Congressional Advocacy Day – April 8, 2019
Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.
Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World
We urge Congress to strengthen the voices of all Americans in our democracy, and the voices of human rights defenders around the world by working to eliminate violent conflict and all threats to civic engagement and human dignity.
U.S. Domestic Ask
As people of faith we believe every human has the God given right to self-determination. This right is threatened by the suppression of voting rights, barriers to voting and infiltration of big money in campaign finance. We urge Congress to:
- Expand and modernize voter registration,
- Ensure polling places are accessible for all,
- Establish election day as a National Holiday,
- Implement fair redistricting and end partisan gerrymandering,
- Improve voter oversight,
- Restore voting rights for returning citizens,
- Reform campaign finance structure; and
- Restore the Voting Rights Amendment.
Self-determination and democratic aspiration are being hammered around the world by violence. Violence and violent conflict are now the leading causes of displacement worldwide, driving 80 percent of humanitarian need and a major cause of human rights violations, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, at least 321 human rights defenders mobilizing their communities for change were killed in 2018 within just 27 countries. Congress must act to reduce violent conflict and strengthen respect for human rights and protection of human rights defenders abroad by supporting both the Global Fragility Act and S. Res. 80 creating a Human Rights Commission in the Senate.
The Global Fragility Act requires the U.S. government in collaboration with global civil society to develop a 10-year strategy to reduce current levels of global violence, especially since violent conflict undermines these rights and human dignity abroad. By acting on S. Res. 80 to set up a Human Rights Commission in the Senate, Congress will create an ongoing structure to complement a similar existing commission in the House of Representatives, and make human rights issues and the protection of human rights defenders around the globe a more central part of discussion and policymaking in the U.S. Congress.