Votes cast for new Congregational Study/Action Issue
Delegates spent part of Friday morning debating and voting on a new Congregational Study/Action Issue for 2010–2014. Five potential CSAIs were presented during Plenary III: Energy, Peace, and Justice; National Economic Reform: A Moral Imperative; Immigration as a Moral Issue; Ending Slavery; and Revitalizing American Democracy. Only one CSAI can be selected.
Whichever one of these issues is chosen will be referred to congregations and districts for study and action over the next four years. This is the first step in the process that may ultimately produce a UUA Statement of Conscience, such as the “Creating Peace” Statement, passed this morning, which grew out of the Peacemaking CSAI of 2006–2010.
The sponsor of each CSAI was given two minutes to speak in favor of the issue. Bob Murphy, of the UU Fellowship of Falmouth, Mass., spoke for Energy, Peace, and Justice, urging people to “be the change we want to see in the world,” and concluding by saying that, “We’re tired of these energy wars. We’re tired of watching people die fighting for energy.”
In an unusual move, Deborah Pembrook of the UU Fellowship of Santa Cruz County, Calif., who spoke as the sponsor of the Ending Slavery CSAI, asked delegates to vote instead for Immigration as a Moral Issue because she said the slavery issue is interwoven with the immigration issue. “Learn about slavery, talk about slavery, and vote for the Study/Action on Immigration,” she said.
After the sponsors spoke, four supporters of each proposed CSAI had a chance to speak for two minutes each. The Rev. David Breeden of Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship in Minneapolis, speaking in support of Economic Reform, said that it all comes down to economic justice and economic injustice, saying that economic injustice is “the blood in our streets.”
Advocating Revitalizing American Democracy, Janis Cheney of the Bismark-Mandan UU Fellowshio of N.D., quoted the written CSAI, saying, “Democracy requires an informed, engaged citizenry.” She added that “Without a strong, healthy democracy we have nothing, and if we do nothing at this critical juncture in history, we will be left with nothing.”
After the presentations of support, delegates voted by ballot and tellers collected the ballots to do a tally. If no single CSAI receives a majority of the votes, there will be a run-off vote in tomorrow morning’s plenary between the two that received the highest number of votes.