Policy Council Chair Reflects on LAMPa Accomplishments
Dear friends of LAMPa:
As 2016 draws to a close and I end my tenure as Chair of LAMPa’s Policy Council, I wanted to take a moment and reflect with you upon some of LAMPA’s recent accomplishments:
- We bid a fond and appreciative farewell to our Executive Director, Amy Reumann, as she was called to serve as the Director of Advocacy for the ELCA.
- We joyfully celebrated the call of our new Executive Director, Tracey DePasquale, and are in the search process for an Associate Director to further expand LAMPa’s reach.
- We have undertaken a very thoughtful and strategic reorganization of the way LAMPa and the Policy Council work, so that are better able to equip and encourage local, grassroots advocacy by Lutherans across the Commonwealth.
- We have established a close working relationship with the ELCA’s national advocacy office in Washington, D.C., resulting in more tools for advocacy and greater financial predictability and stability.
- We have worked tirelessly to feed the hungry through our advocacy for important programs like the State Food Purchase Program and the Pa. Agricultural Surplus System. LAMPa also successfully advocated for the creation of the Governor’s Food Security Partnership and the development of a Blueprint to End Hunger in the Commonwealth and partnered in the Pa. School Breakfast Challenge, in which nearly a million more healthy school breakfasts were served in just four months.
- We have helped build stronger communities by expanding the State Housing Trust Fund to all counties in the Commonwealth, giving counties flexibility to meet housing needs for low-income families and individuals, adapt housing so that seniors may stay in their homes, and fight blight in their communities.
- We have worked to protect child victims of sex trafficking by advocating for legislation that would redirect trafficked youth away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate services.
- We fought discrimination by standing for protections for all, regardless of race, gender, religious or ethnic background, sexual orientation or immigration status.
- We have opposed usury by successfully fighting several attempts by payday lenders to prey upon our most vulnerable citizens.
- We have worked to protect our natural resources by successfully advocating for stronger standards for our air and water quality.
- We have improved access to health care by successfully working to expand Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.
- We helped to create a fairer system of funding our schools by securing the adoption of a fair funding formula so that we close the gap between the richest and poorest districts in the state.
From the earliest days of the Reformation, Lutherans have put their faith to work in the public square, advocating for common good. Thank you for being a part of this ministry of advocacy. But as stellar as LAMPa’s accomplishment have been, there is still much work to be done, and that work requires your help.
Will you join me in making a year-end contribution to LAMPa? You can send a check to the office at 900 S. Arlington Avenue, Suite 251B, Harrisburg Pa. 17109 or click here to donate electronically.
May God bless you in the coming year.
Rev. Scott E. Schul
Policy Council Chair
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania