November 16 — For Immediate Release
Bread for the World
Bread for the World
202/688-1118 (office); 202/423-7379 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Relations, Rick Steves' Europe
Rick Steves, Puget Sound Religious Leaders Call on Senator Murray to Protect Poor People
Seattle, WA, Nov. 16, 2011 — Today at noon, travel personality Rick Steves joined religious leaders from the Seattle area at the Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle to call on Super Committee co-chair Patty Murray to oppose cuts to programs that serve hungry and poor people at home and abroad. This event comes exactly one week before the committee is tasked with proposing to cut deficits by $1.2 trillion over ten years.
"I believe that the mark of a civilized society is how it cares for its needy, its homeless, and its hungry," said Steves. "It was important that I join my friends from Bread for the World in bringing this message to Senator Murray and her committee."
Today's event was one of three held simultaneously outside Senator Murray's offices in Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver. People of faith have come together to pray and call on lawmakers to create a circle of protection around programs that impact vulnerable people in the United States and abroad. It's also part of a nationwide "Human Circles" day of action with thirteen circles in eight states forming at noon local time.
"Right now in Seattle the notion of the common good is challenged, food and shelter lines are growing and health care is at risk," said Michael Ramos, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. "I am here to speak to our commitment as people of faith to reweaving the social fabric on which our country is founded, to respect dignity and to enhance social equity."
Bread for the World, along with Sojourners, Associated Ministries, The Church Council of Greater Seattle, the Faith Action Network, and St. Mark's Cathedral sponsored the event.
"Our small congregation stretches itself to serve two hot meals a week to hundreds in need, and provide sleeping space for 20 people every night," said Rev. Carol Jensen, co-chair of the Faith Action Network and pastor at St. John United Lutheran Church in Seattle. "Our government has to be a strong partner in protecting the most vulnerable among us and in reversing the rising tide of poverty in this nation."
"Hungry and poor people did not create the federal deficit, and it is morally wrong to harm them in the process of reducing it," said Bread for the World organizer Matt Newell-Ching. "We encourage activists to use their voices to protect these vital programs."
Congress is considering deep cuts to federal nutrition programs as well as U.S. investments in agricultural development, microfinance, education, and safe water in developing countries. The proposed cuts will be the most severe cuts to programs for hungry and poor people in decades. Since early this year, Bread for the World has joined more than 60 religious organizations to call for a circle of protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.