A Message from Regina Banks, Director, LOPP-CA
by Kathye Hamm
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California (LOPP-CA) works to implement social policy teachings and commitments of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America related to hunger and poverty, in the public policy arena in California. Its focus is on the California Legislature and Executive Branch. LOPP-CA engages in public policy analysis, education, and advocacy, and supports members, congregations, rostered leaders, synods, and other expressions in their call to public witness, seeking together to help fulfill God’s vision of justice for all people. Jesus’ teaching to love and care for our neighbors, the constitutional mandates of the ELCA, and the vision of the ELCA to be the Church together for the sake of the world, inspire and inform this collaborative endeavor in one of the world’s largest economies, noted for its great wealth, great poverty, and its diverse population with a high proportion of immigrant newcomers, including the undocumented.
LOPP is committed to working cooperatively with and under the direction of the ELCA Washington DC Office, with Sierra Pacific, Pacifica and Southwest California Synods, and with all expressions of the ELCA as common goals converge.
Your foundational support enables LOPP-CA to pursue the goals to prevent, alleviate, and reduce poverty and hunger, and care for God’s abundant creation, through engagement in the legislative process: by providing education and advocacy opportunities to Lutheran constituencies, by engaging in direct advocacy with policymakers, and by working with other faith and secular partners on issues of common concern, including the provision of facilities and hospitality for events at St. John’s Lutheran Church which, as a vital in-kind ministry partner, houses LOPP-CA rent-free near the State Capitol.
In the first year of the Legislature’s two-year term, LOPP-CA priorities will both build upon recent past successes and explore new policy themes. We plan to continue work begun in 2017 on water access and rate subsidies for disadvantaged consumers and communities, support health care for all regardless of immigrant status, protect and support undocumented immigrants, and help to focus state resources to end the nation’s worst child poverty rate in the nation. There are significant threats from current and proposed federal policy to California and its ability to provide a safety net, meet basic needs, and recover following natural disasters. The engagement of congregations and leaders through sharing stories of their own ministries and communities, through community organizing, through local relationships with elected officials and non-profit services providers, and through advocacy in districts and at the State Capitol, are fundamental to success.
August 20, 2019
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August 06, 2019