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California

Why Churches Should Encourage Members to Vote & Legislative Update

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Why Churches Should Encourage Members to Vote

There is much at stake in the November 2016 elections.  Will you exercise your duty and vote and encourage others to do the same?

The institution of government was ordained by God (Romans 13:1-4).  It is our duty, as citizens and as Christians, to participate in the process.  According to the late U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson, people of faith are more to blame for the nation’s woes than are politicians.  Believers who are apathetic “abdicate their responsibility,” he said.  He noted that lawmakers have authority to act only “with the consent of the governed.  People of faith must understand the issues, vote intelligently, and advise elected representatives.”

Exercising our right to vote in elections is the most fundamental way to participate.  Yet, surveys have shown that as few as one-half of church members who are eligible to vote are registered to vote, and not everyone who is registered actually votes on Election Day.

There is a great need for Christians to get out and vote.  For this reason Concerned Women for America of California is encouraging voter registration drives and raising voter awareness. Download the What’s Your Vote Worth? brochure and the 2016 Party Platform Comparison. (To print the 2016 Party Platform Comparison simply print it double-sided on 8 ½” x 11” paper.)

Would you like to help register voters at your church? It’s an important, and permissible, activity.  Because the voter registration deadline is October 24, we suggest that you start the process without delay, by contacting your church leadership and offering to help make this opportunity available to your congregation. Click here to download a helpful “how-to” guide.

 Brown Signs Harmful Bills

As we anticipated, Gov. Brown signed the watered-down version of SB 1146 on September 30. While the most devastating portions of this bill were amended out, disclosure requirements remain and will begin to be enforced in the 2017-2018 school year. We now await what the bill’s author, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) may have planned when the new legislative session begins in December.

Sadly, the governor also signed SB 524. Now, faith-based boarding schools like FACESS will be required to adhere to the same “community care licensing” structure under which California’s broken foster/group home programs are overseen, increasing costs to the organization and the parents whose daughters are enrolled for help and healing from the devastating effects of sexual exploitation. It is unclear right now what action FACESS may take to try to preserve the fine work they and groups like them are doing.

For more information on the bills we have supported and opposed during 2016, please see our latest Targeted Bills List here.

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and acting on behalf of faith, family and freedom!

Please forward this e-mail to like-minded California friends and family.

Attack on Faith-Based Institutions Continues

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We are glad to report that Sen. Lara’s SB 1146, the very serious threat to Christian higher learning, was further amended before passing the Senate concurrence vote. The reporting requirements were removed and all that remains are disclosures that the colleges and universities are no longer opposing. SB 1146 now goes to Gov. Brown for his consideration.

While this threat has passed, for now, another has emerged. We ask you to pray and act by requesting that Gov. Brown veto SB 524.

This bill, also authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) proposes to protect youth (particularly LGBT youth – the bill is supported by numerous LGBT organizations) from “abusive” boarding schools operating under religious exemptions, yet no examples of this abuse are provided, let alone substantiated.

Currently, schools like the one run by Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery (FACESS), which would be directly effected by the bill, come under the umbrella of the Education Code rather than Social Services. FACESS helps minor girls who are victims of sex trafficking heal by offering a faith-based residential school in a secure location paid for by their families. The program has been highly successful and has strong support from law enforcement and organizations assisting trafficking victims with no complaints. It receives no state funding, yet SB 524 dictates how their program must be run and includes sexual orientation and gender identity language in direct conflict with their Christian beliefs.

SB 524 will force faith-based boarding schools like FACESS (private alternative boarding schools under the state’s language) to adhere to the same “community care licensing” structure under which California’s broken foster/group home programs are overseen. Reportedly, some 70 percent of trafficked minors are actually recruited from this system!

This bill’s additional compliance burden will double or even triple the cost to families who desire to place their girls at FACESS. Some parents will have no choice but to make their daughters wards of the court and send them to state programs that do not offer the healing and protection that FACESS does. This further harms children and increases the costs to the state.

It is likely that if SB 524 is implemented FACESS, an organization that has been helping minors find healing for more than two decades, will be forced to move out of California. However, this doesn’t have to be if Gov. Brown vetoes SB 524.

Pray that minors who have already been victims of horrific acts will not be victimized again by the state. Ask the Lord to protect FACESS and organizations like it by leading Gov. Brown to veto SB 524. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  ~ Psalm 91:2-4

Act by contacting Gov. Brown today and asking him to VETO SB 524. It will take you just a few minutes to potentially save a child’s life.

Call 916-445-2841 and follow the prompts to talk to his staff, politely asking for his veto.

Or send a webmail by visiting Gov. Brown’s contact page here. Complete your contact information and then, in the drop down box, select “SB00524/Private alternative boarding schools and outdoor programs.” Continue and choose the “con” button.

Write your own short e-mail requesting a veto or cut and past the one below and click send. That’s it.

Sample e-mail:

Dear. Gov. Brown:

Please veto SB 524. It will harm organizations that are helping minors who have been terribly victimized by sex trafficking. These children and their parents are already suffering. They need programs that help, many of which are privately-funded and faith-based, but SB 524 will so greatly increase the cost of these programs that parents will be unable to afford them and be forced to turn their children over to the state. Not only does this do a disservice to those children, but it also increases the cost to the state and its taxpayers. Further, the bill’s language infringes upon the religious liberty of successful faith-based organizations strongly supported by law enforcement.

SB 524 bill tries to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Instead, it creates one for children who have been trafficked and their families. PLEASE VETO SB 524.

For more information on the bills we have supported and opposed during 2016, please see our latest Targeted Bills List here.

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and acting on behalf of faith, family and freedom!

Reprieve for California’s Christian Colleges

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Thank you for your faithful prayer and action! We are pleased to report that SB 1146 has been amended into a less threatening bill, but the amended language is still problematic unless further amended.

What was removed? The most devastating portions that would have forced schools to abandon their Biblical tenets and pervasively Christian environments if they were to accept lower-income students using Cal Grants were removed. For example, schools would have been required to base accommodations such as restrooms, locker rooms and dorms on gender identity, rather than biological sex. They would have been forced to offer married housing to same-sex couples. They would have been subject to lawsuits by students who claimed they were discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We are grateful that these onerous provisions have been removed.

What’s left? The revised SB 1146 is now a series of requirements about disclosure to students and faculty. Generally, schools support full disclosure of their policies with regard to their Biblically-based curriculum and campus life, codes of student conduct and similar policies. Students applying to colleges and universities need to be fully informed as they are making their choices. Schools do not contest this. Some additional provisions were added in these most recent amendments that represent a greater reach by the state. The bill now requires schools to report to the California Student Aid Commission, in detail, the reasons for student expulsion and whether those students received Gal Grants. This is the primary area of concern, and we are praying that the author will accept additional amendments suggested by the schools to remove this portion and make some additional changes.

Our faith-based institutions of higher education support disclosure and student choice. But that choice should not be limited by the state, whether students have financial need or not. As a result of the amendments to SB 1146, for now that choice is still available.

But this is a reprieve – not a victory. We fully anticipate a similar bill to emerge as next year’s legislative session begins in January. We will be watching; we will continue to build a coalition of like-minded public policy groups, churches, faith-based organizations and individuals like you.

What happens now? SB 1146 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Comm. on August 11. It will now move to the Assembly floor. Amendments must be made by August 19. The bill must then pass the Assembly floor and then return to the Senate for a concurrence vote on the amendments. The last day to pass bills from either house is August 31. Then SB 1146, if passed, will go to Gov. Brown.

What can you do?

Keep asking your assembly member to oppose SB 1146 until additional amendments are confirmed.

Keep praying.

Keep educating those in your sphere of influence about the continuing threat to our religious freedom in general and our faith-based institutions in particular.

Keep talking to your pastors and church leaders so that they will create a plan NOW as to how they will help these fine institutions when the battle begins anew.

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and acting on behalf of faith, family and freedom!

Kori Peterson
Area Director
CWA of Southern California
s.director@california.cwfa.org

Carissa Campbell
Area Director
CWA of Northern California
ccampbell@jessup.edu

CWA of California’s Encourage-A-Legislator Program Back in Full Swing! Join Us!

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Dear CWA friends,

I wrote an alert a few months ago asking you to pray about our Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) program.  We needed a new coordinator to step in or the program would have had to fold.

Great news!  A sweet sister, Marlo Tucker, has stepped into this role.  She is so thrilled to take on this wonderful CWA ministry and has a precious heart to not only encourage and pray for our legislators but to also encourage YOU!  Here are a few words Marlo wanted me to share with you:

“This is such a deeply important time for our country and, on behalf of CWA and my own loved ones, we are ALL supremely grateful for your dedication to blessing our leaders and law-makers with prayer … beseeching the Lord to intervene with His grace and majesty … to protect our freedom and our families … as we deal with unprecedented tragedy, shifting views of correctness, volatile elections … the list goes on.

Just as you are committed to your local legislator, I am committed to you!  I will pray for your health, your circumstances, and your joy!”

Though CWA members and friends are regularly called upon to contact their legislators concerning our core issues, the EAL program is designed to simply pray for and encourage the legislators with no mention of legislation or policy.  The goal is to simply uplift the legislator and to remind him or her that they are prayed for regularly.

Click here to view flyer.  Please print and distribute liberally.

Are you interested in joining this wonderful program?   If so, please contact Marlo at Encourage@california.cwfa.org or by phone: 760-207-8518.

Have a great week!

Kori Peterson
Area Director
CWA of Southern California
s.director@california.cwfa.org

Join Us in Sacramento to Save Our Christian Higher Ed!

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The California Legislature is back in session and SB 1146 is on the move. The bill was moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file without testimony on August 3. It will either be voted out of the committee or be permanently held in suspense on August 11. If the bill is held, it will die. If it’s voted out, SB 1146 could conceivably be on the Assembly floor as early as August 15!

Pray: This battle is against more than flesh and blood. Cry out to the Lord for hearts and minds to be changed. Ask Him to move our lawmakers to see the wonderful work our faith-based colleges and universities do for the students in our state and protect them from this threat. For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  ~ Psalm 84:11

Act:
1) Join us at the Capitol! We will convene to lobby legislative offices at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11. Our friends at California Family Alliance (CFA) and a group of pastors are organizing this event. Please RSVP to Jonathan Keller at JonathanK@CaliforniaFamilyAlliance.org, so we know you are planning to join the effort and can give you the meeting location. (Note: There is another lobby day on Monday, August 8, if that date is better for you. Please indicate which day you will be at the Capitol in your e-mail to Jonathan.)
2) Please continue to contact the Assembly Appropriations members (see list below), asking politely that they oppose SB 1146 and allow our low-income students to follow their faith and attend the college of their choice.
3) Call your assembly member and ask him or her to oppose SB 1146. (Find your assembly member here.)
4) Share this e-mail and the website opposesb1146.com with others. The site was created by Biola University, one of the schools on the forefront of this battle. It contains action items, talking points and even a sample letter to help you.

Assembly Appropriations Committee Members:
Lorena S. Gonzalez, Chair (D-San Diego)         (916) 319-2080
Frank Bigelow, Vice Chair (R-Placerville)        (916) 319-2005
Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)                     (916) 319-2050
Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord)                            (916) 319-2014
Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)                                       (916) 319-2018
Ian C. Calderon (D-City of Industry)                (916) 319-2057
Ling Ling Chang (R-Brea)                                   (916) 319-2055
Tom Daly (D-Anaheim)                                       (916) 319-2069
Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton)        (916) 319-2013
James Gallagher (R-Chico)                                 (916) 319-2003
Eduardo Garcia (D-Imperial)                             (916) 319-2056
Chris R. Holden (D-Pasadena)                           (916) 319-2041
Brian W. Jones (R-Santee)                                  (916) 319-2071
Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia)                                (916) 319-2033
Bill Quirk (D-Hayward)                                       (916) 319-2020
Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)                      (916) 319-2053
Donald P. Wagner (R-Tustin)                            (916) 319-2068
Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego)                       (916) 319-2079
Jim Wood (D-Eureka)                                         (916) 319-2002

Background:

The most recent amendments to SB 1146 have clarified that the bill does, indeed, affect Cal Grants, limiting the choices of the state’s lower-income students – potentially some 25 percent of the student population at faith-based schools. Not only will students be unable to obtain their education at the schools they most desire, but also those very schools may not survive the drastic cut in enrollment.

To avoid losing Cal Grants students, schools would be forced to abandon many of their Biblical tenets, particularly in terms of student housing. Dorm, restroom, and locker room accommodations would be based on gender identity, rather than biological sex. Married housing would have to include same-sex couples.

Student life and the whole campus environment make faith-based institutions what they are and under current law there have been very few complaints. Students who prefer a different campus environment have hundreds of other schools in the state from which to choose. We are asking that freedom of choice be available for all Christian students who desire a pervasively Christian environment, too!

Other elements of the bill involve notification requirements, the majority of which are not of great concern. Students should know the type of school to which they are applying – and most campuses are already very open about their Biblical foundations.

Read more at opposesb1146.com.

Please forward this e-mail to like-minded California friends and family.

Thank you for your prayers and action on this dangerous bill!

Kori Peterson
Area Director
CWA of Southern California
s.director@california.cwfa.org

Carissa Campbell
Area Director
CWA of Northern California
ccampbell@jessup.edu

SB 1146 Continues to Threaten Our Faith-Based Colleges … Act Now!

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The California Legislature is currently on its July recess. That makes now the perfect time to contact your assembly member and ask that he or she oppose SB 1146 when the Legislature reconvenes August 1.

SB 1146 (see the text here) has already passed the Senate and both of its Assembly policy committees. It will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on either August 3 or 10.

Pray: Ask the Lord to work in the heart of SB 1146’s author Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) so that he would understand that true diversity means that students should be free to use their Cal Grants at the college or university of their choice. Further that it means these fine institutions should continue to be free to follow their faith in all areas of curriculum, student life, housing, restrooms, locker rooms, and employment and more. Ask that he would be moved to withdraw the bill or amend it so that it no longer poses this existential threat. (This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:3-4)

Act: First, please call your assembly member and ask him or her to oppose SB 1146. (Find your assembly member here.)

Second, if your assembly member sits on the Assembly Appropriations Committee, your calls are particularly important! But anyone can call these members and ask for their opposition. Phone calls make a greater impact than e-mails, so please just make two or three calls a day for a few days over the next few days. The most you will be asked to provide is your name, your city (or ZIP code) and your position. You may even leave a message after hours. (See the list below.)

Finally, share this e-mail and the website opposesb1146.com with others. The site was created by Biola University, one of the schools on the forefront of this battle. It contains action items, talking points and even a sample letter to help you.

 Background:

The most recent amendments to SB 1146 have clarified that the bill does, indeed, affect Cal Grants, limiting the choices of the state’s lower-income students – potentially some 25 percent of the student population at faith-based schools. Not only will students be unable to obtain their education at the schools they most desire, but also those very schools may not survive the drastic cut in enrollment.

To avoid losing Cal Grants students, schools would be forced to abandon many of their Biblical tenets, particularly in terms of student housing. Dorm, restroom, and locker room accommodations would be based on gender identity, rather than biological sex. Married housing would have to include same-sex couples.

Student life and the whole campus environment make faith-based institutions what they are and under current law there have been very few complaints. Students who prefer a different campus environment have hundreds of other schools in the state from which to choose. We are asking that freedom of choice be available for all Christian students who desire a pervasively Christian environment, too!

Other elements of the bill involve notification requirements, the majority of which are not of great concern. Students should know the type of school to which they are applying – and most campuses are already very open about their Biblical foundations.

Read more at opposesb1146.com.

Assembly Appropriations Committee Members:

Lorena S. Gonzalez, Chair (D-San Diego)         (916) 319-2080

Frank Bigelow, Vice Chair (R-Placerville) (916) 319-2005

Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)                     (916) 319-2050

Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord)                           (916) 319-2014

Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)                                   (916) 319-2018

Ian C. Calderon (D-City of Industry)                 (916) 319-2057

Ling Ling Chang (R-Brea)                                (916) 319-2055

Tom Daly (D-Anaheim)                                    (916) 319-2069

Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton)         (916) 319-2013

James Gallagher (R-Chico)                              (916) 319-2003

Eduardo Garcia (D-Imperial)                            (916) 319-2056

Chris R. Holden (D-Pasadena)                         (916) 319-2041

Brian W. Jones (R-Santee)                                        (916) 319-2071

Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia)                             (916) 319-2033

Bill Quirk (D-Hayward)                                     (916) 319-2020

Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)                     (916) 319-2053

Donald P. Wagner (R-Tustin)                           (916) 319-2068

Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego)                       (916) 319-2079

Jim Wood (D-Eureka)                                      (916) 319-2002

Please pass this on to like-minded California friends and family.

Thank you for your prayers and action on this dangerous bill!

STOP SB 1146 – An Attack on California’s Christian Colleges – REVISED

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We are back with an urgent message about SB 1146. This threat to our faith-based colleges and universities in California passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee on June 21 and will now be heard in The Assembly Judiciary committee on Thursday, June 30.

SB 1146 strikes at the heart of our First Amendment-protected freedoms, pluralism, and basic institutional self-governance. If a faith-based school accepts Cal Grants, this bill would, among other things, ban that school from requiring moral conduct codes, and from incorporating their religious beliefs into the school’s curriculum, admissions and campus life. Christian institutions must be able to govern their campuses based on the tenets of their faith without interference by the government.

“Any system of education … which limits instruction to the arts and sciences and rejects the aids of religion informing the characters of its citizens, is essentially defective. … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion
must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” ~Noah Webster, “Schoolmaster to America”

Please act:

The Assembly Judiciary Committee members need to hear from you before their hearing on June 30! They must vote “no” on SB 1146. Please feel free to use this sample letter from Biola University.

Find the committee members and their contact forms here to send a polite message asking them to oppose the bill. (The forms will only work for your own assembly member, so calls are suggested.)

Call as many committee members as you can and simply ask them to vote “no” at the hearing on Thursday:

Mark Stone, Chair – D-Santa Cruz – (916) 319-2029

Donald P. Wagner, Vice Chair – R-Irvine – (916) 319-2068

Luis A. Alejo – D-Salinas – (916) 319-2030

Ed Chau – D-Monterey Park – (916) 319-2049

David Chiu – D-San Francisco – (916) 319-2017

James Gallagher – R-Plumas Lake – (916) 319-2003

Cristina Garcia – D-Bell Gardens – (916) 319-2058

Chris R. Holden – D-Pasadena – (916) 319-2041

Brian Maienschein – R-San Diego – (916) 319-2077

Philip Y. Ting – D-San Francisco – (916) 319-2019

Forward this e-mail to like-minded California friends and family.

 Please pray for God to bring clarity to the minds of these legislators. That they will recognize, affirm, and protect the First Amendment rights of students and colleges.

Thank you for your prayers and action on this dangerous bill!