June 2019 Newsletter
Where Our 2018 Tax Dollars
Were Spent
The Institute of Policy Studies recently released a report on how the federal government spent our 2018 tax dollars and here are some of the key findings:

  • The average U.S. taxpayer paid more to private military contractors than funds that directly support the troops
  • The U.S. spent more on proliferating weapons of mass destruction than on foreign aid and diplomacy, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Children's Health Insurance Program
  • The government spent as much taxpayer money separating families as it did on Kindergarten-12th grade education
  • Health care is the taxpayer’s biggest tab, with Medicare and Medicaid providing health care for 33% of the people in the U.S.
  • More dollars went to disaster relief than to investments like renewable energy that could have helped prevent the worst disasters
  • The average taxpayer contributed more to private Department of Defense contractors than to labor and unemployment programs
To see the full report, click here .
For more on the U.S. Budget , click here .
Uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy. Works to ensure that the electorate matches the population via a two-pronged approach:
  1. Providing a toolset, which includes a voter registration tool, an absentee ballot tool, a tool that helps verify voter registration status, and a stand-alone election reminder tool. 
  2. Reaching out to low-propensity voters and encouraging them to vote
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
Center for Migration Studies
A think tank and educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. Also publishes the International Migration Review and the Journal on Migration and Human Security.  Learn more. 
For more on Immigration , click here.
Humane Borders/Fronteras Compasivas
Maintains a system of water stations in the Sonoran Desert on routes used by migrants making the perilous journey to the U.S. on foot. Their primary mission is to save people from a death by dehydration and exposure, and to create a just and humane environment in the borderlands. They create water stations on government and privately owned land with permission from the landowners.
For more on Immigration , click here .
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking
Offers support all along the continuum of a human trafficking survivor’s journey, including: emergency response, counseling and skills training, shelter, legal advocacy and survivor leadership. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking , click here.
Equal Pay Day
A project of the Tides Center, works with partners to solve the long-standing gender wage gap. It was launched on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act by national and state-based women's legal advocacy and worker justice organizations to close the gender wage gap that persists in nearly every industry and profession in the country. Learn more
For more on Gender Inequality , click here .
U.S. Health Map
An interactive resource from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, that shows health trends across the U.S. -- at the county level, for men and women, and by year, including: cancers, major causes of death, life expectancy, smoking, obesity, physical activity, alcohol use, hypertension, injuries, suicide, AIDS, drug use, violence, diabetes etc.
For more on Health Care , click here.
Bag it -- Is Your Life Too Plastic?
A documentary that starts with simple questions such as: Are plastic bags really necessary? What are plastic bags made from? What happens to plastic bags after they are discarded? Also looks beyond beyond plastic bags from baby bottles, to sports equipment, to dental sealants, to personal care products -- all made with plastic or potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process and what we can do about it.
For more on the Environment , click here .
Women Leaving Prison:
Justice-Seeking Spiritual Support for Female Returning Citizens
By Jill Snodgrass. Examines the experiences of female returning citizens, who face numerous barriers as they return to life beyond bars. Describes women’s pathways to prison, their spiritual and religious experiences inside, and calls for a revised prison ministry praxis, entitled Project Sister Connect , that details how churches, as well as concerned citizens and people of faith, can welcome and care for returning sisters. This model can facilitate female returning citizens’ successful reentry via communal and individual spiritual care and support, and by working toward the eradication of structural injustices.
For more the Criminal Justice System , click here.

Until We Reckon:
Violence, Mass Incarceration,
and a Road to Repair
By Danielle Sered. Addresses the issue of violence -- offering approaches that will help end mass incarceration and increase safety. Questions the purpose of incarceration and argues that the needs of survivors of violent crime are better met by asking people who commit the violence to accept responsibility for their actions and make amends in ways that are meaningful to those they have hurt —none of which happens in the context of a criminal trial or a prison sentence. Argues that the reckoning owed is not only on the part of those who have committed violence, but also by our nation’s over-reliance on incarceration to produce safety — at great cost to communities, survivors, racial equity, and the very fabric of democracy. Read more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Alliance for Climate Education
Educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to take action.
For more on the Environment , click here.
Bridging Refugee Youth
and Children's Services
Aims to strengthen the capacity of both refugee-serving and mainstream organizations across the U.S., to empower and ensure the successful development of refugee children, youth, and
their families.
For more on Refugees , click here.
Discover Your Neighbor
A resource from Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, these periodicals for young people touch on topics such as Care of Creation, Economic Justice and Migration. Each issue includes prayers, making personal connections, faith perspective, Scripture and church teaching. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here .
Center for Prophetic Imagination
Integrates spiritual formation, creative political action, and experimental education to nurture and guide leaders that call people to embrace God’s vision for the world. Works for a world where walls of alienation are torn down and people live justly with each other, with the land, and with the Spirit of Life. Learn more .
For more Justice resources, click here .
Palaces for the People:
How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life
By Eric Klinenberg. Suggests that the future of democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on shared spaces such as: libraries, childcare centers, churches, and parks where crucial connections are formed. Interweaving research with examples from around the globe, shows how “social infrastructure” is helping to solve some of society's most pressing challenges. Ultimately offers a blueprint for bridging seemingly unbridgeable divides. Read more .
For more Justice resources, click here .
The Common Good
By Robert Reich. Makes a case for the expansion of America’s moral imagination. Arguing common sense and everyday reality, demonstrates that a common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation. Shows how societies undergo cycles that both reinforce and undermine the common good -- which America has been experiencing for the past five decades. Holds that we need to weigh the moral obligations of citizenship and carefully consider how we relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership. Read more.
For more Catholic Social Teaching resources,
Raise Your Voice:
Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up
By Kathy Khang. Offers insights from famous people who raised their voices for the sake of God's justice, and shows how we can do the same today, in person, in social media, in organizations, and in the public square.  Read more.
For more Public Witness resources, click here .
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
June 1st
In my empty cell, I experience a growing awareness of the communion of saints -- and of the possibility of a world where the vast chasm of violence and injustice enforced by torture and war is bridged and transformed.
June 4th
The media seems to think only abortion and gay marriage are religious issues. Poverty is a moral issue, it's a faith issue, it's a religious issue.
June 8th
If there is no friendship with the poor and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals.
June 12th
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.
June 28th
Even today we don't pay serious attention to the issue of poverty, because the powerful remain relatively untouched by it. Most people distance themselves from the issue by saying that if the poor worked harder, they wouldn't be poor.
June 30th
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