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Values into Action: UUs Reclaiming Democracy
General Assembly 2012 Session #315
Friday, June 22
Phoenix Convention Center — 232 AB
Much is at stake in upcoming elections. Regressive policies and corporate control oppress people on the margins and disenfranchise the vulnerable. Hear from frontline activists working on the Arizona recall election and voter rights in other states, and learn what UUs and our partners can do together.
Randy Parraz has spent the past sixteen years of his professional life fighting for change and committed to civic engagement, civil rights and working families, including helping to launch the Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability (MCSA) to stand up to “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Sheriff Arpaio and hold him and his staff accountable for disregarding the civil and human rights of AZ residents and President of Citizens for a Better Arizona, which lead the movement for the historic recall of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce on Nov. 19, 2011, the architect of these and other regressive policies.
Kindra Muntz is an election-reform activist who founded the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE), which helped eliminate paperless touch-screen voting in Florida. SAFE is now addressing the "triple crown" of reforms needed for election integrity: campaign-finance reform, media reform, and election reform. Muntz is cochair of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida, cochair of the UUs and Allies Nationwide Community Radio Network, and author of the successful 2011 Action of Immediate Witness opposing the Citizens United v. FEC decision.
Jennifer Jewell Thomas is board chair of the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA), which is Minnesota's UU state advocacy network. She also serves as cochair of MUUSJA's Voting Rights Working Group. Thomas has many years of corporate and nonprofit marketing experience. A native of California, Thomas has lived in Minnesota, where she is a member of the First Universalist Church, since 1979.
Kara Smith is the associate for grassroots mobilization at UUSC. She helps UUSC members get involved in social justice and human rights through educational opportunities, workshops and webinars, and advocacy opportunities. Smith graduated from Simmons College with a bachelor's degree in women's studies and political science. After extensive campus organizing in racial justice, voting rights and registration, GLBT issues, and prison reform, she committed herself to social-justice work for life. Smith continued on to graduate from the New School with a master's degree in historical studies and sociology with a focus on social-justice movements in U.S. history.
- 2012 Elections Resources from UUSC [web page]
- Election Engagement Guide for Congregations [PDF]
- PowerPoint presentation from the workshop [PPT]