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UUJEC Issues & Actions Blog

Reclaim Our Democracy, Guest Post by Fred Van Deusen

May 22 2017

The Denominational Affairs Committee at First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts embraced the 2014 UUA Congregational Study Action Issue of Escalating Inequality and sponsored activities in 2014 and 2015 that led to the formation of our group in May of 2015. We created a name and mission statement for ourselves and encouraged others to join our efforts. Our goals were to find ways to increase economic fairness in elections, taxes, wages, education and healthcare.  As we have learned, the issues surrounding escalating inequality are complex, intertwined, systemic and deeply rooted in our culture. The most compelling issue that the group identified was the impact of escalating inequality on our democracy. 

In June of 2016 the UUA adopted a new Congregational Study Action Issue The Corruption of Our Democracy which is focused on the negative influence that huge amounts of money from corporations, billionaires, and special interest groups has on our national elections and on the effectiveness of congress. This issue fit in extremely well with our mission and we began focusing on it in September of 2016.  Since then we have

·       established a Democracy Working Group with members of more than 20 New England Region UU churches;

·       organized four separate educational events at First Parish in Concord that attracted between 30 and 75 people each;

·       marched in the April Patriot’s Day Parade in Concord; and

·       constructed an educational website called Reclaim Our Democracy.org that we hope others will use and make available to their groups.

We are currently working directly with several non-profit organizations that are also working to reclaim our democracy including American Promise, Our Revolution, Represent.Us and UU Mass Action.

For more information, email Fred Van Deusen at fredvandeu @ gmail.com or visit our website:  http://reclaimourdemocracy.org/All are welcome to join our mailing list and attend our events.


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