The Build Back Better legislative package, which will most likely be considered through the reconciliation process requiring 51 votes rather than 60 votes in the Senate, has $1.2 billion in funding to establish and implement a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers; farmworkers; people with DACA, TPS and DED; and their families. During August and September, while this legislation is being considered, we must watch closely and advocate strongly that this pathway to citizenship and the necessary $1.2 billion in funding not be stripped out of the bill.
Six million immigrant workers in our communities are at the frontlines, keeping us all healthy and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While they make up only 17% of about 156 million working people, immigrants are disproportionately represented in COVID-19 front-line occupations and essential industries, including being childcare workers, healthcare workers, custodial staff, school employees and farmworkers, to name a few examples. Immigrants, including 131,000 people with TPS and 200,000 people with DACA, are serving on the frontlines.
We are asking our congressional representatives to secure a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers, farmworkers, people with DACA, TPS, and DED, and their families immediately as part of any recovery package being passed in reconciliation. Use the tool below to take action with us.
HR 1512, The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in concert with the target identified by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to limit temperature increases to 1.5°C. These goals aim to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. Contact your Representatives and ask them to support this act using the tool below.
The CLEAN Future Act includes measures such as:
Promoting the modernization of recycling and waste management and aims to reduce waste generation.
The Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, together with our associates and partners, support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA). We are committed to responding to the crisis of Earth, which is increasingly worsened by plastic production and pollution. Contact your Senators and Representatives or send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to show your support of this legislation.
We are deeply concerned that the United States produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, an astounding 91% of which is never recycled. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population but creates 12% of the world’s waste. Of the more than 350 million tons of plastic produced each year globally, 8 million tons wind up as plastic waste in the world’s oceans. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfills 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health of nearby communities. The petrochemical industry and its pollution disproportionately harm people of color and low-income communities where production plants choose to locate.
The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 builds on successful statewide laws across the country and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future. It will tackle the exploding crisis of plastic pollution and transform waste and recycling management in the United States. This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by:
This is a national and global issue. We strongly urge bipartisan cooperation to pass this bill.
On March 3, 2021 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Over the last several weeks 67 sisters and friends sent letters to their representatives urging them to co-sponsor the bill. We are grateful to all who supported our efforts.
Our next step as we journey farther is to support S.1, the For the People Act, the companion bill in the Senate. This bill addresses election reform, making it easier, not harder to vote; ending the dominance of big money in our politics and ensuring public officials work for the public interest. For more information, download our two-page position paper on S.1.
We are promoting three action items to support S.1:
We have prayed for peace and justice. Now it is time for us to act to address the systemic racism and injustice that have so negatively impacted our election laws. Together we can make a difference!
The first action is to contact your Senator in the United States Congress and ask them to support S.1’s rapid movement through the Senate committee process. We have prepared a sample letter that you can edit and submit. Just fill out the form below, make any changes to the letter and click “Send My Email” to send your email to your Senators.
Our second action is to increase public awareness of this bill by getting as many letters to the editor published as possible. Often receiving 10-12 letters from different people having similar concerns about an issue will be enough for editors to publish a single letter. We have prepared a sample letter to the editor for you to customize. Adding a response to an article in their paper helps them know you are a reader. Right now, there are many articles being published related to election reform, so this is a timely topic. Please fill out the brief form, and choose an appropriate paper.
Our third action is to encourage you to set up an online visit with your Senators or their aides to discuss the support of the bill. Sometimes, we have gathered a group to attend this meeting. We have prepared a two-page position paper that will help you to be prepared for this visit. Sister Patty Johnson is available to help any group that feels like they need a subject matter specialist to help them be prepared to meet with their Senators. She can even attend your meeting if it gives you more confidence.
In collaboration with the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permanently withdraw the permit allowing Formosa Plastics to build a large petrochemical complex that will double air pollution in St James Parish, Louisiana. Learn more about Rise St. James and UN efforts to end environmental racism in Cancer Alley below.
We invite you to take action by sending an email to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to revoke the permits for Formosa Plastics with this form.
Meet our dear neighbor Sharon Lavigne and her neighbors in Cancer Alley in Louisiana. Sharon and her neighbors in the St. James Parish are at the center of a critical intersection of racial injustice and climate change. Sharon will be our speaker at our celebration of Earth Day this year.
Recently, United Nations Human Rights experts have raised serious concerns about the further industrialization of Cancer Alley, clearly calling this concentration of petrochemical complexes a form of environmental racism. The experts call on the U.S. Government to deliver environmental justice in communities all across America, starting with St. James Parish. To read about the UN perspective, visit the UN Report or the UN News announcement.
“This form of environmental racism poses serious and disproportionate threats to the enjoyment of several human rights of its largely African American residents, including the right to equality and non-discrimination, the right to life, the right to health, right to an adequate standard of living and cultural rights,” they said.
Federal environmental regulations have failed to protect people residing in “Cancer Alley,” the experts said.