ELCA Advocacy Connections: August 2019

POLICY NOTES

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August Recess advocacy opportunities
During August Recess, senators and representatives return to their state and/or congressional district and reconnect with constituents. This is a great opportunity for local advocates to engage with elected officials, ask questions and share concerns.

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Limits proposed to SNAP hunger program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in mid-July plans to narrow food assistance eligibility for low-income families. The drafted rule would tighten Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit access to people applying through “broad-based categorical eligibility.”

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Keeping Girls in School Act introduced
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a new bill seeking to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance programs are designed to address the barriers preventing millions of girls around the world from attaining education called the Keeping Girls in School Act of 2019.

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Faith-based presence around U.N. climate conference 
Interfaith events are being planned around the U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called on leaders to come to New York Sept. 23 with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Federal budget deal reached
Lawmakers in Congress and the administration reached a deal to raise federal budget caps and the debt ceiling, which was signed by President Trump Aug. 2. The bipartisan agreement raises limits on discretionary spending by $321 billion over two years.

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Standing against #ChristianNationalism
The ecumenical letter opposing Christian nationalism was released last week with the launch of the “Christians Against Christian Nationalism” campaign. More than 9,000 Christians have already signed, and momentum is strong.

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Hunger Advocacy Fellows
We are grateful for the six Hunger Advocacy Fellows who are concluding their yearlong positions this summer of transformative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed.

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Visiting Washington, D.C. 
Over 100 students, pastors and young adult groups visited the ELCA Advocacy office in Washington, D.C. this spring and summer to participated in direct advocacy. Visitors joined us in a range of activities.

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ACTION ALERTS

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RENEW CHILD NUTRITION REAUTHORIZATION THIS YEAR
*NEW* Our congregations, ministries and members have seen first-hand the important place of the Summer Meal Program in fighting childhood hunger. Therefore, we urge renewal of child nutritional programs on a firmer foundation.

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URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE KEEPING GIRLS IN SCHOOL ACT 
*NEW* A bipartisan group of lawmakers have recently introduced the Keeping Girls in School Act of 2019, a bill designed to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance programs address the barriers preventing millions of girls around the world from attaining education.

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URGE CONGRESS TO PASS THE GLOBAL FRAGILITY ACT
A bipartisan group of lawmakers have recently introduced the Global Fragility Act of 2019, seeking to improve the capacity of the United States government to identify and address root causes of violent conflicts around the world.

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TAKE ACTION TO SECURE FUNDING FOR HUMANE AND JUST IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
Migrants should not be penalized for seeking a safer and better future for them and their families. 

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DATES OF NOTE

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“GOD’S WORK. OUR HANDS.” SUNDAY
Tools available for making advocacy in service to our neighbor part of your congregation’s participation.

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CLIMATE EMERGENCY: FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS RAISING AMBITION – LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND
A faith-based organization consultation around U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019.