by Kenny Jones
There were a number of milestones and successes in the 2015 legislative session for TXUUJM. In the months leading up to the 2017 session, there is much work to be done in our communities and working with our elected representatives around the state. The TXUUJM Advisory Board will discuss what issues which we wish to take a position on during this period. Members of the participating congregations are engaging in discussions of their own to determine which issues to present to the Advisory Board.
At Emerson, the Advisory Board members are Jane Collins and Kenny Jones. Jane and Kenny are holding a series of morning sessions to allow members to share their views on issues they wish to see considered for TXUUJM action. In the first of these sessions held on August 2nd, the following issues were presented:
1. Climate Change: Water Usage, addressing drought, advocating for increased government support for the renewable energy sector
2. Support Local Initiatives: Encourage local entities to take action on environmental matters without state intervention (Example: The Denton, TX anti-fracking ordinance was overturned by the state legislature)
3. Oppose the revision of public school textbooks to support a political agenda
4. Support the introduction of a sexuality education curriculum in public schools and support ease of access to contraception to address teen pregnancy and to reduce the incidence of abortion generally
5. Support reform of the state’s Foster Care system and procedures
6. Support reform of adoption procedures in light of marriage equality (this is very much tied to Foster Care reform)
7. Support policies designed to address the School to Prison Pipeline – (State mandated school disciplinary procedures)
8. Support reform of bail, jail, and sentencing reform that results in mass incarceration of our youth, predominately persons of color
9. Oppose the trend toward the privatization of prisons with also significantly impacts mass incarceration;
10. Explore the term “Welcoming Congregation” – What does this mean in terms of welcoming minority populations in terms of our faith tradition and how does might inform the operation and focus of TXUUJM?
While this is a very good list, it is by no means is a complete representation of the views and concerns of Emersonians. Please seek out Jane Collins and Kenny Jones next Sunday, August 9th at 10:00 am. Ask a Greeter – they will know where to direct you. If you can’t make it to church, feel free to text your recommendation to Kenny Jones at 832-654-1779 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org .