Looking Ahead in 2024
As we begin 2024 and gear up for Congress returning to Washington next week, we have the opportunity to prepare for what may be a tumultuous year ahead. Congress has a long to-do list, the most urgent of which is to pass legislation to fund the government before January 19th. Numerous programs need to be reauthorized, and there are critical policy areas that Congress needs to address.
OGR staff continue to focus on pursuing the advocacy areas laid out for us by General Convention and Executive Council. These are:
- Ending Poverty
- Racial Reconciliation and Justice
- Immigration and Refugees
- Creation Care
- Human Rights and Peacebuilding
Our team works on dozens of issues within each of these categories, from education and criminal justice to environmental racism and immigrant detention. You can take action on any of our action alerts from 2023 here.
Another priority for this year will be the 2024 election cycle. In 2022, we started the Episcopal Election Activator Program which provides a way for Episcopal Public Policy Network members to be involved in the election process. There is still time to apply for the 2024-2025 cohort here! Activators will learn from experts, network with each other, and have the opportunity to support their communities.
You can play an important role in the success of this election within your congregation and most particularly in helping your congregation support your broader community!
We will also work with Election Activators and Church leadership to encourage Americans to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. A recent poll by PRRI found that nearly a quarter of Americans agree that, “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” We must actively oppose election violence, revitalize our commitment to a peaceful transition of power that supports our shared life together, and respect the integrity of our institutions, even as we work to improve them.
Speaking of institutional improvements, the majority of recent state laws passed regarding voting rights have expanded rather than restricted voting. In 2023, “there have been nearly three new expansive laws enacted for every restrictive law.” Even so, we will continue to push for needed voting rights legislation at the federal level, taking into consideration the strategic moments and ways to push for such change.
Whether new laws have expanded or restricted access to voting, we must educate ourselves and others about changes to the election process in our area. We look forward to working with you in the year ahead.
The Office of Government Relations