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GENERAL CONFERENCE INFORMATION
IN THIS ISSUE
Walking the Walk
Legislative Priority: Solidarity with Working People
Sparks: News from the OnFire Movement
Chapter Happenings
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
Social Media Corner
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Volume VII  Issue 5                

1 March 2012

 

Greetings!

 

With all of the preparation happening for General Conference, sometimes we need to remember that there are ways to affect justice issues that aren't attached to legislation at a denominational gathering. In this issue, we explore ways to make practical, every-day decisions that bring economic justice and hope in our immediate (and not so immediate) worlds.

Are there ways that you try and make an individual difference for economic justice in your day-to-day life? (I think that's called Discipleship?) Visit us on Facebook and join the conversation!

National CalltoActionAlternativeWalking the Walk: Tips for Economic Justice 

  
It's often difficult to think how one individual or family can engage in acts of economic justice on an every day basis. Here are some suggestions that can help workers and improve the economic outlook!

 

WAGE THEFT   

Our friends at Interfaith Worker Justice remind us that billions of dollars are stolen when employers pay less than minimum wage; refuse overtime pay; force workers to work off the clock; hold back final paychecks; misclassify employees as independent contractors; steal tips; and fail to pay workers at all.  Tipped workers make $2.13 compared to non-tipped workers who, at the least, make the minimum wage of $7.25.  Tips placed on credit cards receipts are less likely to be shared with your server. TAKE ACTION by reading this article from the Nation (even though it's a little dated). Then TAKE ACTION by tipping in cash!

 

ADVOCATE FOR A LIVING WAGE 
A living wage is the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs of housing, clothing, utilities, transportation, nutrition, and health care. TAKE ACTION by determining what the prevailing living wage is in your community by using the Living Wage Calculator. Then do some research and see if your local grocery store, department store, bookstore, or coffeeshop is paying a living wage.
 
THINK ABOUT WHERE/WHEN/HOW YOU SHOP

One of the best ways to affect economic justice is to be conscious of your purchasing power. Here are some questions to consider when being a conscious consumer:
  • Is it made from recycled, recyclable, or renewable materials?
  • Is it locally made (thus cutting down on a carbon footprint)?
  • Is it free of harmful or carcenogenic materials?
  • Does it support community development? (Check Good Guide).   
  • Is it animal testing- and cruelty-free?
  • And the most important question: Do I really need it? 
CoalitionLegislative Priority: Solidarity with Working People  
Thanks to the work of their local MFSA Chapter, the New York Annual Conference approved a resolution calling for solidarity with working people and their labor unions.

The resolution reads "Therefore, be it resolved, that the New York Annual Conference publicly and vocally support the rights of ALL workers to organize and bargain collectively, including public- and private-sector workers, documented and undocumented workers, and workers currently covered under labor laws as well as those still largely excluded from them, namely, farm workers and domestic workers"

You can read the resolution in its entirety and other legislative priorities on the Love Your Neighbor website. 


Sparks: News from the OnFire Movement

Michelle Dromgold, a Mission Intern of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, is currently serving at the Kindertreff Delbrücke at the Salem Gemeinde in Berlin, Germany. Read her invitation to the Lenten journey from the OnFire blog.


Chapter Happenings
 
VIRGINIA: MFSA members have been working to stop the expansion of the death penalty. In cooperation with Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, members successfully lobbied State Senators and Delegates.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Northern Illinois Conference United Methodist Women held a silent vigil to support those imprisoned by human trafficking on Monday, January 30, 2012 at the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago.  Attendees held signs and passed out literature from Noon until 1:00 PM at the busy plaza.  The Methodist Federation for Social Action joined the UMW for the Vigil, supplying a colorful yellow banner which was on display throughout the vigil.More information on Human Trafficking is available from www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/act  
 

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Does your Chapter have information to share? An upcoming event or participation in an action or campaign? Email mfsa@mfsaweb.org and we'll try and get it in the next E-News! 

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What are the simple things you do each day to bring about economic justice?

 

Methodist Federation for Social Action
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