Justice Ministry and Public Witness 

SURVEY POSTED IN PARISH HALL ~ PLEASE PARTICIPATE

The Justice Ministry Team requests the congregation to continue to discuss making a congregational justice statement. Also, that it be a public statement represented by a public banner or flag hanging outside our building on the side of Parish Hall, or other structures already used for public communication, or lawn signs.

Our intention is to show support for marginalized people in our neighborhoods. We are proposing a Task Force be created to continue to discern a message from the congregation specifically supporting marginalized groups who suffer from discrimination locally and nationally. This is in support of local and national efforts that have been made to move the conversation forward toward human rights and voting rights guarantees that are being violated in our country. A few people have volunteered, please contact Linda Clark if you would like to serve on the Task Force.

We understand that making a statement is part of a long process that would include future forums for our congregation and later the larger community. Small group learning opportunities will be provided. See our web site for on-line resources for self exploration. Discussion groups will continue. How and where signage could be displayed is another conversation, that needs simultaneous consideration.

This would not preclude any other discussions or efforts for community outreach and congregational growth.

We have initiated a non-binding survey to be taken during the next few weeks and on-line over the Summer. Please let us know personally as well so we will have some idea how to move forward together

We are in communication with other UU congregations who have hung banners to learn from their process and experiences We are guided by the resources of https://www.uua.org/racial-justice/history/jtw “Journey Toward Wholeness”, #BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism) Collaborative, and ARE (Allies for Racial Equity). We have made a pledge toward this justice ministry within our denomination by or half plate offerings: https://www.uua.org/giving/areas-support/funds/promise-and-practice .

We feel that our collective communication on the justice issues facing us today is important as spiritual practice and for community service. The communication among us is more important than any physical banner, yet we are hoping we can make statements of public witness in the near future.

 

 

Please indicate your range of agreement with the following by placing stickers beside the statements

Green = strongly support            Blue = support

Yellow = do not oppose        Red = strongly oppose

 

I support Public Witness for the Dignity and Worth of all persons (especially marginalized groups) in alignment with UU Principles & Values
  • Community Forums
  • Media coverage and articles
  • Signage

 

Language for public statement might include:
  • Science is real
  • No Human is Illegal
  • Black Lives Matter
  • LGBTQ & Women’s Right’s are Human
  • Rights
  • SIDE WITH LOVES
  • Kindness is Everything
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Possible Location of “Sign” or Banner
Outside Parish Hall under windows, large banner
Wayside Pulpit – corner of Howard Street & Church Street
Street Sign -now used for Service Titles 
Road Side Series 
You can place your dots on the poster in Parish Hall. We will also have an on-line poll as soon as we can carefully create it..

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Poor People’s Campaign

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Statewide Indivisible Calls to Action1) Help is needed from the people in Sen Chandler’s district to bring the We the People Resolution (Senate Bill 2243) to Vote. This Resolution would also lead to the Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Decision and help bring Campaign Finance Reform.

Please contact Senator Harriette Chandler and ask her to allow Senate Bill 2243, The We the People Resolution, to be voted on by the Senate. Senator Chandler’s phone number is: 617-722-1500. Her e-mail is: Harriette.Chandler@masenate.gov.

“I am tired and disgusted that Big Money and Corporations are allowed to pour unlimited money into our elections and influence our politics in favor of the rich and powerful. I am a constituent of your’s in the First Worcester District. Please allow Senate Bill 2243, the We the People Resolution , to be decided by a vote of the Senate. Thank you.”

2) Improve these bad MA House of Representatives bills

Call your state rep and ask that they improve the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and Solar bills that were recently reported out of committee. Ask them to contact Rep. Jeff Sanchez of House Ways and Means Committee to advocate improving these bills in 5 specified ways, below.

After that call Speaker DeLeo (617-722-2500) and make the same asks. We’ve come too far to settle for anything less than what is necessary. Let’s do everything in our power to bring this home.

Script: Hi, can I speak to a staffer in Rep [your rep]’s office?

My name is ___ and I’d like to ask that the representative speak to house leadership about the energy bills the Telecommunications, Utility, and Energy committee moved forward last week. These bills do NOT do enough to adequately advance clean energy. Specifically, I would like the Rep to advocate for 5 fixes:

1. A Renewable Portfolio Standard increase in H.1747 that gets us to 50% renewable energy by 2030 (that means a 3% RPS as soon as possible, not spread over 5 years)

2. Low-income and community solar regulations be added to H.2712 so that more people can enjoy the benefits of solar.

3. Department of Public Utilities reform, as outlined in H.3400, so we can finally end the pipeline tax.

4. The environmental justice measures contained in the environmental bond bill

5. Binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for 2030 and 2040.

Thank you

3) CALL Gov Baker and House Speaker deLeo’s office on immigrant protections passed by the state Senate!!!

After a substantive, 90 minute debate, Massachusetts Senate voted 25–13 to approve Sen.Jamie Eldridge’s amendment #1147, which adds four key protections for immigrants to the state budget for FY 2019. See below the list of Senators voting YES, and be sure to thank them if you haven’t already. The Senate also voted 25–13 to defeat Republican amendment #1136, which would have authorized police to detain immigrants for ICE. It was redrafted at the penultimate moment to include all 4 protections in Senator Eldridge’s amendment–a possible attempt to split the Democrat vote. But Senate allies stayed firm.

Now comes the hard part. A conference committee will be appointed in the next couple of weeks to reconcile the House and Senate budgets. We have the support of Senate leadership, but not the House Speaker, and certainly not the Governor, who wasted no time in declaring that he would veto these protections. He recently claimed that they would restrict law enforcement communications with ICE (they don’t) and that they would prevent Dept of Corrections (DOC) agreements with ICE (they don’t).

Things you can do:

Thank your Senator!

Call Speaker DeLeo to tell him you want him to include immigrant protections in the final budget. His number is (617) 722-2500.

Call the Governor at (617) 725-4005, tell him to to read the Senate budget amendment protecting immigrant families before criticizing it. Then let him know how disappointed you are that he can’t give pro-immigrant legislation the same fair shot he gives other legislation.

Sample language for your email to Governor Baker:

Dear Governor Baker,

I am grateful for the Senate’s leadership in adopting protections for immigrant families. You clearly did not read the amendment before criticizing it last Thursday. The Senate budget amendment does not restrict communications with federal agencies, nor does it prevent the Commonwealth’s Dept Of Corrections from working with ICE.

The Senate budget simply prevents police from asking about people’s immigration status; ends 287(g) contracts between sheriffs (not DOC) and ICE; requires that immigrants in custody be informed of their due-process rights; and ensures that Massachusetts does not contribute to any registry based on religion, ethnicity, citizenship, or other protected categories. Even the Senate Minority Leader included each of these provisions, word for wordin his own redrafted amendment.

I respectfully request that you accord this legislation the same respect you give other legislation, and let the conference committee do its work without prejudice.

Respectfully,

[Your name]

[Your address or town]

Senators who voted YEA for Senator Eldridge’s amendment: Barrett, Boncore, Brownsberger, Chandler (Senate President), Chang-Diaz, Collins, Creem, Crighton, Cyr, DiDomenico, Eldridge, Feeney, Friedman, Hinds, Jehlen, Keenan, Lesser, Lewis, L’Italien, Lovely (thank her, but tell her you were disappointed that she also voted for the Republican redrafted amendment), Montigny, Moore (Public Safety Chairman), O’Connor Ives, Spilka (Chair of Ways & Means), Welch

We still recommend:

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Even if you have just begun reading this book, you will have a new perspective. There is a Reading Group Guide beginning on page 614 which we will use to get our conversation started. This conversation will not be like a book report for school, this is a vehicle for greater understanding so that we might become better humans and allies.

The Warmth of Other SunsPreview book by Isabel Wilkerson – The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration is a highly acclaimed historical study which received the National Book Award for Nonfiction. WikipediaOriginally published: September 7, 2010 AuthorIsabel Wilkerson 
Linda Clark
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MARCH for Our Lives, Worcester

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Worcester Islamic Center Food Drive held December 10

We helped prepare welcome boxes for 200 area families, primarily refugees and other people in need.

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December 6 National Vigil to #EndGunViolence Held at Trinity Church. Northboro

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ONGOING ISSUES

Environment Justice, Women’s Rights, Workers Rights, Prison Reform and Against Gun Violence witness events are ongoing. Follow UU Mass Action on Facebook or http://www.uumassaction.org/  for great opportunities.Environment Justice, Women’s Rights, Workers Rights, Prison Reform and Against Gun Violence witness events are ongoing. Follow UU Mass Action on Facebook for great opportunities.

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Celebrate our Success! 

The Raise Up Mass coalition will deliver 272,000 signatures to the State Office on December 5th.
Congratulations to all! Paid Family and Medical leave and a $15 minimum wage will be a reality for millions of Massachusetts workers thanks to you!

Update on Criminal Justice Reform

The Criminal Justice Omnibus bills have both passed the senate and the house.Signed into law!

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Please sign the Declaration of Conscience on the UU Service Committee website! 

This is something you can do right now! I you haven’t already. You can sign as an individual. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make this Declaration as a congregation? Let’s talk about it. http://www.uusc.org

2017 SOULAR JAZZ FESTIVAL

Saturday, June 10, 2017

First Parish Northboro ~ A Day of Sun and Music http://soularjazzfest.com/  GRINGO KINGS: https://youtu.be/wvOTZNni4ks