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Justice Today - June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Opening Prayer

God of truth, 
We know every human being is a person of dignity and worth. Guide our efforts to create a more just democracy and soften the hearts of our lawmakers to needed reforms in our democratic institutions.  
(borrowed from


Rid our Democracy of Systemic Racism

Later today, the Senate will try to bring S.1, the For the People Act, to the floor for a vote. This legislation can protect the freedom to vote, end gerrymandering, and get big money out of politics, but in order to get to this critical vote, 60 Senators will have to come together to overcome Senator Mitch McConnell's filibuster.

With more than 20 state laws already enacted this year making it harder to vote, it's urgent that the Senate follows the House's lead and passes the For the People Act (S.1) immediately. Inaction is not an option. Without the For the People Act, the future of our democracy itself is on the line.

URGENT!  Please call your Senators TODAY and urge them to support S.1, the For the People Act every day until they vote. Dial 1-888-885-1748 and ask your Senators to advance S.1 to the Senate floor.  Your call will automatically be forwarded to your state Senators.  Call twice to reach both offices.  Below is a sample message:

"Hello, my name is (NAME) from (TOWN) and I’m calling to ask Senator (NAME) to support cloture on S.1. As a person of faith, it’s important to me that all voters in our community have the opportunity to participate fully in elections and have their voices heard in policy discussions. The For the People Act will create national standards to protect our freedom to vote, ensure fair representation for all, and end the dark influence of corporate money in politics that inhibits our progress on so many fronts.”

FYI - Here in Wisconsin, my first call rang to Senator Baldwin's office and I was able to state my message to a live person. When I called back and got Senator Johnson's office, I was directed to leave a message.


The War on Drugs = The Attack on BIPOC


(the acronym BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color)

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Drugs. Here is some background:

On June 17, 1971, Nixon declared drug abuse "public enemy number one." Since then, long prison sentences and far-reaching civil sanctions have done nothing to reduce rates of drug use or overdose.

Instead, hundreds of billions of dollars have been pumped into law enforcement agencies, which has led to the over-surveillance and incarceration of millions, disproportionately Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people. Nearly half of the people in federal prison currently are in for drug offenses.

This is why we need to take action by urging President Biden to use his power of clemency to release people incarcerated in federal prison for drugs.  Please take action here.


Day of the Seafarer - June 25

June 25 is the Day of the Seafarer. LCWR and Coalition of Catholic Organizations against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT) are committed to protecting all of those who work on the water and are too often subject to abuse and even trafficking. Please join them on June 25 at 11 AM CST to learn more about the plight of seafarers, the dangers they face, and what actions you can take to help.



The Death Penalty

Thanks, in part, to many of you who signed petitions, the South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the planned executions of two inmates by electrocution, saying they cannot be put to death until they truly have the choice of a firing squad option set out in the state's newly revised capital punishment law.  This hardly seems a win, but it does give us more time to act.  For one, we need to continue to press President Biden to abolish the federal death penalty.

For those feeling called to this specific ministry, please familiarize yourself with the resources from our CSA website, including a sample letter to write death row prisoners and the calendar of scheduled executions. Personally, I have found Death Penalty to be very valuable to my justice work.  

The CSA has gone on record as opposing the Death Penalty in a corporate stance approved November 2006.  CSA Associates affirmed this stance in February 2021.

Please email me if you would like to included in a group email list to specifically receive information on executions and/or join our letter writing efforts.


F-35s - An environmental and humanitarian threat 

I viewed Code Pink's "F-35s Out of Our Skies: Film Screening and Panel Discussion."  It was incredibly informative and equally disturbing!

The Pentagon's F-35 program is the most expensive and the most dangerous of its kind.  Madison, WI was chosen to be one of two new sites as a base for these fighter bombers within the next four years, and Senator Tammy Baldwin seems to be an adamant supporter of this.  These jets have been considered a "violent sensory assault" creating significant health threats, especially to infants and children. They have disastrous environment implications from the toxins they release. Multiple F-35s fly several times a day, several days a week and cost tax payers $44,000 and hour to fly and use 1,000 gallons of fuel with each flight. 

Are you shocked and disappointed that President Biden requested a defense budget in the absurd amount of $753 billion?!  This equates to $1 million A MINUTE for our military budget?!  Imagine that 10% of the 2021 budget could end homelessness!

PLEASE VIEW THIS FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION and consider how you want to act.  

Co-sponsors and panelists include:
Safe Skies Clean Water, Peace Action Wisconsin, Interfaith Peace Working Group, Madison Environmental Justice Organization, Poor People's Campaign WI, Eken Park Resistance, 350 MKE, Family Farm Defenders, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ)    


Recommended Webinar/Podcast Series

Exploring Intersections: Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration and Climate is a yearlong webinar series of panel conversations to address societal injustices and offered the second Wednesday of each month at 3 pm.  

Episodes include subjects on gender equity, care of creation, racial justice, human trafficking, gun violence, food security, restorative justice, affordable housing, and more.

The first episode I watched was on Racial Justice and I found it very well done and especially appreciated the action items that are given at the end of each one.  I highly recommend this series!!

The monthly programs are recorded and shared as podcasts and can also be found on Facebook .  


Follow, Like, Tweet, Learn!

In addition to the blog on the CSA website, I will be using social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to share social justice information. If you haven't yet, please follow the JPIC Office in these ways:

Invitation Only