Advocacy News from LMM
President Biden and Vice President Harris are Inaugurated
At noon on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office in Washington D.C. President Biden and VP Harris begin their terms with substantial challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, a weak economy, and a divided country. However, we are grateful to see that President Biden and VP Harris have plans to address some of these challenges including a proposed $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” which includes $3 billion to ensure the strength and stability of nonprofits, $25 billion for rental assistance, $5 billion for homeless services, an extended eviction moratorium and $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans. 
Extend the Eviction Moratorium
During the COVID-19 pandemic, housing is healthcare. It is of the utmost importance individuals have added flexibility to stay in their homes even when they are unable to pay their rent in full. At the federal level, a key strategy to prevent a surge in homelessness is a federal eviction moratorium. Earlier this month, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry signed onto a letter of support led by the National Low Income Housing Coalition urging President Biden and Vice President Harris to extend and improve the current eviction moratorium. We are grateful to report that during President Biden’s first day in office, he signed an executive order to extend the federal eviction moratorium through March.  
Senator Brown to Chair Key Housing Committee 
Democrats hold a majority in the United States Senate after winning both Senate seats in Georgia. This will move U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown from ‘ranking member’ to ‘chairman’ of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

This is significant to LMM as this committee has authority over numerous federal housing programs, and banking and lending policies. Already, Senator Brown is setting a course where policies affecting housing and low-income populations are prioritized within this powerful committee. 
Cleveland Clergy Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
This week is the first week that the general public in Ohio has had access to the COVID-19 vaccine. While the vaccine remains limited in quantity, and eligibility restricted to those most at-risk, we are grateful to see the process moving forward. While we patiently await the acceleration of the vaccination process, we also recognize that many people may be hesitant to accept the vaccine. Watch and share this powerful video by MetroHealth of members of Cleveland’s Clergy including the Reverend Otis Moss and Rev. Dr. E.T. Caviness getting their vaccination, and explaining why they accepted their shot.
United Way Consent Decree Conversations
United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP are partnering to sponsor monthly community conversations that address police reform, held over a 10-month period. This in-depth series of dialogue centers on police reform mandated through the Consent Decree and its ramifications for our community. Click here to register for the January 27 event, which LMM is co-sponsoring.