Public Policy Insights is the weekly newsletter of the Catholic Legislative Network. Learn about the issues of the day from Sacramento to Washington and how Catholic social teaching guides our relationship to our communities.
Need help with unpaid rent or utilities?
The Federal eviction moratorium is scheduled to end tomorrow and policy makers, despite some last minute posturing, say it will not be extended. California, however, has funds available for renters impacted by the pandemic.
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides financial assistance for unpaid and/or future rent and utilities to income-eligible California renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19. Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance.
COVID and Returning to School
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics invites Californians to join them for a four-part back-to-school themed discussion in webinar series Covid, Vaccinations, and Back to School. All the sessions run for one-half hour and begin at 11:00 a.m. Two of particular interest include:
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 – Father Jon Pedigo, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County will discuss the ethical concerns related to COVID-19 vaccines as schools begin to reopen, with a special focus on the challenges and impacts of marginalized communities.
Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 – Amidst COVID-19 vaccines and the return to schools across the country, the webinar will focus on the challenges faced by students, families, and staff with Verbum Dei High School’s principal, Dr. Brandi Odom Lucas.
Visit the Markkula Center Get Vaccinated Website for additional resources, webinar topics and materials to help combat vaccine hesitancy.
Opposition to Loosening “Safeguards” in Physician-Assisted Suicide Law Grows
“The End of Life Options Act collects minimal information, so we have no idea of success or abuse. Critics worry that patients may be coerced into requesting physician-assisted suicide (PAS) by family, friends or even health plans,” says a neurosurgeon in an expanding list of people opposed to removing many of the safeguards in California’s end-of-life law.
“Under a similar law in Oregon,” continues Dr. James Santiago Grisolia, “Medicaid refused to pay for certain cancer treatments, but instead offered PAS as a cheaper option. Have similar abuses occurred here? Limited state-collected data makes it impossible to know.”
Tell Congress “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion” – The Hyde Amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from funding elective abortion for 45 years. Now, powerful members of Congress want to take away these laws that both Democrats and Republicans have supported for nearly half a century. Sign the No Taxpayer Abortion petition today. The petition urges Congress, in the strongest possible terms, to ensure that the Hyde Amendment and all similar life-saving appropriations riders remain in place during the 117th Congress and beyond.
USCCB Relaunches Civilize It Campaign – As Catholics, we take to heart Jesus’ invitation to follow the example of the Good Samaritan, who challenges us to “become neighbors to all” (Fratelli Tutti, no. 80). As a Church and a nation, we are polarized and divided but as Pope Francis writes in Fratelli Tutti, we can seek “a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good” (no. 154). USCCB is looking for “launch partners” who are willing to share the good news in their communities starting in early September. If you’re interested in joining this movement and loving your neighbors through open engagement, sign up here.
On Wednesday, the House passed the state/foreign operations appropriations bill without the Helms protection, which says that “no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” Yesterday, the House passed the package of seven appropriations bills with the Hyde, Weldon, and other important pro-life provisions excluded. The bills will now head to the Senate. Please let your Congressional leaders know you oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
Upcoming Redistricting Input Meetings
Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, states must redraw the boundaries of their Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts, so that the districts correctly reflect the state’s population.
In California, an independent commission is tasked with drawing the lines based on a number of criteria, one of which is communities of interests (COI). To assist in that process, the commission is asking Californians to describe their communities and neighborhoods.
Highlighting community issues in personal stories and written narratives help demonstrate the importance of having elected officials who understand and respond to community needs. Has your community come together to advocate for important services, better schools, roads, or health centers in your neighborhood? Have you worked for more recognition or support of your community, like having holidays recognized or historical events commemorated?
To learn more and to find upcoming opportunities to provide input to the commission, visit We Draw the Lines. Meetings are schedule for the coming months and input can be in-person, on-line or in writing.
In this time of pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are a sign of hope, a sign of universal brotherhood marked by a healthy competitive spirit. #Tokyo2020