Current Issues and Actions
Screening "Inequality for All"
Resources



Host a parish or in home screening of "Inequality for All" 
A passionate argument for the middle class.  The 400 richest Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich sees this disparity as a threat to democracy. “Inequality for All" explains why.  Discussion guide and discussion leaders and assistance with promotion are available through Catholics for Peace and Justice.  Contact us at info@Catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org  

Inequality for All – Resource and Action Guide
Contact and Educate Your Legislators Using 


Bishops Call Proposed Federal Tax Legislation “Unconscionable”
As our federal representatives debate tax legislation.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a letter for Catholics to consider on the current proposed tax legislation

“On October 27, the USCCB offered six moral principles to guide debate on tax reform, centered on care for the poor and concern for families.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains many fundamental structural flaws that must be corrected.  As currently written, the proposal is unacceptable.”

“Doubling the standard deduction will help some of those in poverty to avoid tax liability, and this is a positive good contained in the bill.  However, as written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy.  This is simply unconscionable. 

Read Bishop Frank J. Dewane's November 9, 2017 letter analyzing the bill, for more information.


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
“Tax revenues and public spending take on crucial economic importance for every civil and political community. The goal to be sought is public financing that is itself capable of becoming an instrument of development and solidarity.” As Congress begins deliberations on possible tax reform based on the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” the following moral principles are offered to assist you:

1. Care for the poor.
2. Family formation and strengthening.
3. Progressivity of the tax code.
4. Adequate revenue for the sake of the common good.
5. Avoiding cuts to poverty programs to finance tax reform.
6. Incentivize charitable giving and development.

National tax policy is complex, and its effects far-reaching. As the country wrestles with how best to raise adequate revenue to serve the common good and provide increased financial stability, you are urged to recognize the critical obligation of creating a just framework aimed at the economic security of all people, especially the least of these.

Read Bishop Frank J. Dewane's full letters to the US Senate and US House of Representatives here.


Employ Milwaukee Job and Training Opportunities
Employ Milwaukee is the Workforce Development Board for Milwaukee County. Employ Milwaukee works with businesses to help them fill their workforce needs, as well as job-seekers get the skills and training they need to secure employment in good jobs with decent wages, benefits and career ladders. They have a listserv with 100+ contacts that includes our contracted service providers, non-profit organizations, community partners, other religious organizations, libraries, resource rooms, etc. in order to get the word out far and wide about job and training opportunities for those interested.

If you are interested in this type of information, please contact Sara Rogers at sara.rogers@employmilwaukee.org or (414-270-1727) to be added to the list serve.


An intractable problem: For the last half-century, Milwaukee has been caught in a relentless social and economic spiral, By John Schmid and Kevin Crowe, JS Online 

Public health experts in Milwaukee and around the nation now see a direct link between childhood trauma and an incapacitated workforce. Improving the latter is impossible without addressing the former. Children exposed to abuse, violence and neglect may not be able to concentrate in school, much less job training programs. They often grow up without the temperament to coordinate with customers and co-workers. They struggle with sleep disorders and register high levels of absenteeism.   "Adding good new jobs won’t heal post-traumatic stress,"  Read the Article


Poverty, Inequality and Economics: A Series of Short Films by Robert Reich

In MoveOn’s Big Picture video series on how to save the economy hosted on their website, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lays out a series of economic principles and policy proposals that could create an economy that works for everyone. The series includes fight for $15, End Mass Incarceration, Help Working Families, Reinvent Education and more. Each of the videos is less than three minutes. View them here.
 
Paul Ryan on Past Comments About the Poor: 'I Was Just Wrong'
"There was a time when I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. 'Takers' wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.

"So I stopped thinking about it that way—and talking about it that way. But I didn’t come out and say all this to be politically correct. I was just wrong." See more

A Few Things You Need to Know About Poverty in the U.S. Right Now

As Catholics, we strive for an economy that places people first. Everyone has a right to live in dignity, free from poverty, with decent work at just wages. Life in America is far from our Catholic understanding of a just economy.  Read the article

Resources for Combating Poverty
Wisconsin Council of Churches 

Building Thriving Community; Beyond Segregation in Milwaukee – Sunday, Oct 5 

Community Organizers
WISDOM Affiliates – 11x15 Prison Reform   
Common Ground – Fair Play, Milwaukee Rising, Healthcare Coop    

Citizens United/Campaign Funding Reform
Story of Citizens United   www.storyofstuff.org 

Minimum Wage
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers a succinct primer on the minimum wage  


Also see http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/ for campaigns on raising the minimum wage.

Voter Registration - Milwaukee County Referendum