I wanted to briefly introduce the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio which we Unitarian Universalists are now a member.  They have a website, but it really looks like they communicate through their facebook page.  For example, they have scheduled a visit to the Hindu Temple in Powell on Feb 25th

FEB25
Sat 11:30 AM · Columbus Hindu Temple · Powell
Religion ⋅ Spirituality


In addition, we are members of the Interfaith Power and Light group.  They are a group that calls itself a religious response to climate change.  They post "action alerts" on current topics going on in climate science and climate politics that you may want to be kept aware of.  This is full of resources and information.

Also, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) has posted a few things we should be award of:

ATTEND UU REGIONAL CONFERENCES - Join UUs across the state as they meet to discuss social justice issues that affect us all. Save the date! 

Saturday, March 25th in Central Ohio - "From Harm to Healing: Mass Incarceration and Restorative Justice" at First UU Columbus, 10AM-4PMDetails.

Saturday, April 15th in Northern Ohio - "Social Justice: Advocacy As Spiritual Practice" at First Unitarian Church Cleveland, 10AM-3PMDetails

Saturday, April 22nd in Southwest Ohio - "Action Steps to Justice at Miami Valley UU, Dayton, 10AM-3PMDetails

DEATH PENALTY LEGISLATION - Important death penalty legislation needs co-sponsors. Reps Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and Nickie Antonio (D-Cleveland) are looking for co-sponsors for a bill that will eliminate the death penalty for those judged to be seriously mentally ill at the time they commit a crime. Please ask your representative to sign on to this important legislation. Even if your representative is opposed to the death penalty, it is important to call and ask about this bipartisan legislation. More info.

STRENGTHEN SANCTUARY CITIES / GIVE SANCTUARY IN OHIO - The President signed exec order for building a wall along the Mexican border, stripping funding from sanctuary cities, and increasing deportations and US Border Patrol forces. As deportations increase around the country, now is the time for action in Ohio.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed executive order confirming they "will not use city offices or employees to detain people solely based on their immigration status." Similar declarations have been made by officials in Cincinnati and other US cities. 

Please support your mayor as they take these brave stands. Or, if you live outside of Cincinnati or Columbus, ask your mayor to stand just as strong. Find out more about providing sanctuary in your congregation. Protect and stand with immigrants facing deportation. Learn more.

STATE BUDGET PROPOSAL OFFERS NO RELIEF - Ohio leads the nation in overdose deaths from heroin. One of the best tools for fighting addiction has been the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If ACA goes away, so do funds for drug treatment. Ohio's new budget bill offers no new funding in this area. It offers nothing for schools and it lowers tax rates only for high income earners.

What should it do? How about protect healthcare for the most vulnerable; create safe, decent, and affordable housing for the homeless; and bring food security to the hungry in the many food deserts across Ohio. Contact your state representatives and share your opinion.

HALT THE PASTOR PROTECTION ACT - Pastors already have the right to refuse to solemnize any marriage through the First Amendment. This bill (HB 286) gives them cover to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. It is an insult to the LGBTQ community, a waste of taxpayer money, and may have unintended legal consequences. Please call the Ohio Speaker of the House, Cliff Rosenberger and ask him to put a stop to this bill! 614-466-3506.

EFFORT TO LOWER WAGES IN OHIO - Legislation that would make Ohio a "right-to-work" state is back, thanks to Rep. John Becker (R - Union Township in Clermont County). On Feb 13th, he introduced his bill that could lower wages for Ohio workers and create conditions that could increase workplace deaths, If you are in Rep. Becker's district, please let him know how you feel about his right-to-work legislation (HB 53).

Peace,

Rick