California Church IMPACT has tried to build on the outstanding and inspiring work of Rev. William Barber in North Carolina who created “Moral Mondays” as a means of bringing faith and justice voices to that state Capitol.
We have encouraged you to work locally, to meet and lobby your state Legislators in your own districts. We have encouraged you to do that as “Faithful Fridays”, the day Legislators are most likely to be present where you live.
With respect to how we advocate in Washington, DC, we are taking a very different path.
Two days ago citizens were successful in stopping the House of Representatives from obliterating the office that oversees ethical issues. Calls flooded the House from every corner of America, and the vote of the full house never came to the floor.
We know that emails to Congress are not effective. Calls, however, are. Your voices matter – and we’ve just seen that in action.
We are facing challenges to every single thing most of us hold dear – abolition of health care, massive cuts to the social safety net, wrenching dislocation of Social Security and Medicare – things that will impact both the very poor and then all of us.
We are now encouraging each of you to participate in “Faithful Five Minutes”.
Calls do not have to be long or detailed. Calling Congress involves about five minutes – the time it takes to brush and floss your teeth.
Democracy requires more of us than just incidental engagement. It is not a spectator sport no matter how often we yell at the television. It’s upon us as citizens and advocates for justice to do more.
Please make Faithful Five Minutes a daily habit. Spread the word to your friends, family, congregation, and especially youth groups. One call, once a day on a topic of concern. You can change the world.
Are you worried you will be considered a crank? Well, that’s fine. So be it. Some years ago one woman contacted a California state senator almost daily over her insistence that he take up animal welfare as an issue. He brushed her off since that was not a concern upon which he focused. However, she called regularly, day after day, until finally – he did it! Her persistence paid off royally. He took up the issue partly to get her to stop calling but also because she taught him something about it. If that’s being a crank, all to the good!
With huge money in politics these days, the one things that overwhelms money is votes. If voters – citizens – speak up constantly the very force of their presence is more powerful than all the campaign donations in the world. Make clear what you believe and how that translates into support for your elected officials. It’s powerful.
Keep on with Faithful Fridays for California legislation.
Include a new daily habit with Faithful Five Minutes: eat your breakfast, take your vitamins, brush your teeth, CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.
Nothing could be easier.
“My name is______ I live at _________ I am part of the ____________ (church, denomination, organization). I want you to vote FOR/AGAINST________________. Thank you.”
We will send information on issues as they arise. For now, the issue at most risk is the Affordable Care Act. We sent information about it, but the message to your Representative simply is "I want you to preserve ACA and improve it. Do not change, or dismantle, or defund it."
To obtain your Representative's number, please go to: http://www.churchimpact.org/take-action.html
Be sure your address and/or ZIP are entered, and that will take you to your elected officials' home page.
To call the US Capitol and be connected to your Representative, call (202) 224-3121.
Simple, clear, your own voice raised for justice.
Faithful Five Minutes. It’s the new routine for a robust democracy.