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Justice & Peace Update

Minutes for Justice & Peace April 20, 2023

Present:  Janet H., Mike M, Patty J, Bill J, Chris A, Mark A. Linda H, David B, Caren C, Rich R, Estelle V, Jim T, Judy B, Teddie H. Pegi E, Diane W, Peter W.

  • Medford Pride Event Planning for June 24, 2023. Patty and Bill are donating funds and going online to get our non-profit booth. Mark and Chris will donate pens with our church name and website! SET-UP 9:30 a.m. David B, Linda H, Mike M, Chris A, Peter W (Teddie and Rob will bring tables, chairs. easels for posters and Estelles's canopy from church).
    Booth Schedule

                         12:00-1:30 pm: Kendra, Laurie, Patty, Bill

                           1:30-3:00 pm: Janet H and Judy

                           3:00-4:30 pm: Chris and Mark, Terrie and Darcy

                           4:30-6:00 pm: Caren, Rob and Teddie

Take Down:

                           6:00 pm: Teddie and Rob, Caren, and Janet H

  • Alaska's Willow Project: Mike Mace will research to find ways to bring the Willow project by Conoco Phillips to the forefront so we can strategize ways to try and help undo this controversial project. NRDC, Sierra Club and Earth Justice have filed lawsuits to stop the massive Willow oil-drilling project in Alaska's Western Arctic , which the Biden administration approved on March 13.

  • Legislative Priorities and local updates: Diane read Hannah Sohl's (Executive Director of Rogue Climate's testimony in SUPPORT of HB2990 Community Resilience Hubs and in OPPOSITION to  HB 2772 Oregon's Domestic Terrorism Bill ...this is attached along with Alan Journet's testimony in SUPPORT of HB2990 Community Resilience Hub grants)  both included in Estelle's email sent 5/1/23 .(.Justice & Peace Team-Oregon Legislation action we discussed today) This posting also includes contact information for our legislators and how to leave a testimony for legislators on various bills BEFORE May 3, in support or opposition of selected bills  WE ARE ASKING that legislators PRIORITIZE FUNDING for CLIMATE BILLS in our state budget so that our communities may access a share of the millions of dollars on the table with the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) to help with the climate and the effects of a changed climate.

  • Climate Bills: Diane- HB 2990 Community Resilience Hubs grant program now in the Ways and Means Committee will help communities expand and improve their response to climate emergencies like the Almeda fire so people know where to turn and receive help. Our church has a team that is exploring how Medford UCC can best be useful to our community before, during, and after wildfires, during periods of extreme smoke and if an earthquake happens. Estelle- Other climate bills that could be mentioned are Building Resilience package, Ensuring Access to Electricity, SB 530: Natural Climate Solutions; HB 3016 Trees and Green Infrastructure for All.....Details on these bills from Pastor Richenda forwarded in an email (Climate Bill Information sent 5/1/23)

  • Housing: Rich - Housing is a KEY issue and amazing progress as our Governor already signed one bill for  $130 million for shelter in our state including $9 million for housing in Jackson County and millions for homeless youth. The housing will be connected to the Continuum of Care and these manufactured homes must be built in one year. Resources are available now for undocumented workers to receive food stamps and SNAP benefits to provide food security. We can talk to our legislatures on behalf of the stable rental affordability bill which will cap rental hikes to no more than 10% to lower evictions. Also, the Mortgage Interest Reduction Bill where $ is taken from 3rd homeowners' tax breaks of $80 million a year will help first-time homeowners get a home. The Right to Rest bill which would decriminalize homelessness is not getting much traction, and has a lot of opposing testimony. We could testify on behalf of this as well. The City of Medford has prioritized affordable housing with 332 units over the next couple of years!!!!  We can hope to see our homelessness decline.

  • Mental Health  - HB 2757 if passed will fund our new 988 crisis call and hopefully line up sustainable funds for local response teams.

  • Palestine - David shared that if we ever want to do a presentation on Palestine he has some great resources.

Peace, Diane

REMINDER:   We are looking for a new Justice and Peace team chairperson or co-chairs.  It involves creating an agenda, sending it out with reminders and facilitating one meeting a month. This is a serious matter as Diane and Peter are leaving their co-chair position after the June 2023 meeting. We also need a minutes person. but perhaps minutes can be taken and sent out after each meeting by a few rotating members.  

Minutes for Justice & Peace March 19, 2023

Present Caren & Rich, Judy B., Diane and Peter, Estelle

We had a small group but covered a lot. Here are the highlights.

  • Caren reported on the Climate Justice Book Group which is working to become a Climate Justice Team.  They will be meeting 1-2  PM in Lidgate on the first Tuesday of every month and all are welcome to join us.

  • The Climate Justice folks are planning short mission moments 2X/month, setting up a library, and following up with the Climate Resiliency Cohorts folks.

  • Rich spoke to a number of housing bills and he sent out an email on these.  The key bill is HB2001 which he views as a "game changer" in that it sets aside 200 million for setting up affordable housing and sets goals throughout the state.

  • Pam Marsh has four other bills to "green up" construction in the state and Unite Oregon has a bill (HB 3462 which will help people stay in emergency housing following wildfires regardless of immigration status.

  • Peter reported the sad news that HB 2601, the treasury transparency and no new fossil fuel investment bill was killed in committee but that Divest Oregon is encouraged by the number of people and groups who have joined their coalition and they will continue working to get the Oregon Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council to become transparent and move away from fossil fuel investments.

  • Caren reported that NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has HB 2757 to provide funding for the 988 crisis intervention hotline, expanding it to include all behavioral health crises and providing funding for mobile crisis response vans.

  • Diane and Caren reported on HB 2990, the Community Resilience Hub Bill which has a public hearing this coming Wednesday. The link to provide written testimony is   https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Testimony/HCEE?meetingDate=2023-03-22-15-00 

  • Judy Blue reported on Earth Week which includes 2 Sundays (April 16 and 23). There will be posters and displays and snacks and special sermons during these Sundays. Teddie and Linda Hammer Brown are doing cookies for the 16th and Estelle (veggies), Caren & Rich (fruit) and Judy Blue and Diane (nuts) will all help with the 23rd.

  • Finally, we voted unanimously to join the Medford Pride Event on June 24th, 2023 with a $50 sponsorship.  Patty and Bill previously committed to paying for the cost of a table at the event but we don't know the cost yet.

  • Also, the Team voted to provide a $75 scholarship to Pam Allister for the EMO Community Resilience Cohort.

  • SOCAN"s meeting on Waste Management is March 28th from 6-7.  Preregister on the SOCAN site.

  • Finally, we are planning to meet in person on April 30th for the first time in forever. We will meet at 11:30 after worship.  Please come!

Respectfully,  Peter Ware

P.S. Diane and I will be departing from the leadership positions for the J & P team after our June meeting.  We plan to stay active on the team but we need a new chairperson and scribe.  The chairperson of the Justice and Peace Team leads the meetings and sends out the agenda.  It's not terribly time-consuming but I've been doing it for well over 10 years now and Diane has saved me in this final year by taking over. The scribe takes notes and sends out the minutes.  Minutes could be done on a rotating basis if need be.  But we need someone to assume the chairperson position. Please consider giving us your name so we can pass it on and keep things going. 

Minutes for Justice & Peace February 12, 2023

PRESENT: Caren and Rich, Diane and Peter, Patty and Bill, Judy B., Estelle, Pegi, and Teddie

  • Our March meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 19th.

  • Following Diane's prayer, we began with an update from Caren on the Climate Resilience Hub Cohort Program sponsored by EMO.  This is an effort to get congregations working together across the state. It is a 5-month program, meeting once a month and the cost is  $100/per person to pay for speakers.  The hope is that this will lead to local actions coordinating with others in our region and across Oregon to create the resources and connections needed to make it easier on Oregonians the next time a disaster strikes.   

  • Pam Marsh has introduced a bill, HB 2990, that will provide funding for these hubs and Rogue Climate is engaged in trying to pass this legislation.  EMO also has an advocacy program for many legislative bills. People are encouraged to write their own legislators asking for support for this bill. Constituents of Rep. Pam Marsh may thank her for her leadership on this bill and add that our J&P team has endorsed the bill.  Specific info on Bill HB 2990 is available in the Agenda provided for this meeting.

  • Peter reported that Divest Oregon folks turned out for the first public hearing on HB 2601 The Transparency and Divestment bill.  It's a really good bill and if you are willing to submit testimony, it is easy to do as there is a second public hearing on February 23rd at 1 p.m. and you can submit testimony for 48 hours after the hearing.  Click on the following link and you can submit written testimony for HB 2601.

  • It is not too late to send the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, comments on the GTN Express as they have postponed a decision on that horrid pipeline expansion until March. 

  • Caren also reported on HB 2757 which will fund crisis services for mental health and addiction recovery.  Jeff Golden is a co-sponsor,  This bill would also expand the 988 crisis hotline services as well as fund mobile response crisis vans funded by a tax on mobile phones/  We will be following this bill closely.

  • Rich brought up the Medford Pride Event which we participated in last year and all agreed was a very successful endeavor.  Please save the date of June 18th for your participation. Patty and Bill said they were willing to put up funds for the table and we will sign on as co-sponsor of the event.

  • Judy Blue is heading up the efforts for Earth Day and has a meeting scheduled for Thursday the 23rd  in Lidgate to plan activities.  More to come soon on that.

  • Pegi brought up the idea of moving back to in-person meetings after church. Most folks thought is was worth a try if we could start right at 11:30 and keep it to under an hour, but we will be keeping our meeting on ZOOM for another month or two.

  • Estelle mentioned the upcoming SOCAN meeting on Feb. 28th from 6-7 pm.  You do need to go to their website (socan.eco) to register for it.

 

 

Minutes for Justice & Peace January 22, 2023

PRESENT:  Teddie, Diane, Peter, Caren, Rich, Lynne, Rick, Judy, Estelle, Bill, Patti, and Pegi.

  • Our next meeting will be February 19, 2023 at 2 p.m. on Zoom

  • Rick started off with the EMO Earth Summit coming up on February 5, 2023 - hoping for a strong showing; you can register through our own UCC site or there is a link on Rick’s blog https://www.roguevalleyvoice.com/post/oregon-interfaith-earth-summit-2024 The event will be held at First Presbyterian in downtown Medford. This will be only an in-person event and not something that can be seen from home, Rick expects it to be smaller than last year’s Covid film event and there will be an air purifier that will be brought in. Masks are optional but encouraged while not speaking.

  • Peter followed next with a report on Divest Oregon, a large coalition of which we are a partner along with Rogue Climate and SOCAN from southern Oregon and zillions of groups from the Portland metro area.  Their main focus right now is the passage if HB 2601, the Treasury Investment and Climate Protection Act.  This bill calls for Oregon Treasury transparency and for PERS to divest from fossil fuel investments.  Peter will be providing updates.

  • Judy Blue will order an Earth Day Kit from Interfaith Power and Light and we will hope to get some use from the kit following Easter.  Diane, Teddie, Estelle and Judy agreed to look over the guide and see what might be useful. 

  • Judy will also ask Drew to download a UUC Creation Justice Ministry Lenten Resource Guide in hopes that Pastor Deborah will find some useful resources for Lent regarding the climate.

  • Everyone agreed the Rogue Climate presentation on the NO GTN Express campaign was good and supported the idea of giving Rogue Climate an honorarium.

  • From Estelle - Link to register for SOCAN's Jan. 31 at 6 pm zoom meeting featuring Senator Jeff Merkley https://socan.eco/event/socan-merkley/

  • Here's good article link to add about 4 incredible modern-day prophets - Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Luisa Neubauer, and Helena Gualinga - sending a cease-and-desist order to the wealthy meeting at Davos. https://www.rsn.org/001/young-climate-activists-at-davos-want-fossil-fuel-execs-to-cease-and-desist-new-oil-gas-or-coal-extraction.html

Minutes for Justice & Peace December 18, 2022

Present: Diane and Peter, Caren and Rich, Patty and Bill, Teddie, Pegi

  • Diane presented the proposal for a presentation by Rogue Climate on the NO GTN EXPRESS campaign following worship on January 15th.  We will try to have the presentation limited to 20 minutes and it will be followed by a postcard writing time for expressing opposition to FERC.

  • Light One Candle:  There is a Ukrainian refugee family now housed in a home at the Ashland UCC church site that is in need of help.  Patty suggested that we try to ask folks if anyone has an older working vehicle they would like to donate. Patty and Diane will follow up.

  • We agreed that we will continue to focus on legislation in the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session with a particular focus on bills that will affect climate change, guns, crisis and mental health, and homelessness.  Peter will try to keep track of the climate, Teddie will watch out for gun stuff, and Caren will focus on crisis and mental health bills.

  • Cathedral on Fire book group begins on January 3rd in the Fireside area of Lidgate Hall.  Diane and Caren will meet throughout January and February on Tuesdays at 1:00-2:30 pm and the group looks to be well attended.

  • Rick Bonetti has agreed to be a point person for the Earth Summit 2023 which will now be held at First Presbyterian in Medford both in-person and on ZOOM from 1:30-5:00 pm.  Pastor Murray plans to improve the air circulation so another COVID outbreak is avoided.  The focus of the program is How Faith Communities Can Help Neighborhoods During Climate Related Emergency Events.

  • The next meeting of Justice and Peace is tentatively set for January 22nd assuming that the church’s annual meeting will be on the 29th.  If the Annual Meeting is on the 22nd we will move our meeting to the 29th.

Minutes for Justice & Peace November 20, 2022

PRESENT; Peter, Diane, Rich, Caren, Judy, Rick, Lynne, Estelle, Teddie

  • We went around the room and shared thoughts on the election.  There was general agreement that it was a good thing that all four measures passed but also that there is still a lot of work to do.

  • Oregon Interfaith Earth Summit 2023 will be held at the Ashland Presbyterian Church on February 5, 2023, and our members will help in any way we can.  Diane will contact Cherise Bock and Rick will follow up with the InterFaith Group.

  • A book group will be held on the UCC book, Cathedral on Fire, in January 2023.  It is presently being planned as an in-person group meeting on Tuesday afternoons either in the Amistad Room or the Fireplace space.  Caren and Diane will lead this study/action group.

  • Rogue Climate has become heavily involved in the STOP GTN Xpress pipeline campaign.  This pipeline will bring more natural gas into Oregon and the need for such a pipeline is in question along with the negative environmental impacts of using more methane. FERCs staff has released a mushy environmental impact statement that basically says we don’t know about climate change, but it could be used to allow FERC to greenlight the pipeline. A FERC decision is coming this winter.  There is significant opposition, including from west coast Attorney Generals and Estelle reported that the Citizens Utility Board convinced the PUC (Public Utility Comm.) to refuse to increase fees that would allow money to help “push” the project.

  • Rogue Climate will be meeting on the GTN Xpress on December 14, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Rogue Climate office at 205 N. Phoenix Rd., Phoenix. 

  • Judy will order an Organizer’s Kit from InterFaith Power & Light for a ten-day Faith Climate Action Week which is April 14-23, 2023.

  • There are many upcoming meetings by groups like SOCAN & Pachamama.  Rick Bonetti will be posting meetings that relate to our climate activities. It’s a great resource - check it out. 

  • The next Justice and Peace meeting will be held on ZOOM at 2 p.m. on December 18, 2022. 

Minutes for Justice & Peace Meeting September 25, 2022

Attending:  Peter, Diane, Caren, Rich, Estelle, Patty, Bill, Kimberly and Vivian

  • We chose the 16th of October following worship for the Ballot Measure Discussion Forum in Lidgate Hall.  Rich agreed to be the convener/moderator and will present information on 3 of the measures and encourage discussion.  Teddie and/or Diane will lead a discussion on the Gun Safety Ballot Measure.

  • Diane gave an update on the needs of Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO) and the need to encourage participation in getting out the vote for YES on 114 through canvassing, writing postcards and offering lawn signs.  If you are able to help and would like more information, contact Teddie or Diane. 

  • Estelle reported on SOCAN’s 10th-anniversary celebration and the growth of the organization.

  • SOCAN candidate forums on climate are coming up in October on the 4th and 18th - both at 7 p.m. in the Medford Library.  On the 4th there will be candidates for Congressional Dist. 2 and Jackson County Commissioners.  On the 18th there will be candidates for the Oregon House and Senate. 

  • Pachamama is continuing its series on Water Solutions.  Check out their website for more information.  Also check out  https://www.roguevalleyvoice.com  for more detail on upcoming climate events.

  • Caren reported that the Mobile Crisis Response Van has begun to operate on a pilot project from 8-5 PM M-F.  The 988 Crisis Call entry # is now operating.  There is a strong need for funding from the 2023 Legislature to fund crisis stabilization centers in Oregon communities so that people responding to people in crisis have somewhere to bring folks for further help.

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