Happy New Year!
We at California Church IMPACT hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and will have an excellent New Year to come.
Now – we have to get to work.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate resume work today in Washington. First item of business in the Senate is restoration of long-term unemployment insurance. As of December 28 over 1.3 million people found their benefits cut off meaning they have no income now at all. Nothing.
Over the next few months even more people will lose that benefit. That is a massive hardship for individuals and families who have long been looking for work unsuccessfully.
There are those who think unemployment compensation is a recipe for indolence, for sitting home watching television and munching bon bons.
To receive unemployment compensation, you must actively be applying for jobs and be able to prove it. It is those who have lost benefits who are most likely to be so discouraged – and to have no money for gas or bus fair or computer access – that they stop looking and descend into sadness and depression.
We who look to the government to put that ‘hand under the elbow’ during hard times believe this cut is deeply immoral in its disregard for our fellow citizens. By implying that they are lazy we dishonor them. By asserting that it is better to take a terrible minimum wage job of any kind, we ask them to harm their families with less income than they might get if they keep looking and stay on unemployment. These are not reasonable excuses for these cuts. They are political statements about whom and what we value – and it’s not those already living on the thin edge.
Please contact your Representative and your Senator urging him or her to reinstate long term unemployment assistance. The economy is beginning to improve at the “Main Street” level. This is not the time to cut off our neighbors and make their lives worse instead of better.
Of course charity helps. It is not enough. We require justice that helps systematically, over the long term, is not dependent on our individual whims about donating. Justice is what is reliably present to feed, house, and clothe those who are in need on a daily and regular basis.
For justice’s sake – speak out for the unemployed!
To contact your elected federal officials, please go to:
Be sure your correct address and/or ZIP have been entered, and this link will take you to your elected officials.
Please send them the message that you want them to reinstate long-term unemployment assistance now because this is how a democracy and a compassionate society cares for those in distress. We must help them through the hard times.
It is the enduring way we are our brother’s and our sister’s keeper.
Help make other people’s New Year as hope-filled as your own. Please email, call, or FAX your Representatives and Senators today.