Friday, October 28, 2011

NCIC Stands with NCC, Congresswoman Lee and Fighting Poverty with Faith

Thursday, October 27, food stamp users gathered together with members of Congress, representatives of the Obama Administration, rabbis, priests, and reverends outside a Capitol Hill Safeway grocery store to kick off the Fighting Poverty with Faith (FPWF) Food Stamp Challenge.

NCC President Rev. Peg Chemberlin and other other faith leaders were joined by: White House Special Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Congresspersons Emmanuel Cleaver, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Donna Christensen, as well as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Kathleen Merrigan. They broke into teams and joined a shopping experience guided by local food stamp recipients, using the national average weekly food stamp allotment: $31.50. The event closed with an interfaith sending forth prayer. 
This national Food Stamp Challenge kick-off event was the first of over 35 events nationwide planned by the 50 organizations that make up Fighting Poverty With Faith. 
A joint effort co-chaired by the National Council of Churches, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Catholic Charities, and involving 50 faith-based organizations, the Food Stamp Challenge is a component of Fighting Poverty with Faith's 2011 mobilization: "Working to End Hunger."
Click here to read more about the Food Stamp Challenge and sign up. (It's not too late!) You can also see whether there is a Fighting Poverty with Faith event happening near where you live. Finally, if you are a social media user, you can follow the action on Twitter at #foodstampchallenge or keep up with us on Facebook.

With Faith in an Abundant Future,

Michael Livingston
Director, National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative


For Immediate Release
October 27, 2011

Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882 or (202) 225-4783

Barbara Lee Joins Faith Leaders in Taking the Food Stamp Challenge 2011
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) joined national faith leaders from the Fighting Poverty with Faith coalition, senior members of the Obama Administration, and many of her Democratic colleagues at a Washington, D.C. supermarket to announce the start of the Food Stamp Challenge 2011.
The Food Stamp Challenge is a nationwide event intended to preserve funding for vital nutrition benefits during a time of record poverty and unacceptably high unemployment.  Fighting Poverty with Faith challenges everyone to live for one week on the food budget of someone surviving on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or what is commonly called, food stamps.
The average benefit for an entire month is $133.79, which works out to $4.50 a day or $1.50 a meal. Participants are being asked to limit their entire food budget for the week of October 27 to November 3 to $31.50.
“I am again taking part in this challenge because I believe that it is unconscionable to make cuts to programs that feed America’s poor and our nation’s children during the height of an economic crisis,” said Congresswoman Lee. “We must fight against any efforts to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans. I hope that everyone will consider joining the Food Stamp Challenge and joining the effort to end poverty in America.”
As co-chair of the Congressional Poverty Caucus, Congresswoman Lee plans to introduce legislation next month to cut poverty by half in ten years.  The bill would create an interagency working group tasked with developing and enacting a national plan to better coordinate anti-poverty and job creation programs.
Follow Barbara Lee on Twitter @RepBarbaraLee
Details on how you can participate can be found at:

NCIC Supports Kaplan's Statement on Occupy Oakland Violence

The Northern California Interreligious Conference supports Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan's statement concerning the violence against the protestors of Occupy Oakland.  NCIC calls upon clergy to make a stand for social justice.

Rebecca Kaplan

Kaplan Responds to Use of Force, Injuries


Contact: Jason Overman
(510) 681-8641

OAKLAND, CA  Oct 27, 2011 – Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large) issued the following statement in response to recent events involving protesters and police action taken in Oakland:
"My thoughts and prayers today are with Corporal Scott Olsen, a veteran of the United States Marines – and I pray for his speedy recovery.

The head injury that Scott Olsen suffered, and deployment of dangerous projectiles, absolutely should never have happened – and I am committed to preventing such harms from happening again.

Next Thursday, the Oakland City Council will convene a special meeting to discuss these incidents and to evaluate next steps moving forward.

As Oakland’s citywide councilmember, I will be proposing to re-clarify city policy so that we do not allow the firing of dangerous projectiles into crowds of peaceful protesters.

Oakland should have learned its lesson in 2003, when antiwar protesters and bystanders at the Port of Oakland were injured by police projectiles.  Former Police Chief Richard Word at that time announced stricter guidelines for use of force against demonstrators.  The United Nations spoke out against excessive force and the City of Oakland paid out more than $2 million in settlement payments to injured demonstrators.

As is too often the case, those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.

We must learn from, and act to, prevent this type of incident from taking place.

Like so many of the 99%, I am appalled that big Wall Street banks have destroyed our nation’s economy, robbed so many of their life savings, engaged in deceptive lending and unjust foreclosures and stripped from people the hope they had for the American Dream.

And I have long argued that we must go after these big banks for their abuses.

That’s why I directed the City of Oakland, through legislation adopted in May, to begin levying fines of $1,000 per property each day that one of these banks leaves blighted a home that they’ve taken from an Oakland family.

As I’ve worked on this anti-foreclosure legislation, I’ve shared the frustration of so many people who took action peacefully to make sure that the world hears a very clear message: we won’t sit idly by and watch corporate malfeasance tear apart the hope of our communities and deny people jobs and economic opportunity.

We must seek a future of peace, justice and shared prosperity – including respect for free speech and prevention of harm to the public.

I look forward to discussing my proposal on preventing the excessive use of force and hearing others’ ideas as we move forward.  You can join this discussion at the Special City Council Meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 3rd in the Council Chambers of Oakland City Hall, located at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA  94612.

Rebecca Kaplan represents the entire City of Oakland as its Councilmember At-Large.  She has served Oakland as a citywide elected official for ten years, working to improve quality of life by enhancing economic opportunity, public safety and vibrancy in Oakland.  Prior to representing Oakland voters on the City Council, she served as At-Large Director on the AC Transit Board of Directors.  Councilmember Kaplan holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
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Paid for by Kaplan for Oakland City Council 2012 | FPPC ID #1341827
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 804 | Oakland, CA  94612