On January 12th, the Unitarian Universalist Association launched UU the Vote, a nationwide initiative aimed at promoting progressive values and protecting democracy in the 2020 elections. (You can watch archived video of the launch, and read some of the comprehensive launch guide.)
Rev. Susan Frederick Gray, president of the UUA, wrote:
“The stakes couldn’t be higher in the 2020 elections.
Directly or indirectly, the issues so many of us care most deeply about—climate change, LGBTQ rights, immigration, racial justice and more—will be on the ballot in 2020.
As progressive people of faith, we can seize the opportunity that the current electoral cycle offers us to fight for our values, counter voter suppression, expand democracy, and engage in spiritually grounded, values-based issue conversations with other voters in our own communities.
In this political moment, UUs are called to join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate. Let’s UU the Vote in 2020.”
The March 2020 Generous Congregation offering will send half of all non-pledge Sunday donations to #UUtheVote. How else can UUSM members and friends participate? At the February meeting of the FIA Peace & Social Justice Committee, we agreed on some ways in which current social justice projects may overlap with the national initiative, as well as some new things we can do:
- Voting Support and Assistance: The next election day is coming up soon on Tuesday, March 3! Do you or anyone you know need help locating or getting a ride to a voting location? The Peace & Social Justice Committee is here to provide support. Stop by the Faith In Action Table in Forbes Hall or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone can also find information about changes to local voting at Lavote.net.
- Protect Truth: FIA has endorsed the Pro-Truth Pledge, and so can you! The Pro Truth Pledge is a public project that promotes truth-seeking and critical thinking in politics during this time of much disinformation. It challenges politicians and citizens alike to commit to truth-oriented behaviors — in what they say, endorse, and share on social media — and protect facts and civility. Stop by the Faith In Action Table to learn more and sign the pledge or go to https://www.protruthpledge.org/.
- Learn About the Danger of Voter Suppression: Join us for a screening and discussion of the award-winning short documentary film, “Suppressed: The Fight to Vote” on Sunday, March 8 at 4:30 pm, before Second Sunday Supper.
- Advocacy for Ballot Initiatives: The Schools and Communities First Campaign aims to reduce longstanding inequities in public funding of education by closing tax loopholes for (only) corporate real estate. Last Fall, The Peace & Social Justice Committee co-hosted an info session and public advocacy training for the campaign here at UUSM with ACLU SoCal, and we can do much more to make sure it gets on the November ballot and help to educate the public about its potential positive impacts. The campaign is supported by a broad coalition of other grassroots, faith and labor groups such as League of Women Voters and our friends at the UU Justice Ministry of CA. Additionally, we can support LA County Measure R, which will bring sorely needed accountability and fairness to LA’s criminal justice system.
- Green New Deal: The urgency of working for Climate Justice intersects with many UU principles and values. Whereas the science has become clear that our civilization must act within a few years to transform our economy and infrastructure away from fossilized energy and toward sustainability, delegates at UU General Assembly affirmed last year that UU congregations should work to help Build the Movement for a Green New Deal. We will continue to find ways to collaborate with and support local allies such as The Sunrise Movement, Citizens Climate Lobby, 350 and others. We will also look at potentially hosting a public forum with expert panelists to educate our community and the public about the policy challenges and opportunities.
Which of these projects do you want to be involved with? What other ideas do you have about how we can #UUtheVote? Let us know at the Faith In Action Table, stop by the next meetings of the Green Living Committee (first Sundays) and the Peace & Social Justice Committee (third Sundays), or email email@example.com.