remain a sanctuary state, and we collected your signatures on a petition in support of EMO’s ballot argument against Measure 105, which will appear in the Voter Information Booklet.
Members of the congregation signed a letter to the Portland Business Alliance asking them to reconsider their support of the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos Bay, Oregon. We also petitioned City Hall to institute a ban on plastic straws, an action the City Council is currently considering (see below).
Other actions have included the recent letter to the Secretary of the Interior objecting to the weakening of the Endangered Species Act; a letter to the Secretary of Commerce urging him not to require citizenship status to participate in the 2020 Census; and several letters of appreciation to our senators and representatives for their continued support of the Dream Act.
Additionally, we’ve taken several other actions continuing to fight Jordan Cove, and we collected signatures on a letter to the Federal Communications Commission protesting the merger of media giants Sinclair and Tribune. Your signatures truly make a difference, and we encourage you to continue to stop by our Second Sunday Tables to make your voice heard.
Here are three current and upcoming actions which you may already have heard about from the pulpit, the General Convention, or in news about November’s ballot:
From the pulpit: Rev. Mark Allen spoke about it on Earth Day, and there’s an action you can take to help the City institute a ban on plastic straws. Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is developing a strategy to reduce the use of plastic straws and other single-use plastic service items, such as cups, utensils and take-out containers. Learn ways to cut your own plastic consumption or give your feedback by going to www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/reduceplastics through September 15.
On the ballot: Your signatures helped put the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) on the November Ballot. The measure will create local funding for renewable energy projects while creating living-wage jobs for people who often face challenges gaining employment, including minorities and people with disabilities. Funding would come from a 1% surcharge on large retailers in the Portland area (those with gross revenues exceeding $1 billion nationally and $500,000 in Portland). Watch your bulletin for an October Forum featuring a speaker on this ballot measure.
From the General Convention: Millions of people living in the West Bank and Gaza rely on U.S. and U.N. assistance and now face a humanitarian crisis. The Trump Administration is withholding two years’ worth of funding for aid to Palestinians that has already been approved by Congress. Without this financial assistance, USAID and the non-governmental organizations it supports will be unable to provide the economic and humanitarian aid which is helping to keep people alive. On October 14, the Advocacy Action Team will have a letter to Congressman Earl Blumenauer for parishioners to sign asking Congress to release these funds.
The Advocacy Action team is growing, but we welcome fresh voices! To join our lively discussions, contact co-chairs Cheryl Braginsky or Marili Reilly (firstname.lastname@example.org). We meet at St. Michael’s at 7:00 pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month.