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News & Media

The power of transformation

Housing Opportunities, Civic Participation, Economic Security, Health Care Access, Neighborhood Revitalization

November 6, 2008

PICO National Network

Now that this historic election has come to an end, communities throughout the nation must quickly unite to help families weather this difficult economic storm. Working together, we can rebuild our economy on a sound foundation, fix our health care system, and stabilize the housing market to support millions of men, women and children in need.

As people of faith we believe in the power of transformation and in the inherent capacity of organized communities to see the bigger common vision beyond the narrow interests competing to shape our nation's agenda.

In less than two weeks, on November 17 2008, clergy and families from PICO National Network are traveling to Washington, DC to meet with transition officials and Members of Congress to insure that the voices of organized families and faith communities are heard not only during elections, but in the halls of power at this critical time in our nation's history. We believe, as President-elect Barack Obama has said "change will come to Washington, not from Washington." We aspire to be effective agents of positive change in D.C. and throughout our great nation.

It is clear that no economic solution can succeed for our country without comprehensive health reform that controls costs and covers everyone. Our goal is to connect with at least 100 Members of Congress and to those leading the transition process and put forth the message that, now more than ever, with so many families afraid of losing work and health coverage, we must join hands and seize the opportunity to ensure health care and housing security for people throughout our nation.

Specifically, we will urge the new President and Congress to quickly pass the State Children's Health Insurance legislation passed by both chambers of Congress in 2007 as a surefire way to get immediate help to families and states and a first step toward building a bi-partisan momentum for true health reform.

PICO faith leaders will be joined in Washington by families facing foreclosure and those who have been able to save their homes, to advocate for the adoption of a systematic approach to loan modification that would keep millions of families in their homes and put a floor on falling property values. We cannot wait one day longer to stop preventable foreclosures that undermining our neighborhoods and destroying family wealth.

This election season yielded an extraordinary effort by civic organizations, including those in the PICO network, to engage people in the political process. Tens of thousands of people participated in non-partisan forums and voter development efforts organized by PICO affiliates over the last year. Many of the issues that people of faith supported, including children's health, were central to issues in state and federal elections; and in many cases helped to determine the outcome of local, state and national races.