Advocacy is about convincing a political, business or social leader or organization to take a desired course of action. There are many methods and tools of advocacy such as writing letters, meeting and calling your elected officials, writing and delivering testimony at public hearings in Annapolis, for example with our UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULMMD). UU's also have the opportunity to advocate nationally through UUA-affiliated organizations such as the UUA's Side With Love and the join UUA-UU Service Commitee (UUSC) Love Resists campaign as well as with the UU's for Social Justice (UUSJ). We can advance human rights worldwide by supporting the work of the UU Service Committee and the UUA United Nations Office (UU-UNO). These organizations help us to advocate for policies that are consonant with our UU principles.
MD Legislative Issues - MD General Assembly 2021
From January to April, the Maryland General Assembly will convene in Annapolis to consider legislation including bills of interest to UU's. The UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULMMD) encourages UU's throughout the state to support and advocate for these bills. We have included a brief guide explaining how to advocate with legislators during the pandemic.
Tips in a brief guide about virtual meetings with legislators, constructing messages, signing up for alerts, learning about issues. The Guide is entitled Making "Good Trouble" -- A Pocket Guide to UU Advocacy 2021 version 2, a pdf file..
The MD General Assembly convenes on January 13, 2021. UULMMD encourages you to support and advocate for the following bills that reflect our UU values:
Testimony to be submitted to House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees
When George W. Bush was elected president, Dr. Charlie Clements, president of the UU Service Committee, realized that UU's would become more effective if they advocated for public policies that met our values at the state, as well as the national level. Thus was born the State Action Networks. Today there are 22 state networks, including Maryland. The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland is a advocacy network of UUs that seeks to influence statewide public policies that match our UU values and principles including economic justice, affordable health care, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, gun violence, climate change, medical aid in dying, education, LGBTQ and gender rights.Working in partnership with other state and national organizations, UULM-MD educates UUs about issues before the MD General Assembly and mobilizes UUs to advocate in the halls of the Capitol in Annapolis.
2021 Legislative Issues
MD General Assembly will convene January 13, 2021. View the issues and proposed legislation.
Grounded in our UU principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person and founded in 1940 to help those most at risk -- people of the Jewish faith, academics, artists, musicians, children -- to flee Nazi oppression and tyranny, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee continues its mission of helping refugees whether seeking asylum from persecution and fear or from the devastating effects of climate change. UUSC is an international leader in advancing human rights worldwide, including the United States of America.
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice is our voice in our nation's capital. seeking to advance equitable national policies such as economic justice, environmental justice, immigration justice that are aligned with our UU principles and values through education and advocacy. Because Channing Memorial Church is within an easy drive to Washington, D.C.,, members may want to consider joining UUSJ's Capitol Advocacy Corps and visit lawmakers on the Hill.
The Unitarian Universalist Association Office of the United Nations represents the UUA and the Canadian Unitarian Council at the United Nations, where it promotes our UU principle of the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, as reflected in the United Nations Charter. Through targeted education, advocacy, and outreach, it engages Unitarian Universalists in support of international cooperation and the work of the UN.
Side With Love is the Unitarian Universalist Association's public advocacy campaign to use the power of love to end racism and bigotry, to seek immigration justice and LGBTQ rights, to expand equal access to all, to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, to support indigenous communities and Black Lives Matter.
Love Resists is a join UUA and UU Service Committee campaign that seeks to energize people of faith to build safe, welcoming, just and sustainable communities. It provides resources for congregations and their members to create sanctuary spaces, accompany immigrants to hearings, to build partnerships with local organizations, to organize for action.
Remaining Non-Partisan: What We Can and Cannot Do
The UUA reminds us that we can:
Engage in issue advocacy and organizing for justice
Conduct voter education
Assist voter access through voter registration
Get Out the Vote drives
Combat voter suppression
Support or oppose ballot initiatives
Educate candidates on issues
Sponsor candidate forums
Prepare and distribute non-partisan voter guides
Lobby elected officials
Host a variety of activities at our congregations
And we cannot:
Have advocacy as our only activity
Endorse or oppose candidates running for elected office
Intervene in campaigns to influence the outcome of an election
If all we do is advocacy, we're not a church. I think we're safe. We pray. We meditate. We sing. We learn. We help each other and our neighbors in need. We laugh together. We comfort each other. And we occasionally ask our elected officials to act on our values.