Category Archives: Domestic Peacemaking

Kim Mazyck, associate director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, discusses the transformative power of dialogue and encounter

The Transformative Power of Dialogue and Encounter

Encounter Changes Everything

Kim Mazyck
August 15, 2023

Kim Mazyck is the associate director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. She has served in key positions at Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur East-West Province. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with a degree in international relations and has a certificate in African studies.

She spoke with Connection about her work with the Initiative and what her journey has taught her about the power of dialogue and encounter.

What do you see as the factors that keep solidarity from taking root in our politics?

Kim Mazyck: I think it’s taking root in some places but not everywhere. I think mostly what we hear in the news is that which isn’t taking root. But I do think that there are politicians and political entities that are still considering what it means to walk with people, what it means to be in solidarity with them. There are some in politics who are really thinking about the impact on the least of these, those living in poverty, those living unhoused. I think there are many people really making sure that as we think about policy largely, we don’t get distracted with things that aren’t important, and we remain focused on people who are really struggling.

That being said, there seems to be a ton of infighting and a ton of distraction with other issues that don’t quite draw us into solidarity. They don’t have us think about the people who really need us to be considering them every time we think about policy and big decisions. I think that people are, to use the phrase we often use, not keeping their eye on the ball. When people are elected to represent a congressional district, or to the Senate, or to any office, even if it’s a local municipality, that comes with the responsibility of representing those people who have put you in office. Solidarity is when we think about, what’s impacting schoolchildren, are schoolchildren eating? How do we make sure people have the things they need, like Wi-Fi in a small county in which a lot of things are generally inaccessible? How do we make sure people can meet their basic necessities? I think some people are really speaking into that. But I also think that the voices that we’re hearing mostly are the ones that don’t speak into why that’s so critically important.

What was the call that you answered to engage on a path of solidarity?

KM: Before going to Georgetown I remember sitting in mass one Sunday … being challenged to think about service. That translated into me applying to and enrolling at Georgetown, eventually in the School of Foreign Service, thinking about diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service specifically.

I was in school during a time when the policy of apartheid loomed large in South Africa, and there were lots of protests on campus. By the end of my freshman year, I was very focused on African studies, primarily Sub-Saharan African. That really did shape and form my time there.

I spent a year after graduating teaching in South Africa, in a post-bacc program developed by Georgetown to put people in place to address the issues of what was going on in schools at that time in South Africa. I did that sort of thing for a year, and that year of service was the thing that shifted everything. I connect everything, even where I am now, back to that year in South Africa.

Bryan Stevenson said, “If you want to be a force for justice, you need to get proximate to people who are suffering.” You have worked with Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA. What did you learn about becoming a force for justice through proximity?

KM: I love Bryan Stevenson! I think the important thing about both the work of CRS and the work of Catholic Charities USA is that they are working to alleviate poverty, and to really address what’s going on in communities. Primarily at CRS, before I left and went to CCUSA, I led a number of delegation trips over to different countries in Africa, and that was where we got to encounter. It goes back to what Pope Francis says is so, so critical — that you encounter people.

Within that encounter, you may see suffering, you may see the impact of poverty, you may see what happens when people have been diagnosed with something like HIV, and you may think, there’s no hope. From trips to Uganda where I met night commuters, or communities protecting children from the LRA, to people living with extreme drought in Ethiopia, or a center for child brides… I’ve seen some incredible things. And yet, I always came back with the joy that I experienced more than anything else. I can look subjectively with my American eyes and say, wow, this is a situation I can’t imagine living in. And then I sit down and talk to somebody, I sit and spend some time with someone, and what I walk away with is my cup being filled with joy and community. I remember that I can’t just see them through the lens of poverty, through the lens of oppression, through the lens of a disease. There’s a full person there. And that full person is reminding me that I see God, and that God is also telling me that there’s joy in that experience.

For me, that reflection is what I see at the heart of CRS and the heart of CCUSA — encountering individuals. When we do that, we really know what the joy of the Gospels are all about. We know the joy that Pope Francis is reminding us about. That’s when we are in community with each other. Our brothers and sisters remind us that we’re on this journey together.

You’re at the Initiative, a convening space. Francis talks powerfully about dialogue, telling the U.S. bishops, “Dialogue is our method.” What have you learned about the power of dialogue?

KM: I’m so fortunate to sit with John [Carr], Kim [Daniels], Anna [Gordon], and Christian [Soenen]. What I’ve known about dialogue is that, again, it really fosters that sense of connection. That encounter is so critical. It brings back to me a quote from Pope Francis, that dialogue is the way of peace. Dialogue fosters listening, understanding, harmony, concord, and peace. That’s what we try to do.

When we set up these dialogues, we are trying to bring people who are maybe not on the same path or occupation. As we approach the issues, how can we bring them together to model what dialogue does? Pope Francis keeps reminding us that when we talk to each other, our opinions and approaches don’t seem as far apart as we think they are. When we focus on the heart of the matter, then we can really talk about what needs to be done. We can inspire not just those who are in that dialogue, but even other people if they experience it or watch it. I think we inspire them to have those same dialogues in their parishes, in their schools, and in their families, and hopefully on a larger scale in their communities, in the county, in the state, and in the country. That, to me, is really impactful.

Where do you see your perspective as a Black Catholic woman fitting into a convening space, in those dialogues?

KM: We want to have multiple perspectives, we want to have different ways of looking at an issue. My lived experience as a Black woman, and as a Catholic, all filters into how I see things — maybe differently from you, or John, or Kim. But by dialogue, we listen to each other. That’s when we begin to understand each other. And through that listening, we foster understanding. That’s what dialogue is about: not me coming in prepared to say, “oh, I need to make sure I hit these three points.” But listening to what the other person is saying so that I’m not just ready with my next response — I’m really processing. And that’s the only way we can talk about harmony, and the only way we can talk about really building community.

Compromise is a dirty word in so many spaces. How can lawmakers come together? In what ways can we work together, so that solidarity is not a casualty, and the most vulnerable people are not collateral damage?

KM: When we bring together our dialogues, we try to give a mix of perspectives, and I think that’s a tool. We continue to invite women religious, many of whom are on — I hate using the term “front lines” because it sounds so militaristic — but they are the ones responding in schools, in hospitals, in soup kitchens, in places where there’s the greatest need. And so we try to reflect that perspective, including with professors and lawyers, and we invite lawmakers to be a part of that so that they begin to also have a new perspective.

Again, it’s the modeling. We’ve done 151 dialogues; we’ve had almost 300,000 people listen to us. What does that change look like? How are people thinking differently? How are they conversing? We have a gathering after a dialogue, in person, so that there’s an opportunity for people to break bread, if you will — to talk, to have conversation, to not have to be on a microphone, so that they can ask a question maybe they were too embarrassed to ask in front of a large room.

We can’t be labeling each other because we disagree. When we’re invited into dialogue, we’re here together, we’re going to work on this together. That’s what Pope Francis is asking, too. The Initiative is saying that if we sit down and listen to each other, then we’re going to foster and better our understanding of each other. And even if we have completely divergent perspectives, we only get closer. It’s like anything — when you know somebody, it’s harder to demonize them, when you’ve actually sat next to them and had a conversation. Then they aren’t this person who thinks so differently than you. They are a human being with thoughts and a heart, like you. That goes back to solidarity. It’s when we see each other as both children of God, both built in the image and likeness of God.

What does healing our politics even begin to look like?

KM: The discourse of nationalism is about who is and who isn’t an American, but what I believe and know to be true is that we’re all Americans. We need to be more clear about that and have conversations about that.

This column was published in the Quarter 3 2023 issue of Connection. 

Billionaires: Buying Our Democracy to Line Their Pockets and Empty Ours

Billionaires: Buying Our Democracy to Line Their Pockets and Empty Ours

Christian Watkins
July 22, 2022

Last week, an unknown sum of dark money paid every Republican Senator and one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, to kill the trillion-dollar investment and tax plan Democrats have been working on for a year. The plan, which you might have originally known as the Build Back Better Agenda, was remodeled as the Budget Reconciliation Plan.  

Budget Reconciliation, a version of which passed the House in November 2021, would have started to reverse 40 years of trickle-down tax breaks for the rich and corporations. Dozens of billion-dollar corporations – like Amazon, Starbucks, and Netflix who now pay little to no federal income taxes, would have been required to pay at least a 15% minimum tax so they would pay into the U.S. economy like the rest of us. 

Taxing the ultra-wealthy would provide federal funds for policy measures that folks in the United States not only need, but want. Potential policies that would benefit the country include: more affordable health care, climate change mitigation, and reduced household energy costs. 

Dark money and corporate donors used their influence (money!) to flood Congress with messages that benefited them, but drowned out the voice of the people. 

The Constitutional declaration, We The People, should be the driving force that motivates legislators, not corporate interests. We need to get the out-sized influence of dark money and corporate dollars out of politics to heal our democracy. There are responsible Congresspersons who recognize the need for federal reform, and they have created bills that provide solutions.   

The John R Lewis Voting Rights Act (H.R.5746 S.4) and The For the People Act (S. 1) are ready for debate and a vote. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act corrects the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decisions that diluted the safeguards of Voting Rights Act and dismantles new barriers to voting and election integrity put into place by 19 state legislatures. Chief Justice Roberts said Congress needs to act or else states are sovereign on election law.  Returning election law to the state level would again allow for state legislatures to combine already in place redlining tactics with voter suppression and disenfranchise Black and Brown voters. This country is not a collection of sovereign states, so we need federal standards for elections.  

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act (H.R. 5746 S. 4) would establish guidelines for elections, like: times, appropriate locations for in-person voting, and rules for early voting boxes, etc.).  The For the People Act, is transformative legislation that ensures clean and fair elections by reducing or eliminating the influence of big money, dark money, and foreign money in politics. S.1 also calls for easier voting access.  For example, States would register new voters on election day for federal elections and establish independent (i.e., non-partisan) redistricting commissions to reduce partisan gerrymandering. 

S.1 would strengthen the ethics and financial disclosure requirements for the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and Federal officers and employees. One way this will be done is by prohibiting congresspersons from serving on the boards of for-profit entities. 

Is it no wonder why corporate special interests have rallied to oppose these bills! They want to continue to carry on with the status quo – and use money to influence Congressional decision-making.  We can work around them! If Senators committed to the preservation of “We The People” carve out filibuster exceptions similar to the ones that they have done for Budget Reconciliation measures, Federal executive nominations approvals, and Supreme Court Nominations, then significant action can be taken to protect our democracy.  

Our faith and sacred documents give us much needed guidance about our role in the body politic.  

The Bible says, 

“There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Cor. 12:25-27).”  

And, Catholic Social Justice tradition and the Catholic Catechism dictates that democratic participation in our communities is both a right and a responsibility and each person must be equipped with the proper resources. As a United Methodist minister, I also find guidance from our founder John Wesley who said, “there is no holiness without social holiness.” Taken together with NETWORK’s Build Anew agenda, we are well-equipped for this righteous cause. I pray you’ll dig deep this year and call on your friends and families to do the same! 

We are at a critical time in our country, so contact your Senators now and demand that they work to save our democracy by suspending the filibuster and passing election reform bills. 

Hopes for a Reparations Commission Moves to the White House

Hopes for a Reparations Commission Moves to the White House

Julia Morris
June 1, 2022

For over a year the drum beat for reparations has been building. After 30 years of Congressional delays, for the first time on January 4, 2021 H.R. 40 made it out of committee and onto the House floor. House leadership knows this will not pass in the Senate, so the pressure is now on the Biden Administration to establish a committee to execute a reparations study, which will lay out the plan to make amends for the United States original sin of slavery and the systemic racial oppression that followed. Reparatory justice activists, social justice groups, and faith-based organizations are urging the Biden Administration this spring to finally follow through on a commitment made on the 2020 campaign trail. The Biden-Harris campaign promised, in ‘Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan for Black America’, to tackle systemic racism and the continuing impacts of slavery by “supporting a study of reparations.” 

You may ask what would this look like? A commission will study the impact of 400+ years of racist policies, laws, and practices that have deprived Blacks fair access to participation in America’s cultural, political, social and economic life. Join NETWORK in calling for President Biden to establish a commission to study reparations via executive order, call the White House at 1-888-422-4555 or email the White House here. 

The commission would evaluate programs like the Homestead Act and the GI Bill. Both were federal programs designed to help families achieve economic footing in times of change. The Homestead Act granted land out West at the turn of the 20th Century, and the GI Bill helped forge the middle class after World War II with home buying and educational opportunities for veterans These programs paved the way for the US middle class, it was not accidental or unintentional that these programs were denied to Black families. In fact, today schools are more segregated now that they were at the time of Brown vs. Board of Education. 

Chattel slavery was abolished in 1865, but because of the legacy of discrimination that flows from slavery, the Black community continues to suffer. For too long in this country, the expectation and delivery of better housing, education, jobs – has only been a reality for white families. The legacy of being Black is discrimination and oppression. We see it in our societal frameworks, access to fair wages and quality employment, the criminal legal system 

What is not named cannot be healed. This is a historic opportunity to, using the frame of the Catholic tradition, name our original sin of slavery and move towards repair.  

NETWORK is joining with partner organizations to urge President Biden to create a federal commission to study reparations by Juneteenth (June 19, 2022). Add your voice, call the White House at 1-888-422-4555. Or email President Biden to issue an executive order to create a federal commission to study reparations today!

NETWORK Responds to Week of Violence, Bigotry, and Anguish

NETWORK Responds to Week of Violence, Bigotry, and Anguish

October 29, 2018

After a would-be assassin mailed pipe bombs to 14 prominent Democratic figures, including the families of 2 former Presidents; after a gunman tried to enter a Black Church in Kentucky intent on doing harm but was unable to gain access so walked to the nearest Kroger grocery store and killed two people instead; after all of that, there was the terrible mass shooting of Jewish worshippers at a Pennsylvania synagogue.  It was a devastating week and we are still reeling from it.

Nevertheless, we join the country in offering our most heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family and friends of those 11 people who were killed in Pennsylvania and the 2 people in Kentucky.  No words can express how profoundly we grieve with you in your time of need.  We stand together as the nation mourns your, and our, loss.

At the same time, we condemn, in the strongest possible language, these senseless murders of 13 ordinary people, worshipping at Tree of Life Synagogue and buying groceries at the local Kroger store.  They were simply going about their day until two white men, fueled by anti-Semitism and racial animus, attacked them.  These innocent people lost their lives to hate and fear in a country founded on freedom, opportunity and religious values.

But our Catholic faith tells us that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.  No exceptions.  And as a result, every human being is imbued with an essential dignity that must be honored, respected and protected.  The hate-filled actions of the gunmen belie that fundamental truth.   Whether or not you are religious or have some faith-based beliefs, there is something profoundly wrong in society when people turn to violence against others simply because they belong to a different religious tradition or have a different skin color.  We condemn every action based on hatred, bigotry and violence.

Sadly, this is not the first time we have witnessed, endured and decried the presence and menace of such evil in our midst.  But this can be the last.  This is a time when the whole country can stand up and speak out against it.  This is a time when we must demand of our leaders and each other the guarantee of civility, respect and safety for everyone.  For our sake.  For our children’s sake.  For the sake of our country’s future.  We must not let this hatred, violence and division defeat us.  The only question is:  will we do it?  Or will we once again pay a terrible price for our silence?  People are fond of saying “we are better than this.”  Now is the time to prove it.

May God grant eternal rest to those who were slain.  May God shower peace and consolation on all those who mourn.  And may God have mercy on all of us if we fail to stand up to this moment in history.

Blog: As the 112th Congress Opens

Blog: As the 112th Congress Opens

Marge Clark, BVM
Jan 12, 2011

Reflection on the first week of the 112th Congress is particularly difficult. The events of the week have tossed emotions across uneven seas. House and Senate members returned to Washington on January 5 for the swearing in, getting to know each other and finding offices. I was privileged to take part in a beautiful, hope-filled prayer vigil to initiate the work of the 112th Congress. Priests, Rabbis, Protestant ministers and Congressional leaders across party lines led us in Scripture, hymns, prayers and a reflection on the role of Congress in our time. What a positively inspirational commencement of this new Congress.

Hopes were lifted as advocates met and chatted about issue agendas and how they could work together on shared goals.Meetings were set up, visits to new members discussed. Leaders of the majority and the minority spoke to their desire to cooperate with those “across the aisle.” There were references to the progress in bipartisanship which had brought such great progress in the not-so-lame-duck session.

However, with each new Congress come apprehensions as well as hopes. The 112th is no different. Apprehensions heightened with House leadership vowing to control the deficit through huge cuts to non-military discretionary spending and repeal of the new Healthcare Act for which we (NETWORK staff and members) worked so hard.

And then, on Saturday, political violence moved from verbal to physical with the slaying and injuring of 20 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  People had come together to interact with their Congressperson – to take an active role in governing – but the good of that event was suddenly shattered.  Whether there is a direct connection between the vitriolic language in the political arena in recent years and the shooting in Arizona is irrelevant.  The angry and violent references belittle us as a nation, reducing the trust and value placed in government – in many cases replaced by expanded valuing of financial security for those with the greatest power, and those who wish to be in that position.

Revised poverty data indicate that greater than 20% of our children live in homes below the poverty threshold, with 25% of children in food-deprived homes. These statistics don’t seem able to improve in a nation with almost 10% of our workers unemployed, and with far more underemployed or having given up the job search. Yet, these children and their families are a part of us.  We bear responsibility for their ability to live in dignity.

So, hopes and apprehensions – the yin and the yang – keep us alert, and hopefully in balance.

Blog: The Pentagon Labyrinth

The Pentagon Labyrinth

By Jean Sammon
March 30, 2011

“Ordinary people” need to be involved in order to clean up the mess at the Pentagon. Experts who are now retired from their careers in the Pentagon are trying to get that message out.

Franklin (Chuck) Spinney, Pierre Sprey, and Thomas Christie have been advocates for military reform, both inside and outside the Pentagon, for many years. I heard them speak recently at an event to introduce the new book “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Throught It” where they talked about their reasons for contributing to this book.

These guys are passionate about the “grotesque diversion of scarce resoures to a bloated defense budget that is leading the United State into ruin” and also the “damage to America’s defenses and to the integrity of its politics.” (The Pentagon Labyrinth, p. 2)

They know the odds of reforming the system are long, but they are still committed to trying to change the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex (MICC), and they are looking for our help.

Here’s how they described the situation:

After the Cold War ended in the 1990s, the MICC and some think tanks created a “political economy” that depends on continuing small wars to justify the money flow that allows the defense corporations to survive. The corporations engaged in “political engineering” — contracting out weapons development in as many states as possible. They contribute money to the members of Congress in those states to gain allies who will make sure that the federal government spends money to produce weapons in their states, so that the weapons contractors will create jobs and stay profitable enough to continue to contribute money to their political campaigns to keep them in a position to keep the cycle going.

I’d heard about this before, but hadn’t considered all the consequences. Making parts of military aircraft, ships, tanks and guns in as many states as possible not only increases the costs (no one keeps track of how much) but also produces weapons of shabby quality when all the disparate parts are brought together. This endangers our troops, when the weapons turn out to be unusable in combat, which has happened many times.

The fact that the Pentagon turns over responsibility for development, production, testing and quality control to the contractors who make the weapons further aggravates the problem. Contractors have incentives to make the weapons more technically complex and thus more costly and potentially more unusable. Generals in the Pentagon also contribute to this problem by adding requirements and features to their pet projects.

Concerned citizens need to understand the causes and consequences of the huge military budget. We need to ask the questions “What is the threat?” and “What weapons do we need?” and “What happens to our society when so many resources go to the military at the expense of other societal needs?”

Pentagon Labyrinth book cover
Read the book.
You can get it from Amazon or
you can find the articles online at

Start asking questions and demand acceptable answers.

We owe it to Chuck, Pierre, Tom
and all the others like them
who are trying to do what it takes
to really make us secure.

Blog: Improving Our Workforce Policies

Improving Our Workforce Policies

By Casey Schoeneberger
May 12, 2011

Earlier this week, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) hosted an event titled “Developing America’s Workforce: Learning from 40 years of policy and practice to inform the next generation”. Kudos to CLASP for bringing together a dynamic panel of speakers — crossing political spectrums and administrations — to bluntly discuss obstacles that stand in the way of common-sense workforce development policy.

Former Secretary of Labor in the Carter Administration, Ray Marshall, demanded policymakers cut through the weeds and focus on the real issues. According to Marshall, when designed right, workforce development can benefit government, citizens and enterprises.  America is lacking closely coordinated economic and workforce policies, however, and without those coordinated policy pieces America will never be prepared for the next turn in the economy.

Robert Jones, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training in the Reagan and George H. W Bush Administrations, called for universal, lifelong access to job training and an easily accessible database for  understanding labor market demand in a desired field — or lack thereof.   He also told the audience in no uncertain terms that investing in America’s workforce is fundamentally economic — and not social -l- policy.

Kitty Higgins, Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, said never before has she seen workers demonized in this manner. With all the attacks on unions, teachers and benefits, workers have suddenly become the “cause” of the problem. Higgins suggests that all workforce development begin with demonstration projects to show politicians and the American public a program’s effectiveness.

William Brock, Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration, unequivocally stated that America is now paying the price for what we did not do in education decades ago. To advance America’s workforce, according to Brock, we must connect the education system to the needs of the labor market.

Steven Gunderson, a Republican Congressman from Wisconsin from 1980-1996, pointed out that Congress is terrific at responding to crisis situations but horrible at responding to long-term goals. Further citing the effect of the election cycle on policymaking, Gunderson cites the shrinking middle class as another cause of a lack of workforce development policy. According to Gunderson, the diminishing middle class means there is no longer a constituency to invest in.

I can only hope that advocates and policymakers in future decades will not sit in the same room, having the same conversations about stagnant unemployment rates, speculating how policymakers should have responded to the needs of the labor markets. If every Congressperson could have listened to the decades of collective experience from people who’ve developed workforce policies, we might have a chance to get Americans back to work. It is unfortunate though — to say the least — that the exact policies we need to get Americans back to work are the policies and programs politicians are looking to slash and burn.

Blog: Unemployment and the Faith Community

Unemployment and the Faith Community

By Marge Clark, BVM
September 12, 2011

On Thursday, 9/8/11, President Obama addressed the nation concerning the need for jobs. He outlined plans in which both the public and the private sector can engage to provide meaningful work for people who are unemployed. We await the details of the plans for public engagement. We also await the engagement by the private sector to place full employment before corporate profits.

For those of us who are not in a position to create jobs, how might we engage? Especially, how might we engage as faith communities? There is a great answer to this question: Faith Advocates for Jobs. NETWORK is a partner with both national and local groups in getting parish or church communities involved in supporting the unemployed and their families both spiritually and materially. Check out the toolkit, and encourage your worship home to join the Congregational Commitment Pledge.

Blog: Violence Against Women Act Needs Reauthorization

Blog: Violence Against Women Act Needs Reauthorization

Mary Ellen Lacy, D.C.
Nov 29, 2011

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 in order to protect women’s civil rights in instances of violent crimes. As a battered spouse, child or parent, the victim may file an immigrant visa petition under the VAWA.

VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to obtain lawful status without having to rely on their abusers to petition. Spouse abusers who marry non-citizens often use their sponsorship as a means of power and control in the relationship. They threaten their victims with withdrawal of their petition, which leads to control through fear of deportation. However, VAWA neutralizes that threat and enables the abused person to come forward and report the abuse without fear of removal.

VAWA is due for reauthorization on November 30, Congress will vote on the Violence Against Women Act.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), will introduce a bipartisan bill on Wednesday (11/30) to reauthorize and improve VAWA! The National Task Force has worked closely with them on the bill to ensure that it will not only continue proven effective programs, but that it will make key changes to streamline VAWA and make sure that even more people have access to safety, stability and justice. This is an important step forward for VAWA and we hope to get even more improvements as the bill moves forward!

What’s most important now is to get the Senators on the list below excited about VAWA and to get their support for the bill. If you live in any of the states listed below, please call your Senator(s) TODAY and ask for them to be original co-sponsors of VAWA. We need to keep their phones ringing!

Talking points:

  • We know that Senator _________ cares about ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • The Violence Against Women Act is critical to our ability to address these crimes in our state.
  • There is evidence showing that VAWA has saved millions of dollars and countless lives.
  • We are asking for you to be an original co-sponsor of the Leahy/Crapo bill that will be introduced on Wednesday.
  • Please contact Anya McMurray or Noah Bookbinder at (202)224-7703 to sign on to the bill.


Sessions, Jeff – (202) 224-4124

Shelby, Richard – (202) 224-5744


Boozman, John – (202) 224-4843


Murkowski, Lisa – (202) 224-6665


McCain, John – (202) 224-2235

Kyl, Jon – (202) 224-4521


Rubio, Marco – (202) 224-3041


Chambliss, Saxby – (202) 224-3521

Isakson, Johnny – (202) 224-3643


Crapo, Mike – (202) 224-6142 – (thank him!)

Risch, James – (202) 224-2752


Kirk, Mark – (202) 224-2854


Lugar, Richard – (202) 224-4814

Coats, Daniel – (202) 224-5623


Grassley, Chuck – (202) 224-3744


Vitter, David – (202) 224-4623


Moran, Jerry – (202) 224-6521

Roberts, Pat – (202) 224-4774


McConnell, Mitch – (202) 224-2541

Paul, Rand – (202) 224-4343


Collins, Susan – (202) 224-2523

Snowe, Olympia – (202) 224-5344


Brown, Scott – (202) 224-4543


Cochran, Thad – (202) 224-5054

Wicker, Roger – (202) 224-6253


Blunt, Roy – (202) 224-5721


Johanns, Mike – (202) 224-4224


Heller, Dean – (202) 224-6244

New Hampshire

Ayotte, Kelly – (202) 224-3324

North Carolina

Burr, Richard – (202) 224-3154

North Dakota

Hoeven, John – (202) 224-2551


Portman, Rob – (202) 224-3353


Coburn, Tom – (202) 224-5754

Inhofe, James – (202) 224-4721


Toomey, Patrick – (202) 224-4254

South Carolina

DeMint, Jim – (202) 224-6121

Graham, Lindsey – (202) 224-5972

South Dakota

Thune, John – (202) 224-2321


Alexander, Lamar – (202) 224-4944

Corker, Bob – (202) 224-3344


Cornyn, John – (202) 224-2934

Hutchison, Kay Bailey – (202) 224-5922


Hatch, Orrin – (202) 224-5251

Lee, Mike – (202) 224-5444


Johnson, Ron – (202) 224-5323


Enzi, Michael – (202) 224-3424

Barrasso, John – (202) 224-6441

Blog: Jobs, Not Wars

Jobs, Not Wars

By Marge Clark, BVM
January 29, 2013

In the Washington Post on January 28, E.J. Dionne wrote about the “the urgency of growth.” His point is that there is too much emphasis on deficit reduction. He pointed to the many economists who promote growth, looking for deficit reduction over time – not in the near-term. The economy will improve when people are working, paying taxes and not relying on government programs for survival.

Promoting education, job training and infrastructure-building will provide a greater long-term positive impact on the economy than will the erratic “cycle of phony fiscal deadlines driven by a misplaced belief that the only thing we have to fear is the budget deficit” (Dionne), which discourages investment, hiring and business planning.

There is a way to pay for the necessary investments. Join NETWORK and our partners in “Jobs Not Wars” in calling the president and Congress to:

  • End the wars
  • Create good jobs with living wages
  • Train veterans, the unemployed and youth from historically disadvantaged communities
  • Redirect resources from uncontrolled Pentagon spending to fund the needs of our people
  • Require those who have benefitted the most from this nation to pay their fair share of taxes

Sign the petition at: