People. Power. The two do not always connect. UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Ministry works to address the issues of injustice in our system from a UU-grounded approach. Primarily focusing on wage inequality, housing and homelessness, and the criminalization of poverty, UUJMCA works with partners across the state and country to make the world more equitable and just.
Looking for ways to deepen your economic justice ministry? UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Ministry is here to help connect you to local collaborators, ways to make an impact at the state level, or faith-rooted resources.
-UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Collective
-UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Statewide Action Team
-Actions & Resources for Economic Justice Faith Activists
-UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Blog
UUJMCA listens to and collaborates with grassroots movements to shape our ministries to create more equitable, sustainable, and moral economic practices in California. Whether it is to promote tenant rights and local rent control initiatives, advocate for worker safety and wages, or encourage activists to identify & dismantle the intersectional impact of racism and classism, UUJMCA knows that our work as people of faith must be rooted in accountable partnerships. At the core of our faith is the practice of covenant, the sacred act of building and maintaining relationships that help ALL of us thrive. Our efforts to promote economic justice are thus shaped by our listening to, lifting up, and collaborating on the movements shaped by the following organizations/coalitions:
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment is a grassroots, statewide community organization dedicated to raising the voices of everyday Californians, neighborhood by neighborhood, to fight for the policies and programs needed to improve our communities and create a brighter future. Comprised of local/neighborhood chapters and issue committees, ACCE groups meet regularly to strategize and plan campaigns. Learn more about ACCE and connect with a local chapter near you to be part of the neighborhood organizing in your area.
Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy is a base-building organization committed to social, economic, and environmental justice for working-class and immigrant communities in California’s Central Coast. Through community organizing, leadership development, coalition building, civic engagement, policy research, and advocacy, CAUSE builds a grassroots community working to build a world where all can contribute to, and benefit from, a sustainable economy that is just, prosperous and environmentally healthy. Learn more about CAUSE’s work & communities in Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Santa Paula and get connected to their local efforts in your area today.
Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice is a coalition of diverse faith communities & congregations with a progressive agenda around workers’ rights and issues of economic justice. Knowing the specific & essential place that people of faith hold within the larger social justice landscape, CLUE members strive to bring four core gifts to the work to create justice: a reliable religious constituency, a faith-rooted call to humanity, inspiration & support for those on the frontlines, and counter-messaging to private economic interests. Learn more about CLUE’s work in Los Angeles & Orange Counties and get connected to their efforts to create a just & sacred society here.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget is a statewide coalition of over 70 grassroots organizations that works to bridge movements for economic, racial, and environmental justice by reducing the number of people in prisons and jails, shrinking the imprisonment system, and shifting public spending from corrections and policing to human services. Through budget & legislative advocacy, media campaigns, demonstrations, direct engagement with elected officials, and more, CURB works to curb prison spending, and redirect those funds to communities at local and state levels. Find out more about CURB and how to connect with their work here.
FAME / EBASE
The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy, is EBASE’s (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy) faith-rooted organizing program, bringing together the teachings from spiritual traditions to infuse our economic justice movement with love, joy, and hope. FAME is a network of clergy, spiritual leaders, and people of faith, whose mission is to educate and mobilize faith communities to stand with low-wage and immigrant workers. Members provide a moral voice and accompaniment to those struggling for dignity and justice to help help create and protect quality jobs that lift people out of poverty. Find out more about FAME’s ministry and the larger EBASE organizing efforts to connect with their faith-rooted work in the East Bay.
Worksafe is a statewide organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the basic right of all people to a safe and healthy workplace. In collaboration with worker organizations and activist networks, they work to eliminate toxic chemicals and other hazards from the workplace. Worksafe also advocates for worker health and safety laws and effective remedies for people who are injured on the job or suffer work-related illness, and watchdogs government agencies to ensure they enforce these laws. Through legal training and technical assistance they strive to improve access to justice for workers who are most vulnerable to having their rights violated. Learn more about Worksafe and their campaign priorities – including Coronavirus & Wildfire Smoke related safety – here.
Economic Justice Action Team
We e are currently looking to rebuild our Economic Justice Action Team, and bring together Unitarian Universalists interested in an intersectional platform for economic justice at the state level. If you are interested in being a part of UUJMCA’s Economic Justice Action Team, let us know below!
*UPDATED OCTOBER 5, 2020*
UUJMCA is excited to share our 2020 California Ballot Recommendations. After consultation with several local and statewide organizations & collectives, and deep reflection on how our values call on us to engage the proposed initiatives, we have put together this grid of recommendations, including our own, for you to be able to make an informed selection. We are releasing these now with an understanding that more information may become available as we get closer to November 3rd. However, due to the statewide vote-by-mail opportunity and concerns regarding delays in the postal service, we have opted to share this grid as it is, with the intention of updating it should anything significant come to our attention.
A few notes on our reasoning around certain propositions:
Proposition 19 - Property Tax Transfers
Proposition 19 is essentially a revitalization of the 2018 ballot's Proposition 5, which California voters rejected. It increases the number of times that "eligible homeowners" can transfer property tax values to more expensive homes from one to three times, which would worsen the inequity in our current property tax system. Individuals with qualifying disabilities and victims of wildfires would remain limited to one transfer of their existing tax value.
Proposition 25 - Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments
UUJMCA remains committed to ending the practice of cash/money bail in California. The passage of Senate Bill 10 in 2018 was a watered down version of legislation intended to end cash bail in California. What was passed in 2018 essentially replaces the cash bail system with a "risk assessment" system to determine if individuals facing criminal charges can be given pretrial release and under what conditions. These "risk assessments" are hardly an improvement, as there are no clear guidelines for these assessments, thereby leaving assessments up to the discretion of local courts, a process which would inevitably lead to the continuation implicit racial bias and racism against black and brown people in our criminal justice system.
The American Bail Coalition has been fighting against SB10 in its original and current form, and has led to it being put on the ballot as a veto referendum for California voters to decide. Our partners and frontline communities have a range of responses to Proposition 25. While there is consensus that the passage of SB10 was a watered-down or sideways move in dismantling systems of mass incarceration, there are varied opinions regarding the referendum to veto it. Ultimately, we at UUJMCA have decided that its passage DOES demonstrate that there is an urgent and moral need to shift away from a cash bail system that is cruel and biased as it exists. Therefore, we have chosen to recommend a "Yes" vote on Proposition 25, with the intention of demanding training and accountability on implicit bias and systemic racism for anyone who is tasked with determining individuals' "risk level" under this new system, and with the intention of continuing the push for an end to cash bail in California.
The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California (UUJMCA), through its Economic Justice Action Team, has endorsed bills pending in the Legislature that will honor workers whose work has for too long been treated as menial and unworthy. The bills are described below. We urge you to take the action described to support this legislation soon, as the Legislative session will end this month.
Thank you for joining us for this powerful event, bringing together workers, advocates and people of faith from around the Bay Area as we learned ways to advance affordable housing and worker justice from community partners and leaders.
The November 2015 webinar on Low Wages and Costly Housing presented by the Economic Justice team outlined innovative ideas for housing plus the current state of wages and inequality. Below are suggested actions for two current wage efforts. Download the PowerPoint! Dignity at Work-The Moral Imperative of a Living Wage.
SUPPORT WALMART WORKERS--www.makingchangeatwalmart.org
• Sign a letter supporting the campaign
• Visit one of the actions at your local Walmart
• Put an article in your church’s newsletter about the experience
• Invite a Walmart worker to speak at your church
• Lift up the struggles of Walmart workers living in poverty during your congregation’s Joys and Sorrows
SUPPORT STATE LEGISLATION
California SB935 (Leno): Calls for $13.00/hour by 2017 And indexed to inflation in 2018. It passed the Senate this year, but failed in an Assembly committee, with a couple of key Democrats not voting. It will be reintroduced next year.
The November 2015 webinar on Low Wages and Costly Housing presented by the Economic Justice team outlined innovative ideas for housing. Below are just some of the examples shared at the webinar on innovative housing. Download the Powerpoint! Housing for All