You’re invited: OCCV justice conversation
May 25, 10:00am-12:00pm
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth…”
As Christians we seek God’s justice on issues of poverty, homelessness, hunger, health care, human trafficking and stewardship of our natural resources. A vital question is how best to make systemic changes for the common good.
Churches, nonprofit organizations and individuals clearly are critical to resolving issues of economic injustice. Does the Bible give us any clues to the role of the public sector in seeking economic fairness? Can churches work collaboratively with local, state and federal government to help bring God’s kingdom to earth?
Come join us for a conversation to explore these questions as we seek to engage as the body of Christ, in promoting the common good and well being of all. Bring your questions, hopes, wisdom and experience to share with others, who also long for God’s kingdom here on earth .
When: May 25, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Where: Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont, Portland 97215
OCCV’s 2013 Legislative Priorities
“It has been said that a society can be judged by how well it cares for its most marginal members. God himself embodies a particular care for those who are poor or otherwise on the margins of our societies. As people called to imitate God, we must embody this concern as well. This is not merely a personal obligation but a political and public obligation as well.” Charles E. Gutenson, in Christians and the Common Good.
On February 4th the legislative session officially kicked off. OCCV members have gathered together and prayerfully chosen bills and issues that we will be focusing on this year. We wanted to share our legislative agenda with you and we hope you will join us in prayer and support as we all work to make Oregon a better place for everyone. We will be keeping you informed on these issues. If you would like to get involved in actively supporting a bill, please contact us by responding to this e-mail and we will let you know of opportunities to do that. Thank you for partnering with us.
At OCCV we seek to be imitators of Jesus, as we advocate for the poor and marginalized – those whose voices are often not heard – on issues of poverty, hunger, health care and human trafficking. We promote sustainable care for God’s creation, where the poor are the most vulnerable. OCCV will be active during the legislative session, advocating for bills that we believe reflect God’s desire for how we live together as citizens, as a community. Here’s an overview of the issues we have chosen to focus on:
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The EITC reduces the tax burden on low-wage workers, leaving more income for basic expenses. We support the Governor’s budget proposal to extend EITC for 6 more years, and to expand it from the current 6% to the federal level of 8%. This is good tax policy for all of us as it allows our neighbors who are working hard and struggling to make ends meet, to better provide for their families. In addition, OCCV supports an initiative sponsored by Working Families of Oregon, expanding EITC to 18%, because this would end the taxation of working families living in poverty. For more information: http://www.ocpp.org/
Wage theft is the underpayment or nonpayment of wages earned, and disproportionately affects low wage workers, those most likely to be living from paycheck to paycheck. Many of the victims do not report when their wages are stolen, for fear of retaliation. During the legislative session several common-sense bills will be introduced to establish accountability and penalties for employers who commit wage theft. For more information: http://nwjp.org/oregon-coalition-to-stop-wage-theft/
We are aware of several proposed bills aimed at reducing human trafficking and protecting victims, and will be advocating for at least a couple of those bills. We will keep you informed as we learn more about these bills and what opportunities are available to get involved in supporting them.
Toxic Disclosure for Healthy Kids
Jesus calls us to care for the whole person. OCCV believes we are responsible to serve and advocate for the needy, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This bill requires manufacturers to notify Oregon public health officials when their children’s products contain certain toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde in fabric, bisphenol A in plastics, and phthalates in personal care products. OCCV believes that full disclosure of potentially toxic chemicals is important to the health and well-being of our children.
We believe all people, regardless of where they are born are made in the image of God, and that immigrants are our neighbors, whom God calls us to love and care for as we are to love and care for ourselves. We believe the current system affecting immigrants is broken and does not reflect God’s heart. We will be advocating for just laws for non-citizens that directly affect their well-being and ability to thrive, including prenatal care for women, education equity, and driver’s licenses restoration. For more information about just immigration reform check out: http://causaoregon.org/
Join the We are the Safety Net campaign in protecting Portland's destitute. As we crawl out of the recession, we are acutely aware of how much we depend on having a secure safety net in times of crisis. Raise your hand now to defend the poor among us.