Get to Annual Conference One Day Early, Speak out for Those in Economic Peril
The Conference Board of Church and Society, Council of Churches of Santa Clara County, and California Church IMPACT invite California-Nevada United Methodists to get to Annual Conference in Sacramento one day early - on Tuesday, June 16 – and take part in a huge faith rally, 9 a.m. to noon, to let state lawmakers know that cutting services to those already in economic peril is not a moral way to balance the budget.
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Pr. 31:9).
The three groups stress that every single social support in welfare, health, and even prenatal care is in jeopardy in California.
In a one-week period, they report, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger insisted that the state abolish the entire CalWORKS program, removing 1.3 million people, including 1 million children, from all cash assistance which enables them to pay rent and purchase non-food items; and demanded elimination of Healthy Families, which permits parents to purchase health insurance for their children. This will leave more than 900,000 children with no health, dental, or vision care. Even some dialysis service is being cut: "a sure and certain death sentence for those with kidney failure."
"Those already living on the thin edge due to the economic crisis are now being pushed into abject misery, homelessness, and even loss of life. We must be present to witness for justice!" reads a news release.
"We must speak out with a moral voice - a faith-based voice, a prophetic voice - to create a new vision of how we can live together with compassion and justice in our state. The California state budget is a moral issue. Now is the time to rally for faith and justice!" it continues.
The schedule for the day on June 16 is:
9 a.m.: Gather in Sacramento (exact site TBA).
10 a.m.: March together at the Capitol. Take your own signs and church banners (no stakes or poles). Clergy, please wear clerical garb. (Remember that it is Sacramento in June - so have water with you, too!)
11 a.m.: Meet with your own legislators. Organizers will provide you with talking points.
Mark your calendars now!
Organize a carpool with people from your church, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for carpool information from San Jose and Palo Alto.