Lewinsville Faith in action will be meeting delegates and senators in Richmond to talk about legislative initiatives on redistricting, gun violence prevention, the environment and climate change, immigration and the preservation of democracy through electoral reform.
Here are the Talking Points for LFA’s General Assembly work:
Informed by faith and fact, Lewinsville Faith in Action, in partnership with others, works for political, social, economic and environmental policies that are based on justice and compassion.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Gun violence is a serious public health issue in the U.S. Virginia is one of only 17 states where more people are killed by guns than in car accidents. We have lowered vehicular deaths through common sense regulations and we need to do the same with firearms. States (and other countries) which have strengthened gun violence prevention laws have seen significantly lower death rates—e.g. in California, an almost 60% decrease. It is common sense that Americans have a right to have guns (just as we can own cars), but that we should also have better laws to protect all citizens. LFA works closely on this subject with the Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action.
- Universal background checks: HB 2479 (Del. Plum) and SB1454 (Sen. Lucas)
- Ban assault weapons
- Red Flag or Extreme Risk Restraining Orders: HR 1763 (Del. Sullivan) and SB1078 (Sen. Howell)
- Negligent Storage penalties: SB1096 (Sen. Howell) Holding parents/caregivers liable if unsecured guns in the home threaten or harm children
Others to support:
- Allow localities to ban weapons from libraries: HR1856 (Del. McQuinn)
- Ban undetectable guns (including 3-D printed): HB1691 (Del. Simon)
- Limit handgun purchases to 1 per month: SB1034 (Sen. Locke)
- Prohibit bump stocks: SB1008 (Sen. Ebbin)
- A REPEAL of the ban on guns/other dangerous weapons from places of worship: SB1024 (Sen Black)
- Any concealed carry bills: e.g. S1158 (Sen. Black); HB1899 (Del. Bell); HB2253 (Del. Pogge); SB1012 (Sen. Chase). All were defeated in 2018. We are opposed in this Session as well.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LFA believes that Virginia must act with dispatch and leadership to deal with the climate crisis and the challenges to our planet. Creation care demands a moral and ethical approach, requiring us faithfully to work to combat global warming and save our natural resources (air, water, land, endangered species) for future generations. LFA works closely with Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and Sierra Club among others.
- Solar Freedom bill to remove legislative barriers to distributed solar energy: HB2329 (Del. Keam and Del. Hope) and SB1456 (Sen. McClelland and Sen. Edwards)
- Fossil fuel project moratorium to stop any NEW building of fossil fuel projects until renewable energy alternatives can be assessed: HB1635 (Del. Rasoul)
- Clean up of coal ash ponds: SB765 and SB767 (Sen. Surovell)
- Continued funding for Chesapeake Bay clean up and restoration: included in budget proposal
- Authorize a cap and trade program consistent with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative MOU; deposit and distribution of proceeds to go to the Virginia Coastal Protection fund: SB1666 (Sen. Lewis)
- Codify the Advisory Council on Environmental Justice: HB2330 (Del. Keam)
- Change the composition of the Air Pollution Control Board, the Waste Management Board, and the State Water Control Board from appointment exclusively by the Governor to include appointments from both Senate and House: HB1880 (Del. Keam)
ELECTORAL POLITICS AND DEMOCRACY PROTECTION
LFA supports all efforts to make universal voting a protected right, ending continuing attempts at voter suppression. Additionally, we support all efforts to remove barriers to easy voting. including, but not limited to, these current initiatives.
- Right to vote: HJ598 (Del. Simon), constitutional amendment to clarify that any U.S. citizen who lives in Virginia, is 18, and has properly registered, has a right to vote that cannot be taken away.
- Right to vote: HJ 578 (Del. Keam and Simon). Constitutional amendment that provides a right to vote and that no law shall be enacted or enforced that burdens or denies any voter’s right to vote and also requires the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions to provide all resources necessary to assist qualified voters in the exercise of their right to vote.
- Make voter registration easy and simple: HB1904 (Del. Simon)
- Early/absentee voting for anyone regardless of reason: SB1075 (Sen. Howell)
- Give localities option to establish public funding for campaign financing: HB1829 (Del. Simon)
LFA supports adherence in law and practice to international law regarding treatment of persons seeking refuge or asylum; no discrimination on the basis of sex, ethnicity, religion or race; and humane treatment of all persons in Virginia regardless of their immigration status. LFA strongly believes that legislative, judicial and executive actions should follow both the law and the basic religious tenet of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. LFA works closely with Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) and Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) at the state level.
- Establishing a driver’s privilege card for undocumented residents: HB2025 (Del. Tran)
- Any attempt to limit a locality’s legal ability to provide sanctuary or otherwise independently deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement : e.g., SB1156 (Sen. Black)
LFA believes that the voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around. LFA has worked closely with OneVirginia2021 and strongly supports a non-partisan redistricting amendment to the Virginia Constitution that includes the following elements of fairness:
- Redistricting should be done in a transparent fashion by an independent commission, removed from legislative and gubernatorial approval or other influence.
- Districts should, to the extent possible, be compact and contiguous, preserve county, city and town boundaries, and follow natural boundaries, residential subdivision lines, and communities of interest.
- Districts should not be drawn to favor or disfavor any political party or racial or ethnic community.
- SJ274 (Sen. Hangar, Republican, and Sen. Locke, Democrat) supported by OneVirginia2021 and with bipartisan sponsors. We will closely follow all the other presented bills and Constitutional Amendments and would be content with ANY bill that gets out of committee that includes all of the elements listed above.
• Any bill that does not meet the criteria outlined above. E.g., SJ306 (Sen. Barker) which would allow the General Assembly and/or the Governor to reject the result of an independent redistricting commission, thereby placing the drawing of new districts into the hands of the courts.
“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and
to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8
If you are interested in more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.