Advocacy update April 12, 2022

Advocacy update April 12, 2022

Advocacy update April 12, 2022 150 150 Episcopalians in Connection
EPA webinar:  Interfaith Panel on Climate Change, April 20, 2 p.m.

Speakers will connect their faith – including Catholicism, evangelical Christianity, and Islam – to the need to act on climate change.  EPA’s Deputy Administrator, Janet McCabe, will provide opening remarks. Register here.

Through the ENERGY STAR program, EPA has partnered with the faith community on energy and water efficiency for the past 30 years. Over that time, EPA has learned that all their faith traditions teach stewardship of both financial and natural resources, as well as the protection of human health and environmental justice. Many religious denominations and other faith-based organizations have adopted policies and facilitated actions designed to reduce emissions from their worship facilities and other buildings, both across the country and internationally.

Speakers:
Imam Saffet A. Catovic, Head of Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances and Governmental Relations, Islamic Society of North America
Mr. Jakir Manela, CEO, Hazon & Pearlstone
Mr. Dan Misleh, Founder, Catholic Climate Covenant
The Rev. Dr. Jessica Moerman, Climate Scientist, Vice President for Science and Policy, Evangelical Environmental Network
The Rev. Susan Guy, President, Interfaith Power and Light

Cincinnati region Creation Care Earth Day event April 23

Several Cincinnati Episcopal congregations are volunteering together on Saturday, April 23 for the “Lick Run Greenway Greenup” event from 10 to noon. Activities will include trash pickup, weeding, and installation of a peace pole and bee hives. All necessary equipment will be supplied. We’ll be working outdoors, so please dress accordingly. A light breakfast will be just before, and lunch will be offered following the event, courtesy of the South Fairmount Community Council.

Stay on for an afternoon of Earth Day activities (1-6pm)! This event is organized and led by the South Fairmount Community Council and the City of Cincinnati. The Episcopal congregations are coordinating the gathering of volunteers to participate together. Youth are encouraged and welcomed to participate! We will meet at the shelter adjacent to the main parking lot at 1645 Queen City Avenue, South Fairmount (45214) at 9:30-9:45 a.m. More info here.

Please email Melissa Vath (mvath@cccath.org) if you have any questions.

The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act

The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act recently introduced in Congress would apply the 36% interest rate cap afforded to the military to all consumers, including veterans, to mitigate and prevent the harm caused by predatory lending practices. “Scripture condemns usury,” write the staff of the Episcopal Office on Government Relations, “and teaches us to respect the God-given dignity of each person and to love our neighbors rather than exploiting their financial vulnerability. Just lending is a matter of Biblical morality and religious concern. Payday loans are high-cost, small-dollar loans, some of which have annual percentage rates of 300% or greater. Taking out these loans often results in a long-term cycle of debt.

“After a Department of Defense report showed the devastation caused by payday loans in the military, Congress passed a bill to set a 36% interest rate cap to protect active-duty military and their families, which has been very successful. Once a person leaves the military, however, these protections disappear, leaving veterans – who take out payday loans at high rates – even more vulnerable.”  You can use this link to write to your Representative and Senators.  Once you put in your address, their names will pop up with draft letters you can easily edit and personalize.

Federal ghost gun rule finalized, Ohio Attorney Steven Dettelbach nominated to lead ATF

President Biden announced that the Justice Department has completed a new rule to block the sale of “ghost guns,” untraceable firearm components without serial numbers, often sold in kits, which are increasingly used by people legally barred from buying or owning guns. The New York Times reports that ghost guns accounted for 25-50% of firearms recovered at crime scenes over the past 18 months. Mr. Biden was introduced at the April 11 press conference by Mia Tretta, who was wounded by a classmate using a ghost gun in her California high school.  The shooter killed two of her friends.

The ghost gun rule was finalized after the ATF reviewed hundreds of thousands of comments. It represents the Justice Department’s efforts to reduce gun violence as legislation including universal background checks continues to die in Congress. The ATF is underfunded and understaffed, and has struggled without a permanent director for years. Gun rights advocates have opposed the nominees previously proposed by both President Trump and President Biden. Mr. Dettelbach, a former US Attorney, ran for Ohio Attorney General in 2018 on a platform that included supporting a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks, and tighter restrictions on gun buyers with mental illness.

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team. Connect with her at arielmillerwriter@gmail.com