UU Advocacy Network of Illinois

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

UUANI April 2018 Action Newsletter

Dear UU Advocates for Justice,

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - Building Community for Justice. UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.The Poor People’s Campaign kicked off in Illinois with a rousing press conference in Springfield on February 5, including an impassioned appeal by our own Rev. Krista Taves from the Unitarian Church of Quincy (see video here – Rev. Taves starts at 33:20). That same day in Chicago, a number of UU clergy were part of a 100 Clergy for DREAMers action led by immigrants and DREAMers. UUs were part of the February 14 Peoples Budget Action for a Fair Tax at the Capitol, and out front doing street theater for the March 27 Fair Tax Now rally in Chicago. Meanwhile UUs have been part of organizing Fair Tax town halls around the state, meeting with legislators in nearly a dozen districts from Carbondale and Champaign to Palatine and DeKalb, and setting up our first phone bank at the UU Society of Geneva!

UUANI has been part of organizing each of these actions, and we invite you to join us for one or both of two upcoming actions either in Springfield or by participating in our online Actions of the Week:

  • The April 17 lobby day for the Fair Tax, restorative justice issues, and overriding the governor’s veto of gun dealer licensing, sponsored by Community Renewal Society. The afternoon will be a Poor People’s Campaign action in the Capitol rotunda.
  • The April 26 lobby day for environmental justice issues and voting reform sponsored by the IL Environmental Council and Faith in Place.

Please email us at uuani@uuani.org for more info or to RSVP for either of these actions. You can register for buses at the links above.

To inspire, prepare, and sustain us for this work, UUANI, the UU Prison Ministry of IL, and YaYA Justice co-sponsored the first UU Justice Event for Chicagoland/Northern IL on March 23-24 at Countryside UU in Palatine. Friday evening we heard insights and experiences from four amazing frontline transformative justice activists, who taught us about building communities based on real relationships in which we care for and provide security for each other–starting with housing–and about the importance of being willing to be uncomfortable and go beyond the four walls of our churches. Saturday we had workshops on dignity in re-entry, restorative justice, environmental justice, immigration justice, hands-on volunteering, Beloved Conversations, legislative advocacy, voter engagement, and the Poor People’s Campaign. We began the day by gathering stones representing the gifts our communities bring to this work, and we ended by tearing down a “wall of rage” and building a “bridge of solidarity.”

  • We will have our first UU Justice Event for Central/Southern IL on Saturday April 14 at Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield. We will begin with worship and networking, followed by workshops on the UU Prison Ministry, environmental justice, immigration, the Fair Tax and voter engagement. The afternoon will consist of the downstate training for the IL Poor People’s Campaign. Please register here so we can plan for lunch.

Stay tuned for more opportunities for action during the Poor People’s Campaign 40 Days of Action in May and June. Join us as we build community for justice across the state!

Peace and Power,
Scott

Rev. Scott Aaseng, Executive Director (he, him, his)
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI)

http://www.uuani.org/
https://www.facebook.com/UUANI
(773) 726-9082

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UUANI Spring 2018 Campaigns

UUANI is gearing up for a spring of putting our UU values into powerful action under the banner of the new Poor Peoples Campaign! Led by Rev. Dr. William Barber, this campaign is reviving the original Poor Peoples Campaign started by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years ago. Echoing and expanding on Dr. King’s naming of the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, the campaign provides a national values-rooted framework for state-based fusion organizing. Building on this framework, we are working with our statewide partners in Illinois for:

  • Economic Justice: With wealth overwhelmingly concentrated at the top, we seek economic justice, equity and compassion through a Fair Tax, providing for the common welfare of all based on ability to pay.
  • Restorative Justice: With thousands of citizens returning from incarceration each year, we seek to Restore Rights and Opportunities for returning citizens, affirming the inherent worth and dignity of each person.
  • Environmental Justice: With ongoing objectification, exploitation, and violence against people and the planet, we are Ready for 100% renewable energy, affirming our respect for the interdependent web of existence.

Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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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