ISAIAH Clergy Launch Prophetic Voter Campaign

ISAIAH Clergy Launch Prophetic Voter Campaign

Religious Leaders Launch Faith Based Voter Engagement Program

On Wednesday, September 3, ISAIAH clergy and faith leaders gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol to announce the Prophetic Voter campaign, an ambitious plan to reach 56,000 religious voters in a statewide civic engagement program. The initiative seeks to urge congregations and community members to come together from different backgrounds and perspectives and vote for shared values and principles that promote economic dignity, family security and racial equity.

Religious leaders believe this election presents a key opportunity to address inequities across the state, especially in low-income communities and communities of color, and that the faith community is called to make those who are most vulnerable in our society the focus of this election season.

“It has never been clearer that in our democracy some voices are being heard and others are not–with pain and unrest in Ferguson, gridlock on immigration reform and the growing income gap between the haves and the have-nots in our country,” said Rev. Paul Slack, pastor at New Creation Church in Minneapolis and ISAIAH President. “We are here today because the people in our communities are suffering; because too many people in our state have lost hope in our democracy, and because this election can and must be different.”

9.3.14-press-event3ISAIAH, in partnership with the Minnesota State Baptist Convention and other faith organizations, plans to reach out and unite voters from African-American, Latino the Twin Cities metro, St. Cloud and greater Minnesota communities under a set of common values and a wide ranging equity agenda.

“We will speak to those who are unlikely to vote this year because they have lost hope; because they have not found a reason to expect the leaders they elect will make things better for the people in their community,” announced Rev. Paul Slack, “And we will pledge to stand with them, to see their problems as our problems, to see their children as our children – in this election and beyond.”

“We learned that many people in our congregations are suffering because of crushing debt and because they are being denied the dignity of work,” said Rev. Chris Bellefeuille, pastor of Valley of Peace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, “We intend to work hard to assure that this election will be different. That this election will be about making the people in my community who feel invisible – feel visible again.”

Towanna Williams is a member of New Creation Church and a mother of two children with medical conditions. “I spend a lot of time caring for them.” She admitted. “But because I did not have enough support from my old job, I had to choose between keeping myself employed and caring for my children… I chose my children. Too many families are struggling, and our safety nets are failing them. I will vote this year so that every family that comes behind me won’t have to struggle and make impossible choices like my family did.”

“I believe that as a person of faith, everyone has human dignity and that all people deserve good schools, heath care and to live, work, and drive without fear.” Said Nelis Sanchez, a member of Ascension Church in Minneapolis and a prominent Latino leader in the campaign. “My community has been working on being recognized and to live with dignity in this country, but it has been a long road. Many have given up hope in politicians and the American dream. But I believe things can change. If we unite together, participate and vote, we can show the strength of a community that works together.”

The Prophetic Voter campaign aims to mobilize voters to call on our elected leaders to implement policies that would create economic dignity for all families; dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline; end senseless deportations and mass incarceration; expand access to affordable health care and allow all people fair and equitable access to public transit.

Twitter: @ISAIAHMN • #PropheticVoter • Flickr.com/ISAIAHMN

* Watch the press conference on a video produced by The Uptake, Amen: “Prophetic Voters” Aim To Change Minnesota’s Politics, or read some of the media coverage:

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