The Maine Council of Churches released its ‘moral agenda’ at the State House on Tuesday, outlining specific bills and policies it says are aimed at reducing disparity between Maine’s various populations.
The Council of Churches says it has partnered with the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network and Preble Street Faith Advocacy Network in setting goals and action items to bring before politicians and policymakers.
Goal: Eliminate hunger and poverty for Mainers
Action: Oppose the presidential administration and the USDA have proposed rules to reduce Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
“Taking food away from unemployed or underemployed workers won’t make jobs appear,” said Heather Zimmerman of Preble Street.
Goal: Support affordable and accessible health care.
Action: Call for support of bill LD 949 An Act to Prevent Overdose Deaths, establishing overdose prevention sites.
“Overdose prevention sites have shown to reduce rates of hepatitis C, HIV and overdose deaths in surrounding communities without increasing drug-related crime. They are also effective gateways to treatment,” said Universalist Minister Carrie Johnson.
Goal: Create sustainable communities marked by affordable housing and public safety issues.
Action: Call to support bill LD 1337 to create a homeless opioid user service engagement program. This legislation would facilitate access medically assisted treatment, intensive case management and flexible housing assistance for people experiencing homelessness related to opioid addiction.
Goal: Increase support for tax and budget policies that reduce disparity between rich and poor.
Action: Support legislative policies that provide affordable housing, fund schools and create health.
“Our churches see too many people surviving, but not thriving while working harder and harder than ever before,” John Hennessy of The Maine Council of Churches.