UU Advocacy Network of Illinois

UU Advocacy Network of Illinois – UUs across Illinois coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.

January 2017 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.The times are calling for a clear and sustained “accumulation of acts” – as Clarissa Pinkola Estes puts it in her visionary post, “We were made for these times” – from we who dare to claim the centrality of love.

Accordingly, beginning this week UUANI will be sending out one focused call to action each week – the first one is below. With so much coming at us these days we need all hands on deck, and our hope is that this will offer a way for each of us to do at least one thing each week rather than getting overwhelmed by it all. Moreover, these will be actions we can do as UUs, framed in our UU values, in ways we can share with our congregations on Sunday mornings, together with other UUs around the state.

Some of them will be actions you can do online (emailing your legislators, sending a letter to the editor, posting to social media), some will be phone calls (harder but more effective), some will be direct action (showing up at a town hall or other event), and some will be more connective and sustaining (meeting up with another group or having a conversation with someone). These will not be stand alone actions, but done in solidarity with larger efforts and organizations we know, trust, respect, and are accountable to.

Please contact us at uuadvocacyillinois@gmail.com if you would like to be added to or dropped from these weekly action alerts, or if you have a suggestion for an upcoming action.

ACTION OF THE WEEK

Health Care for All: A Matter of Justice, Equity & Compassion

All religious traditions lift up the importance of healing and wholeness, including physical health. Access to health care is a matter of justice and equity – the best health care in the world is of no use to those who can’t afford it – as well as basic compassion for those who need it – which is all of us at one time or another. When it comes to health care, we truly are all in this together.

Access to health care is about more than premiums, subsidies, and deductibles. It’s about ensuring that no one has to face bankruptcy to get lifesaving medical treatment. It’s about guaranteeing that people with serious or chronic health conditions can get coverage. And it’s about making sure that every person can afford the medical care, including preventive care, we all need.

The Affordable Care Act has extended health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children and low-income families. At the same time, millions of Americans remain without coverage, and costs continue to escalate. A single-payer system like Medicare for all could provide universal coverage while cutting costs. Repealing the ACA without a replacement would leave millions without coverage and lead to soaring costs, according to a report just released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

These decisions will be made in the next month. Congress is especially paying attention to phone calls right now – could you call or email today to urge your congressional representatives to expand rather than repeal access to health care?

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIONS

Friday-Tuesday, Jan 20-24: Peoples Climate Movement

Events for the first 100 hours of the new administration:

Saturday, Jan 21 Women’s March events
(see also Feb 8 post-march webinar below):

  • Carbondale – 12pm at Carbondale Civic Center.
  • Champaign-Urbana – 11am at West Side Park (400 W University).
  • Chicago – 10am at Petrillo Band Shell (Jackson & Columbus).
  • Peoria – 11am at Peoria Riverfront.
  • Rockford – 10am to noon from 508 E. State St. to Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
  • Springfield – 1pm at Old State Capitol Plaza.
  • St. Louis MO – 9am at Luther Ely Smith Square.
  • Washington DC – UUs meet at 9:30am at 200 Independence Ave SW. Click here to connect with other UUs and get in on pre- and post-march activities.

Sunday, Jan 22 2:30 (CT): UUSC webinar on Sanctuary and Solidarity,

With supportive, organizing and advocacy strategies appropriate for congregations of many sizes and political contexts. Register here (will also be recorded and available online after the event).  See also webinars on Jan 30 and Feb 27.

Other events

  • Tuesday, Jan 24: Responsible Budget Coalition e-Day of Action prior to Gov. Rauner’s State of the State address (next week’s Action of the Week).
  • Saturday, Jan 28, 10am-3:30pm: “Reaching Beyond: Religious Education and Social Justice in Our (Dis)connected World” workshop at Countryside UU Church in Palatine (1025 N. Smith Road), featuring UUANI’s own Scott Aaseng.
  • Monday, Jan 29, 3pm: “A Day at Stateville,” a theatrical performance written by Stateville Prison inmates and performed by previously incarcerated individuals at DuPage UU Church in Naperville (1828 Old Naperville Road).
  • Tuesday, Jan 30 6pm: UUSC webinar on Faithful Discernment: Is Your Congregation Called to Offer Sanctuary? Register here.
  • Friday-Sunday Feb. 3-5: WomanSpirit Conference: Just Women, Just World featuring Sister Simone Campbell and Emma’s Revolution, at the UU Fellowship of DeKalb (158 N 4th St).
  • Saturday, Feb 4, 1-4pm: Chaos or Community: Allies in Action! A Solidarity Resource Fair at First Unitarian Church of Chicago (5650 S Woodlawn).
  • Wednesday, Feb 8, 7pm: Standing of the Side of Love Post-Women’s March Webinar. Register here.
  • Monday, Feb 27 6pm: UUSC webinar on The Path Toward Sanctuary: A Practical Guide. Register here.
  • Save the Date: Friday, April 28, 1-5pm: Join UUs from around IL and other states for a pre-assembly justice event at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale before the start of MidAmerica Regional Assembly in Oak Brook.

UUANI IN OUR CONGREGATIONS

UUANI Executive Director Scott Aaseng will be preaching and/or leading workshops:

  • Jan 22 at the UU Fellowship of DeKalb
  • Jan 28 at Countryside Church UU in Palatine (see above)
  • Jan 29 at UU Community Church in Park Forest
  • Feb 11 at Eliot Chapel in Kirkwood, MO
  • Feb 12 at Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
  • Feb 26 at Unity Temple in Oak Park
  • Mar 19 at the UU Church, Rockford
  • March 26 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston

THANKS

Thank you to the UU Funding Panel, UUSC, and UUs across Illinois for your generous support of UUANI!

Peace and Power,
Scott

Rev. Scott Aaseng, Director
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI)
http://uu-advocacy-illinois.org
https://www.facebook.com/UUANI

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October 2016 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.REFLECTIONS FROM AROUND THE STATE

October 15 #ReviveLove Tour– Rev. Krista Taves, Quincy Unitarian Church:
“We have misused the first principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, to justify ideas which are harmful, seeing them as personal expressions of freedom.  With a power and privilege analysis, we instead condition our first principle with the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.  A commitment to diversity does not mean that all ideas are equally true…”

[click here to read more]

October 16 Moral Declaration Worship Weekend – Rev. Sarah Richards, Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship:
“[Quoting Rev. Forrest Gilmore:] ‘Our seventh Principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence, is a glorious statement. Yet we make a profound mistake when we limit it to merely an environmental idea. It is so much more. It is our response to the great dangers of both individualism and oppression. It is our solution to the seeming conflict between the individual and the group… [It] can help us develop that social understanding of ourselves that we and our culture so desperately need.’

Ours is not the politics of division and fear, but of inclusion, diversity, and love, and if we don’t speak up, if we don’t take action to express our values and principles, what good are we?”

[click here to read more]

CAMPAIGN UPDATES
Respecting the Interdependent Web: Clean Power/Clean Jobs

After lengthy negotiations, a version of the Illinois Clean Jobs bill significantly ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency will likely come to a vote by state legislators before December 1. We will talk about ways to take action on it during the fall veto session (Nov 15-17 and Nov 29-Dec 1) on our October 25 Action Council call (see below).
Continue reading

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September 2016 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.The September 12 National Moral Day of Action in Springfield, Chicago, and 30 other cities was a success! Diverse faith leaders and people impacted by injustice came together to raise the level of public discourse to higher ground, away from extremist politics and policies that benefit the few and toward policies and laws that value people and the planet.

UUANI led the Day of Action in Springfield, where we mobilized 120 people from 6 faith traditions, 7 organizations, and 15 geographic communities around the state (including over 70 UUs from 12 congregations) – an important step as we pursue building a fusion coalition in Illinois.

See photos and more in our Facebook group – where we encourage you to get into conversation with other UUs around the state about promoting our values effectively in the public arena!

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES
…to promote Worth and Dignity – Justice, Equity and Compassion – Respect for the Interdependent Web.

There’s a lot happening these days, folks. Show up when you can and stay woke!

Continue reading

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July 2016 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.This is a momentous time for racial justice in our country. The historic and systemic devaluing of Black lives is a long-standing reality we are collectively being forced to confront anew. As Ta-Nehisi Coates makes clear, it is time to wake up from our dream of a post-racial society and face the nightmare of violence, inequity, and dehumanization which affects us all—but kills some of us more than others.

Racism is reflected in the disproportionate impact on people of color of the budget crisis, the environmental crisis, economic inequality, inequities in the criminal justice system, political disenfranchisement…the list could go on and on. The point is not to say that there is only one issue, but to see the intersections between all the issues.

any others (from UU World Senior Editor Kenny Wiley to Trinity UCC/Chicago to UUSC) have written about things we can all do to fight racial injustice, and this piece is deeply indebted to their work. At the risk of centering white people or my own perspective, I offer the following suggestions for ways white UUs in particular can join the struggle:

1. Wake Up – Do our own work – Get up to speed – Talk to other white people.

Whether we explore the Standing on the Side of Love website, or learn about local issues and campaigns, or read and discuss books like The New Jim Crow, Between the World and Me, Waking Up White or other resources, or participate in Beloved Conversations or other small group processes to raise our awareness of whiteness and white fragility, we cannot just pretend that the problem is “somewhere else.” As white antiracism activist Chris Crass says, “The question for us as Unitarian Universalists is not how many people of color we can get in our pews; it’s how much damage can we do to white supremacy.” Continue reading

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May 2016 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.Final Spring Push Edition

The state spring legislative session is almost over, but there are still opportunities to make a difference before it ends May 31.

URGENT ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Promoting Justice, Equity and Compassion: A Responsible Budget

Illinois’ budget impasse continues, affecting those most vulnerable among us most severely. It is being reported that a bipartisan group of legislators has put forward a budget deal that would raise $5.4 billion in new revenue with no cuts to human services.

  • Call 844-311-CUTS (844-311-2887) to call your state legislator or click here to demand that a responsible budget with adequate revenue to fund vital services be enacted NOW.

The UUANI Board has also joined an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against the state for nonpayment for services. Continue reading

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April 2016 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.KUDOS

Check out UUANI’s Facebook group to see UUANI Board member Bill Sasso speaking out for a responsible budget in Carbondale and UUs advocating in Springfield!

Congratulations to those in the Champaign-Urbana area who helped get Sen. Bennett to sign on as the 30th co-sponsor (out of 60 Senate members) of the Clean Jobs bill!

ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Promoting Justice, Equity and Compassion: A Responsible Budget and a Fair Tax

Illinois’ budget impasse and regressive income tax continue, affecting those most vulnerable among us most severely. The Fair Tax has about 2/3 of the votes it needs to pass, while we continue to advocate for a responsible budget, targeting efforts on key districts around the state. Continue reading

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