Justice Action Bulletin: Faith in Action wants to motivate voters

This article appears in the Justice Action Bulletin feature series. View the full series.

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U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds" perform the Low Bomb Burst during the Cleveland National Air Show, Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 4, 2011. (U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Larry Reid Jr.)

Editor's note: Welcome to NCR's Justice Action Bulletin, where every Tuesday we bring you the latest news on active nonviolence in the service of peace and justice. Do you have news you would like to share? Contact Maria Benevento at mbenevento@ncronline.org.


WASHINGTON — Faith in Action, a faith-based grassroots organizing network formerly known as PICO National Network, announced a nationwide campaign to engage voters ahead of this year's midterm elections.

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The campaign, described in an Aug. 23 press release from Faith in Action as a "Multi-Faith, Multi-Racial Voter Education and Turnout Program" pledges to contact 1 million voters before the midterms in order to encourage people to vote, form leaders and build support for key ballot measures.

The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action, named "voting rights, sentencing reform, livable wages, family leave, public education, and access to affordable healthcare" as issues that might have the greatest impact voters, particularly communities of color.


CARBONDALE, Colorado — An immigrant mother of three was able to leave sanctuary in the parsonage of Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist in Carbondale, Colorado, after the church sheltered her from deportation for 10 months, the Denver Post reported Aug. 23.

Sandra Lopez, who is undocumented, still has an order for removal, which her lawyer continues to fight. She has lived in the U.S. since 1998 after fleeing violence and poverty in Mexico. Her husband and her three children are U.S. citizens.

Lopez was protected from removal while she lived in the church because immigration officials typically don't conduct enforcement actions in "sensitive" locations such as churches. She decided to leave sanctuary when she received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement saying she was not a priority for deportation.


SEATTLE — Catholic groups, including several religious communities, who have teamed up to influence gun companies by buying stock in them, have filed a shareholder proposal with the American Outdoor Brands Company, owner of gun brand Smith & Wesson.

According to an Aug. 23 report from The Trace, a news organization focused on firearms, the group is asking the company's board to issue a report focused on "the company's activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products."

In particular, they are asking American Outdoor Brands Company to monitor violent events involving its products, make an effort to research and produce safer guns and assess "reputational and financial risks related to gun violence in the U.S." The proposal points out that in the current climate, weapons manufacturers face increased scrutiny that could harm business if they don't show they are taking responsibility for reducing risks.

The company has argued that monitoring violence wouldn't reduce harm and that "smart gun" products would be difficult to develop and unpopular with consumers. Shareholders will vote on the proposal during their meeting Sept. 25. The proposal is very similar to one submitted and passed by gun company Ruger in May.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Catholic Worker is participating in nearly a week of action against militarism against using warplanes as entertainment at the Cleveland National Airshow and a witness to "hope for the beloved community," Cleveland Peace Action announced in an Aug. 24 press release.

The six days of action began Aug. 27 and are scheduled to last through Sept. 1. They will include a daily afternoon action at the Federal Building with themes such as "U.S. Military Budget and War Tax Resistance," U.S. involvement in the conflict in Yemen, the war in Afghanistan, the Kings Bay Plowshares' action against nuclear weapons and the Cleveland National Air Show itself.

The group also plans an evening vigil Aug. 31, and a "Funeral Procession & Witness against Warplanes as Entertainment" Sept. 1.

[Maria Benevento is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is mbenevento@ncronline.org.]


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