It's APRIL 2023 and HOPE is in the Air!

My team knows that I am not much for flowers and frills. They tease me regularly. But this season, the spring branch at the top of our website fills me with hope. Spring is always a season of hope. As I sit at my desk writing, I hear the birds chirping gayly, and Harrisburg city streets are filled with trees in full bloom. Most importantly to our work, however, the changes in leadership in our PA General Assembly are the most significant reason for progressives to be hopeful.

There is a recognizable change in our State Capital. Legislators and staff frustrated by years of inaction and roadblocks have a spring in their step. The sense of possibilities is palpable. But I caution. The road ahead will not be easy, and we advocates must not become complacent. Instead, the opportunities for just legislation in PA must be our call to action. We need to increase our participation with more direct one-on-one conversations with our legislators, letters to the editor, larger rallies, and more presence in our local communities and Harrisburg.

Our justice teams continue to meet monthly, sharing information on our justice issues. Our teams invite speakers to share information, and we are planning lobby days through this Spring session and will continue into the Fall.

We are at the table with #FightForPayInPA, a raise-the-wage campaign led by Senator Art Haywood. A $7.25/hr minimum wage in Pennsylvania is outrageous. I dare our legislators to live for a month on such a salary. An increase in the minimum wage will benefit all of PA. 

Remember UUJusticePA Mission: To promote justice by voting, advocating, and making just public policy. How can this become a reality? In addition to a livable wage, we must reform our criminal justice system to eliminate the racist school-to-jail pipeline. Pennsylvania needs fair and equitable education funding, government reform to eradicate corruption and gridlock, sensible gun ownership regulations, and returning women’s rights to autonomy!

While I focus on Pennsylvania legislation, it is impossible not to be aware of the news from Washington (as well as NY and Georgia). I have a new mantra:  I do not believe in trickle-down economics, but I do hope for trickle-down accountability. I see the arrest of the twice-impeached former president as a sign that the dream of a democratic government based on justice for all can become a reality. And Pennsylvania has its share of corrupt legislators in our General Assembly
and Congress that must not win seats as leaders again. UUtheVotePA will continue our work in
every election.

At the end of June, let’s welcome thousands of Unitarian Universalists to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
for our Annual UUA General Assembly. UUJusticePA will have a reception on Thursday, June 22, from 10:45 – noon in the Fayette Room of the Westin Hotel (directly next to the Convention Center). And our partner Rabbi Michael Pollock will lead a workshop on non-violent political action during GA. Join us.

There is much work to do. Please join us in the fight and the hope for a state filled with
possibilities for all.

Holding ground in our faith and moving justice forward in PA,
Rev Joan 


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Reception Thursday, June 22 10:45 am - Noon
Fayette Room of the Westin Hotel, Pittsburgh PA


c/o Unitarian Church of Harrisburg 
 1280 Clover Lane
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17113 1001

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