Speaking faith to power

Thanks to Mary Getz and the Episcopal Public Policy Network for this handy summary of the actions of our just-completed General Convention on public policy issues. Resolutions call upon Congress to act on the following issues:


Criminal Justice: Support legislation that provides comprehensive access to DNA testing to all accused and convicted individuals in order to identify wrongly imprisoned and true committers of a crime.

Civil Rights for the LGBT community: Support the extension of federal laws to ban employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation and encouraged local, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination based upon gender identity, and declaring violence based upon gender expression a hate crime.

Education: Support policies and funding priorities that support equity in public education for all young people.

Environment: Commit the United States, along with other nations, in lowering the atmospheric carbon (CO2) by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, supported U.S. government subsidies to renewable energy equal to non-renewable energy subsidies, urged a federal standard in which electricity suppliers must acquire 20% of energy from renewable sources, and supported U.S. government programs that promote environmental stewardship.

Equal Rights Amendment: Support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

First Use Military Action: Renounce its 2002 policy that asserts the right to act, by armed force if necessary, to “forestall or prevent” threats even if “uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.”

Health Care: Pass legislation this year guaranteeing universal health care and insurance for every American citizen, including provisions that would cover persons with pre-existing conditions such as HIV/AIDS, and working towards a single payer system. Also, give the best possible care to our veterans.

Immigration: Pass comprehensive immigration reform, including conditional legal status for undocumented youth, called for an end to sudden Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids which separate families, called attention to the unacceptable conditions within immigration detention centers and declared that measures should be taken to provide humane living conditions, and asked that immigration law enforcement return to Federal Immigration Agents.

Labor Law: Pass legislation designed to better protect employees seeking to engage in collective bargaining, to simplify and streamline the procedures by which employees may choose to organize, and to assist employers and employees in reaching agreement.

Native Americans: Support federal tribal recognition for tribes included in S. 1178: Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009, and in addition, the United Houma Nation of Louisiana, the Shinnecock Tribal Nation of New York, the Southeastern Cherokee Council Inc. of Georgia, the Native Hawaiian Nation, and the Brothertown Nation of Wisconsin.

Regulation and the Financial Crisis: Support government regulation of banking and financial institutions in order to protect the middle and lower classes hurt by the recent financial crisis.

Torture: Devise and implement truth and reconciliation-based methods of accountability to make transparent to the American people governmental practices of torture and extraordinary rendition.


Debt Cancellation: Extend cancellation of debt to additional heavily indebted impoverished countries that have not previously qualified for debt cancellation and include strong safeguards to ensure that the money will be used to combat extreme poverty. Call upon the U.S. Treasury Department to prevent the practice of vulture funds.

Haiti: Increase disaster and developmental assistance to Haiti; extend trade preferences for Haitian exports to the United States; and designate Temporary Protected Status to Haitian immigrants living in the United States.

Iraq: Consider deeply the voices and concerns of the Iraqi people in determining our continuing relationship with that sovereign nation.

Nuclear Arms: Explore a moratorium on production of new nuclear arms.

Pakistan: Together with the international community, provide basic care for the people of Pakistan who have fled their homes, both those who are refugees and those who are internally displaced

Sudan: Ensure the faithful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) including holding the parties to the CPA accountable for its fair and transparent implementation, the fair resolution of border disputes, the equitable sharing of resources, and the carrying out of safe and fair elections.

Trafficking: Support legislation intended to assist victims of trafficking, especially women and children, recover and reintegrate into society in a respectful and safe manner.

Victims of International Gangs: Urge the US Government and UN to extend international refugee conventions and national immigration norms to provide relief to victims of criminal gangs.

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