News and Action Summary for Friday, March 25

This weekend is Ecumenical Advocacy Days!


Please watch over the next two weeks for more information about Pennsylvania’s budget and what you can do to advocate for a more just budget that doesn’t leave our most vulnerable residents behind.


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.


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 ( to find links to contact information for your legislators.


Our website is updated regularly—please visit to find updated links, resources, etc. at 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


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




Support a Drilling Tax for Pennsylvania

Governor Corbett’s proposed budget would force severe pain on Pennsylvania families and small businesses by slashing state funding for basic and higher education, social services and other vital programs. Meanwhile, the multi-billion dollar natural gas industry, including some of the largest and most profitable corporations on the planet, gets a free pass from paying the same drilling tax they pay in every other major gas-producing state.


Urge Your Legislators to Stop the Billion Dollar Cut in School Funding!

The Governor’s proposal would reduce the primary budget item supporting public schools by $550 million, or 9.5 percent.  Along with local property taxes, this is the major source of funding for the entire educational program of Pennsylvania school districts.


Urge Your PA Senator to Oppose School Voucher Legislation

SB 1 is a bill to create taxpayer-funded vouchers for low-income students to attend private schools, parochial schools, or other public schools. The Pennsylvania Council of Churches has taken a position opposing this legislation.


Put a Face on Cuts to Important Programs for Our Members of Congress

Constituent groups need to “put a face” on the discretionary program cuts proposed in HR 1, the House-passed appropriations bill that funds government programs for the remainder of FY2011. These cuts would be devastating to millions of vulnerable persons nationwide.


Happy Anniversary Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act!  Celebrate by Sending Postcards, Signing Petition—Petition Deadline Extended to 3/28

What better time than an anniversary to send a card demonstrating broad public support for health care reform?  Send cards from members of your community of faith – this week, or next week, or six weeks from now. And please sign the petition—we want to make sure our elected leaders know what we like about health reform.


Corporations Are Not People—Learn More and Take Action

For more than a year, you’ve been hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. Good government organizations have taken the lead in moving for reforms that will prevent corporate takeover of our elections.




Urge Congress to Protect the Clean Air Act

Elected officials are trying to undermine the Clean Air Act and limit its ability to regulate the very pollution that contaminates the air. This is particularly alarming for low-income communities, communities of color, children and the elderly that are mostly likely to bear the burden of toxic chemicals from power plants.


Support Modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act

Our current chemical policy fails to ensure chemicals are safe or to remove dangerous chemicals in baby bottles, furniture, or even shampoo. By updating our policy, we can remove the most harmful chemicals and ensure chemicals are safe for people everywhere.


Urge PA’s Senators to Protect the World’s Poorest

Recently a group of ONE members delivered a petition on Capitol Hill (with more than 124,000 signatures) that asks the Senate not to cut cost-effective, life-saving programs that fight HIV/AIDS, hunger and preventable disease—programs that make up less than one percent of the entire U.S. budget. You can join them in making an impact.


Sign Petition Calling for Strengthening Background Checks for Gun Purchases

Last week President Obama broke his silence on the issue of gun violence and the flow of illegal firearms that fuels it. Sign a petition supporting President Obama’s message and calling on Congress to keep illegal guns out of dangerous hands by improving the national background check system.


Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining: Urge Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Clean Water Protection Act

In just a few weeks, more than 150 citizens from Appalachia and across the U.S. will be in our nation’s capital as part of I Love Mountains’ 6th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. These citizens need your help to get their message across.


Take Action to Protect Alaskan Treasures

Check out three different actions you can take to protect Alaska’s wilderness.


Important and Time Sensitive News!


Commonwealth Interfaith Service: Prayers for Justice and Peace—May 2, Harrisburg


Anniversary Prayer for Health Care Reform


NCC Eco-Justice Earth Day Resource Available


Plan for Torture Awareness Month in Your Congregation


Interactive Map Illustrates Gas Wells that Put Toxic Contamination in Drinking Water


Council Poverty Study Guide Now Available!


Download the Council’s “Get Connected” Bulletin Insert at for information about how members of your congregation can connect with the Council’s e-advocacy network.




Please visit our “Take Action” page at 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


Only the most urgent and newly posted actions will appear on All other ongoing actions will be posted by category (with appropriate links) on this same page.




For a full listing of events, go to the Events Calendar at


Reminder: Don’t forget to register for Ecumenical Advocacy Days! Learn more and find link to registration page at


Events this coming week:


Vigil to End Gun Violence—1st & 3rd Tuesdays, Philadelphia


Walk, Roll & March to End Poverty for All—March 26, Allison Park (Pittsburgh)


Celebrate One Year of the Affordable Care Act—March 26, Pittsburgh


Marcellus Shale Drilling: Regional Advocacy Workshop—March 26, Pittsburgh


Pennsylvania Health Access Network Third Annual Health Care Conference—March 27-28, Camp Hill


Immigration Reform and the Threat of Rhetorical Violence—March 30, Philadelphia


Marcellus Shale Drilling: Regional Advocacy Workshop—April 2, Mayfield


Newly posted events:




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 resources posted before December 10, 2010 via these news summaries, go to For summaries of previous postings beginning with December 10, 2010, go to


For summaries of the most recently posted resources, go to


For the most recent job, internship and fellowship postings, go to


For the most recent information about grants, competitions, and places where you can plug in and become active, go to


For a listing of Council-related resources go to the “Resources” link at


For links to organizations that address many of the Council’s advocacy issues, visit “Related Links” at This list is updated continually. Please report broken links to




Please visit our weblog ( 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



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