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Civic Engagement

Join us in working with the Religious Action Center (RAC – the Reform movement’s vehicle for working to educate, inspire, and mobilize the Reform Jewish community to advocate for social justice) and RAC-New York (focused on NYS issues). In the past, we have successfully lobbied for parol reform and driver’s licenses for all. We are very proud of our contributions toward fighting voter suppression and look forward to working this year to ensure that voter registration and voting options are equally accessible across the United States. We look forward, as well, to working with our Racial Justice Task Force on the RAC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. A major effort over the next few years is the Climate Covenant: A RAC-NY Campaign to Combat Climate Change.

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

For Immediate Action:

  1. Combatting Climate Change. Want to fix the world, literally? Urge our legislators to support two bills that will reduce the use of natural gas in buildings, which accounts for 32% of greenhouse gases in New York State.  Please click HERE to get more information on the bills and to send an email to our legislators with one click.
     
  2. Every Voice, Every Vote. The stakes in the upcoming midterm elections could not be higher. Every issue we care about as Reform Jews – including reproductive rights – is on the ballot. Like you, we know that democracy is strongest when everyone participates and weakest when citizens are shut out from the democratic process. Were you one of the many WCT congregants who did post carding or phone calling to encourage folks to vote in 2020? Whether or not, you will want to get involved in this year’s campaign to fight voter suppression. Attend the launch on Tuesday, May 17, 8 pm, on Zoom. Sign up HERE. Questions? Email cetf@wct.org.

 

Our Covenant with Future Generations and Our Covenant with Each Other

RAC-NY’s number one priority this year – Climate change adversely affects all of us, through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the land beneath our feet. Today, communities of color are suffering the worst consequences of global warming, which makes climate change another instance of racial injustice. Because people are a major cause of climate change, we call upon ourselves to make a covenant with future generations that we will not destroy the earth, following the rainbow that symbolized God’s covenant with the Jewish people not to destroy the earth again after the flood (Genesis 9:13-16). The time has passed when individual action alone, like recycling and composting, was enough. Today, we must come together as Reform Jews to make a covenant to act collectively across our movement and join with others across lines of race, faith, and class to end our dependence on fossil fuels and stop climate change. The stakes are high, and the potential benefit for all of us is great. It will take a broad and deep covenant with each other to make a real difference.

A New Kind of Campaign for RAC-NY

Climate Covenant is new kind of campaign for RAC-NY. Unlike years past, the Climate Covenant will be a two- to three-year effort, which will allow us to reach deeper into our congregations and Reform communities to increase our ability to move more people into action to effectively combat climate change. While we will work on climate legislation in 2022, our top priority this year will be building our base of engaged individuals and communities, and thus our power, to make an even greater impact on climate change in future years.

A Calendar of What We Will Do Together in 2022

Our goal this year is to build a strong base of engagement and support so that we can do more to end climate change in future years. Here’s our plan to do it:

  • April and May: Work to pass the All Electric Building Bill S6843A (Kavanaugh)/ A8431 (Gallagher) or, if that passes in March through the budget process, another climate change bill. RAC-NY will meet with a few key legislators, and congregations will make phone calls and send emails to their state legislators.
  • May 15 and 22: RAC-NY regional retreats where social justice leaders from different congregations will come together to get to know each other and strategize. The Westchester region will meet on May 15 from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains. Please register for the retreat here.
  • Summer and Fall: RAC-NY will participate in the national Reform Movement campaign to overcome voter suppression and increase voter engagement in Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities that are underrepresented in the electorate, while continuing to recruit new supporters for the climate change covenant.
  • October – December Campaign leaders will host conversations in our congregations and communities about personal connections to climate change and what we can do together to combat it. This is an opportunity to reach out and involve people who have not been involved in RAC-NY and social justice before.
  • July – December Begin to strategize for the 2023 campaign, which will take on one of the big climate change questions, such as how the state will pay for the transition to a green economy or what more businesses, corporations and financial institutions can do to combat climate change.

Leaders: Andrea Olstein and Rochelle Stolzenberg, CETF@wct.org

 

CONTACTING OFFICIALS:

A major way in which we advocate for a just society is by communicating our thoughts to leaders of government. Click HERE for contact information.

Sat, May 21 2022 20 Iyar 5782