Washington E-Memo

Advocacy network members meet in Washington

In mid-October, members of our office’s Volunteer Advocacy Coordinators Network met in Washington. Participants met with 13 congressional offices, with many of them focusing on the need to reduce funding for immigrant detention, deportations and border walls. Members also shared updates on the advocacy work they are doing in their local communities. Learn more about the network.

 Members of the Volunteer Advocacy Coordinator Network in Washington, D.C. MCC photo/Estefania Martinez.

Policy updates

Climate change: The Trump administration has taken the next step toward pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, which could happen as soon as today. Last month, a Senate vote to stop a rollback of Obama-era carbon pollution limits for U.S. power plants failed 41-53.

Criminal justice: Negotiations continue on what should be included in the reauthorized Higher Education Act. There is increased bipartisan support to reinstate Pell Grants for incarcerated students.

Immigration: New agreements between the U.S. and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will force migrants to request asylum in those countries. While debates continue over border wall funding, construction threatens wildlife, private property and water resources. Read more in the latest MCC immigration update.

Recent articles

Iraq: Rebuilding what is broken

Caption: Hamda, whose last name is withheld for security reasons, has been farming chickens since September 2017 with support from MCC. MCC photo/Sheldon C. Good.

Resources

Stories of life behind the economic blockade in Gaza: ”No such thing as self-respect” | “We are all people” | “It is a miracle we are alive”

October MCC immigration update: English | Spanish

“A Loaded Conversation”: Guns are part of our lives, whether or not we own or use them. With encouragement and input from pastors and others in the church, MCC U.S. has created this resource to help congregations address the topic of guns.

Consultation offers peace-church voice on military service

MCC Borderlands Learning Tour participant Klaudia Smucker, from Lancaster, Pa., walks along the U.S.-Mexico border in Douglas, Arizona in October 2018. Vehicle barriers (shown to the left) are currently being replaced with pedestrian fencing/walls (right) in Arizona and New Mexico. MCC photo/Laura Pauls-Thomas.

Events

January 24, 2020

Deadline for entries to our essay and video contest for high school students. Full contest rules here.

April 24-27, 2020

Ecumenical Advocacy Days, “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored”

Registration is now open for next year’s conference, which will focus on climate change and economic injustice. Make plans now to attend.

Staff updates

We were delighted to have Greta Schrag in our office for a week as part of her Senior Experience week at Dock Mennonite Academy.

Kate Parsons recently returned from visiting MCC’s programs in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea). MCC supports three pediatric hospitals in North Korea with shipments of canned meat, hygiene products, and comforters.

Tammy Alexander spoke about immigration issues at Community House Church in Washington, D.C., and Madison Street Church in Riverside, California. She also accompanied a group from Madison Street to Rep. Mark Takano’s local office to advocate on a number of immigration issues.

John-Michael recently attended the Community Criminal Justice Days conference in Harrisonburg, Virginia on October 17-18 and the Healing Communities Conference at Wesley Theological Seminary, October 25-26.

Today (November 4) is the last day to apply for the international affairs internship in our office next semester. Let us know if you’re interested!

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