Image: Rabbi Rebekah Stern (left) and Rabbi Mona Alfi lead our discussion with Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin deLéon. Photo by Rabbi Ruth Adar.

As you may recall, on August 22 I went with a bunch of other people to Sacramento, CA for Reform CA Lobby Day.  Here’s the summary I wrote for the Religious Action Center, and which appeared today on their blog under the title Can politics be a holy activity?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 was Reform CA Lobby Day, a project of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. 100 social justice activists and organizers from Reform congregations all over California converged on the state capitol to advocate for justice in our state.  We had four goals:

  1. To connect with one another and Reform CA
  2. To present ourselves powerfully to President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Kevin de León
  3. To train in lobbying and political action, first by learning and then by doing
  4. To help pass our two priority bills:
    1. California Values Act (SB 54), which prevents the use of California state and local public resources to aid federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    2. Money Bail Reform Act (SB-10), which ensures that people are not held in pretrial detention (jail) simply because of their inability to pay bail. This bill would require that a pretrial services agency conduct a risk assessment and prepare a report that makes recommendations on conditions of release for the accused pretrial. …

 

For the story about the rest of the day, you can read about it on the Religious Action Center blog.


 

If you are a Reform Jew and you live in California, I totally recommend working with Reform CA. I’ve learned how to visit my representatives’ local offices with a group, I’ve learned how to make a 10 minute meeting count, and I’ve had the satisfaction of working with others on issues that matter to me. I am so glad I have learned how to do these things! Here’s how you can participate:

  1. If you are a member of a Reform congregation in California, call the head of your social action committee and ask them about Reform CA.
  2. If you are not a member of a Reform congregation, consider joining! This is the sort of thing congregational life makes possible.
  3. If you want more info, you can read about it on the Religious Action Center (RAC) website and ask more questions there. The RAC offers information, support, and tools for Jews and allies who want to pursue justice via political action.

And now, to the coda of this adventure. I took the train to and from Sacramento. I used Lyft to get around. Somewhere in my travels (I am pretty sure I know when) I hurt my back badly, and I’m still getting over it. That’s why this blog has been so quiet of late. I will post more as I’m able to sit and do so.

With all the trouble and pain, I am still glad I went. I have felt so frustrated about the things I see going on in government, and this gave me an opportunity to take effective action. I plan to write lots more about that, and soon.

Shavua tov! (Have a good week!)

 

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