Sister Mary's Justice Notes | October 25

CSJ Justice Notes: October 25, 2017
 
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Edwards Named Director of Public Safety
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Edwards last week was named the city’s new director of Public Safety, overseeing the St. Louis Metropolitan police department and chief of policeThis announcement comes after state Representative Bruce Franks Jr. called on Mayor Lyda Krewson to appoint a director of Public Safety at the public Protest to Policy event on Oct. 11. Read more.
 
Protesters Arrested for Blocking Pipeline Work through Sisters’ Property
Nearly two dozen people, including a juvenile, were arrested as they blocked workers from starting construction of a short leg of a natural gas pipeline on property owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ congregation in Columbia, Pennsylvania. Read more here.
 
Limit the President's Power to Start a Nuclear War
President Donald Trump -- like every president for decades-has sole authority to launch a US nuclear attack. And literally no one has the authority to stop such a launch. The Union of Concerned Scientists asks us to urge our lawmakers to cosponsor the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act," which would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war from Congress. Click Here.
 
ECPAT Report, Promotional Video Call Attention to Child Sex Trafficking
Over the past 13 years, ECPAT-USA has been engaging the United States travel and tourism industry to protect children from sex trafficking. We have done that by working with hotel brands to implement policies and training to alert hospitality associates of their unique role in stopping human trafficking. Now, corporate policies against human trafficking and child exploitation are industry standard. Training is best practice. Half of all hotels in the U.S. have training about how to prevent and disrupt child sex trafficking and at least 35 percent of those have ECPAT-USA training, but there is still more work to be done. To read the report, click here. To view a short promotional video that could be used at high schools or other events, watch here.
 
Racial Equity Tools Offer Support in Confronting Racism, Working for Justice
Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large. Read more.
 
Tax Giveaways Don’t Trickle Down
President Trump and Congressional leaders released an outline for their tax proposals, which would provide large tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while providing little benefit to lower-income Americans. Though the current U.S. tax code is credited with creating income inequality that has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, the new plan will further tilt the tax code in favor of the wealthiest Americans. Read more.
 
Lapse in Federal Funding Imperils Children's Health Coverage
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is in limbo since Federal funding lapsed on Sept. 30.  CHIP covers 9 million children nationwide and helps lower- and middle-income families with health care costs.  The program is paid for by state and federal funding, but the federal government covers most of the cost.  Several states are expected to run out of money before the end of 2017, and most of the rest will run out by next summer. More here.
The New Reality of Old Age in America
As a result of two recent recessions which devastated personal savings, the shift in responsibility of the U.S. retirement system from employers to workers, and the weakening of purchasing power of Social Security benefits, millions of retired Americans are forced to work to survive. According to a recent government report, nearly 30 percent of households headed by someone 55 or older have no pension or retirement savings.  Read more.
 
Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps
When winter sets in, "polar vortex" becomes one of the most dreaded phrases in the Northern Hemisphere.  While it may seem counterintuitive, the scientists believe these bitter cold snaps are connected to the warming of the Arctic and the effects that that warming is having on the winds of the stratospheric polar vortex, high above the Earth's surface. More information here

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