Together We Vote
Following a presidential election cycle marred by vitriolic and harmful rhetoric, this election exposed deep divides. As people of deep faith, we are uniquely poised to not only help our nation heal, but to serve as a moral compass for the country.
Our faith will not allow us to permit the criminalization of immigrants by conducting mass deportations, or sit idly in the face of racial profiling of African Americans, Latinos and religious minorities.
While it may be tempting to focus on the presidency alone, we should look down ballot. People of faith voted for key ballot initiatives, showing that Americans - even in states that voted for Donald Trump - will vote for measures that give all families a chance to thrive.
Regardless of what happened at the top of the ticket, we are proud of these local wins and are more committed than ever to pushing an agenda that leads to a more inclusive America.
Down Payment for American Families
For America to be strong and vibrant, all families – including those that have been so often discounted, dispossessed and disenfranchised – need to be able to thrive not just barely survive.
Our agenda is to divest public money from programs that are tearing families apart through incarceration and detention, and reinvest in initiatives that help families stay united and thrive. This agenda prioritizes the needs of all families, especially those that have been devastated by flawed criminal justice and immigration policies. We are asking the next president and Congress to make a down payment for families in the First 100 days of the next administration.
The Live Free Campaign is a national movement of the PICO National Network of faith-based organizations and congregations committed to addressing the causes of pervasive violence and crime in our communities. We believe that the mass criminalization and incarceration of people of color, coupled with the lack of meaningful and quality opportunities, have contributed to a state of crisis in our country. Live Free is committed to dismantling the mass-criminalization of people of color by mobilizing the faith community to action using the voices of those closest to the pain in order to build communities where all of God’s children can live free.
Standing for Liberation, Action, Respect, Equity and Dignity – In PICO's LA RED project, immigrant families and people of faith are standing together to achieve affordable housing, a living wage, affordable/accessible healthcare, and to end to the mass criminalization of our immigrant communities.
Stop the Debt Trap
There are twice as many payday loan shops as there are Starbucks across our country, growing rich off the financial crisis of our friends and families struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table.
Across our country, predatory lenders are charging triple digit interest, trapping most borrowers in crippling cycles of debt. In April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a first look at potential payday loan reforms that could end the industry’s worst abuses.
The CFPB draft takes a major step towards protecting the bank accounts of millions of hard-working American families - addressing a borrower’s ability to repay and limiting length of indebtedness. However, loopholes could allow lenders to ignore these important requirements.
Women's Theology of Liberation
Center for Health Organzing
Americans experience unhealthier lives and die sooner than our global peers – despite the fact that the United States far outspends them on health care. In order to reverse this systemic health crisis, we must expand the scope of the conversation around health to include the myriad socio-economic and environmental factors affecting an individual’s and a community’s health every day. Building a healthy American requires that every person have access to a quality education, living wage jobs, reliable transportation, nutritious food, affordable housing, safe streets, green spaces, democratic governance, and many other everyday requirements. We are committed to addressing the myriad factors that contribute to healthy communities.
In the fall of 2014, we did the sacred work of reminding our fellow Americans that as children of God, every single one of us matters. Let My People VOTE* is the work of voting for each other and for the ones we love.
We know that the election season can be corrosive and divisive when focused on tearing people down - when candidates and the media pursue the path of least resistance. Yet what continually gives us hope is the way that we in PICO engaged in this election with a very different focus on healing—healing our people, our communities and our democracy. We focused our work not on candidates, but on agendas of family unity and the freedom to live with dignity in America, declaring that Black and Brown lives matter and ensuring that we live up to the promise of our democracy.
Year of Encounter
In his writing and in his pastoral visits, Pope Francis invites us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus: to include or “encounter” one another, especially those of us that society typically ignores, undervalues or “excludes”. Most of us don’t do this very often: open ourselves up to people different from ourselves, to hear their stories and share our own.
Our challenge to ourselves and to our community is to then take the next step: from seeing all people as part of God’s family, to acting together to bring about a world that respects everyone’s dignity.