◊◊◊ Voices on Poverty events leads to the Multi-Faith ACTION Coalition – (Advocates & Communities Taking Initiative for Our Neighbors)
Sunday, May 19th at 3:00 pm
Christ the King Catholic Parish
199 Brendan Rd., Pleasant Hill
“We are a Multi-faith coalition of Contra Costa County residents working together to address the root causes of poverty through advocacy and public policy change. Our shared values and our experiences as faith groups providing food, shelter and other services make us strong voices for those in need.”
Our Advocacy Task Forces will give reports from the Shelter & Housing, Food Security, Jobs, Health and Education task forces. We have 6 task forces doing the research and making the connections that will be making presentations on how we in the faith community can best advocate to address poverty in the county.
Our Multi-Faith Coalition continues its efforts!
We understand a few people didn’t receive our last email blast, so please see below some reminders along with more news…
Key Updates in the Memo:
- May 18th Community Awareness Event – Multi-faith A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition Advocacy Discussion at Christ the King – Sunday, May 18th at 3:00 pm.
- West County Multi-faith Clergy Luncheon – Monday, May 12th, 12-1:30pm, at Easter Hill United Methodist Church, Richmond
- East County Multi-faith Clergy Luncheon – June 3rd, at noon, at Holy Rosary Church, Antioch
- Multi-faith A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition to address the County Board of Supervisors in an extra public hearing on May 6th, 9am, Martinez
- Multi-faith Advocacy Task Forces
- Congregational Engagement & Education
- CalFresh Challenge
- Coalition Name & Vision
May 18th Community Awareness Event
Our follow-on event to “Voices on Poverty” is scheduled for Sunday May 18th at Christ The King at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary (199 Brendan Land, Pleasant Hill).
Our advocacy groups will creatively share their learning around poverty and will offer attendees calls to actions and next steps. There will also be a report on the findings of West County Faith Leader’s Luncheon. We are pleased that Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Beit Tikkun Community in Berkeley, Tikkun Magazine and the Network of Spiritual Progressives will be there to share his wisdom on how to advocate from a faith perspective for “A New Bottom Line.”
“Instead of a bottom-line based on money and power, we need a new bottom-line that judges corporations, governments, schools, public institutions, and social practices as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and our capacity to respond with awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation.”
– Rabbi Michael Lerner (see more here)
We need help planning this meeting – from coordination and logistics to creative ways to share learning and engage participants. Please reach out to Jasmine Tarkoff or Will McGarvey if you can help. Here is some text you can use as a Minute for Mission or for your bulletins:
Multi-faith ACTION Coalition Minute for Mission or Bulletin Announcement
Members of the Interfaith Council congregations and others have been studying the situation of poverty, housing and shelter, food security, jobs and economic security, health and education in Contra Costa County. Did you know that more than 200,000 people live in poverty in our county, and that more than 15,000 people experienced homelessness last year? We are a part of the new Multi-faith ACTION Coalition (Advocates & Communities Taking Initiative for Our Neighbors) is preparing the faith community to share its voice to make a difference. Members of the faith community are meeting and have formed some task forces that will be giving some preliminary reports on Sunday, May 18th at 3:00 pm at Christ the King Catholic Church (199 Brandan Road, Pleasant Hill). After the task forces give their brief reports, Rabbi Michael Lerner will share how the faith community can work together to raise the multi-faith voice for the underserved. All are invited to come be inspired on how we can work together to end poverty and homelessness in our county.
West County Multi-faith Ministers and Faith Leaders Luncheon
Under the leadership of Pat Reyes, we are hosting a multi-faith luncheon, for congregational leaders in West County on May 12th at noon. Our hope is to establish relationships with faith partners in these regions and listen to their perspectives on the issues, opportunities, gaps, and challenges that affect citizens in this region of the county.
We are grateful to be collaborating with George Miller and his office, GRIP, the Richmond Foundation and Supervisor Gioia. If you have relationships in West County (non-profits, faith leaders or coalitions) or wish to help with this effort, please contact Pat Reyes at email@example.com. We need help with logistics, facilitation and outreach.
East County Multi-faith Ministers and Faith Leaders Luncheon
Similar to the above but scheduled for June 3rd at Noon at Holy Rosary Catholic Church (1313 A St., Antioch, CA 94509). We are grateful to be collaborating with George Miller and his office and others. If you have relationships in East County (non-profits, faith leaders or coalitions) or wish to help with this effort, please contact Pat Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need help with logistics, facilitation and outreach.
If you our your congregation would like to donate towards expanding the conversations to West and East County through these lunch discussions, please send your donation to ICCCC and write “Multi-faith ACTION” in the memo line. (ICCCC, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94597.)
We propose that we have a delegation of ideally a dozen people from the faith community attending, of which 3 or 4 might address the board.
This is an exciting first step for our Coalition. Melody Howe Weintraub email@example.com is coordinating
Multi-faith Advocacy Task Forces
Under the leadership of Roger Lamm, (firstname.lastname@example.org) we have formed several multi-faith advocacy task forces around specific poverty areas: Food security, Shelter/Housing, Health, Education, and Jobs. Several have met, others are doing research and communicating via email.
- Food Security: Joanne Peterson, email@example.com and Linda Wild firstname.lastname@example.org. Next Meeting: May 15th at 7pm at Hillcrest Church
- Health Marianne Burns, email@example.com
- Jobs: Lisa Hirsch, firstname.lastname@example.org. Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 13th at 7pm, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church
- Shelter/Housing: Christoph Nauer, email@example.com
- Budget and Planning: Melody Howe Weintraub, firstname.lastname@example.org
We need members from every faith institution to participate in at least one of these groups. Please reach out to the conveners to join and be part of this essential, relationship building, & illuminating process.
Congregational Engagement and Education
The Coalition’s vision will only be realized by stimulating conversations. Now would be a great time to send a message to your congregation about what the Multi-Faith ACTION Coalition has been doing. Other members may want to join you in this effort or may want to add to the conversation on May 18th. Spread the word any way that makes sense in your organization – newsletter, email, announcement or sermon topic. Every voice can help bring significant change to Contra Costa. We are starting to build a team who will come to your congregation to do presentations on poverty in the county, the role of the faith community and how to get involved. We are looking for leaders and presenters for this group – please contact Ken Sargent at email@example.com for more information.
California is 50th in food stamp enrollment and CCC has over 40,000 eligible people who are still yet to enroll. For every dollar of CalFresh money put into the hands of eligible citizens, $1.7 of economic stimulus is created. This is a win-win proposition! But we need more help!
At “Voices On Poverty” we had 100 people interested in CalFresh enrollment; 56 have been trained (approx. 5 trainings were offered in conjunction with the Contra Costa Food Bank) and over 20 have actually participated in helping with the process. Many of us have joined food bank distribution sites to “walk the line” and connect with potentially eligible individuals. In just this short time, we have learned a lot: prospects are scared, untrusting and uncertain of the benefits. The forms and process are complicated especially for a person in crisis. Gratefully, we have also had impact, identifying people who are eligible and assisting them to enroll. But we must do more!
Linda Wild and JoAnne Peterson, members of Temple Isaiah and the Coalition are qualified to provide training and high-level information to your congregation about CalFresh. Does your congregation have members who might benefit from CalFresh enrollment? Do you have members who might want to help enroll more people in CCC? Please invite Joanne and Linda to come speak at your faith institution and join our CalFresh Challenge! firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.
Coalition Name and Vision
Under the leadership of Melody Howe Weintraub (firstname.lastname@example.org) we are excited to share the name & vision for the coalition:
Multi-faith ACTION (Advocates & Communities Taking Initiative 4 Our Neighbors) Coalition — We are a multi-faith coalition of Contra Costa County residents working together to address the root causes of poverty through advocacy and public policy change. Our shared values and our experiences as faith groups providing food, shelter and other services make us strong voices for those in need.
There are so many ways to get involved and WE NEED YOU! Please take the time to encourage members of your faith-based institution to engage in this work. We cannot impact these issues alone! It will take a village and we need all members of our village to get involved.