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November Update: UN and State Edition

Following are updates shared from submissions of the Lutheran Office for World Community and state public policy offices.

U.N.| California | Minnesota | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Washington | Wisconsin

United Nations

Dennis Frado, Lutheran Office for World Community, New York, N.Y.

Women’s Human Rights Advocacy Training: The Lutheran World Federation in collaboration with Church of Sweden, Finn Church Aid, Mission 21, the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance is holding an advocacy training on women’s human rights (26 October – 13 November 2020). The training is usually held annually in person, and this year, due to COVID-19 it is being held virtually.

Topics covered include introduction to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), tools and opportunities for engaging in preparing for parallel (also known as “shadow”) reports to CEDAW, the intersection between human rights, faith and gender, Gender-Based Violence prevention and responses, the role of men and boys in gender justice advocacy among others. LOWC is involved in the planning and facilitation of some sessions during the training. A resource for faith-based organizations on affirming women’s human rights can be found here.

General Assembly’s Third Committee Has Dialogues with Human Rights Mandate Holders: As it has done for some years, the General Assembly’s Third Committee has been having dialogues in recent weeks with various persons holding human rights mandates from the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council. While LOWC has been monitoring quite a few of these discussions on topics such as racism and racial discrimination, advancement of women, rights of indigenous peoples, and internally displaced persons, it took special note of the discussion with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Professor S. Michael Lynk.  His report this year reviewed the situation of human rights in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Gaza and focused on accountability related issues. Lynk also held a separate virtual discussion with the UN NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine, of which LOWC is a member, as he has in previous years on this occasion.


Regina Q. Banks, Lutheran Office of Public Policy- California

Getting ready for the election: The Lutheran Office of Public Policy in California (LOPP-CA) has been working diligently to prepare for the upcoming election. The staff did work around building patience and an understanding of the process. In the weekly Advocacy in Quarantine meetings, LOPP-CA worked with constituents to talk through the timeliness of the election while holding space for further learning on the state’s Proposition.

Prop 16 Text Banking: LOPP-CA went forward this month in continuing to text bank with the Prop 16 coalition. The office has been reaching out to California voters through a texting platform called Thru Text in hopes of overturning the state-wide ban of affirmative action, something that has been in effect since 1996. There has been a committed group of parishioners and advocates meeting every Monday to push this outreach, and so far the office has reached more than 600,000 voters in the state.

Partnering with California Food and Farming Network: Continuing the office’s commitment to advocate for food and farming, LOPP-CA has begun working closely with the California Food and Farming Network (CFFN), a coalition of around 40 advocacy organizations such as food banks, legislative advocacy, farming service organizations, and partners from across both the food and farming sectors. The Network has begun its strategic process for the year 2021, centering racial justice and equity in their approach. LOPP-CA has joined CFFN for this visioning process, and has given financial contributions toward centering racial justice through committing funds to CFFN’s community Engagement process. Specifically, CFFN will be reaching out into communities of color, finding leaders and advocates within food sectors, and providing compensation for their expertise. This listening campaign will take the expertise learned and structure CFFN 2021 priorities.


Tammy Walhof, Lutheran Advocacy- Minnesota

State Legislative Elections: Although the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party lost some seats in the House, it retains control of the chamber. In the Senate, some flipped districts occurred, but the balance remains the same. Unfortunately, at least one of the Republicans that was ousted was one who was helpful to our housing agenda. All the main leaders from both parties and both chambers retain their positions.

Minnesota U.S. Elections: Rep. Colin Peterson was ousted from Minnesota’s 7th congressional district seat and replaced by former State Senator/Senate President Michelle Fischbach, who also served briefly as Lt. Governor when Tina Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate. Representative Peterson served as the long-term chair of the Agriculture Committee, a committee Fischbach hopes to serve on as it also addresses nutrition issues.

Update on Special Session #5: A carefully negotiated $1.36 billion bill including bonding, supplemental appropriations, and “tax  relief” for farmers and small businesses was finally passed when House Minority Leader Daudt let his caucus vote their conscience. Freed by Daudt, many House Republicans joined the bipartisan bill. Thanks for your hard work on the housing pieces!

Included in the bill were

  • $100 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds
  • $16 million in General Obligation Bonds for Public Housing
  • A large amount for transportation including roads and bridges, some public transportation, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Bonds for public facility projects, public safety, the University of Minnesota, and other various public works, including municipal water infrastructure & solar projects
  • $31 million in a supplemental appropriation (added to last year’s biennial budget)


Deacon Nick Bates, Hunger Network in Ohio

Hunger For Justice Conference: On November 9th the Hunger Network sponsored the Hunger for Justice Conference featuring theological reflection on the election and analysis of what is to come so that faith leaders across the state can identify opportunities for successful advocacy!

Visit for links to our plenary panel, theological reflection and musical reflection of what the election means to our communities


Tracey DePasquale, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry–Pennsylvania (LAMPa)

Shaping Hunger Policy in PA: LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale participated in the quarterly meeting of the state’s Emergency Food Assistance Advisory Committee, where the state Department of Agriculture and charitable feeding organizations assessed the current response to emergency nutrition needs during COVID-19, mapped likely needs and set goals for meeting those needs in the upcoming state budget.

LAMPa Participates in Virtual Human Trafficking Rally: LAMPa participated in a Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Work Group sponsored Advocacy Day lifting legislation that provides definitions and the offense of trafficking individuals; repealing provisions relating to patronizing a victim of sexual servitude; promoting prostitution and living off sexually exploited persons; commercial sexual exploitation; and providing for Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.

Workshop presented at We Love: LAMPa Program Director Lynn Fry shared a workshop titled : Take a Stand: Advocacy & Equality in Pennsylvania at the second ELCA NEPA Synod We Love Event – Building Safer & More Welcoming Congregations for LGBTQ+ Youth and Families.

Equipping leaders and vital congregations for discipleship in a democracy: LAMPa continued to disseminate election information to congregations, synods, and leaders regarding election security, poll watching, and voter safety. DePasquale and ELCA Advocacy Director Amy Reumann presented to leaders in the NWPA Synod Bishop’s Convocation.

Responded to Legislative threats to Medicaid: LAMPa worked to successfully stop legislation that threatened Medicaid provisions and funding.

Advocacy and Faith Formation: DePasquale taught a virtual adult faith formation class at Holy Spirit, Emmaus, SEPA Synod.


The Rev. Paul Benz and Elise DeGooyer, Faith Action Network

Election Successes: WA state passed Referendum 90 for Safe and Healthy Youth, a bill the legislature passed in the 2020 session mandating sex education in our K-12 school system with age-appropriate stages. This referendum was supported by sexual assault and domestic violence advocates, as well as a broad coalition of faith leaders who signed this letter, in contrast to opposition from the “religious right.” FAN was very involved in the campaign to secure the 60% approval. We also secured funding for our Long-Term Care Trust Fund via constitutional amendment – among the first of such funds in the nation.

New Regional Organizers: We are excited to share that our organizing team is expanding! FAN is able to fulfill one of our dreams of having a stronger presence statewide by hiring part-time Regional Organizers in Western, Central, and Eastern Washington as well as two social work interns from the University of Washington. We look forward to building deeper relationships with our Network of Advocating Faith Communities (NAFCs) and local organizations statewide.


The Rev. Cindy  Crane, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW)

ELCAvotes: Wisconsin had a record turnout of voters! Since March, LOPPW placed major emphases on encouraging people to vote, especially absentee, and on countering misinformation. We often worked in coalition with ELCA partners and a statewide voting coalition. October efforts included interviewing a Wisconsin Elections Commission representative for Wednesday Noon Live and creating six Ballot Box FAQs videos, including one with an interview with the ACLU.

Care for God’s Creation: LOPPW’s statewide task force, so far with members from five synods, began planning a Care for God’s creation virtual advocacy day to coincide with an emerging new WI State Budget.

Trainings: LOPPW helped in organizing an advocacy webinar, co-hosted by ECSW WELCA. We also led discussions on voting and advocacy with adults and confirmands in LAS and in SCSW.

COVID-19: Participated in meeting with Lieutenant Governor on health mandates challenged by courts and possibly the legislature. I was then in dialogue with the bishops about drafting a statement, which can be found here. LOPPW also joined an interfaith group to organize an action to address the problem.

New Resource: Read our new resource, “Advocating Locally,” for information about engaging your community!

Criminal Justice: We’ve begun reviving efforts to return 17-year-olds to juvenile courts, led by our Hunger Advocacy Fellow, Kyle Minden.

Anti-Racism: We offered consultation to ECSW’s Global Missions Committee on integrating anti-racism efforts into their work. I invited Regina Banks to give a presentation at one of their meetings.

Immigration and Refugees:  We offered consultation to the SCSW Immigration Task Force and created a video to address decreasing number of refugees in U.S. for the national, “Lift the Torch of Welcome” vigil.

October Update: UN and State Edition

Following are updates shared from submissions of the Lutheran Office for World Community and state public policy offices.

U.N. | Arizona | Colorado | Ohio |Pennsylvania | Washington | Wisconsin

United Nations

Dennis Frado, Lutheran Office for World Community, New York, N.Y.

UN 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION: The high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN was held on September 21st.  The meeting adopted a declaration acknowledging both the UN’s achievements and its disappointments, such as: “Our challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism,” “Strengthening international cooperation is in the interest of both nations and peoples.” It also included twelve pledges “to ensure the future we want and the United Nations we need.”

CELEBRATION OF THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF BEIJING WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: The UN General Assembly High-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women was held on October 1st. According to UN Women, no country has achieved gender equality. There has been progress since the Beijing Conference held in 1995, but gaps remain, and in some areas these gains are threatened and even reversed. The meeting was therefore being held under the theme “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. It aimed to “demonstrate the political will and leadership that will bring about the transformative change needed to address root causes, structural barriers, discriminatory practices and social norms that underpin discrimination and inequality.” You can watch the meeting on UN Web TV.

LOWC SPEAKS TO LUTHERAN STUDIES PROGRAM COLLOQUIA 2020-2021 AT YALE: In late September, Christine Mangale and Dennis Frado spoke via Zoom with Lutheran students at Yale University as part of the Lutheran Studies Program Colloquia theme “Public Church.” The LOWC presentations focused on the church’s presence at the United Nations (UN) and the history of the ELCA’s work on human rights, including at the UN.


Solveig Muus, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Arizona

GETTING OUT THE VOTE: In the midst of racial inequity, an upcoming election, a pandemic, and a climate gone crazy, we in Arizona thank God for forgiveness and mercy, and for the miraculous ways God works in us and through us.

This month, we’re all hands on deck to get out the vote. Every faith community and advocacy group in Arizona seems to be in step; all are publicizing the importance of voting and helping in any way to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Arizona has an excellent track record for successful mail-in ballot counting. Rev. Mark Holman, Bishop’s Associate for Mobility and Leadership, wrote a study resource titled “How Would Jesus Vote?” for congregational use, and a member of LAMA’s policy team created a voter volunteer recruitment packet for congregations.

Like every other state office, LAMA continues to reach out to our 85 Arizona congregations, and are encouraged that several are considering adding an advocacy component to their social ministry teams. Building our network, producing a weekly newsletter, and feeding social media keep us busy.

UPCOMING EVENTS: We are planning LAMA’s first state-wide summit on November 7, which is to be a virtual event featuring Dr. Ryan Cumming of ELCA World Hunger. Together with Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center and Bread for the World Southwest, we are planning and promoting a Virtual Town Hall on November 17 featuring Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World.


Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado

BALLOT MEASURES: Coloradans will vote on eleven statewide ballot measures this fall. Lutheran Advocacy is committed to providing Lutherans and all people of faith with comprehensive and detailed analysis of each measure from our perspective. Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado’s positions on the eleven measures are available now. View them at Our 2020 Voter Guide with analysis and information will be available on the same site in the first week of October. Ballots will be mailed to all Colorado voters on October 9th.

THEOLOGICAL CONFERENCE: The Rocky Mountain Synod met virtually for its annual fall Theological Conference from September 21-24. Lutheran Advocacy was present alongside hundreds of rostered ministers, lay professionals and other leaders to learn from expert presenters, engage in Bible study, and have in-depth discussions of anti-racism and building up God’s beloved community of liberation with all present.


Deacon Nick Bates, Hunger Network in Ohio

HUNGER FOR JUSTICE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: As voting begins in Ohio this month, we are all diligently working to discern the best candidates for all positions – including the Ohio Statehouse, State Supreme Court, and community leaders for school board and Township Trustees. Regardless of who wins at the local, state, or national level, our work remains the same – proclaiming God’s desire that all may be fed and have justice and peace in our communities.

Our two-hour conference will be held on zoom and feature theological reflection to help frame the election results and policy landscape moving forward. We encourage clergy, congregational leaders, judicatory staff, and people curious about hunger and poverty to attend. Register at

OHIO COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ANTI-RACISM SUNDAY: HNO is a proud partner with the Council and their efforts to educate and engage congregations throughout the state on issues of white privilege and racism. You can watch the Livestream online here

CROP WALK KICK-OFF: HNO Director Nick Bates will be the featured speaker at the Columbus CROP Walk virtual kick-off on October 11th at noon to discuss our call to advocacy and justice around hunger issues.

PROBLEMS WITH VOTING: HNO is partnering with the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition. You can check your voter registration and find your absentee ballot at You can report a problem or concern to 1-866-OUR-VOTE or view their website,


Tracey DePasquale, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry–Pennsylvania (LAMPa)

EQUIPPING LEADERS AND VITAL CONGREGATIONS FOR DISCIPLESHIP IN A DEMOCRACY: LAMPa staff and volunteers contacted Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to assess their preparedness for the Nov. 3 election and shared the results with synod leaders to target congregations so that they could support safe access to polls in areas of need. Read more.

POLICY COUNCIL RETREAT: The Rev. Amy Reumann, ELCA Advocacy Director, joined virtually to talk about advocacy as discipleship. She invited the council to imagine how congregational leaders could engage in LAMPa’s ministry as faith formation through the practice of testimony.

HUNGER ADVOCACY FELLOW: Larry D. Herrold, Jr. joined LAMPa as our ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow. A member of Zion, Sunbury (Upper Susquehanna Synod), and active in hunger ministry there, he is discerning a call to ministry. Learn more about Larry.

ADVOCACY ON RENT RELIEF AND SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS: LAMPa advocates urged state lawmakers to improve and extend the application deadline for the CARES Rent Relief Program and to end surprise medical billing.

UNITED LUTHERAN SEMINARY CONVOCATION: LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale shared whys and ways of connecting with policymakers as a form of loving our neighbor.

GWOH: Congregations around Pennsylvania added their voices to God’s work. Our hands. Sunday by writing letters to lawmakers addressing issues to which they have been called in service of neighbor.

OTHER WORK: Opposed legislation rolling back clean water protections; Supported use of CARES funding to stop utility shutoffs; Garnered signatures in support of waivers for school nutrition programs; Increased SNAP benefits


The Rev. Paul Benz and Elise DeGooyer, Faith Action Network

FAN’s Annual Dinner will be held virtually this year on November 15. We hope this change will allow more people from across the state to join in, expanding the traditions of our Renton and Spokane dinners! Our theme is “Rise Up Together,” which speaks to our current and future work in confronting the challenges of multiple pandemics – COVID-19, systemic racism, economic uncertainty, and environmental devastation. Learn more at

NEW REGIONAL ORGANIZERS: FAN is building our statewide outreach by creating a staff team of Regional Organizers! In Central Wash., we welcome Zahra Roach (pictured here) who is a Pasco City Councilmember and who worked on our Census Equity Team earlier this year. In Western Wash., we welcome Jaspreet Singh who has experience working with the legislative session in Olympia and is representing FAN at the Career and Technical Colleges coalition. More to come as we add University of Washington social work interns and a Spokane area organizer!

WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT: FAN is part of several state policy coalitions – one is the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) coalition. Several years ago, our legislature passed this law to provide tax credits to low-income working families, but it has never been funded. Now more than ever in this pandemic where so many households are struggling, funding an emergency cash assistance program like this with an annual credit is critical. Another important piece to make this program more equitable is to statutorily include Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) filers so that ALL workers in our state receive this benefit. Learn more at or


The Rev. Cindy  Crane, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW)

WELCOME TO LOPPW HUNGER ADVOCACY FELLOW KYLE MINDEN:  Kyle is with us full-time for one year thanks to a generous grant from ELCA World Hunger.  He graduated from Wartburg College with a B.A. in Religion and Business Administration and a Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Kyle is passionate about solving the systemic inequities and injustices that stem from public policy at the local, state, and federal level.

VOTING: Kyle has developed two voting resources, the Comprehensive can be found at 2020 LOPPW Voting Guide, while the one-page summary can be found here: 2020 LOPPW Voting Overview

HUNGER: We made known information about people eligible for a stimulus check but who have not filed.  Kyle used the center to create this resource:  file:///Users/cynthiacrane/Downloads/Stimulus-Payment-Outreach-Resource-1-1%20(12).pdf

As part of our project to highlight at least one hunger ministry in each synod for others to learn from, we interviewed Bill Binroth, Director of Let’s Eat Community Meals of Chassell, MI in the NGLS.

CARE FOR CREATION: Our LOPPW statewide climate task force continues to meet.  We sent this press release as a letter to the WI Legislature:  file:///Users/cynthiacrane/Downloads/Revised-Climate-press-release-Team-Bishops.pdf

WEDNESDAY NOON LIVE & IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION: The video of Attorney Mary Campbell, Ms. Marisol Fuentes de Dubon, and Dr. Stephanie Mitchell mentioned last month was published in September:

“LIFTING OUR VOICES DURING THE PANDEMIC”: This Zoom webinar, co-sponsored by East Central Synod Women of the ELCA and LOPPW, will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 6:30-7:30 PM. Register here:

November Update: U.N. and State Edition

U.N. | California | Colorado | Kansas | Minnesota | New Mexico | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Southeastern Synod | Washington | Wisconsin

Lutheran Office for World Community, United Nations, New York, N.Y.

Dennis Frado, director

THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: During October, UN Special Procedure mandate-holders and other experts delivered reports to the General Assembly’s Third Committee (on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues), as mandated by the Human Rights Council. These reports focused on the advancement of women, indigenous issues, the protection of children and the promotion and protection of human rights to name a few. The meetings were chaired by H.E. Mr. Christian Braun, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg and can be viewed online here.

Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Women, gave opening remarks on the Third Committee’s session on Advancement of Women, highlighting that “violence against women and girls and the renewed pushback against women’s rights remain pervasive around the world so as we prepare for the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2020, we need renewed commitment from all.” The Secretary-General focused two reports on Advancement of Women, titled “Improvement of the situation of women and girls in rural areas” and “violence against women migrant workers.” A report was also submitted by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples report focused on the implementation the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination through autonomy and self-government. The report includes eight recommendations, one including the role of States in adopting and implementing “all measures necessary to ensure the adequate recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and natural resources, as that recognition represents the cornerstone of their autonomy and self-government and is essential for their survival as distinct peoples.” Documentation of all reports for the Third Committee’s agenda items can be accessed online here.

UNITED NATIONS DAY: On October 24, 2019, the United Nations celebrated United Nations Day, marking 74 years since the UN Charter came into force in 1945, launching the United Nations. The Charter consists of a preamble and 19 chapters, calling for the U.N. to “maintain international peace and security, promote social progress and better standards of life, strengthen international law and promote the expansion of human rights”. The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres commented at its commemoration that “United Nations Day highlights the enduring ideals of the Charter, amid stormy global seas, the Charter remains our shared moral anchor.” Guterres has announced that 2020 will kick off with a UN75 initiative that will feature the world’s largest international dialogue on “the role of global cooperation in building the future we want ” to commemorate the 75th anniversary. A special UN Day Concert, featuring musicians from Qatar (pictured above with the Secretary-General) was also held and can be viewed online here.

MANDATE ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT: The ten-year anniversary of the Mandate on Sexual Violence in Conflict was commemorated at the United Nations ECOSOC Chamber on 30 October, 2019, hosted by the Republic of South Africa and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The event began with imagery from the exhibition “Youth Speak Out Through the Arts” (pictured left), showcasing art from a diverse group of youth working in New York as well as two young artists working in Iraq.

Ms. Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, stated that “sexual violence in conflict has been called history’s greatest silence, the least reported, the least condemned.” Mohammed reflected on the creation of the mandate as the UN’s commitment to “highlight, prevent and seek justice for these crimes” after it was established through the adoption of Security Council resolution 1888 in 2009.

A ‘survivors hearing’ panel was held with panelists sharing first and secondhand testimonies and recommendations from those who have experienced sexual violence in conflict. Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2018 Peace Prize Laureates, officially launched the “Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” to help survivors and their families rebuild through locally designed solutions including reparations for survivors. Read the 2019 annual “Conflict Related Sexual Violence” report of the United Nations Secretary General here.


Regina Q. Banks, Lutheran Office of Public Policy- California (LOPP-CA)

POLICY COUNCIL MEETING AND PRIORITIES: The policy council of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA met at the Luther Center in Glendale, CA on October 26, 2019 to discuss the legislative priorities of the ELCA and LOPP-CA, welcome new staff and plan FUNdraisers for the upcoming program year. It was a great meeting and much was decided. Look for updates soon. But set your calendars now for LUTHERAN LOBBY DAY 2020: Wednesday May 20, 2020. We will use this opportunity to again engage with legislators and staff on issues of concern to Lutherans across the state.

Our priorities for 2020 have shifted but continue to reflect a deep concern for the least and the last in our communities, and care for creation and justice in our golden state. We will continue to advocate for the elimination of Deep Childhood Poverty and accompany those who immigrate to and migrate within California. After listening to your concerns during our congregation visits and in consultation with our partners at Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, we are adding engagement with and for the unhoused to our portfolio of issues. And with the addition of Nicole Newell as our Hunger Advocacy Fellow, we are adding food and farming as a new policy priority for the 2020 legislative session. As the largest producer of food in the U.S., California is dominated by large farms relying on undercompensated migrant labor and extensive use of water throughout the driest of months. These farming systems are too often disconnected from the processing, distributing, eating and waste aspects of the cycle. In keeping with God’s call to care for creation and our neighbor, LOPP-CA seeks to promote equitable food and farming systems in California that support healthy communities, full bellies and the preservation of vital ecosystems. Our policy council has decided to continue to support our ministry and secular partners in the implementation of the Clean Safe Affordable Drinking Water Fund though take a less active role.

All of these issues and more will be discussed leading up to and during Lutheran Lobby Day 2020 on May 20, 2020. If these priorities are in your area of expertise or you are looking for ways to get involved with LOPP-CA, there are openings for synod representatives in Pacifica, Sierra Pacific and Southwest California synods. Contact us at to discuss your service.

SYNOD AND CONGREGATION VISITS: A sincere Thank You goes out to the pastors and members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, San Jose; Ascension Lutheran Church, Thousand Oaks; University AME Zion Church, Palo Alto; and Advent Lutheran Church, Morgan Hill for welcoming us into your worship experiences. We continue to delight in the varied ways that the Holy Spirit manifests in your families. Continue to invite us. We will continue to walk with you.

Thank you to Bishop Mark Holmerud and staff of Sierra Pacific Synod for their hospitality during the 2019 Professional Leaders Conference at Monterey Tides. LOPP-CA was offered primetime to talk about the church’s way forward through advocacy, and God is truly still working through contacts and connections made there. Similarly, a big thank you goes to Trinity Lutheran Women of the ELCA members for welcoming our Director Regina Q. Banks’ offer of the Sunday sermon on October 20th. This was her first sermon. She was humbled and blessed to take that journey with you.


Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado,

2019 VOTER GUIDE: Our Colorado ballot measure voter guide is now available! Colorado voters received their ballots in the mail in mid-October and have until November 5 to return them. Download our guide here and share it with your friends, family and congregation today.

THEOLOGICAL CONFERENCE: The Rocky Mountain Synod held its annual Theological Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, in early October. Lutheran Advocacy was on hand to share our 2019 Colorado voter guide, while participants engaged in deep conversation about structures of accountability within the church.

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES: LAM-CO Director Peter Severson joined other ELCA representatives at the National Council of Churches Christian Unity Gathering in Hampton, Virginia. The Joint Action & Advocacy for Justice and Peace Table met during the first day to share updates, stories and resources on advocacy across the denominations participating at the table. On day two, participants joined a ceremony of remembrance at Old Point Comfort to mark the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to English North America 400 years ago.

LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE (LDR): Rocky Mountain Synod representatives participated in the LDR Consultation in New Orleans, Louisiana, focusing on climate change adaptation and mitigation in disaster preparedness. As Colorado faces elevated drought and fire risks in a warming climate, congregations and ministries are invited to be aware of threats and to advocate for policies that will mitigate these risks.


Rabbi Moti Riebe, Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA)

REFORM WORK: Kansas Interfaith Action has joined an effort to reform the payday loan industry in the state. Called the Kansas Coalition for Payday Loan Reform, it was initiated by a local DART (community organizing) affiliate which, realizing that this is a statewide issue, put together a wide-ranging statewide coalition – including KIFA. The legislation is being written, and there is a kick-off press conference for the campaign on November 12th. We anticipate this being a bipartisan effort, which unfortunately tends to be rare these days.

We have also had planning meetings with our coalition partners working on criminal justice reform and voting rights (two separate coalitions) to plan strategy for the 2020 session.

MEDICAID EXPANSION: Medicaid Expansion seems to be moving forward. A Senate select committee met to propose a bill that contains a lot of conditionals (if the federal government lets us, then we will expand to only 100% of the federal poverty line; if not, then we’ll expand to 138% of FPL). Each of these conditions costs money and causes delays. We are working for a bill with, as our coalition is saying it, “No barriers and no delays.”

FAITH AND PUBLIC POLICY FORUM: Every year KIFA runs a program called “Faith and Public Policy Forum,” a panel discussion of the pressing issues facing Kansas voters. The participants are representatives of organizations that we are in coalition with, including Kansas Action for Children, the ACLU of Kansas and the Climate & Energy Project. Topics include Medicaid Expansion, criminal justice reform, voting rights, climate and clean energy and more. KIFA Executive Director Rabbi Moti Rieber moderates the panel and presents on KIFA’s legislative priorities, as well as gives remarks about the role of the faith community in developing public policy. We have three events scheduled for November in Wichita, Topeka and Johnson County. Our goal is to give Kansans good, solid information about the issues facing the state, as well as build our base of support for the 2020 legislative session.



Tammy Walhof, Lutheran Advocacy- Minnesota (LA-MN)

POLICY COUNCIL RETREAT: In October, LA-MN Policy Council members gathered at St. John’s Abbey in the center of the state to spend almost 24 hours together. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another better and benefit from both an outside Bible study leader and a guest speaker regarding the Minnesota housing crisis, in addition to evaluating and visioning for the work ahead.

BONDING MONEY FOR HOUSING: The Homes for All Coalition Policy Team has been meeting twice per week as we work to discern additions or changes to the 2019-2020 biennium agenda we created a year ago. In these discussions and presentations, it is very clear that in addition to the housing crisis, Minnesota has a severe statewide shortage of shelter beds for homeless individuals and families.

Given that 2020 is a bonding year at the legislature, bonding will be our primary coalition-wide focus. Last year the coalition made a bold request of $300 million, $200 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIBs) to increase the number of affordable housing units supplied through private or nonprofit developers and $100 million to create or rehab public housing options. Last session, we were able to secure $60 million in bonding (HIBs), the only area to get any bonding money in the midst of a focus on budget. (We had anticipated that the bulk of that would need to be secured in the second year of the biennium).

After long discussions about the merits of making an even bolder bonding request vs. filling in the remainder of the $300 million request, we opted to go big and bold. We intend to push for $500 million for the creation & rehabilitation of affordable housing. Within that appeal we will be asking the legislature to add shelter development as a one-time eligible use of bonding money.

CLEAN ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE: In our environmental coalitions, we are a long way from having our detailed clean energy and climate agenda decided but are busy with partners trying to figure out what may be able to gain momentum in 2020. One hundred percent clean energy/carbon neutral electricity by 2050 will certainly be part of the work again.


New Mexico

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry—New Mexico (LAM-NM)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IS ESSENTIAL: LAM-NM has supported putting a constitutional amendment before the voters of our state which would increase the amount of funding available for quality early childhood education programs. Those programs include home-visiting for young children and their parents, pre-Kindergarten, child care assistance and other programs. Such programs have been proven to improve the lives of the children and families who participate in them over generations. Legislation to put the constitutional amendment on the general election ballot will be considered in the upcoming 2010 legislative session.

EFFECTIVE TAX POLICY IS CRUCIAL TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF OUR NEIGHBORS: LAM-NM advocates for tax policy that is fair and provides stable, sustainable and adequate revenue to meet the needs of our state, particularly the most vulnerable. A good tax system should be fair (distribute the tax burden broadly and progressively, with those with higher income paying more), balanced, accountable and able to be efficiently administered.


Nick Bates, Hunger Network in Ohio  

A BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: Miriam Vargas moved into Sanctuary in the summer of 2018 at First English Lutheran Church in Columbus. On Tuesday October 29th, Miriam hosted Bishop Allende (NEOS) and others in a Facebook Live broadcast about the ELCA sanctuary declaration. In Ohio, we are not one of the ‘big immigration states,’ but individuals like Miriam are our neighbors and valued members of our community. Deportations threaten our neighbors and our neighborhoods.

In Ohio, we are trying to live into the declaration that the ELCA is a sanctuary denomination. This will look different for everyone, because God gifts us with different gifts and talents to express God’s love for the community. What it does mean for all of us is to ask the question: “How is God calling me to love my neighbor?”

We will continue to advocate to fix a broken immigration system, a system that divides parents from children, a system that sends people to famine soaked and war plagued communities. A system that causes fear and delay for stability for those who are most in need.

It is time to fix a broken system.

You can read more here on how to accomplish this and watch our Facebook Live event here

UNTIL ALL ARE FED: Our director Deacon Nick Bates and board member Pastor Larry Novak both testified this month against SB 165. This bill will put photo IDs onto a household’s SNAP benefits card. This will create headaches for children and spouses who attempt to use the card, headaches for pastors and mission team volunteers who do the grocery shopping for homebound members and headaches for grocery stores who have no clarity on how to implement or enforce these rules.

There is no need for these headaches, because they will do little to nothing to prevent fraud. Instead Ohio should invest these resources into outreach for those who struggling with addiction and help them access the necessary medical services. Take action by clicking here



Tracey DePasquale, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry–Pennsylvania (LAMPa)

LAMPA VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF ATTEND LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE (LDR) CONSULTATION: Director Tracey DePasquale accompanied seven Pennsylvania Lutheran Disaster Response coordinators and synod representatives to the 2019 LDR Consultation in New Orleans. This year’s consult focused on building relationships with synod, congregation and advocacy partners to address not only disaster relief but climate change mitigation and adaptation. There is great enthusiasm for building on these relationships for the good of our neighbors, near and far. Read more about the hopes for our work together.

STAFF ATTENDS GOVERNOR’S ANNUAL FOOD SECURITY PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT: DePasquale and LAMPa Program Director Lynn Fry attended Governor Wolf’s Annual Food Security Partnership Summit in Harrisburg. Attendees received reports on the Blueprint for a Hunger-Fee PA from various state agencies. The afternoon addressed college hunger in Pennsylvania. College students and staff representing schools across the commonwealth shared their personal experiences with hunger and the social services system. Deacon Alicia Anderson of Lutheran Student Community / Lutheran Campus Ministry at Penn State joined LAMPa staff and connected with Penn State students working to fight hunger. LAMPa hopes that the network of Lutheran Campus ministries in Pennsylvania might become engaged in helping to shape policy in this area as the First Lady focuses attention on hunger among college students.

LAMPA STAFF ATTENDS PA HUNGER ACTION COALITION BI-ANNUAL MEETING: Members shared reports on poverty and anti-hunger programs from the perspective of providers and advocates and heard from staff of state human services, agriculture and education departments about impacts of proposed federal rule changes. The coalition discussed strategy for addressing hunger policy together in the face of federal proposals and the upcoming state budget.

LAMPA JOINS COALITION PARTNERS AT RELIGIOUS SECURITY SUMMIT: Fry joined religious and community leaders in the Capitol to learn about threats to security of religious institutions as we prepared to mark the one-year anniversary of murders at the Tree of Life synagogue. Presentations were shared by: Anti-Defamation League, Pennsylvania Governor’s Office – Public Safety, Pennsylvania Homeland Security, Pennsylvania State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Secret Service and United States Postal Service. LAMPa invited congregation, synod, seminary and social ministry leaders to attend the summit, the first of several to be held around the commonwealth.

EDUCATING AND EQUIPPING: DePasquale participated in the inaugural meeting of the Upper Susquehanna Synod Advocacy Team, launched at the direction of Bishop Collins and Synod Council to support congregations and church leaders in following their baptismal call to strive for justice and peace. She also participated in Lower Susquehanna Synod’s day of equipping on the actions taken at the Churchwide Assembly, offering to assist attendees as they encourage their congregations to live into the calls coming from that gathering – particularly around the social statement on Faith, Sexism and Justice, the Day of Repentance for the Emmanuel Nine, the Declaration of Apology to people of African Descent and declaration of sanctuary denomination. In addition, DePasquale taught about LAMPa’s work at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Bangor (Northeastern Pa. Synod) and St. John’s Herr Estate in Columbia (Lower Susquehanna Synod).


Southeastern Synod

Hilton Austin, Southeastern Synod advocacy team

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: The kick-off for the Second Chance campaign was very well attended. There are 31 organizational partners. According to the Georgia Justice Project’s (GJP) Facebook page, “Georgia has the highest rate of correctional control in the nation, yet is one of only a few states that do not allow expungement of convictions, no matter how long ago they occurred. 4.2 million people have a Georgia criminal record (approximately 40% of adults) and as a result they face barriers to employment, housing, higher education and other opportunities long after their sentence is over.

“Employment is the most effective way to reduce recidivism. Changing Georgia’s law so that certain misdemeanor and felony convictions can be restricted and sealed after a period of time will unlock opportunity for thousands of Georgians who are rehabilitated and want to work, rebuild their lives and provide better futures for their families and communities.”

Our synod staff is aware of our GJP partnership and have been given basic information on what “Second Chance” is about.

I also attended a documentary screening at GJP, Life After Life; if you have the opportunity to see it, the film does a good job of representing the barriers that people face after serving their time.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: While Georgia has made great legislative strides with Safe Harbor, the funding of the rehab programs has been held up by lawsuits. We continue to monitor that process and what is happening with these funds.

HEALTHCARE: The American Cancer Society has targeted Georgia this year for Medicaid Expansion. We have contacted the Georgia chapter to see what that will look like; we should know more next week.

SOUTHEASTERN SYNOD LEADERSHIP CONVOCATION: Most of the Advocacy Policy Council and myself attended our synod leadership convocation at Lutheridge. The theme was “Preaching in Such a Time as This: Kairos, Truth, and Prophetic Gospel,” the Rev. Dr. Sam Giere, Wartburg Theological Seminary, explored the proclamation of Jesus Christ in such a time as this (Esther 4:14), by discerning “the times,” considering the relationship of trust and truth and engaging the prophetic nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

GEORGIA INTERFAITH PUBLIC POLICY CENTER: At our October board meeting, we added two people to our Board of Directors: Bishop Kevin L. Strickland and John Moeller, CEO of Inspiritus (formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia). Our 2020 Lobby Day will be February 26. Three of us attended an event at Redeemer Lutheran on October 30th sponsored by Inspiritus, titled “How to Have Hard Conversations Well, The Practice of Empathetic Listening .”


Paul Benz, Faith Action Network (FAN)

ANNUAL DINNER: FAN’s annual fundraiser will be Sunday, Nov. 10 with the theme “Raising Our Voices.” Our keynote speaker will be ELCA Minister Priscilla Austin from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seattle. This is a great event where our partners for the common good come together to celebrate our successes and be inspired for the work ahead. We are grateful to the ELCA Hunger as one of our year-round sustaining sponsors.

NEW ELCA BISHOP INSTALLED: Shelley Bryan Wee is the new bishop for the NW Washington Synod and will be installed Nov. 2 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. Bishop Wee has been a great supporter of FAN, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with her and the 95 congregations and ministries of this synod.

FOOD WEEK OF ACTION: Every fall FAN works with the national Presbyterian Hunger program to promote Food Week of Action. We created an action-centered resource for faith communities to use that week and throughout the year. You can view our PLEA (pray-learn-educate-advocate) here:

2020 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: FAN members have been meeting with their state legislators to build relationships and prepare for next session which will begin on Jan. 13. The House and Senate will have their annual committee days Nov. 19-22 in Olympia when most legislators will be present for caucus and committee meetings.

CONGRESSIONAL FOCUS: As one of the main congressional issues we are following this season, we are asking our members to urge US Senator Cantwell to put her support behind the expansion of funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Care Tax Credit (CTC) to keep more households from falling deeper into poverty. We are also thanking her for her leadership on expanding funding for housing tax credits.


Cindy Crane, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW)

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Via an action alert and social media, we supported our D.C. office’s efforts encouraging people to comment on the new proposed rule for SNAP. The director also sent individual emails to hunger leaders around the state inviting them to access their networks to respond.

CARE FOR GOD’S CREATION: Several months ago, the director suggested that members of the Wisconsin Climate Table explore how we can amplify the positive environmental efforts in parts of our state government within a highly partisan atmosphere. LOPPW is now part of a campaign that is planning how we can support Wisconsin having a clear, actionable plan to equitably meet the 2050 carbon neutral goal.

We are also supporting a bill on regulating PFAS and testing lead in water in facilities that would require child care centers, child care providers and recreational and educational camps to test for lead in drinking water.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: The director was asked to give a legislative update to the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Consortium at our last quarterly meeting. We also had a legislator on the phone for part of our meeting and strategized next steps.

LOPPW has continued regular contact with WELCA and other LOPPW supporters to move Safe Harbor forward.

The director has met regularly with LOPPW’s intern, Amelia, who successfully had a letter to the editor published, has organized other college students to advocate and has delivered petitions written by WELCA members to legislators.

NEW PROGRAMS: The director worked with volunteers to plan for our first monthly update on FB live (Wednesday Noon Live) on November 6th and our first pilot of a gathering for young adults (Engage) on November 7th.



2019 ELCA Advocacy Policy Priorities

God is calling us into the world to serve together. Shaped by the ELCA’s social teaching documents and experiences of its congregations, ministries and partners, the ELCA advocates to end world hunger and stands up for policies that create opportunities to overcome poverty, promote peace and dignity, and preserve God’s creation. Introduced by the ELCA Advocacy director, the following policy priorities focus ELCA Advocacy activity on current central issues.

On Tuesday, February 5, President Donald Trump addressed our nation and introduced this administration’s major priorities for 2019. The annual State of the Union speech provides an opportunity for citizens of the United States to learn about the policies our elected leaders hope to focus on in the upcoming legislative year.

In this important moment, ELCA Advocacy presents our public policy priorities for 2019. This policy action agenda focuses the work of the ELCA in Washington, D.C. on actions that will reduce poverty and hunger, promote safe and healthy communities and care for our environment. ELCA Advocacy invites you to live out your baptismal identity by serving your neighbor through participation in the ELCA Advocacy network.

~ The Rev. Amy E. Reumann, director, Advocacy

Formative ELCA social teaching documents impacting domestic policy include the social statements Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All and Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries, and the social message “Homelessness: A Renewal of Commitment.”


Secure shelter is a critical component of the foundation of the human person, the absence of which can contribute to hunger and challenges in healthcare, education, job prospects and more.

  • In 2019, we will work with state, national and interfaith partners to strengthen policies that reinforce housing affordability for low-income households. We will accomplish this through: • Strengthening funding levels and access to housing programs in the federal budget; • Advocating for structural housing reform through vital investments in infrastructure and programs such as the National Housing Trust; • Opposing efforts to increase rent or work eligibility requirements on low-income households, which could significantly impact seniors and people with disabilities.

God richly provides for daily bread — the earth can produce enough food for everyone. Yet, many of our sisters and brothers still go hungry.

  • In 2019, we will • Advocate to fund, improve and strengthen child nutrition programs through measures that adequately fund and promote access to School Breakfast Programs; National School Lunch Programs and after school snack programs; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and other vital nutrition assistance programs; • Support keeping these programs in the federal safety net rather than state block grants to prevent long-term erosion of access.

The ELCA is prompted to speak and to act because so many cries of suffering and despair emerge from the criminal justice system — from victims, the incarcerated, their families, communities, those wrongly convicted, they who work in the system — and have not been heard.

  • Building on the momentum of recent improvements in criminal justice and sentencing reform, in 2019 we will: • Advocate to restore judges’ discretion in sentencing decisions and decriminalize addiction; • Promote greater economic and racial justice by allowing thousands of federal prisoners to seek fairer punishments than those they are currently serving; • Support criminal justice funding that focuses on crime prevention and recidivism reduction which will better serve all our communities; • Promote programs that improve the dignity of women in prison populations.

Health is central to our well-being, vital to relationships, and helps us live out our vocations in family, work and community. Each person bears some responsibility for his or her own health, but health and healthcare also depend upon other people and conditions in society and our communities.

  • Our commitment to ensuring the availability of quality and affordable health insurance remains a priority for many across our country. In 2019, we will: • Advocate to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act and expand where possible access to vulnerable populations at the edges of poverty who lack access to affordable health care insurance; • Protect and strengthen Medicaid, Medicare and disability programs to ensure the health of persons with low-incomes, seniors and those living with disabilities.


Formative ELCA social teaching documents impacting environment policy include the social statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice.


As stewards of this world, we are called to care for the earth and examine our behaviors toward creation. While we need to take from the land for food and sustainability, we also need to be careful that we maintain good stewardship and do not exploit the wonderful things the earth provides.

  • In 2019 we will: • Advocate with Congress and the Administration for strong environmental protection regulation to protect all of creation; • Support climate finance measures that reduce emissions and enhance resilience to negative climate change impacts; • Prepare educational materials making connections between the common thread of the environment with hunger, poverty, health concerns, migration, disaster response and national security concerns; • Support Lutheran Disaster Response with climate change and disaster connections as well as stewarship of the land; • Work with Lutheran Restoring Creation and ELCA Stewardship on starting Creation Care Coaches Training; • Work with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on federal lead policy, starting with urban areas; • Work with EPA on promoting public gardens; • Work with associations and faith-based entities on just transition issues in areas where renewable energy technologies are expanding.


Formative ELCA social teaching documents impacting international policy include the social statement For Peace in God’s World and the social messages “Human Rights” and “Gender-based Violence.”


Concern for the well-being of others lies at the very heart of Christian faith. Christians have a variety of social identifications through their nation of origin, race, ethnicity or political affiliation, but all Christians have a common identity as children of a loving creator.

  • In addition to promoting and advancing human rights, we will work to increase capacity and support for U.S. and multilateral initiatives/programs that aim to build peace and prevent conflicts around the world. Specifically, we will: • Advocate for passage of the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act; • Ensure Congress allocates funds for the Complex Crisis Fund in the FY2020 budget; • Encourage continued U.S. engagement in South Sudan, especially in the peace process as well as humanitarian and development assistance; • Monitor U.S. Cuba policy and encourage the Administration to take positive and mutually beneficial steps that will help move the two countries toward normal relations; • Work with foreign policy staff in the Administration and Congress to promote values of good governance and inclusive participation in the electoral processes.

“For all” in the title of the ELCA social statement on economic life refers to the whole household of God—all people and creation throughout the world. We should assess economic activities in terms of how they affect “all,” especially people living in poverty.

  • In 2019, we will work to build broad support for international development and humanitarian aid in Congress. Specifically, we will: • Advocate to bolster funding levels to international poverty-focused programs as appropriate in the International Affairs budget; • Oppose efforts by Administration or Congress to cut funds to these programs; • Work to improve ways some programs are administered or implemented to ensure programmatic efficiencies and accountability; • Monitor the Administration’s review of foreign assistance and respond accordingly; and • Advocate for passage of legislation that focuses on improving specific poverty-focused programs, such as those enhancing child and maternal health.

The ELCA is committed to the continual work of prayer, learning, reflection, discernment, and action to resist patriarchy and sexism as we live together in community into the promised abundant life God intends for all.

  • In 2019, we will work to ensure that prevention of gender-based violence becomes a priority in U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic engagement. In addition, we will promote gender integration throughout development and humanitarian programs. In doing so, we will: • Advocate for passage of legislation that seeks to improve the quality of life for women and girls globally, such as the International Violence Against Women Act; • Oppose efforts to dismantle the Office of Global Women’s Issues, housed in the Department of State; and • Monitor and analyze the U.S. government’s gender-focused program activities and provide feedback to appropriate entities.


Formative ELCA social teaching documents impacting migration policy include the social messages “Immigration” and “Human Rights.”


Thousands of children and families from Central America continue to flee their communities and search for safety in the U.S. As a church, we envision a world in which children and families do not have to leave their communities in order to live a safe and sufficient life.

  • In 2019, we can help address this goal with advocacy and AMMPARO measures through: • Strengthening funds from the U.S. government to anti-corruption mechanisms and development programs that are culturally appropriate for Central American communities; • Opposing US. Foreign policies that support the militarization of Central American countries or prevent people from seeking protection in a country where they feel safe.

Our faith calls Lutherans to see our neighbors as ourselves. As people flee their communities, the ELCA will continue to celebrate and stand alongside our immigrant neighbors.

  • In 2019, we can help address this goal through: • Support of robust asylum and trafficking prevention laws alongside laws that provide a pathway to citizenship to long-term residents of the U.S.; • Opposition to attempts to weaken asylum laws or other laws that protect vulnerable children and families fleeing their communities.


Formative ELCA social teaching documents impacting this policy focus include the social statement Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity & Culture.


We are called to conversation and prayer around our role as U.S. residents and as people of faith in ensuring our election systems promote dignity and respect for all.

  • In 2019, we will • Advocate to ensure access to voting by the broadest number of eligible voters in our nation; • Promote laws and regulations that prevent efforts to disenfranchise voters on election day or create burdens to eligible voters in voter registration process; • Support efforts to keep money out of politics and to oppose repeal of the Johnson Amendment; • Support strong funding for the Census to ensure that the whole population is adequately represented in Congress.


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