Advocacy for Social Justice
Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA)
COPA was founded in 2003 with the specific purpose of building community power to address issues of housing, public safety, education, immigration, health care and economic opportunity. COPA is a coalition of about 25 religious congregations and non-profit institutions in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. St. John’s was a founding member of COPA and remains active in COPA’s work to reweave the social fabric of our communities and neighborhoods.
In Santa Cruz County COPA has gained recognition and has worked to reshape the public debate on affordable housing. In addition, COPA advocates for ESL and other classes offered by Cabrillo College, with a particular focus in Live Oak. Training provided by COPA leaders has helped develop effective and responsive leadership within our parish, and particularly in conjunction with St. John’s move to the new campus in Seacliff.
How to Help: COPA presents a great opportunity for us to act on our values, to participate in social justice, and to bring about change. There are ongoing opportunities for involvement with COPA. For more information, contact Rector Steve Ellis.
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a non-partisan Christian lobbying organization dedicated to reducing hunger in the U.S. and worldwide. Each year “Bread” produces educational materials focusing on particular aspects of hunger while highlighting proposed legislation aimed at remedying hunger.
Once or twice a year at St. John’s we write letters or postcards to our federal legislators urging them to co-sponsor and pass legislation to reduce hunger. Bread for the World is a sponsor of the One Campaign, working with the United Nations to advance the Millennium Development Goals.
For more information, contact Julie or Kim Fudge. Learn more at the website: www.bread.org .
Jubilee USA Network
St. John’s is a “Jubilee Congregation.” Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor and community groups working for the cancellation of crushing debt that burdens many nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Jubilee’s goal is to broaden our commitment to our brothers and sisters in the developing world in ways that provide those in impoverished nations with greater opportunities for economic justice and opportunities for their people. Together with other Jubilee congregations, we are advocates in the fight to end hunger, save lives and restore hope for the millions affected by the debt crisis.
How to Help: Participate in letter-writing forums, contact your congressional representative, and become informed about the debt crisis and the Millennium Development Goals. Contact Mary-Nona Hudson for more information. Check Jubilee’s website at: www.jubileeusa.org .
Episcopal Public Policy Network
Being an advocate does not always involve drastic measures. Every day we have the chance to stand up and speak when we see the need. Advocates have the opportunity to speak to their elected representatives, friends, family, and congregations about important issues. Find out how you can be involved with advocacy and the Episcopal Church here. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/eppn .