The past few weeks have been relatively quiet in Washington, DC. With members of Congress on the campaign trail and the presidential race in full gear, there has not been much room for advancing or resolving issues that are affecting poor and marginalized communities overseas.
Despite the holding pattern we’re currently in, there is something that you and your community can do to keep the momentum on the Catholics Confront Global Poverty priority issues of global hunger and poverty-focused international assistance going. As the presidential candidates and your members of Congress campaign in your home town, remind them that the Catholic bishops of the U.S. have lifted up a number of important issues that affect the life and dignity of the human person in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Those issues include protecting the unborn and vulnerable; the economic crisis and its impact on those in poverty; ensuring Catholic ministries can operate in accordance with their consciences; the need for comprehensive immigration reform; protecting marriage and family; and addressing war, terror and violence.
GLOBAL HUNGER & NUTRITION
In “Part II: Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues: A Summary of Policy Positions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” the bishops note: “A first priority for agriculture policy should be food security for all.”
As you discern the presidential and congressional candidates running for elected federal office about the many issues raised in the bishops’ statement, here is one question that you can ask about your candidates’ position on the Farm Bill and global hunger:
”The U.S. Farm Bill that directs U.S. agriculture and farm policies is supposed to be reauthorized this year. It has a tremendous affect on addressing hunger here at home and around the world. It also determines the fate of small farmers in the U.S., the quality of our growing land, and the nature of our rural communities. What are you, if elected, going to do to reauthorize a Farm Bill that:
- Helps people who are hungry here at home and overseas access nutritious food;
- Promotes development in poor countries so that communities are more resilient to drought and other issues that cause persistent hunger;
- Better serve small and moderate-sized family farmers in the U.S., particularly minority-owned farms;
- Promote good stewardship of our land and environment; and
- Reduces subsidies to large U.S. agri-businesses and redirect savings to support anti-hunger efforts at home and around the world?”
POVERTY-FOCUSED INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
In “Part II: Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues: A Summary of Policy Positions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” the bishops note: “The United States should take a leading role in helping to alleviate global poverty through substantially increased development aid for the poorest countries, more equitable trade policies, and continuing efforts to relieve the crushing burdens of debt and disease. Our nation’s efforts to reduce poverty should not be associated with demeaning and sometimes coercive population control programs; instead, these efforts should focus on working with the poor to help them build a future of hope and opportunity for themselves and their children.”
As you discern the presidential and congressional candidates running for elected federal office about the many issues raised in the bishops’ statement, here is one question that you can ask about your candidates’ position on poverty-focused international assistance:
“U.S. poverty-focused international assistance makes a tremendous difference in the lives of poor and vulnerable people worldwide and makes up less than 1% of the U.S. federal budget. However, some in Congress have proposed serious cuts to this lifesaving aid that would seriously undermine our nation’s ability to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters. What are you, if elected going to do to ensure that poverty-focused international assistance is protected?”
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