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Action opportunity
EMO files crime prevention amicus brief
Upcoming movie and lecture
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June 2018

Criminal Justice Sabbath - it's all one struggle

Dear Friends,
The nation's eyes are on our justice system.
The traumas children and parents are facing at our border are heart-breaking. Their stories should transform our legal system, our foster care system, and our politics.
Sadly, we know that it is not only kids at the border who are separated from their parents by incarceration, nor the only ones burdened by its impacts. 
Over the weekend of July 6-8,  EMO invites Oregonians to listen to stories at the heart of our justice system from people who:
  • Have survived crime and violence
  • Are or have been in prison
  • Work or volunteer in prisons, courts, law enforcement, jails and supervision
  • Work in domestic violence shelters and foster care
  • Have experienced our inhospitable immigration system
  • And those who have known what it is to be a child impacted by crime, violence, and mass incarceration.  
  Click here  to learn about ways your faith community can take part. 

If you've already started planning your congregation's Criminal Justice Sabbath, let us know you'll be joining us.  
If you haven't started planning your Criminal Justice Sabbath, feel free to get in touch with us as soon as you're ready for ideas or resources.  

EMO's annual Criminal Justice Sabbath resource guide is   available online here, for inspiration as well as a list of educational resources.    

Thank you for working for justice.  

Rev. Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey
EMO CoSA Program Manager  
(503) 221-1054 ext. 211 
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Action Opportunity 
Help get an assault weapons ban for Oregon  
EMO invites faith congregations to participate in Lift Every Voice Sunday/Signing Sabbath on June 29-July 1. Places of worship throughout the state of Oregon will be offering the opportunity to sign the petition to get IP 43 on the ballot in November. Please go to the campaign website for  ways to participate to help prevent gun violence.  Bring a ballot petition to your congregation that day to help reach the goal of over 100,000 signatures needed.  

This is a wonderful action option as a lead up to your Criminal Justice Sabbath, or to combine if you have the flexibility to move it up one week.  You'll be joining denominational leaders for concrete change for safety.  

EMO staff are available to help connect you or to share in your worship service about this campaign.
EMO files amicus brief in favor of justice reform legislation 
Protect progress for Safety & Savings  
In 2017, the Oregon legislature took needed steps toward justice system reforms, by passing the Safety & Savings Act (HB 3078).  This bipartisan bill  prevented the opening of a second women's prison, increased funding for victim services, and strengthened programs to address the root causes of crime.  All while aiming to save the state $20 million in prison costs.

Unfortunately, this act is under attack.  In John Foote v. State of Oregon, Clackamas County District Attorney Foote sought to block the act's implementation.  And this spring, a Clackamas County Circuit Court struck down reforms in the Safety & Savings Act as unconstitutional.

EMO has signed onto an amicus brief coordinated by our colleagues at Partnership for Safety & Justice to defend the Safety & Savings Act.  Through this "friend of the court" briefing, we will support the Oregon Department of Justice's defense of the act when it goes before the Oregon Supreme Court this fall.

As people of faith and goodwill, our interest in supporting the Safety & Savings Act goes beyond quantifiable gains to public safety and the state budget from criminal justice reform - which are, on their own, persuasive.  There is also an ethical component to reform: honoring the dignity of every human within the system; holding open paths of redemption; believing that healing is possible for our communities.  

If you believe that these reforms are important - worth defending and worth celebrating - please consider donating to support our work of education, outreach, and advocacy.  The voices of people of faith are needed to spotlight the moral weight of every policy choice. 
Stay tuned 
Rikers: An American Jail screening  
In partnership with our friends at First Unitarian Universalist's Ending the New Jim Crow social action group, this September we will be hosting a screening of the Bill Moyers documentary, Rikers: An American Jail.  Look for details later this summer. 

EMO's Collins Lecture to focus on immigrants and refugees 
On November 1, EMO will be hosting its annual Collins Lecture, an opportunity for interfaith ethical dialogue and education. This year's theme is about the challenges facing immigrants and refugees, and will be headlined by The Rev. Dr. David Vasquez Levy of Pacific School of Religion.  The intersections of immigration policy and the criminal justice system will be part of the educational opportunities.