News and Action Summary for September 19, 2014

Download a pdf version of the September 19, 2014 News and Action Summary!

News Summary 9-19-14

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News Posts, September 19, 2014

Here are news articles posted since the previous News and Action Summary:

Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the 2013 Poverty and Income Data

Healthy PA Costs More, Delivers Less than Medicaid

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Opportunities for Funding, Competitions, and Places Where You Can Get Involved—September 19, 2014

Here is a current listing of opportunities including contests, grants, and efforts that you can join in Pennsylvania and nationally:

View Disruption Film on Climate Change—Free Online

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Newly Posted Resources—September 19, 2014

Here are the most recently posted resources available for individuals and congregations:

Poverty Fell in 2013; Children and Young Adults Still Face Greatest Risks

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Tell the President the Torture Report Should be Released with Reasonable Redactions Only

From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (

The CIA, backed by President Obama, continues to resist making public all of the key facts about its past use of torture.  This short video describes the history and the importance of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report.  Please share it widely with your faith community, friends, and family.

TAKE ACTION: Negotiations over the redactions in the Torture Report continue.  After you share the video, write to the President and your Senators at making clear that the report should come out soon with only reasonable redactions.

Thank you for helping us make the Torture Report public.

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Pursuing the Spiritual Roots of Protest—September 29, Lancaster

From Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness (

In November, 1964, the giants from that generation of peace activists met at Gethsemani Abbey in the hills of Kentucky to discern a faithful Christian response to the war and injustice of the ‘60s.  Thomas Merton hosted the retreat; he was joined by A.J. Muste, Jim Forrest, Tom Cornell, Dan and Phil Berrigan, John H. Yoder, and others.  Pursuing the Spiritual Roots of Protest, written by Gordon Oyer, remembers and reclaims the spiritual roots of their radical practice of Christian discipleship.

Join Oyer as he recalls this seminal event and discusses his book at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 29 at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, 432 East Chestnut Street, Lancaster PA  17602. Event free and open to the public.  Sponsored by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, Mennonite Central Committee-East Coast, Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness, Christian Peacemaker Teams and 1040 for Peace.

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Americans in Struggle Film Series

From the Philadelphia Unemployment Project (

Celebrating the struggles of the American people that have made us the nation we are today.

Tuesdays at 6 PM

Community College of Philadelphia, Winnet Student Life Building, 17th below Spring Garden, Room S 2-3

Refreshments from 5:30

9/30 The Borinqueneers- The story of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the only all-Hispanic unit in U.S. Army history, recently awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama

10/14 Mississippi: Is This America?- This is the 50th Anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer, where people from all over America confronted violent racism as they came to work with Black Mississippians to fight for the right to vote and be represented in the political process.

10/28 Brothers on the Line- Narrated by Martin Sheen, Brothers on the Line is the award-winning documentary exploring the social justice crusade of the Reuther brothers whose social justice movement, under the banner of the United Auto Workers, helped to transform the landscape of the nation.

11/11 Paycheck to Paycheck- As the fight for higher wages and a fair minimum wage heats up, this film illuminates the challenges faced by more than 42 million low wage American women and the 28 million children who depend on them.

11/25 1971- The story of Philadelphia activists, who in 1971 broke into FBI offices in Media, PA and uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.  In our current age of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, this documentary couldn’t be timelier.                

Sponsored by Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO,   SAG/AFTRA, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Reformation, Fight for Philly, AFSCME DC 47,  AFT Local 2026

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Please Support EPA’s Proposal to Restore Clean Water Act Protections for our Vital Water Resources

From PennFuture (

For almost 30 years, the Clean Water Act provided broad protections for waters across the country, but two misguided Supreme Court decisions have created confusion about which waters are protected, leaving small streams and wetlands vulnerable to pollution. These waters contribute to the drinking water supply of 117 million Americans and 8 million Pennsylvanians.

Now, the EPA has proposed a rule, based on the best available science, that will restore Clean Water Act protections to these important waters. Go to to contact your Congress member and EPA.

What the rule does:

  • Clarifies which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act.
  • Protects streams and wetlands that reduce flooding, filter pollution, provide wildlife habitat, and contribute to groundwater recharge.
  • Saves businesses time and money by minimizing delays in the permitting process.
  • Preserves all historical agricultural exemptions and exclusions.

What the rule doesn’t do:

  • Does not protect any new types of water that haven’t historically been covered by the Clean Water Act.
  • Does not regulate land or land use.

The big agricultural lobbyists say we don’t need more protections for our waters but they’re just wrong. In a four-year period, over 1,500 major pollution investigations by EPA have been discontinued because it was too time consuming and costly to prove jurisdiction.

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Action Alert: Ferguson Looks Like a War Zone; Here’s Why…

By now we have seen that the tragedy of institutionalized racism and brutality in this country continues to play out in Ferguson, Missouri. Read J. Herbert Nelson’s A Call for More Than Judicial Remedies to the Killing of African-American Boys and Men.

We have repeatedly watched how police in Ferguson are treating the people they are supposed to serve and protect as the enemy. Armed with weapons and riot gear, the police officers look like they’re coming from a war zone. Their equipment did.

The Ferguson Police Department received military-grade equipment — free of charge — from the Pentagon as part of the 1033 program. And they’ve been using the weapons and gear against protestors following the police shooting of Michael Brown, and unarmed 18-year-old.

Urge your representative to stop the Pentagon from sending weapons of war to local police departments at

Military equipment makes it too easy for police officers to think of their communities as the enemy. In a criminal justice system where young black men are too often presumed guilty (see: stop and frisk, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration), that’s just one more step towards a tragedy like this one.

Representative Hank Johnson (GA-4) is about to introduce legislation that would stop local police departments from getting weapons designed for war from the Pentagon.

Urge your representative to cosponsor legislation to keep military-grade weapons off our streets.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Michael Brown’s family and the people of Ferguson.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information Session and Free Legal Assistance—September 22 and October 18, York

From the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (

Information Session: Monday, September 22, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Free Legal Assistance: Saturday, October 18, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, 925 S. George Street, York

For information about DACA, eligibility screening and appointments please contact Maria Sotomayor at (215) 832-3482. Visit for more information and a list of upcoming events in your area.

Partners: Church World Service, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York

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