So it’s been awhile since my last post. Last weekend I was in Washington D.C. participating in Ecumenical Advocacy Days. From their Web site,
“Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.”
The theme this year centered on issues of climate change and poverty. Many of us who went to Nicaragua back in January reunited to give a presentation on what we saw on our visit. I also had the chance to meet with some of the folks from the Advocacy office in D.C. and see how they do their work. They are such valuable partners. While our individual decisions matter (yes, I’m still not eating meat), public policy is a key component to addressing global justice issues. Our Advocacy folks in D.C. and New York (as well as those in Pittsburgh and numerous State Public Policy Offices) are essential allies in our struggle against global and domestic hunger.
On the last day of the conference, I got to meet with the legislative assistant to my congressman (Mark Kirk) and the legislative director to Senator Dick Durbin. I told both of them that climate change is a pressing issue and that we need to start acting now. I expressed that my hope is that whatever legislation is proposed takes into account those who are most vulnerable, both here and abroad. I was told that both the House and the Senate aim to have a bill this year. Here’s hoping!
It was good for me to see how the process works and to better understand my role in advocating on behalf of those who are poor and vulnerable. On Monday I will have more to say on the specific lessons (I think) I learned.
On a totally unrelated note, for those of you who missed me or wish in general that you heard more from me, I am now on Twitter with the user name “hungerbites” (yes, the name is intended to have multiple meanings; three, to be exact). I will be updating my status 2-3 times a day, letting people who are passionate about working against hunger know what I am reading and writing. Feel free to follow!