Nonviolence . . . Human trafficking . . . Women . . . . The elderly . . . Immigrants' rights . . .. Housing. . . Children . . . Prisoners' rights . . . Health care . . . World Hunger . . . Globalization, as it affects Latin America . . . Care of the earth . . . Seamless ethic of life

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.

Friday, August 18, 2017

On the Charlottesville Tragedy

In the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville and the face of growing violent acts the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist groups, the Sisters of Saint Agnes publicly condemn racism and to recommit to pray for our country.
The Sisters of St Agnes join with women religious throughout the nation in condemning racism in all its harmful forms whether the violent acts of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist groups or the daily acts of hate and discrimination that diminish us all.
We grieve with the citizens of Charlottesville and all people of goodwill. We mourn with all who have lost loved ones, with all who live in fear, with all whose dignity is threatened by hate and violence. We lament the racism that continues to afflict our communities. 
We pray for our country and look forward to the day when all truly live in equality and unity. 

Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation

Ways to Stand against Racism and Bigotry

Please see activities below, compiled by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Actions That You Can Take To Stop White Supremacy And Stand Up For Civil And Human Rights
1. Demand President Trump fire Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. Sign The Leadership Conference petition here:
2. Stop credit card companies from allowing white supremacists to sell their hate-based products and message online. Learn more about the #NoBloodMoney campaign here:
3. Take ‘Em All Down. Symbols of hate and oppression are naming our schools and scattered throughout parks, capitol buildings and public places. This campaign seeks to remove Confederate monuments and symbols:
4. Call your state legislator (if you live in FL, MA, MO, NC, ND, RI, NT, or TX) and tell them to protect the protesters. Free speech and the right to peaceably assemble are among the cornerstones of our democracy. Several states recently introduced legislation that harms protesters by protecting the terrorists who attack protesters. 5. Find your state legislator here:
 5. Join a solidarity event near you. Check out Indivisible’s event guide here:
6. Participate in the Movement for Black Lives (#MB4L) August 19th Day of Action. Check out more information about the upcoming day of action here:
7. Share your story through Communities Against Hate. If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed a hate incident, please encourage them to share their story with or the hotline (1-844-9-NO-HATE or 1-844-966-4283).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

For the first time in history, a treaty to ban nuclear weapons was negotiated at the United Nations. A solid majority of world governments have taken a huge step in eliminating nuclear weapons this July 7, 2017. One hundred and twenty-two nations who do not possess nuclear weapons or maintain a stockpile of nuclear weapons completed negotiations and formally adopted a treaty called the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The United States and other countries possessing nuclear weapons boycotted the conference. It is hoped that the United States and others will sign this treaty over time. Our task is to pressure our country so that our government will move toward the elimination of our weapons of mass destruction. We urge you to contact our UN representative, Nikki Haley, to re-consider signing this important treaty. And, we urge you to contact your congressional representatives to encourage Ms. Nikki Haley to sign on to the treaty as well.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to Connect With Your Representative

This is intended for anyone who needs to know how to get a message to your senators, representative, or the president.  I found this helpful information in a communication from National Priorities Project 

Phone Calls
Call your representative directly or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
One way to save time and help you make calling Congress a habit is to save legislators' phone numbers in your cell phone. 

Writing a Letter or Email
Personal messages from constituents can be a very effective way of communicating with your legislators. Always be sure to include your name and address to make it clear that you live in the relevant district or state. All letters should start with Dear Senator/Representative, and they can be just a few paragraphs about a single issue.

While you can always use information you have found through various sources, you should write your letter in your own words. Include specific information about the bill or program about which you're writing. Details about personal or local impact are very effective. Always be courteous, and be very clear about what action you'd like your legislator to take.

Address your letter as follows:
For Senators
The Honorable (Full Name)
[Room #] [Building Name] Senate Office Building
States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

For Representatives
The Honorable (Full Name)
[Room #] [Building Name] House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is appropriate to begin letters with “Dear Mr./Madam Chairman/woman” or “Dear Mr./Madam Speaker.”

For the President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Comment Line: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461

Due to security concerns, mail delivery to Capitol Hill or the White House can be slow. If you are writing a letter about a pressing issue or upcoming vote, be sure to leave extra time for delivery or send it to their local office. You can also send a letter by email through your legislator’s website. 

Social Media
The newest and easiest method of contacting your representatives is through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. While phone calls and letters may still carry more weight in the eyes of lawmakers and congressional aides, speaking to your legislators through social media has the advantage of occurring in the public eye. When you comment on your legislator’s Facebook page or send a tweet, other constituents can read your message. This may spark a dialogue. It could also help increase awareness about the issue you’re raising and build support for your cause.

Through social media sites you can ask questions, respond to legislators’ posts or Tweets, encourage them to take action, thank them when they do something you support, and much more. Always be respectful and never use offensive language.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Questions on Climate Change

In an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper, Al Gore said that there are three questions around climate change:
  1. Is it real? 
  2. Can we do something about it? 
  3. Will we do something about it?
To the first he responded that we no longer need science to tell us about climate change because Nature is giving witness through extreme weather conditions, melting ice caps, and receding shorelines. 
We absolutely can do something. We can slow the effects of climate change.  Wind and Solar power is a growing industry creating jobs while becoming more accessible and more affordable.  
Will we do something?  Something is being done.  Countries, industries, and individuals are confronting climate change despite, and even spurred on, by the current administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and its support of the fossil fuel industry through reversal of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulings.  More can be done. 
Choose today to do something to reduce your dependence on fossil fuel: turn up the thermostat on your air conditioner, take public transportation, turn off computers and unplug electrical appliances when not in use.  Contact your legislators; write to the EPA to tell them your concerns.  What else can you do? Be creative!

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Dream Act of 2017, S. 1615

Recently the US Department of Justice submitted a petition to terminate DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  Over 750,000 youth have received protection under DACA since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012. While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.  On the brighter side The Dream Act of 2017, S. 1615, was recently introduced in the Senate By Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) as a bipartisan effort. It is intended to protect immigrant youth who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home.  Contact your legislators in support of DACA.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

See where you can be effective as a responder

A chart has been developed to offer an overview of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) in the U.S., depicting the infrastructure needed for an effective response network to rescue victims and rehabilitate survivors successfully. Read more.