Shutdown Avoided. Progress Toward Peace.
This was an extraordinary week. We witnessed exciting movement on several issues we care about—and avoided another government shutdown. The week then concluded with President Donald Trump’s worrisome declaration of a national emergency to build his expanded border wall.
We are clear. This wall is immoral. It is an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars. It is a symbol of our increasingly inhumane immigration system. It is a scar that runs through the heart of fragile desert ecosystems, harming the species who call it home. The declaration itself is also deeply worrying as a precedent for our democracy.
We remain concerned and committed to the long, hard work of remaking our country, and our world, into one which God envisions for us. One where the lives of, and the Light in, each person – immigrant, migrant, refugee and asylum seeker—is valued.
We remain committed because we know that our persistence pays off. We saw evidence of this repeatedly this week.
In a historic, bipartisan vote the House passed a resolution to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It now moves to the Senate where, if it succeeds, it will mark the first time that Congress will have used the War Powers Act to end U.S. involvement in a war.
After years of inaction, we also saw progress on the issue of gun violence. The House Judiciary Committee passed the bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8). This legislation could be the first crack in the barrier that has prevented any sensible gun legislation from passing Congress for decades.
Finally, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) introduced a bill to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). A bipartisan group of 46 representatives joined Rep. Lee to cosponsor the bill, which could bring an end to 17 years of expanding U.S. war.
Chicana scholar, author and activist, Gloria Anzaldúa, wrote “Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.” This week we saw some of our visions for peace becoming real. The work is not done, but we are committed to advocating persistently to advance the world we seek.