Individual blog entries on specific issues can be found by clicking on that issue under the “Issues” tab in the upper right corner. On each issue page you will find a link to  related “Blogs” in the right column.

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Blog: U.S. Jobs Report in June Shows Both an Improved Economy and the Legacy of the Great Recession

Jul 14, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong jobs report on July 3 that clearly indicated that employers added jobs at a robust clip in June. While payroll employment jumped by 288,000 in June and unemployment fell to 6.1% (20% lower than a year ago), there was hardly any real growth in the labor force, leaving the percentage of people with a job well below where it was at the start of the Great Recession.

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Blog: Crisis of Children on Our Southern Border

Jul 14, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

The surge of undocumented children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, most from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, has created a full-blown immigration crisis. More than 52,000 youngsters have poured across these borders since last fall. While the number of children apprehended at the border averaged 6,800 annually between 2004 and 2011, the total jumped to over 13,000 children in 2012 and over 24,000 in 2013. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that well over 60,000 unaccompanied minors could enter the U.S.

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Blog: In Iraq, Ancient Christian Communities Are Being Destroyed

Jul 08, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Christians in Iraq are one of the oldest surviving continuous Christian communities in the world. The vast majority are Aramaic-speaking Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds and Turcoman. These are the lands in which Jesus’s apostles and their disciples made some of the first Christian converts. In an interview in Christian Today (July 2, 2014), Iraq’s leading bishop, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I. Sako of Baghdad lamented, “We are losing our community.

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Blog: The Children's Defense Fund's (CDF) Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign

Jul 07, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

If you are not already familiar with the CDF's nationwide campaign, launched back in 2007, we urge you to check out the its website for national and state-level information -- as well as CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's weekly Child Watch column in the Huffington Post. Not only do I support this ongoing campaign for social justice, but I notice how it dovetails with so many of NETWORK's own initiatives, primarily our efforts to reduce inequality in this country.

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Blog: Let's Rejoice in Health Care Achievements over the Past Few Years

Jun 23, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was strongly supported by NETWORK, which played an important role in getting it passed by both houses of Congress despite its unanimous rejection by congressional Republicans. It was signed into law in March 2010 by President Obama. Without doubt, it is the most significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

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Blog: 2015 Funding for HUD Looks Problematic for Low-Income Families

Jun 20, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The House passed its version of the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill on June 10 and, as of this writing (June 19), the Senate is handling housing within a “minibus” (including Commerce-Justice-Science (S-2437), Transportation-HUD (S-2438) and Agriculture (S-2389). The Senate T-HUD bill is less damaging to low-income households than is the House bill. But dozens of amendments have been offered by both parties, some damaging to housing vouchers and to providing additional housing units.

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Blog: 2003 or 1991? - Our Role in Iraq

Jun 18, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

I am befuddled each time I read a commentary tracking our war in Iraq to 2003. I vividly remember January 1991 when the U.S. led a massive offensive against Iraq. The intense destruction of facilities such as airports – and hospitals, schools and water purification plants – was enhanced by the U.S./U.N. sanctions prohibiting trade with Iraq. This resulted in the Iraqi people being denied the means to rebuild hospitals and water treatment facilities, obtain necessary medications, and so many other life-saving items.

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Blog: Action from the Supreme Court on Guns

Jun 16, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

One of the ways criminals get guns is to have someone else, who is able to legally own a gun, purchase for them. This is called “straw purchasing.” In a 5-4 decision, the court just concluded that this is NOT LEGAL: “one legal gun owner may not acquire a firearm on behalf of another.” The case is known as: Abramski v. United States.

This is one success in the attempt to reduce the number of guns used for criminal purposes. It is one step toward creating stricter controls on gun ownership.

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Pilgrimage to the U.S. Capitol in Support of the Unemployed

Jun 13, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

On Wednesday, June 11 about 50 people of faith joined Marge Clark, BVM and members of the Washington Inter-Religious Staff Community in a solemn walk through the halls of the House of Representatives reading aloud stories from men and women who have been without any income, for months. The only sound made by members of our group was the story being read. We walked in single file, drawing the desired attention from other visitors and the offices we passed.

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Keeping an Eye on Appropriations

Jun 09, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

The House and Senate committees are working hard to complete spending bills for FY2015 before the August recess. Multiple appropriations bills are moving simultaneously, with several being critical this week.  As we know, our budget is a moral document—and the appropriations process is where the rubber hits the road. Decisions made during this process will have a huge impact on our nation’s finances and priorities. Take action and email your members of Congress today!

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Blog: Opposition to Gun Violence in America

Jun 09, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

As The Faithful Budget 2014 makes clear, our society, and especially our youth, suffer from the prevalence of guns and violence in our nation. “As the most heavily-armed society in the world, the firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. Research shows that our habits of violence are socially and financially costly compared to other nations.” (p. 43).

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Blog: Opposition to Gun Violence in America

Jun 09, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

As The Faithful Budget 2014 makes clear, our society, and especially our youth, suffer from the prevalence of guns and violence in our nation. “As the most heavily-armed society in the world, the firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. Research shows that our habits of violence are socially and financially costly compared to other nations.” (p. 43).

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Blog: Pay and Working Conditions at Wal-Mart Run Counter to the Joy of the Gospel Message

Jun 05, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

Companies like Wal-Mart are notorious for exploitation of their workers. Take a look at how they can improve their business practices, and what other companies have done, to foster a more just "economy of inclusion." Read more

Blog: Where Do We Stand Today on Voting Rights?

May 30, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a landmark piece of federal legislation signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson and later amended five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, it prohibits any state or local government from imposing any laws that result in discrimination against racial or language minorities.

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