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Congregations lobby for social justice

Advocates from 41 interfaith member congregations will bus to the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 10. CHUM and the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition will lobby for restoring voting rights for felons; increased funding for the Child Care Assis...

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Photo by Jonathunder via Wikimedia Commons.

Advocates from 41 interfaith member congregations will bus to the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 10. CHUM and the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition will lobby for restoring voting rights for felons; increased funding for the Child Care Assistance Program; expanding Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits; and increased funding for services that address the needs of human trafficking victims.

Seats are still available for the JRLC Day on the Hill. The bus loads at 5:45 a.m. at the Damiano Center, 206 W. Fourth St., departing at 6 a.m. It returns at 6:30 p.m. To reserve a seat call Courtney Cochran at (218) 576-7226.

By making policy changes and following in the footsteps of 20 other states, Minnesota could reduce disenfranchisement penalties and restore voting rights to over 57,000 Minnesotans with criminal records at the end of incarceration instead of after probation or parole ends.

Increased funding for the Child Care Assistance Program would allow for about 8,000 eligible Minnesota families to be taken off the waiting list and provide greater employment options for working parents. Expanding tax credits for families would allow parents to care for their children, while maintaining financial stability. CHUM is especially invested in family economic security this legislative session with the recent opening of the Steve O'Neil Apartments.

The Safe Harbors legislation has begun the process of funding a statewide network of trafficking victims' services. There is a need for expanding these services and to build the network statewide.

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Homeless Day on the Hill

CHUM will again travel to the Capitol for Homeless Day on the Hill on Thursday, March 12, to join Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless in asking Legislators to support two proposals. The Homes for All proposal includes a $39 million increase in funding for housing and supportive services. The Prosperity for All proposal aims for a $100 transportation allowance increase per month for families receiving MFIP.

The bus loads at the Damiano Center at 5:45 a.m. and departs at 6 a.m., returning at 5:30 p.,m.

MFIP provides assistance to 28,000 parents and 70,000 children, making it the largest workforce development program in Minnesota. Transportation is the top barrier to employment for parents enrolled in MFIP. MFIP assistance has not increased since 1986, remaining at a mere $532. An additional $100/month would help parents afford transportation to job interviews, work, and employment activities.

A $39 million investment in housing and services would help to prevent homelessness, expand housing options, and strengthen services for homeless and low-income Minnesotans.

CHUM makes this trip annually and last year was a part of the Homes for All proposal, which successfully passed $100 million bonding bill for affordable housing in the state of Minnesota. CHUM will be taking a bus to the Capitol with advocates trying to improve the quality of life for many Minnesotans that are currently experiencing poverty and/or homelessness.

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