Archive for social justice

“As serious as I know the Coronavirus is, I wish…”

I’d like to share with you, especially in this season of searching  for leaders and policies that represent and protect all people, these words of the Executive Minister of Justice and Witness for the UCC, The Rev Traci Blackmon:

Dear God,

As serious as I know the Coronavirus is…

I wish Poverty was classified as a deadly virus so the world would respond to the deaths of the 2.6 million people who die annually in the US alone with precautions to contain its effect and protect the most vulnerable among us.

I wish Racism was classified as a deadly virus so the world would begin studying its origin and its mutations and investing adequate resources in developing a response to completely eradicate the effects of this disease on all citizens, globally.

I wish Sexism was classified as a deadly virus so that literally 50% of this world’s population might receive the attention, investment, and escalation of time and resources necessary to remove it from society.

I wish Homophobia was classified as a deadly virus so those showing symptoms could be effectively screened and, if infected, quarantined to protect the rest of us from getting sick.

I wish Transphobia was classified as a deadly virus so that we might actually work to save lives by stopping the spread of this disease.

I wish Xenophobia was classified as a deadly virus so that we would finally isolate the right people instead of those just seeking a safe place to lay their heads.

Basically…I wish the pain, silencing and marginalization of so many were enough to move us to panic mode…with daily updates…and urgent precautions…and monetary allocations…dedicated people at every level…working together like ALL of our lives depended on it…because they do.

I wish we were as ready and willing to wash our souls as we are our hands.

Hear my prayer, oh Lord.
And grant my request.

May we wash our hands, and our souls! 

Blessings upon your week, Pastor Laurie 

Oakland’s Draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan – Town Halls

The Green Team and Justice and Witness Team request your attention and action:
 

To Oakland Residents:
  You are invited to either of these 2 TownHall Meetings, to review and give your comments on
                        Oakland’s Draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan 
Visit this link to comment directly on the draft, and join us at a Town Hall to review and discuss the Plan as a community.
Town Hall 1: Saturday, November 2
Location: Rainbow Recreation Center
5800 International Blvd.
Time: 1-4 pm (lunch at 12pm)
RSVP: https://climatejusticetownhall1.eventbrite.com

Town Hall 2: Wednesday, November 13
Location: Lincoln Square Recreation Center
250 10th Street, in Chinatown
Time: 6-9 pm (dinner at 5:30)
RSVP: https://climatejusticetownhall2.eventbrite.com 

At the Town Hall meetings, Oaklanders will come together to dive further into the ECAP and the draft Actions, and vote on what needs to be kept, improved, or eliminated. Food and childcare will be provided. Simultaneous interpretation will be available with advanced request. Both Town Halls will cover the same material.
For more information or if you need a ride, contact Catherine Kessler via the office at 510-531-8212   office@skylineucc.org.

Green Team Speaks Out Against Coal in Oakland

Hi Dear Skyline Green Team, 

Thank you, for adding your voices to help bring forth this important decision, and environmental justice victory for all the people of Oakland!

Thank you, for coming out to the vigils on Saturday and on Monday, and to the council meeting. 

As you experienced it, the stakes were high and the rally was contentious, and grew even more so during the meeting. But we won!

Here’s the news!

Laurie’s talk at the rally on Saturday, June 25

http://www.ktvu.com/news/166685923-story

http://www.wsj.com/articles/oakland-officials-vote-to-ban-coal-handling-and-storage-at-new-shipping-terminal-1467106207

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/oakland-coal-transport-ban.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oakland-coal-shipments_us_577204abe4b017b379f72d3c

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4054521-155/oakland-city-council-discusses-coal-ban

http://nocoalinoakland.info/

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_30064002/happening-now-oakland-council-considering-ban-coal 

Laurie’s Speech Before the City Council Meeting

What a gorgeous day, let’s hear it for the organizers of this rally! Give them a big applause! 

I feel so much hope today, here w/ you, & here representing the voices of so many Oakland faith communities, including the dozens that are part of CIPL & the Sierra Club, in saying no to coal in Oakland …. You’re here, bec. you care about Oakland & your voice matters.   

Tonight, our City Council will vote a/ bringing coal into W. Oakland from Utah to export to Asia. I think if they asked us,  we’d tell them right away – NO! no more coal dust, no more asthma, no more cancer, no more climate change! 

The developers have gotten our city council to a pickle..

The developers claim that they’ll create new, never before seen, clean coal operation that covers up the train cars & covers up the terminal, so no coal dust escapes.  

But the real cover up was the developers’ intentions to sell off access to our city’s waterfront to the highest bidderregardless of their promise that coal wasn’t part of the plan.”    We’re not going to fall for it! . 

Come to the city council mtg tonight -make sure that they don’t fall for it either!

The good news.. our city councilman, Dan Kalb is recommending an item on the agenda that we can support – to ban coal in Oakland. Come & support him. 

We don’t need a coal terminal in Oakland .. why? because coal IS terminal – it’s terminal for human health, it’s terminal biologically, morally & economically. 

We’re all familiar with “the Golden Rule.” It’s a universal principal, an ethic of reciprocity that teaches: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It teaches us to care about our neighbors.  Who doesn’t care about the kid down the street, in W. oakland breathing dirty air. 

As Flint MI, reminds us, environmental toxins particularly impact poor children of color, globally, & locally. W. Oakland has many parallels to Flint. (%90 black & Latino, where residents already experience high rates of poverty & unemployment. Imagine if this coal train were being routed through Piedmont or Montclair? 

 This is a local health issue. The children of W. Oakl& are already contending with fumes & noise from the heavy volume of diesel trucks & other pollution from the Port. We need to ask ourselves, what if it were our own children? 

This is a global health issue. We need to imagine the impact on children, not only W. Oakland, but in Asia, & in Utah. We need to imagine the impact on children of the next generation. Right now, accdg to WHA, 7 mill. people die every yr because air pollution. 

Our Governor & our mayor, spoke out in Paris at the Nov climate summit. They presented our city & our state as leaders in the environmental justice. They echoed the global scientific community’s unanimous pleas to leave 90% of fossil fuels in ground Speaking out in at Vatican, Jerry Brown clearly articulated that this is a moral issue. Why be complicit in prolonging, & accelerating this environmental & humanitarian disaster? 

 

It’s a  bad investment for Oakl&.   Renewables are the way of the future. … 

Oakl& deserves.. good energy, good jobs, clean air. 

We don’t need a coal terminal because coal is terminal  YOUR VOICE MATTERS COME TO CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT!