Washington E-Memo

At Ali Quapu Palace in Isfahan Iran. MCC photo/Daryl Byler

More congressional votes could be coming on Iran

Last Thursday the House passed a war powers resolution to limit the ability of the president to carry out military action against Iran. See how your member voted.

The risk of immediate war between the U.S. and Iran has eased somewhat, but tensions remain high. In the next week the Senate may vote on a similar resolution. The House is also considering additional legislation to limit funds for military action and to repeal the 2002 military authorization against Iraq.

Many of you have already called and emailed Congress. Please continue to do so! Tell your members of Congress that you do not want war with Iran and share the alert with a friend.

Faith statement on escalating violence with Iran

No military action against Iran (letter from U.S. faith leaders)

Other policy updates

In late December President Trump signed into law spending bills funding all federal agencies for the current fiscal year. The final bills included: 

  • $1.375 billion in new funding for border walls (on top of more than $10 billion to date) and did not restrict the administration’s ability to overspend on wall construction or immigrant detention.
  • $25 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health to research gun violence.
  • A restoration of assistance to Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which had been cut since March 2019. (Most of the funding will be distributed through private and nonprofit organizations.)
  • $75 million for humanitarian and development programs in the West Bank and Gaza (restoring funding that had been cut by the Trump administration), as well as $3.3 billion in military assistance to Israel.

Year in review: In 2019, you helped us advocate for a more peaceful and just world.

View the full issue of our newsletter.

You wrote letters: 5,128 emails to Congress

You signed up: 458 new advocates receiving action alerts

You read: 35 articles published

You visited: 212 meetings with policymakers, 72 of them including constituents or MCC partners

You listened: 1,650 people attended our speaking engagements

You volunteered: 11 volunteer advocacy coordinators, four interns, one job-shadow participant

Staff of the MCC U.S. Washington Office. Left to right, John-Michael Cotignola Pickens (Criminal Justice Education and Advocacy Coordinator), Kate Parsons (Legislative Associate for International Affairs), Estefania Martinez (International Fellow), Tammy Alexander (Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs), Charles Kwuelum (Legislative Associate for International Affairs) and Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Director). Credit: Jesus Rodriguez 

Together we advocated towards dignity and rights for migrants.

A local congregation speaks out. What happens when a congregation asks for resourcing on how to advocate on immigration? Our office responds! In October, Tammy Alexander spoke at Madison Street Church (Riverside, Calif.). The next day, she accompanied congregation members to Rep. Takano’s local office…

The next chapter in the Christmas story Immediately following the birth of Jesus is the story of Jesus and his family fleeing the threat of violence and finding safety in Egypt. In today’s legal terms, Jesus’ family would likely be classified as “asylum seekers…”

Immigration update  Federal spending bills disappoint on border wall and detention funding…

Madison Street Church members at Rep. Takano’s office. Photo courtesy of Madison St. Church.

Together we advocated towards living sustainably.

Empowered to talk about climate change [Board members of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions] visited more than 20 congressional offices to advocate for better policies to address climate change. For many, it was the first time they had engaged in advocacy…

An introduction to carbon pricing | Election resource: Climate change

Ben Brabson, board member, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. MCC photo/Tammy Alexander.

Together we advocated towards health and well-being for all.

Responding to Ebola Sen. Bob Menendez introduced the Ebola Eradication Act to grant a waiver so aid could be released. But the bill needed Republican support…

In Nigeria, preventing radicalization through rebuilding lives Emmanuel Sawa, then a high school student in the Plateau State of Nigeria, dropped out of school when violence caused his parents to lose their livelihood and become displaced…

In March, MCC staff Charles Kwuelum set up meetings for Madame Francisca Ibanda Mawangu (right), a Congolese Mennonite leader, with congressional staff and State Department officials. Ibanda is pictured with congressional staffer Alexandra Davis. MCC photo.

Together we advocated towards peace in places of conflict.

Advocacy works! Restoring humanitarian assistance to North Korea [MCC’s humanitarian] support was threatened in September 2018 when the U.S. began to block U.S. humanitarian workers from entering North Korea. Our office stepped into action…

North American aid needs North Korean hands There are many stories about North Korea, some true, most incomplete…

A look at military, national and public serviceThe National Commission on Military, National and Public Service’s work is of keen interest to Anabaptist groups, who strongly value voluntary service and who oppose serving in the military…

Kate Parsons joined an MCC monitoring trip to North Korea in October. The delegation visited three pediatric hospitals supported by MCC. MCC photo.

Current legislation

View the bills that our office is working on and where your member of Congress stands.

MCC photo/Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach. 

Help us advocate in 2020

Sign up to receive our alerts and monthly updates.

Speak out for migrants as part of our centennial initiative. Stay tuned.

Organize a meeting in your legislator’s local office.

Come see us when you are in D.C. and attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days, April 24-27.

Create videos and essays for our high school public policy contest. The deadline is January 24!

Support our work through a financial gift to MCC.

View the full issue of our newsletter.

In April we hosted staff from three MCC partner organizations in Honduras and Mexico as part of the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference. Aracely Medina (left), Mercedes Perez Reyes (second from left) and Aldo Ledón met with congressional staff and others to share insights into the root causes of migration and how they are working for peace. MCC photo/Charissa Zehr. 

Invite us to speak   How to be an advocate   Sign up for the E-Memo

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