[COMM-ORG] PICO citizenship website

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Sat Jun 29 12:25:57 CDT 2013

From: PICO National Network <news at piconetwork.org>

PICO [ http://www.piconetwork.org/ ]

E-News June 12 2013

  [ http://www.campaignforcitizenship.org/ ]
Visit the new Campaign for Citizenship website

We are excited to announce our new Campaign for Citizenship website. It 
is the campaign's new home base for news, resources, and sharing stories 
of citizenship. The new site makes it easy for you, your family, and 
friends to see what people like you are doing all across the country in 
the Campaign for Citizenship. You can also get the tools and resources 
you need to organize your own congregations and communities to win a 
path to citizenship. Check out www.campaignforcitizenship.org [ 
http://www.campaignforcitizenship.org/ ] share with your friends.


PICO leaders present as immigration bill passes out of committee

After attending every day and nearly every hour of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee's markup hearing on immigration reform over three weeks, faith 
leaders and immigrants from the Campaign for Citizenship, celebrated the 
passage on the Senate immigration bill out of committee. A total of 120 
PICO leaders traveled to Washington, DC to maintain a constant vigil in 
the hearing room and many were on the front row when the bill passed. 
PICO clergy began each day by publicly praying for the senators as they 
began considering amendments that would directly affect the lives of 
immigrants living in the United States.

Watch the CSPAN video. >* * [ 

Faith leaders hold People's Hearing on immigration reform

The first English words that Arely Cruz ever learned were: "I am an 
American". The 20 year-old Dreamer from Utah says the phrase in no 
longer just a memorized string of words. "It is who I am," she said.

Cruz shared her story during the People's Hearing, a project of PICO 
National Network's Campaign for Citizenship. The hearing was held in the 
Hart Senate Building in Washington. D.C. while the Senate Judiciary 
Committee hearings on immigration reform legislation convened a few 
floors below.

Faith leaders from across the country participated in the event and 
shared personal testimonies about the impact of current immigration 
policy on families and the need for a fair, direct and affordable path 
to citizenship in the final legislation.

See the event photos. > [ 

New York clergy meet with Sen. Charles Schumer

Faith in New York clergy met with Sen. Charles Schumer to thank him for 
his leadership on immigration and press for improvements to the Senate 
bill to lower the high cost of applying for legal status. They were 
joined by local aspiring citizens who had held prayer vigils outside 
Sen. Schumer's office during the month of May. Schumer leads the Gang of 
Eight, a bipartisan group of senators, who drafted the proposed 
immigration legislation.

Watch more on Telemundo. > [ 

Nevada faith leaders ask Sen. Harry Reid to help make the path to 
citizenship more affordable

More than 1,200 leaders in Reno, Nevada packed the sanctuary of St. 
Therese Little Flower Church to show their support for a direct and 
affordable path to citizenship. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid 
addressed the crowd and called immigration a "moral issue, not a 
political one." ACTIONN, the PICO federation in Northern Nevada, left 
empty seats from Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei, who 
decided to meet with leaders from the organization the next day.

Read the Reno Gazette Journal coverage. > [ 

Faith leaders press Congress for a path to citizenship that includes all 
11 million aspiring Americans

Clergy and immigrant families intensified their pressure on Congress for 
a direct and affordable path to citizenship in immigration reform. In 
May, leaders organized congressional meeting across the country, 
including face-to-face meetings with Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ), John 
McCain (R-AZ); Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Elizabeth Warren 
(D-MA), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin(D-IL); Representatives Trent 
Franks (R-AZ), Jeff Denham (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Jim Costa 
(D-CA), Gus Bilirakas (R-FL), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), 
Paul Cook (R-CA) and Mike Coffman (R-CO). In Florida, more than 700 
leaders turned out for a prayer rally with Rep. Gus Bilirakis. More than 
18,000 people have attended Campaign for Citizenship events since 
February and the campaign has been covered in the Washington Post [ 
], New York Times [ 
], AP [ http://www.piconetwork.org/news-media/coverage/2013/immigration 
], Reuters [   ] and dozens of local media stories.

PICO Family Immigration Survey points to costs as key barrier in path to 

In a new survey, immigrant families in PICO congregations identified 
high costs from fines and fees as the greatest barrier to citizenship in 
the proposed immigration legislation, followed by the challenge of 
providing documentation of employment. PICO used the results of the 
survey to help make the case for a successful amendment to the Senate 
immigration legislation that will allow people to pay their fines in 
installments. More than 700 families who have undocumented family 
members participated in the survey.

Read the survey report. > [ 
http://www.piconetwork.org/tools-resources/C4C-Family-Survey.pdf ]


PICO participates in White House effort with Vice President Biden to 
push for end to gun violence

Pastor Michael McBride, lead organizer for PICO's Lifelines to Healing 
campaign, was among the 20 faith leaders who met with Vice President 
Biden to discuss continued federal efforts to lower gun violence. Biden 
urged the faith leaders in attendance not to be discouraged by recent 
legislative failures, and assured them that the White House had not 
given up. "Even though he suffered a defeat, he didn't sound defeated," 
McBride told CNN. "And we need that kind of hope from the bully pulpit 
of the White House."

Read more from CNN. > [ 


Philadelphia faith leaders demand living wages for airport workers

Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER) and 
their allies from SEIU and UNITE-HERE have been ramping up pressure on 
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council Members to bring 
living wage jobs to the of 1,500 low-wage Philadelphia International 
Airport workers. The lease agreement that governs these subcontracted 
positions is set to expire on June 30, opening the door to a new 
agreement that includes living wages for airport workers. POWER held a 
mass meeting with 3,400 people in May followed by regular prayer vigils 
and rallies at City Hall.

Read in the Philadelphia Inquirer. > [ 

Minnesota joins California in passing strong Homeowner Bill of Rights

Faith leaders of ISAIAH, a PICO Network federation in Minnesota and 
their allies celebrated passage of a Homeowner's Bill of Rights that 
protects homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures.

In May, more than 250 community and faith leaders, rallied at the state 
Capitol in support of the legislation. The Rev. Paul Slack, President of 
ISAIAH and pastor of New Creation Church in Minneapolis, backed by 25 
clergy members, urged legislators to pass a robust Homeowners' Bill of 
Rights. "Stopping foreclosures is critical for families and critical for 
people of faith. We need to have the courage to require financial 
institutions to do the right thing." Throughout the state, more than 
150,000 Minnesota homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure since 

Read more. > [ 


New York leaders organize mayoral forum

More than 1,000 New Yorkers are expected to attend Reviving our City: 
Mayoral Candidates Summit on Thursday, 13. Participants will have an 
opportunity to a dialogue with the mayoral candidates on how to leverage 
Sandy-recovery funds and other resources to reduce the widening income 
and opportunity gap across our city. Faith leaders say the billions of 
dollars in Sandy-rebuilding funds awarded to the city should be used to 
create better jobs for all, including immigrants and youth, real 
affordable housing, and sustainable development that protects the 
environment. The event is being organized by Faith in New York, in 
partnership with the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, the Sandy Regional 
Assembly, and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.

To learn more visit the Faith in New York Facebook page. > [ 
https://www.facebook.com/events/149256665258701/ ]


Faith leaders push for Medicaid expansion

Clergy and faith leaders of the Micah project in Louisiana, Ohio 
Organizing Collaborative and Missouri Faith Voices organized vigils, 
rallies, meetings with public officials in efforts to press their states 
to expand their Medicaid programs as part of the Affordable Care Act. 
With the new health law set to begin this coming October, millions of 
people living in poverty in these and other states will be excluded from 
health coverage. Faith leaders have vowed to keep pushing until their 
states agree to take federal funding to provide Medicaid coverage to 
uninsured families. In Missouri, after an unsuccessful meeting with 
state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, clergy published this open letter [ 
] and pressed for a meeting with the editorial board of the Columbia 
Tribune. The argument that Medicaid expansion is too costly denies the 
human factor of the issue," the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon told the Tribune.

Read the entire article. > [ 

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