Advocacy Update – September 2019

Immigration: There is a great deal of interest in immigration issues across the state. Several congregations and synod groups are becoming more engaged with the AMMPARO Program, and considering what welcome and partnership with asylum seekers and refugees should mean in their context. This is increasing interest in LA-MN’s work on policy issues and raising lots of questions about the intricacies of US immigration programs. In addition to the Migrant Monday posts on Facebook, Tammy (LA-MN director) did immigration forums three times in September, and will be doing similar programs in October and November.

 Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP): Lutheran Advocacy-MN works with many partners and coalitions. One of those coalitions, made up of around 80 organizations, is MEP. Tammy served for two years as the co-chair of the MEP Energy & Climate Cluster, and has been working with MEP staff and partners in finding ways to restructure the work to be more impactful. In early September, she was part of a small group of member organizations proposing that MEP take on Climate Change as its one main marquee issue, since most every other issue fits under that big umbrella. The proposal was accepted unanimously by members. This will allow the various clusters or issue groups to collaborate better on messaging with both the public and with legislators, and should help move groups out of singular silos of interest, even while allowing support for legislation in the various areas of member organization expertise. Lutheran Advocacy-MN expects to continue efforts on clean energy, but we look forward to broader collaboration on other parts of the climate crisis.  Watch for more information to come as we develop the MEP detailed legislative agenda over the next couple of months.

 Homes for All Coalition: Although there is still much left to accomplish from the bold Homes for All biennium agenda created last year, the policy team (where LA-MN is an active participant) is in the process of considering whether changes or additions need to be made. One of the partners has been meeting with Tammy and other key partners on eviction policy concerns that will be proposed as additions to the agenda in mid-October.