Legislative Update: Mar 20, 2015

Legislative Update: Mar 20, 2015

A Look At What’s Happening At The Capitol
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March 20, 2015

Let My People Thrive: Legislative Update

As people of faith, we believe our moral compass comes from the things God calls us to do. During this legislative session, the ISAIAH community is acting out of a fundamental set of values – dignity, inclusion, equity and redemption. Working together with our state leaders, we will put the truth of God’s love back at the center of our lives and our society.

Prophetic Voices of the People: Reforming MN’s Juvenile Justice System

On Thursday, March 12, over 100 ISAIAH and community leaders spent the day at the Capitol to urge our elected officials to reform an unjust criminal justice system that fears and persecutes black youth rather than protecting them and putting them on a path to opportunity. They called for creating access to jobs for youth coming out of the juvenile justice system; an end to shackling in the courtroom, and an end to mandatory minimums and sentences of life without parole.

ISAIAH leaders Brian and Tammie Fullman (New Creation Church in Minneapolis) share their stories with legislators, urging them to pass a package of reforms.

Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants

Last week, it seemed that legislation to allow driver’s licenses for immigrants would be denied a hearing in both chambers, which would have meant the death of this bi-partisan legislation for this session.  So this week, ISAIAH leaders (and the SafeRoadsMN coalition to which we belong) intensified their efforts to get a hearing for the bill.

  • ISAIAH leaders and others spent several evenings calling community members and asking them to agree to urge their Representatives to support the scheduling of a hearing. Calls were patched directly to their legislator’s voicemail. 
  • Leaders in our Driver’s License for Immigrants campaign participated several days in a weeklong vigil at Speaker Kurt Daudt’s office praying to get a hearing.
  • Fifty ISAIAH leaders spread out through the Capitol complex on Tuesday to share their message with other House Committee Chairs on the importance of getting the bill heard.
  • Maria Negreros, an ISAIAH leader from St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Carver, was profiled in a Star Tribune front page article telling her story of living as an immigrant without a driver’s license. Maria is one of 95,000 undocumented immigrants in Minnesota who are restricted from taking a test and getting a driver’s license.

We Did It!

Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants Hearing Scheduled

On Tuesday, we learned that our prayers and hard work had paid off.  The bill will, in fact, get hearings in both the Senate and House Transportation Committees.  We need to demonstrate a lot of support for driver’s licenses in order for this to have any chance of passing. 200 people attended last night’s Senate hearing where the legislation was approved and passed on to the next Committee in the process.

Please join us for the House Committee on Transportation and Policy Finance hearing on Wed., March 25, at 12:45 in the basement of the State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

40 Days of Prophetic Vigil

ISAIAH is continuing its tradition of speaking faith to power and ensuring that our state decision-makers feel compelled to use the well being of children, families and communities as the compass for their decisions about the direction of our state. During Lent, congregations are selecting a day to visit the Capitol to express support for ISAIAH’s issues agenda and to share their stories with their elected officials.

Seven congregations participated in the past week: Church of All Nations (Columbia Heights), Ascension Catholic Church (Minneapolis), St. Odilia Catholic Church (Shoreview), Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (St. Paul), House of Prayer Lutheran Church (Richfield), Crown of Glory Lutheran Church (Chaska), and St. Dominic Catholic Church (Northfield).

Pictured above are members of Ascension Catholic Church arriving at the Capitol on a bus to participate in ISAIAH’s Prophetic Vigil. 

Working Families, Healthy Communities Day of Action

The lack of paid leave policies have devastating health impacts, says a new report released by the Minnesota Department of Health.  On Tuesday, 50 ISAIAH faith leaders, health professionals and elected officials gathered at the State Capitol to call on the Legislature to pass paid leave policies.  Read the full story here.

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