ELCA Advocacy Connections

Travel ban extended
On Jan. 31, 2020, the Trump administration announced an expansion of the January 2017 travel ban to include more countries in Africa and Asia. Under the new policy, citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan will be barred from applying for visas to immigrate to the United States. The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act would address this executive action and assist those of us escaping perilous or life-threatening situations. Support for the NOBAN Act can be facilitated in a current Action Alert (below).
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POLICY NOTES

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Girls’ education
On Jan. 28, the House of Representatives passed the Keeping Girls in School Act, a bill that seeks to strengthen U.S. international programs by reducing education barriers faced by millions of girls around the world. The bill calls on continued U.S. government and private investments to ensure quality and equitable education, promotes girls’ empowerment and streamlines existing programs.

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Disaster aid for Puerto Rico
The House of Representatives passed legislation to provide an emergency aid package for Puerto Rico in the wake of ongoing earthquakes and aftershock damage to the island. Support for this emergency aid in the Senate is the subject of an Action Alert (below), which emphasizes the lowest-income families in the greatest distress and the pressing need for authorizing proactive disaster policies for the greater United States.

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Fair housing rule
In January the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule that would weaken oversight and national data on fair-housing initiatives in low-income communities of color. Under the new proposal, the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule would be rendered almost completely ineffectual. Before March 16, use the Action Alert (below) to make a public comment discouraging implementation of the change.

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ELCA partners with 2020 Census 
The ELCA is an official partner of the 2020 Census as we work toward a just world where all are fed and further our commitment to greater justice in public policy and the electoral process. More than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities is based on census data. An accurate count determines electoral maps and ensures that resources more justly go where they are needed most, including to vital programs that combat poverty and hunger and support people in need.

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ACTION ALERTS

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SUPPORT THE NO BAN ACT
New travel restrictions placed on additional countries as introduced on Jan. 31 by the Trump administration compel us to speak out.

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TAKE ACTION ON DISASTER AID FOR PUERTO RICO 
The Senate is poised to take up an emergency aid package for Puerto Rico in the wake of ongoing earthquakes and aftershock damages to the island.

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ADDRESS FAIR HOUSING IN OUR COMMUNITIES
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed weakening oversight and national data on fair-housing initiatives in low-income communities of color. Public comments are open through March 16.

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PEACE NOT WALLS 
Against the backdrop of escalating tensions, urge Congress to constrain our country’s militarization of the Middle East. Also, find response to President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan in a Peace Not Walls blog post (Jan. 29, 2020).

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DATES OF NOTE

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ELCA CARING FOR CREATION AMBASSADOR TRAINING
Synod and congregational green teams as well as individuals are invited to take part in a webinar training to equip us to talk about climate change and its impacts for the church and advocate for climate solutions locally and nationally. Registration will be announced on Facebook. Hold the date!
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ECUMENICAL ADVOCACY DAYS
Registration is open! The ELCA is a sponsor of this D.C.-based opportunity for worship, education, training and advocacy activity. This year’s theme is “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored” and interfaces with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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