Missouri nuns to ride their own bus

Missouri nuns are going to ride a bus around the state next week. Well, really, we are going to ride a van, visiting the offices of our state representatives to talk about the Republican budget and our responsibilities toward the poor.

Of course, we might not meet any of the representatives themselves, just members of their staff. But local constituents will be part of the delegation. We'll try to visit a food pantry or housing project operated by sisters to better understand local needs. And then we will make the case for food stamps, job training and Medicaid.

Missouri is suffering from the drought, and rural Missouri is poor. To the surprise of the pundits a few years ago, rural voters supported the increase of the minimum wage. They and their children worked for the minimum wage. For a few days, we'll listen to what they are thinking and needing today.

We're going to try to get on local radio. When I drove to the prison last week, one radio station had a guest describing his yard sale. I want to be on that station.

Right now I'm trying to arrange logistics. Where will who stay at night? What time will we arrive where? Who is writing the press release? How do we get to the food pantry in Licking?

I got arrested with Sojourners in Washington, D.C., some years ago, in front of one of the House office buildings, to make the point that the budget is a moral document. All I had to do then was show up with my state ID and $50 fine to hand over to the D.C. police after I was booked. Now my task is a little more difficult: to make participation smooth and well-planned for my sisters.

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