by Randy Partain, TXUUJM Emerson liaison
The process is still progressing toward 501(c)(3) status for the Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM). All of the action necessary by TXUUJM has taken place, but the system slowed considerably last year when policies changed regarding the status of some non-profit organizations engaged in lobbying efforts. This is not anticipated to have an adverse effect on the status of TXUUJM; things are just taking a little bit longer than expected.
In the meantime, the votes are in from all the UU congregations across Texas who are a part of the TXUUJM efforts. Based on feedback from over a dozen congregations, the TXUUJM will be focusing on three issues in preparation for the next state legislative session:
- Women’s reproductive justice
- Affordable Care Act implementation
- Addressing income inequality
Thank you to the Emerson Social Action Council (SAC) and to everyone who participated in ranking the SAC’s top issues, either online or in person, back in December.
TXUUJM will invest the bulk of its energy pursuing these top three issues that member congregations voted on as a primary legislative agenda for 2015. The intention is to cooperate with coalition partners to influence decisions at the state level, and to support forums for trusted congregations and individuals who want to expand beyond these three issues. It may also be necessary for TXUUJM to be nimble and responsive to issues that spring up during the legislative session that are not among the top three focus issues, but resonate deeply with bedrock UU values.
For now, TXUUJM is preparing for the legislative session slated to begin in 2015 by forming education and strategy teams around these three focus concerns. You can be involved in this development! If you are passionate about one of these issues, you can make a difference in Texas as a part of one the TXUUJM teams. Over the next several months, participants will be
- (1) educating themselves,
- (2) connecting with other organizations in the state that resonate with UU principles, and
- (3) developing a strategy for addressing these issues in the 2015 legislative session.
The TXUUJM can provide resources and facilitate connection for anyone at Emerson who is interested in making a personal commitment toward effecting justice in Texas.
To get involved with one of the three education and strategy teams, please contact Randy Partain, one of Emerson’s TXUUJM liaisons. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (713) 498-0077.