ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: July 1, 2017

ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: July 1, 2017

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“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men [sic] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.” 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail feels as contemporary in 2017 as it did during the civil rights struggle. All of what we do in ISAIAH is meant to reflect the spirit of God that Dr. King lifts up in this beautiful statement of the body that we all share.

When we fight for earned sick and safe time or healthcare for everyone, or humane treatment of immigrants, we are fighting for this same ideal that we are one body and when one part is suffering the whole body is suffering. We are also working against the same heresy that claims we are not related, we are not siblings, and we are not our brothers’ and our sisters’ keeper. 

We are called to stand against the inclinations in our society and in ourselves that repeat the lie that we are not connected.  Because our faith tells us we are connected and we belong to each other.

We Rejoice, Celebrate and Give Thanks

Paid Sick and Safe Time!  Starting this Saturday, 150,000 workers in Minneapolis and St. Paul will begin accruing paid sick leave through their employer!

Together with our allies from labor and community groups, ISAIAH clergy and leaders fought hard and won the passage of Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinances in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. We then led and won another fight at the State Capitol when Governor Dayton vetoed a bill he called “cruel,” which would have prevented these city policies from going into effect.  

Minneapolis City Council Passes $15 Minimum Wage!  On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council passed a $15 minimum wage ordinance. After years of protests, strikes, and community organizing and engagement across the city, 71,000 workers will benefit from this historic victory. The higher wage will be phased-in over the next five to seven years.


The passage of these city ordinances are just two examples of the unprecedented victories that are possible when we lead together, grounded in both our struggles and our belief that more is possible.

“These ordinances allow workers to care for themselves and their families, and to live with dignity. Today we are one step closer to an economy that works for everyone and leaves no one behind,” Rev. Javen Swanson, Associate Pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul and leader with ISAIAH.

Our work to create a moral economy continues. Paid family leave, affordable childcare, and living wages are necessary to make sure that working families have what they need to not just survive, but to thrive.

In the meantime, we celebrate you and the great victories we achieved together by letting the light of your faith shine!

Health Care Memorial and Vigil Outside of Rep. Paulsen’s Office

ISAIAH clergy and faith leaders gathered outside U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s office to mourn the potential deaths of those who may not be alive for long if significant changes are made to their health care plans.  Check out the article, photos and video published by Eden Prairie News.

Stop the Senate Healthcare Bill!

The Senate’s version of the Wealthcare Act (AHCA) is far worse than was initially suspected. A nation that uses “Under God” in its pledge and “In God We Trust” on its currency is making a grave mistake of forsaking God’s creation by robbing them of access to affordable and quality care. Millions of Americans depend on the Affordable Care Act for their basic needs of medication and seeing a doctor.

The bill would result in 22 million more people being uninsured, undermine critical nationwide protections for people with pre-existing conditions, drive up costs for seniors, put rural hospitals and nursing facilities at-risk of closure, and end Medicaid as we know it. This bill would hurt Minnesota families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities in order to give a massive tax break to the very richest Americans.

Call to Action:  Call Minnesota’s Senators to thank them for opposing the Senate Wealthcare bill and call your Representative and tell them to vote “NO” on any reconciliation of these awful healthcare bills.

Call to Action:  Ask your family and friends in other States to call their Senators and tell them to vote “NO” on any health care legislation that would cause anyone to lose access to good, affordable health insurance.

End Hennepin Sheriff’s Office Participation in Deportations

Too many of our Latino brothers and sisters are being deported. While Stanek claims Hennepin County does not honor ICE detention requests, his office does alert ICE about people in custody. This gives ICE the opportunity to grab people like Luciano Mejia Morales, an important worker rights leader in the Twin Cities. Read this Star Tribune article.

Call to Action:  Call ICE at 612-843-8600, Option 6#. Sample message: “Hello, my name is _________. I am calling to ask you to release Luciano Mejia Morales from the Carver County Detention Center. He is a community leader, his family depends on him, and the community is watching.”

Call to Action:  Call Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek at 612-348-2347 and demand that his office stop participating in Trump’s deportation machine.

What’s Next for ISAIAH?

Now that the Minnesota Legislative Session is finished (kind of!), ISAIAH and its leaders will be concentrating on County and City issues.

Our local governments and officials make lots of decisions that affect our everyday lives. For example, prison admissions vary considerably by County. This is largely attributable to prosecutorial decisions. County Attorneys have a ton of power, with little transparency or accountability.  This piece, published by MinnPost, tells the story well.

We also have been exploring where our faith voice is most needed to begin healing the fear and divisions that have pushed our state’s political discourse and policy proposals into “them” versus “us” battle lines, leaving the wealthy and corporations to walk away with more and more of our community resources. Throughout the history of our country, race and immigration status, as well as class and gender have been exploited to advance a set of interests. Articles like this one, published in The Guardian, give us food for thought.

As a step toward healing, we are planning a series of forums and house meetings so that people throughout the State can explore with us how we are all connected and how we all benefit from those connections. We will call out the story of division, fear, and corporate money and replace it with our story of love, connection, faith, and organized resources.

We are all part of the same body, our fates are linked, and no one is outside of the circle of human concern.


We have been called for such a time as this!

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