What’s the difference between social justice and social action?

Although they sound alike, there is a distinction! Social action focuses on the here and now, offering support and assistance to an existing need or cause. Social justice picks up from there, seeking to change the world for the better, lessening or erasing the need for social actions. Putting our principles into action involves both; here are a couple ways CUUC members participate in social justice.

Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM)

The Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry raises the voice of Unitarian Universalist values in the public arena and seeks to have those values included in legislation and public policy.

Every biennium, TXUUJM establishes a set of policy priorities to focus on; for 2021 these are: Racial Justice (includes Immigration and Refugees), Environmental Justice, Healthcare Access, Economic Justice and Voting Rights.

In support of these priorities, when the Texas legislature is in session, TXUUJM typically hosts a Legislative Action Day, where UUs from our church and churches across the state convene in Austin to meet with legislators about specific bills being considered. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this is not possible for the 2021 session.

Community UU’s representatives on the TXUUJM Advisory Council are Dick Hildenbrand and Deb Bliss. You can contact them at txuujm@communityuuchurch.org.

Recent TXUUJM announcements and activities:

Take Action to Save Texas Moms
Priority #3 of the Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM) this Texas Legislative Session is Healthcare Access. Texas has an exceedingly high Maternal Mortality rate, with far too many mothers dying during pregnancy or within 12 months after delivery. The death rates are far higher for black mothers, which means this is also a (TXUUJM Priority #1) Racial Justice issue.

Texas has refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and will likely continue to do so—even though Medicaid expansion would mean a healthier population and an influx of federal dollars for a stronger economy.

House Bill 133 by Toni Rose would extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers on Medicaid from 2 months to 12 months after delivery.  This is a critical time when moms need health coverage for problems such as post-partum depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and substance use disorders.

A recent report from Texans Care for Children and the St. David’s Foundation found that providing mental health care alone would save Texas would be “at least $1billion over a 6-year period.”

HB 133 was heard on 3/23 in the House Human Services Committee. Although it is too late to testify, you can still advocate for the Committee to support HB 133.

Please lend YOUR voice by contacting the members of the Committee (other than Rose), as well as your Representative to ask them to support HB 133. To find out who represents you, go here. Our Collin County Representatives need to hear from us Shaheen (66) and Noble (89) are Collin County legislators

House Human Services Committee – Email or call Committee members and the Committee at to leave your comments:

Member

Email

Phone

Committee Clerk

maureen.metteauer_HC@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0786

Chair James Frank

james.frank@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0534

Vice Chair Gina Hinojosa

gina.hinojosa@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0668

Stephanie Klick

stephanie.klick@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0599

Terry Meza

terry.meza@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0641

Candy Noble

candy.noble@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0186

Toni Rose

Matt Shaheen

matt.shaheen@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0594

Victoria Neave

victoria.neave@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0244

Lacey Hull

lacey.hull@house.texas.gov

(512) 463-0727

SAMPLE EMAIL OR COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF HB 133:

Sample Subject Line: Please support HB 133

Dear Rep.______,

[Introduce yourself and say why you care about the health of mothers and babies. Be sure to mention if you are a constituent of the addressee.]

I encourage you to support HB 133 by Rep. Toni Rose which came up on March 23 in the House Human Services Committee.

Pregnancy complications and other illnesses can arise months after pregnancy. Postpartum depression is common and often persists weeks or months after a birth. Infection, eclampsia, or heart issues may require hospital stays, medications, and procedures. It is in all of our interest to treat issues early—before they become life-threatening.

Under the current policy (which has been temporarily suspended during the pandemic)

Texas terminates Medicaid health insurance for mothers 2 months after pregnancy. Many Texas moms then become uninsured, making it much harder for them to get the health care they need during a critical time for their health and their baby’s health.

In the end, children, their families, and our state pay the price.

HB 133 will help by allowing mothers to remain enrolled in Medicaid coverage for 12 months after pregnancy, rather than 2 months.

This bill is good for babies. This bill is good for preventing maternal deaths. This bill is a key step in supporting mental health.

Last session, the House passed similar legislation on a strong bipartisan vote, although the bill ran out of time in the Senate. We encourage you and the rest of the House to quickly pass this bill so the Senate can take up the bill this session.

I appreciate your consideration!

For more information about TXUUJM, visit http://txuujm.org/ and their facebook page www.facebook.com/txuujm.

You can make a difference in Texas by contacting your legislators in a timely manner to express your opinions on decisions as they come up for a vote.  If you would like to receive updates on issues before the legislature, send your name to txuujm@communityuuchurch.org

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

The UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. The mission of UUSC is guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as well as Unitarian Universalist principles. You can visit the UUSC website here: www.uusc.org.

One of the many programs of the UUSC that we participate in is Guest At Your Table, an annual campaign to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes.

To learn more about our efforts supporting UUSC, contact Linda Frank or Anne Smith via uusinaction@communityuuchurch.org.