Advocacy in Quarantine
Many of us are struggling to find purpose to seemingly endless days at home, but there are things we can be doing to advocate for important issues and for the welfare of vulnerable individuals from the safety of our homes. Here are some ideas:
- ELCA Advocacy is urging everyone to reach out to their members of Congress to urge them to address critical issues in the next round of Covid-19 relief. The ELCA Advocacy priorities are highlighted here, as is advice on how everyone can send a personal message to their elected officials. Among the critical issues listed are those addressing hunger, immigration, housing, charitable contributions and much more.
- Illinois is seeing record numbers of gun sales within the past month, which compounds the risk factors for personal and family safety at a time when pandemic-related stresses can increase domestic violence. Illinois does not currently require unlicensed gun vendors to perform background checks. Common sense gun ownership policies require every firearm owner to undergo background checks and firearm training. If you would like to learn more about proposals to implement these common-sense regulations, please visit www.peopleforasafersociety.org, founded by state legislative candidate Denyse Wang Stoneback, wife of former Trinity member Dave Stoneback.
- The ELCA joined with 60 other organizations to call on the Trump Administration to immediately rescind its policy of shutting the Mexico border to individuals seeking asylum, halt all deportations, and release immigrants currently in detention and in danger of contracting the coronavirus. The United States, which currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, is putting the globe at risk by continuing to deport migrants during this pandemic. Releasing detainees is a particularly sensitive issue in Chicago, where a Heartland Alliance facility on Chicago’s South Side reports 37 immigrant children being held in detention tested positive for COVID-19. You can read the statement here and show your support on social media such as Twitter or directly contact the White House.
- Bread for the World is highlighting what we can all do to encourage Congress to act in ways to ease food insecurity that is being exacerbated by the pandemic. You can see what the issues are and how to be involved here.
- Housing access is also a critical need in this time of pandemic. If you want to learn more about challenges and opportunities in Illinois, you can read more about current issues at https://housingactionil.org/what-we-do/public-education-organizing/covid-19-information- resources/.
- Urge Congress to include refugees in COVID-19 relief funding. Refugee One, our partner in sponsoring families is asking us to contact our members of Congress via email or phone and ask them to clarify that ALL refugees should be eligible for direct cash rebate. In addition, they should provide funding to resettlement agencies to maintain infrastructure and extend application deadlines and validity periods for travel documents and security checks. You can click here to email your members of Congress or you can dial (202)224-3121 and be directed to the appropriate person.