Habakkuk 1:2-5

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous—therefore judgement comes forth perverted.
“Look at the nations, and see! Be astonished! Be astounded! For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told.”

Which perspective is true – that injustice is all around us, the first principle of those in power is to remain in power at any cost, and the deck is stacked against our brothers and sisters crying out for help; or God’s contention that there are amazing people whose tireless work inches us closer to justice all the time despite the odds against them?

My faith tells me both perspectives are true. I try to hold them closely so neither dominates my thinking, but what a prodigious struggle that is. The news seems so often like an episode of injustice whack-a-mole (it is everywhere and we are powerless to stop it!); but digging into the work of justice-making with my church, and learning all the time about inspiring efforts of so many change-makers in our community, shifts my attitude (our collective energy will starve evil and drive out wrongdoing!).

When God tells us that astonishing work is being done in our days, we are challenged to not simply take this as palliative good news for the soul but as an invitation to join in. A call to contribute however we can, using whatever gifts of body, mind, or spirit that we (by grace) have been given.

When God tells us that we would not believe the work already going on around us if we were told, it is a reminder that our lives are constantly on spin-cycle, and when we stop to look out of our laundry tubs we can hardly imagine how organized, engaged, and effective other people can be while we struggle to handle the everyday business of our lives and families. But what we can give is enough – whatever measure we can manage today is enough – and when we weigh it alongside the measures given by all of us together it will be more than enough to push the scales toward justice.

Qu’ran Reflection (4:135) 

“Oh, believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or close relatives. Be they rich or poor, Allah is best to ensure their interests. So do not let your desires cause you to deviate ‘from justice’…”

We have a moral obligation to stand firm for justice regardless if it is against ourselves, our family, or our loved ones. This is a call to be steadfast in upholding equity. Many of us claimed our voices by voting the previous election season, in the streets this summer for Justice for George Floyd and now at the legislature for equity in pandemic relief and sustainability afterward.

We’ve had to fight many battles in the last 12 months, however, this is not the time to become passive, for it is time we continue to build upon our power. It is time that we continue to hold those around us and, most importantly ourselves, answerable. True victory will be achieved when we, together, hold the leaders we swore in accountable for creating a government for, by, and of the people.

Though it might be laborious to hold people and to hold our own self, accountable for making the change we know is possible, we must remember that we are stronger together. The trust Allah has placed in us to be the maintainers of justice is extraordinary, and we need to ensure that we are fulfilling that trust in every action we take. We have work to do, and we will do it together.

Capitol Updates

Paid Family & Medical Leave Advances through the House and STILL is Yet to be heard in Senate

HF 1200, which would create a statewide program that would allow up 12 weeks off, to care for themselves or loved ones, has now passed in four (4!) committees! We are fully expecting it to pass in more next week.

But it still needs to move through the Minnesota Senate and they HAVE TO hear it by Friday if it’s going to move. Contact your State Senator and ask them to be a champion for PFML. Visit this page to find our who your state senator is, their contact information, and find a sample script to use.

Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

No matter how long we’ve called Minnesota home, we all deserve to move through our communities with dignity. We will continue our work for #Freedom2Drive and celebrate HF1163 progress in the House and call on the Senate to defend the dignity of immigrant Minnesotans. It already had bipartisan support in the House and two GOP Reps voted in favor who hadn’t before! Take a listen to some of our testifiers from this week’s hearing on our Twitter page.

Friday, March 19th marks the deadline for bills to receive a first hearing in both the House and the Senate! Take Action Today!

#FundOurFutures Week of Action

Friday, March 19th marks the deadline for bills to receive a first hearing in both the House and the Senate! On many of our key issues, some top elected officials have refused to hold a hearing or we lack the broad public support needed to move a bill forward in a powerful way. This is a problem. The decisions our elected leaders make on the state budget in the next two months could put us on a path to not only recover, but to build a brighter future. This is not the time to shy back from ensuring the wealthiest Minnesota pay their fair share so that we are able to fund our lives and our future. This is not the moment to leave anyone behind in a caring economy or multi-racial democracy. But it will take all of us in the next two months to hold lawmakers accountable to this vision. Take action on the issues below to advance our agenda this legislative session!

ISAIAH Muslim Coalition joins CAIR-MN to say ‘Luger is not fit for U.S. Atty General’Democracy For All

For a long time, we have had a broken system that failed to protect black and brown people, allowing marginalized communities to continuously get hurt. We need a US attorney office that serves all communities and deals with the real threats of white supremacy and police brutality.

Andy Luger failed to focus on the real threat when he was in office by not holding those who murdered Jamal Clark accountable. He let white supremacy fester and grow to become the biggest threat in our country, while allocating resources to harm marginalized communities with programs like ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ (CVE).

He is not fit for the job. We need a US attorney who understands our communities beyond holding meetings and tokenizing them. We need to keep searching. #Freshstart #LugerNotAnOption

We Make MN Deliver Black Dreams Panel & Book Discussion 

One of the many necessary ways that we will deliver black dreams is by centering stories and experiences of Black women while we fight for our communities to be able to thrive, not just survive. On Wednesday, Black Women Rising, ISAIAH and the author of “First & Only: A Black Women’s Guide to Thriving at work and in life” came together in a conversation about the impact Black women have on the trajectory of our communities, state and country. Check it out!

Department of Early Childhood

All families deserve to have a safe and healthy place for their children to learn and grow—no matter what they look like or what’s in their wallets. HF1024 would create one agency focused on early childhood that ensures accountability, visibility, coordination, and communication within Minnesota’s early childhood system.

Our youngest Minnesotans deserve to thrive. The time is now for Minnesota to seize on opportunities to expand access and funding to help develop universal affordability, so no family pays more than 7% of its income towards childcare.

Less than 1 Week! Paid Family & Medical Leave MUST Be Heard

We all deserve time to care for ourselves and the ones we love without financial strain. The pandemic has made clear what we’ve already known: paid leave is essential to Minnesota’s families and communities.

While the House has moved paid leave legislation for years, the Senate has yet to hold a hearing in 2021. We need the Senate to be champions for a robust statewide, paid family and medical leave policy. Call your senator today to demand a hearing! It must be heard by this Friday, 3/19!

Upcoming Race Class Narrative Trainings

A place to call home is a human need we all share. Wednesday, ISAIAH and Young Adult Coalition leaders testified in support of the Minneapolis Rent Control Charter Amendments so that regardless of what we look like or have in our wallets, we are treated with dignity and allowed stability. #WhoCaresForUs

Justice for George Floyd, Trial & Mpls Charter Change

We must remember the point of all of this. This trial is important, but it is one of the MANY things that need to be done to hold accountable the unaccountable police and law enforcement departments who’ve brutalized, surveilled and killed Black and Brown folks with impunity.

To be clear, one or two or four cop(s) going to jail is not complete justice. Boiling this trial down to the “Derek Chauvin trial” is wrong. The world is watching as we try – yet again – to use our current tools in an unjust system to make accountable those who make up the rules and change them at will.

The MPLS City Council’s voted yesterday to move the Public Safety Charter Amendment to the Commission is an important step towards allowing the people of Minneapolis to reimagine a public safety system that serves the many, not the few. Change is long overdue.

WE can and should create something better and different, that gives us safe communities for everyone, Black or white, urban or rural, rich or poor. It’s time and it’s possible.

American Rescue Plan Passed! Now MN, Let’s get to work!

This week, congress and the Biden administration signed the American Rescue Plan that provides some relief to families during this pandemic. This is great AND we need to make sure we are also using our collective resources to create the state and country we need that won’t need to depend on emergency relief, but can be resilient and sustaining for many generations to come!

One of the shortfalls of this plan is that we still need Paid Leave. This is why it’s all the more important for #PaidLeaveMN to pass!

Some highlights of the plan:

– $1400 direct payments to families
– $300 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
– $39B in childcare funding and significant increases in the child tax credit that are expected to cut child poverty in half. (Reminder that this is emergency funding. We still have an obligation to Minnesotans to end our statewide childcare desert by having healthy state funding for childcare)
– Increased Medicaid money to states to support services needed for aging adults and people with disabilities to stay in their homes and communities safely.

Minneapolis Caucus Trainings

We want to invite YOU (and your friends, neighbors, family, church members, or anyone else you know in Minneapolis) to join us at an upcoming virtual event to:

  • Discuss public safety & rent stabilization, specifically what is in the proposed charter amendments with space for questions
  • Dig into why caucuses are so essential this year
  • Get trained concretely on how the virtual caucus process will work
  • Share resources and a mission to invite more people into this effort with us