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Action Alerts, Ending the Use of the Death Penalty Events

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September 19, 2016

Governor Signs Farm Worker Overtime Bill, Other Bills Still Pending

On Monday, Governor Brown signed AB 1066, The “Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016,” which will phase in overtime requirements for agricultural workers who put in more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. The implementation will take place over the course of four years and includes important accommodations for small farms with under 25 employees.  Thank you for the thousands of emails you sent to the Governor and legislators to urge fairness for farm workers.

Other bills still pending include AB 2590, which would declare that the purpose of sentencing in criminal cases is public safety and direct the state prison system to add rehabilitation and restorative justice principles to punishment as part of their mission statement. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) has worked tirelessly with the lawmakers on this all session and we eagerly wait to hear news of his action on the bill. Click here to quickly send a letter to Governor Brown urging him to sign this important act into law.

Another bill pending is AB 1671, which intends to prosecute those responsible for recordings like the one that exposed Planned Parenthood last summer. Click here to join the growing number of people opposing these bills.  The CCC is also looking to pass SB 1157 to preserve in-person visitation in California prisons, and AB 1789 and AB 1567, which provide school supplies and afterschool care for homeless children.

Ending the Use of the Death Penalty – Resources, Events

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez released a video early this week with his take on ending the use of the death penalty.  In the two-minute spot, Archbishop Gomez describes the Catholic Christian tradition of forgiveness for all and that "Life belongs to God alone and there is no one who cannot be touched by God's mercy and changed by His love."

Next Saturday, September 24, Catholics Against the Death Penalty will feature LA Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connor and actor Mike Farrell in a web-based educational session followed by neighborhood actions around the state.  All are welcomed to take part in the event and organize local actions.  Details – in Spanish and English – are available here.  The livestream internet video feed will be available from Holy Family Parish in South Pasadena.

Other resources available on-line include:

·         Renewing Our Call to End the Death Penalty - Bulletin Insert (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)

·         Papal Quotes on Ending the Death Penalty (in English & Spanish)

·         Bulletin Announcements on Ending the Death Penalty (En Español)

·         Homily Helps

o   ​Catholics Against the Death Penalty -  All Sundays through Election (in English & Spanish)

o   Respect Life Month, October 2, 2016 Helps (in English & Spanish)

USCCB Responds to U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s Religious Liberty ‘Bigotry’ Statement

WASHINGTON—Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, responded to a statement issued last week by the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights upon the issuance of its report on "Peaceful Coexistence:”

“For the current Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, religious liberty is reduced to "nothing except hypocrisy," and religion is being used as a "weapon… by those seeking to deny others equality." He makes the shocking suggestion that Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities are comparable to fringe segregationists from the civil rights era. These statements painting those who support religious freedom with the broad brush of bigotry are reckless and reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work,” said Archbishop Lori.

“People of faith have often been the ones to carry the full promise of America to the most forgotten peripheries when other segments of society judged it too costly. Men and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era. Can we imagine the civil rights movement without Rev. Martin Luther King, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel? In places like St. Louis, Catholic schools were integrated seven years before the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Jesus taught us to serve and not to count the cost.”

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USCCB Joins Coalition Letter Opposing Predatory Lending Practices

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has joined a non-partisan coalition of other religious leaders and social and industry service providers to send a letter to the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advocating for lending rules to end predatory payday loans.

The letter, signed by other faith-based groups as well as the Center for Public Justice and the PICO National Network, asks for strong state usury laws with limits on interest and fees can best protect financially vulnerable borrowers, a limit on the number of loans a lender can make to a borrower, urges the Bureau to prohibit the use of past payday loan repayment as evidence of a borrower’s ability to repay, and encourages the Bureau to focus attention on longer-term loans as well so that this market does not become a haven for unscrupulous lenders and predatory practices.

The letter in its entirety can be read here.

Election Resources Available in Advance of Presidential Debates

With the first of several presidential debates coming up on September 26, and 17 different ballot propositions on the California ballot this year, it is easy to feel overwhelmed this election cycle.

The Conference has created an abundance of election resources to help Catholics navigate this stormy election environment. Here you will find a breakdown of all ballot propositions, as well as faithful citizenship resources aimed at clarifying the Church’s teaching on political participation.

Visit www.cacatholic.org for these resources and other important election information.

New Social Media Avenues for Catholic Charities of California

Catholic Charities of California is pleased to announce that it has a brand new website, Newsletter, and Facebook page!  Please subscribe the Newsletter and “Like” them on Facebook for regular updates about Catholic Charities activities in California! There are many exciting things going on in this wide network of services to people in need, and they want you to know about it.

September 16, 2016
Vol. 9, No. 30

En Español