At St. Ignatius Catholic Church, we believe Voting is An Act of Love.
This election season, we are teaming up with the Ignatian Solidarity Network,
and When We All Vote, a non-profit, non-partisan organization on a
mission to increase participation in every election and
close the race and age voting gap.
Your vote is your voice.
Take the following steps to be an active participant
in making your voice heard:
Faith In Action: Jesuit Parish Advocacy Day on Migration with Ignatian Solidarity Network
On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020, members of the Immigration Subcommittee from the St. Ignatius Justice & Peace Committee, joined with the Ignatian Solidarity Network in the first ever Jesuit Parish Advocacy Day on Migration.
Members advocated for just and humane immigration policies, including: considering asylum-seeking essential travel, including mixed status families in economic stimulus packages, automatic DACA and TPS extensions and renewals, protection for migrant agricultural farm workers. They met with representatives from both Senator Van Hollen and Senator Cardin’s offices. Members were met with support from their representatives, and were further reminded that it is crucial for citizens to be involved with their local governments. Representatives from Senator Cardin’s office left members with an ask: to keep broadening and building the coalition of justice and faith.
On behalf of the St. Ignatius Catholic Community, members also asked the Senators for advocacy and support on police reform and just policing policies. In early June, Senator Cardin, an original cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act and lead sponsor of the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (S. 2355) and Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (S. 3063), called on Republicans to join Democrats in finally passing comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation.
To get involved with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, you can register for the annual Ignatian Teach-In for Justice– held virtually this year. Contact Candra Healy at [email protected] for more registration details.
Please visit our individual committee pages, found here, to learn more about the Justice & Peace Committee.
ACTION ALERT- SUPPORT MEANINGFUL POLICING REFORMS
The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Sean Monterrosa, and many others by law enforcement officers are horrific reminders of the legacy of systemic racism in the United States. Commenting on the current situation, Pope Francis said: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” As people of faith who see the image of God in the lives of those killed by police, we must work in solidarity with communities of color in demanding significant reforms now.
These killings make plain the immediate need for transformational change in policing in our country. The death of George Floyd once again calls into question the use of force, especially chokeholds, by law enforcement officers. Breonna Taylor was killed as a result of a “no-knock warrant” that allows officers to enter a property without warning inhabitants prior to entry. Violent state and local law enforcement responses to demonstrations in the wake of these deaths offer a stark example of the ongoing militarization of police.
Read more and write to Senator Cardin & Senator Van Hollen here.
Baltimore City Delegation Visits Capitol Hill
On November 6, 2018 the St. Ignatius Parish Baltimore delegation (Candra Healy, Vonetta Edwards, Terry Cavanagh, Frank Richardson and IRC Family Mentor Coordinator, Salman Zaman) joined nearly 1,400 Ignatian advocates at Columbus Circle in Washington, D.C. for a public witness gathering with signs, banners, and voices to pray, listen, and recommit to work for justice.
The Justice & Peace Committee at Saint Ignatius is dedicated to awareness and advocacy in our hometown of Baltimore and throughout the world. A large way we advocate for and with others is through legislation, which involves engaging with our government. The format of this advocacy involves Talking Points and ‘Asks.’ When making appeals to Congress or any legislative body, we provide talking points that explicitly communicate our purpose, our needs, and our beliefs, and ASKS that lay out our expectations for our government and the response we need to see.
Immigration Talking Points and ‘ASKS’
As members and representatives of St. Ignatius Church, we stand with Pope Francis, the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Jesuit Provincials and 1200 Ignatian Solidarity Network social justice advocates visiting Capitol Hill today, in asking for immigration policy that supports family unity, provides a pathway to citizenship and promotes human and just treatment of immigrants. We also call on Congress to rethink policy that unnecessarily militarized the border and increases the vulnerability of individuals fleeing their countries in search of protection. Additionally we ask that Congress support increased refugee resettlement and continued funding to international programs that can mean the difference between life and death for refugees.
Criminal Justice Talking Points and ‘ASKS’
While events like Charlottesville rightly attract media attention and scrutiny, we know that examples of racial injustice are found in our social systems – economic, educational, environmental, and civic – to name a few. Nowhere is the sin of systemic racism more evident than our broken criminal justice system which disproportionately arrests, kills, locks up, and strips away basic rights of people of color. We stand with our fellow parishioners of St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore City, the Society of Jesus, the Catholic Bishops, and 1200 social justice advocates visiting Capitol Hill today in calling for meaningful reforms to our nation’s criminal justice system that prioritize fairness, rehabilitation, and restoration of individuals rather than the current punitive system that produces disproportionately negative outcomes for communities of color.
An Appeal to Maryland Senators & Congressional Members regarding DACA
On November 6, 2017, a delegation representing the 800+ families of our community visited Maryland Senators and Congress members to discuss DACA and comprehensive immigration reform and racially-just criminal justice legislation. Our parishioners wrote letters in support of our visit, here is what they asked for:
(1) DACA and comprehensive immigration reform. As my elected official, I ask you to support the Dream Act of 2017 and to decrease funding for detention and deportation. Specifically, I want you to back compassionate immigration policy. That means immigration policy providing undocumented young people with access to a path to citizenship and creating safe and humane communities by reducing the detrimental effects of detention and deportation on families. Can I count on you to be a vocal supporter of a path to citizenship for Dreamers? Can I count on you to be in opposition to increased funding for detention and deportation, actions that separate families and communities?
(2) Criminal justice legislation. Racism is an evil which endures in our society. I want you to support policy that ensures law enforcement is carried out in a non-biased, accountable, and community-oriented manner. It is also important to me that you back policy that ensures defendants of color have access to affordable, equitable, and timely judicial proceedings. Our country also needs policy to reduce the barriers that limit the economic and civil rights of people leaving prison. Can I count on you to vocally and publicly support reforms to reflect every individual’s God-given human dignity in our criminal justice system? Will you publicly support and vote for legislation that promotes non-biased, accountable, and community-oriented law enforcement? Will you back policy efforts that ensure defendants of color have access to the same quality defense as their white counterparts? Will you openly work on policy that reduces barriers that limit the economic and civil rights of people leaving prison? As my elected official, it is important to me that you consider the information that will be shared with you from the Saint Ignatius Catholic Church delegation. They will share with you positions that represent the values important to me as a Catholic, as a citizen, and as a voter. These views reflect the values that that guide me in my voting, which is why I elected you to office.