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The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives

Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture: Sasha Abramsky, Journalist 

"The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives"
Sunday, April 30 at 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Temple Beth-El, 400 Pasadena Ave S, Saint Petersburg

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 20, 2017, at 3:38pm

If You Oppose Criminalization of Immigration Offenses/Increased Deportations... 

This month U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced new policies that would prioritize the prosecution of individuals who have committed immigration-related offenses, effectively criminalizing the treatment of many such violations. Because most immigration offenses are currently civil offenses, they have traditionally been handled administratively through the federal immigration court system, separate from the criminal justice system. 

Your Congressperson and both U.S. Senators are home on recess this week. Call, email or visit each of them. And let them know that you oppose the White House's budget request for increased funding for expanding the wall with Mexico, increasing the immigration detention spaces by 22,100 and criminalizing mmigration offenses. 

These plans are contingent upon on funding from Congress, and we must act now to prevent this fundingIt takes just a few minutes, and is so easy to do. Simply state: : 

  1. Your name and zip code.  Calls from outside their district are not counted.
  2. That you oppose funding an extension of the wall with Mexico, expanding the number of immigrants that can detained and housed prior to deportation and criminalizing immigration offenses 

If the phone lines are blocked or voice mail box is full, cut and paste the bullet points from above into their email templates on their websites! 

US House of Representatives from this area

Kathy Castor  visit website and complete template      Phone: (202)225-3376  or  (813)871-2817  

Charlie Christ  visit website and complete template      Phone: (202) 225-5961 or (888) 205-5569

US Senators for Florida

Bill Nelson  visit website and complete template     Phone: (202) 224-5274 or  813-225-7040

Marco Rubio  visit website and complete template            Phone:  (866) 630-7106 or (813) 287-503


Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 20, 2017, at 12:17pm

SUNDAY is Share the Plate Sunday

One half of the non-pledge portion of Sunday’s Offering will be used to support our two Congolese refugee families and one immigrant family. All three families have jobs, work long hours and are studying to improve themselves. Some extra help from us will make their lives a bit easier.


Please reach out to Karen Coale for more information.


Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 20, 2017, at 12:00pm

Sunscreen Film Festival -- Immigration Films

The League of Women Voter’s Immigration Action Group in partnership with the Sunscreen Film Festival invites you to two immigration related films — one about our Southern border and the other about the Syrian refugee crisis. Mark your calendar for Friday, April 28, 6:30pm - 8:30pm and Sunday, April 30th, 3:30pm - 5:05pm at American Stage Theater Company: 163 3rd St N. St.Petersburg, FL. 


Friday April 28th - 6:30 pm-8:30pm   Who Is Dayani Cristal:
Discovery of a decomposing male body in the AZ desert & a mysterious tattoo lead filmmakers on a journey with migrant travelers in Central America making their way north. In the process, we are given rare insight into the human stories behind immigration, the dangers they fI do hope you will join us for two very informative and moving educational experiences.      

Followed by Post Film Discussion w/ Human Rights Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani & Maria Jose Chapa, Community Organizer, SEIU/Florida Public Services Union


Sunday, April 30th - 3:30pm -5:05pm  After Spring
With the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year, the UN estimates 6.3 million Syrians have been displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, refugees struggle to rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 18, 2017, at 11:14am

Medicaid/Affordable Care Insurance -- HELP

One of our Congolese families is having difficulty getting health care. We think she makes too much to qualify for Medicaid. Santa is quite confused by the system -- and those of us on the Farmworker/Immigrant subcommittee have no knowledge and thus are not helpful. We need to understand the system in order to help her. Any of you have that knowledge or know an agency or organizations where we can get an explanation?

Thank you so much! 

Contact: Karen Coale


Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 13, 2017, at 11:30am

Federal U.S. Budget Postcard Signings After THIS Sunday's Service

The Adminstration has asked Congress to consider adding $3B to the current budget to to cover a down payment on the wall along the U.S./Mexican border.  An additional $18 billion has also been requested and would be funded by making cuts to existing from programs like medical research, infrastructure, and community grants. Postcards, stamps and labels addressed to our local U.S. Representatives and Senators, along with possible messages on this issue, will be available to you if you would like. Look for the Social Justice round table in Gilmour aftr service. All ages welcome. 

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 6, 2017, at 1:15pm

Food Collection THIS Sunday

During this Sunday's service our youngest members will collect food and household products for three families -- two from the Congolese and one from the Caribbean. The diet for these families consists primarily of dried beans, rice and fresh produce such as cabbage, root vegetables and oranges. They do not eat canned vegetables or fruits, nor boxed food that require preparation. 

Other items include household products such as, dish and laundry soap, diapers size 6 months and size 6 years as well as hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner and bath soap, would also be appreciated. 

Thank you!

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on March 31, 2017, at 9:00am

Fight HB 697 in the Florida House of Representatives

This bill, "Rule of Law Adherence Act," targets “Sanctuary Cities.” HB697 would require state and local governments and universities to comply with federal immigration laws and would impose stiff penalties of $5,000 for each day they are deemed to be out of compliance. Specifically it would require:

  • complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests
  • repealing sanctuary policies
  • providing information about immigration violations to state authorities.  

This bill is NOW in the House Judiciary Committee. Please contact the Judiciary Committee Leadership, and local representative Ben Diamond who is on this committee.  State that:

  • you oppose HB697
  • a bill requiring adherence to federal law is redundant
  • there is no accompanying budget to pay for enforcement 


BEN DIAMOND                    (D) DISTRICT 68    ST  PETERSBURG

Thank YOU!

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on March 31, 2017, at 7:33am

Farmworker/Immigrant Families Planning Meeting

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 5:30pm - 6:50pm
Location: Front Office

This Social Justice subcommittee meets monthly to plan our advocacy, educational and outreach projects. We are currently supporting three Congolese families who arrived in St Petersburg from refugee camps in Uganda on  December 15, 2016. Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services' Resettlement Office provides case workers, and we at UU St Pete work with them to help the families acclimate to their new homes. Each family is unique and their needs differ -- but the work with them is most rewarding and informative.

We also support advocacy campaigns for fair and just treatment for farmworkers in the fields of Florida -- which is driven by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. At present there is a boycott against Wendy's -- the fast food chain and a campaign asking that Publix participate in the Fair Food Agreement. Until these are resolved please do not visit Wendy's nor buy tomatoes from Publix.  

Our other advocacy area regards attempts to pass punitvie anit-immigrant legislation in the Floirda legislature. Six punitive bills were introduced in the 2016 session, and all were defeated. In partnership with the League of Women Voters of the St Petersburg Area -- we will also conduct an educational campaign about immigration as there is so much misinformation on this issue.

We meet monthly on the fourth Tuesday at 5:30pm to plan our projects. Come join us. All are welcome.

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on July 24, 2016, at 1:26pm

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