News and Action Summary for Friday, March 9, 2012

Check out the Actions, Events, Opportunities and Resources, and News Posts below-just click on the links under each category to get to the information. We’ve placed the most critical issues under Important Actions and Issues. To learn about how to keep informed between these updates, go to http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=9416.

As usual, we understand that there is a lot of information here and in the links provided for further information. Please know that you aren’t expected to act on everything! Just choose the issues that are most important to you and take action. Sometimes you will be directed to action pages of other organizations—don’t worry! These are organizations that we work with regularly and who share a common interest.

Please consider contacting your legislators to thank them when they support your position as well, or to express your disappointment when they don’t. We don’t follow up with them often enough. They need our feedback to understand how we feel. Go to our Take Action page (http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page630.htm) to find links to contact information for your legislators. 

Our website is updated regularly—please visit to find updated links, resources, etc. at http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org. It is a work in progress, and issue pages continue to be created as time permits. If there is something you would really like to see that isn’t there, please contact us at s.strauss@pachurches.org.

And finally—If you appreciate this ministry, we would very much appreciate your support; you can learn how by clicking here.

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URGENT ACTIONS

If you don’t have time for any other actions, please consider taking action on these issues!

Momentum Growing to Use AG Settlement Funds to Jumpstart HEMAP and Provide Funding for Housing Assistance—Call Your Senator to Support
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10393

Pennsylvania is on track to get about $68 million dollars for HOUSING – foreclosure prevention and mitigation, housing counseling, blight created by foreclosure, etc. We need to urge the Attorney General to use the settlement money as it is intended, for HOUSING, and to urge support of proposed legislation calling for this.

NEW ACTIONS

Urge Your Representative to Sign “Dear Colleague” Letter in Support of Funding for the Homeless
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10427

Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) has begun circulating a sign-on letter to her colleagues in the House of Representatives in support of providing $2.231 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. The deadline for U.S. representatives to join the letter is next Tuesday, March 13.

Urge Your PA Senator to Vote Yes on Special Education Legislation
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10401

SB 1115 is our reform legislation for special education funding and accountability. We have worked to enact these positive reforms for several years. We are now getting close to final passage.

Voter Suppression Law Passes in PA—Let Your Legislators Know How You Feel About Their Votes
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10504

Despite thousands of phone calls and emails in defense of voting rights, on March 7 the Pennsylvania Senate voted 26-23 in favor of a bill to mandate voter ID, which will disenfranchise tens of thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of Pennsylvanians.

Sign the “People’s Amicus Brief” to Protect the Affordable Care Act
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10478

As part of the legal process, the court allows stakeholders to share their insight on a case by submitting an amicus (friend of the court) brief. Signing the “People’s Amicus Brief” is a great way to show the justices that the Affordable Care Act is working and that you support it!

Urge PA Legislators to Oppose Legislation that Endangers Local Gun Violence Ordinances
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10455

The legislature is leaning toward giving the NRA special legal rights to sue Lancaster and 29 other Pennsylvania communities for trying to crack down on illegal gun traffickers and straw purchasers who buy guns for criminals.

Urge the President to Stop Aggressive Offshore Arctic Drilling
http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10484

Right now, Royal Dutch Shell’s drill ships are on their way to America’s Arctic Ocean to begin the most aggressive offshore Arctic drilling program in history – unless President Obama acts to stop them.

OTHER ACTIONS

Please visit our “Take Action” page at http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page630.htm for the most up-to-date listing of all current actions you can take by category. Categories include: New Actions; Children and Families; Economy and Economic Justice; Education; Environment; Global Issues; Government Reform; Health Care; Housing; Human Rights; Hunger; Immigration; Peacemaking; Torture; Trade; Women.

You can also check out our Weblog Take Action page at http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?cat=10.

Only the most urgent and newly posted actions will appear on http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page630.htm. All other ongoing actions will be posted by category (with appropriate links) on this same page.

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Important and Time Sensitive News!

So Much Happening: Here’s How You Can Keep Informed Between Updates

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=9416

Senator Casey Could Cast Vital Keystone XL Vote

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10397

PA Consumer Alert: Beware of Rapid Tax Refunds

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10371

How to Cover Everyone: Vermont's Single-Payer Success

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10515

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EVENTS 

For a full listing of events, go to the Events Calendar at http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?page_id=92.

Wednesday Lenten Protests at the Capitol

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10127

Events in the coming weeks:

Neighbor-to-Neighbor: Effects of the Shale Gas Boom—March 10, Lancaster

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10376

Make Your Congregation Stronger by Going Green—March 10, Harrisburg

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10336

Undocumented, Unafraid, and Unapologetic--March 14, Philadelphia

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10463

Marcellus Shale and the Challenges of Intergovernmental Cooperation--March 14, Pittsburgh 

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10344

Bread for the World Offering of Letters Central PA Training--March 15, Camp Hill

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10201

Philadelphia Budget Summit—March 16, Philadelphia

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10492

Pennsylvania Budget Forum—March 16, Bethlehem

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10420

Advocate Training Conference Call: Ensuring Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice System—March 22, National

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10519

Ecumenical Advocacy Days—March 23-26, Washington, DC

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=9827

Faith Communities Celebrating Inclusivity and Acceptance—March 25, Harrisburg

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10496

2012 Annual Housing Policy Conference and Lobby Day—March 25-28, Washington, DC

http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?p=10149

Newly posted events: http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page411.htm

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OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES TO LEARN AND ACT

We have a current listing of opportunities and resources to participate in national conference calls, calls for comments on policies or legislation, and activities that individuals/congregations can engage in aside from Actions.

For summaries of the most recently posted resources, go to http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?cat=2161.

For the most recent job, internship and fellowship postings, go to http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?cat=2295.

For the most recent information about grants, competitions, and places where you can plug in and become active, go to http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?cat=2296.

For a listing of Council-related resources go to the “Resources” link at http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page498.htm.

For links to organizations that address many of the Council’s advocacy issues, visit “Related Links” at http://www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/index_files/Page560.htm. This list is updated continually. Please report broken links to s.strauss@pachurches.org.

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NEWS POSTS 

Please visit our weblog (http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?page_id=24) for the latest news and information. For previous News Summaries, click on the “News Summaries” link on the right side of the page. 

Subscribe to our weblog via RSS (What is RSS?) or e-mail.

For the most recently added news posts, go to http://pachurchesadvocacy.org/weblog/?cat=2297.

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SUPPORT THE COUNCIL’S ADVOCACY WORK 

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Financial support for the Council’s Advocacy Ministry is always welcome! Go to our online support page at http://www.pachurches.org/Donations/donations.htm and enter “Advocacy Ministry Support” under “Comments.” 

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