The Common Good

Jim Wallis Joins Faith Leaders to Support Proposition 86

Date: September 7, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Media Contacts:

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Jack Pannell, 202/285-1899, jpannell@sojo.net

Elise Elzinga, 202/745-4625, eelzinga@sojo.net

 

Press Release

           

Jim Wallis Joins Faith Leaders to Support Proposition 86

Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9

 

Los Angeles, CA – September 7, 2006 – Jim Wallis, founder/CEO of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, joined a diverse coalition of religious leaders from PICO L.A. and Clergy United for Economic Justice (CLUE L.A.) in support of Proposition 86 with a simple message: Providing health care to 800,000 of California’s most vulnerable children is a moral and religious imperative. Area faith leaders challenged tobacco companies to stop their $29 million campaign against Proposition 86, and they have launched a faith-based grassroots campaign to inform voters in congregations of the measure’s positive health benefits—especially for children. “Proposition 86 gives California voters a real opportunity to put Christ’s concern for the least of these into practice, and stand up for real family values by protecting children from the harms of smoking and ensuring them health care,” Wallis said. “It’s the right thing—the moral thing—to do.”

In July, Sojourners/Call to Renewal launched the Covenant for a New America Campaign, which has united evangelical, mainline, and Catholic church leaders around a shared commitment to overcoming poverty. One of the Covenant Campaign’s visions is to reduce child poverty by half over the next 10 years. With the passage of Proposition 86, California would take a major step closer to achieving this national goal and providing brighter futures for California’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. The Covenant states: “We will never end the cycle of poverty if we continue to allow lack of opportunity to be the formative aspect of a child’s life. We will never strengthen families and communities if children—especially poor children—do not benefit from public investments that allow them to mature into productive citizens. Our nation should develop and commit to a plan that reduces child poverty by half over 10 years.” Wallis and other faith leaders believe Proposition 86 represents a specific and concrete way to move California’s children from poverty to opportunity by providing them with access to quality health care.

“Religious voters must heed the biblical call to protect the most vulnerable, specifically children,” says Wallis. “We have the political resources to accomplish these goals. We just need the political will to make them happen.”

 

For additional information about Sojourners/Call to Renewal and the Covenant for a New America Campaign, go to www.sojo.net and www.covenantforanewamerica.org

 

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Sojourners is a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice. Visit www.sojo.net. Call to Renewal is a national network of churches, faith-based organizations, and individuals working to overcome poverty in America. Visit www.calltorenewal.org.