UU Justice News
December 2005 

UU’s Vote to Join One United Michigan (OUM) Civil Rights Campaign - Ninety-two percent (22 of 24) of UU activists who voted on-line this December agreed that the MUUSJN should join the One United Michigan campaign. This campaign seeks to defend affirmative action and outreach programs for women and minorities and opposes Ward Connerly’s “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” expected to be put on the fall 2006 ballot. For more information on this campaign, visit its website at: www.oneunitedmichigan.org  
The MUUSJN agreed to take the following actions: put articles in our newsletter; distribute material to our members; create an OUM link on our website; and identify supporting organizations and individuals.  Over 470 UU’s completing MUUSJN surveys this fall identified Civil Rights as among their top justice issues. Here are some things you can do as an individual or through your church:  

Host a discussion on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative ballot proposal at your church; 
Get involved with a local OUM group in the following areas: Calhoun C., Detroit, Jackson C., Lansing, Kalamazoo C., Oakland C., Macomb C., Saginaw C., Washtenaw C., Wayne C., Western Michigan (see links on OUM website);
Write letters or send post cards to legislators;
E-mail letters to the editors (see links on OUM website). 
Share your questions or suggestions on this campaign by e-mailing Gwen Winston at: gwenbwin@baileywinston.com 

Michigan UU Justice Leaders Vote on Issues On-Line - Michigan weather was so bad on December 15th that for the first time in three years, the MUUSJN cancelled its monthly meeting. Thanks, however, to an experiment in on-line democracy, 24 of 36 MUUJN justice contacts throughout Michigan voted on several issues, including whether to join the OUM campaign (above) and whether to encourage UU’s to express their views on how health care in America can be improved.  Members unanimously voted to encourage MUUSJN staff to meet with Michigan UU ministers to update them on our Network and to learn how we can effectively work with ministers for justice.  Voting was registered through www.surveymonkey.com, an on-line survey tool which is free if less than 100 people are contacted.  

January 19th Network Meeting/2006 Schedule – The MUUSJN will next meet at Northwest UU Church at 23925 Northwestern Highway in Southfield at 7 p.m. Thursday January 19th.  NOTE:   the THIRD THURSDAY of the month will be the regular date for MUUSJN meetings in 2006.  

Opportunities for UU’s to Testify on How to Improve U.S. Health System – Universal Health Care was rated the top issue among Michigan UU’s who voted in this fall’s MUUSJN justice survey. Twenty of 24 UU justice contacts (83%) voted this December that the Network should encourage Michigan UU’s to express their concerns about health care in America. The Citizens Health Care Campaign, supported by the Universal Healthcare Action Network (UHCAN), is one way to have your voice heard. 

The campaign website - www.citizenshealthcare.gov - indicates that “Congress and the President created the Citizens' Health Care Working Group to hear what the public thinks and then send to the President and Congress a citizens' roadmap about how to make health care work for all Americans. By participating with the Working Group you can have an inside track to influence the deliberations of Congress and the President.”  The campaign includes a public hearing on March 18th in Detroit and opportunities to the public to register its views on line over the next six months.  Stay tuned for more information.  

Mark Your Calendar for Our March 11th Advocacy Workshop in Lansing – The following participants in a November MUUSJN Conference call agreed to help organize a workshop on how UU’s can be more effective justice advocates: Bob Lewis – E. Liberty; Margaret Kingsbury – Lansing; Evert Makinen – Ludington; Ellen Teller – Ann Arbor; and staff Gwen Winston and Randy Block.  A justice advocacy skills and best practices workshop will be held on Saturday, March 11th at the Greater Lansing UU church. To share your ideas about what should be included in this workshop and/or to get involved with planning, contact Randy Block at 248-549-5170 or Justice Network Coordinator Gwen Winston at 248-233-6162.  

How a UUA Challenge Grant Can Help Build Our Network! – On November 28th, the UUA’s Fund for Social Responsibility awarded the MUUSJN a $5,000 grant and a $5,000 challenge grant to “Build Our Network’s Capacity to Work for Justice”.  The Network had requested $15,750.  With your help, we will raise $5,000 (which will be matched by the UUA) to help achieve the following justice network goals: 

How can we reach our challenge grant goal of raising $5,000?  Please send your fund raising ideas to Randy Block at beelock47@comcast.net.  Of course, your contributions are welcome at any time.  All donations to the MUUSJN are TAX DEDUCTIBLE.  Make your checks out to the Birmingham Unitarian Church with “MUUSJN” in the check memo.  Mail your contribution to:  Gwen Winston, 23300 Providence Dr., #305, Southfield, MI 48075

When is the Michigan Legislature In Session? - If we want to communicate with our Michigan legislators, we need to know when the legislature is scheduled to be in session. Here’s a link to the House’s schedule for 2006:  http://house.michigan.gov/2006_Session_Schedule.pdf

Let’s Discuss UUA Study/Action Issues During January & February - Each year Unitarians at their UUA General Assembly vote to identify issues for study and action.  This year the UUA’s Commission on Social Witness is inviting churches to comment on draft Statement of Conscience issues for 2006: the “Threat of Global Warming” and “Morals for a Pluralistic Society”. The deadline is March 1, 2006. The MUUSJN encourages your church to hold discussions on one or both of this year’s issues.  For more information, go to: www.uua.org/csw/ 

Please invite others to receive this e-newsletter by sending their names and e-mails to: Randy Block at beelock47@comcast.net  To be removed from this list, also contact Randy. 
Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network
Networking for Justice and Community Service
Randy Block © 2006, MUUSJN

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