Mission Moment: LOPPW & WELCA Gather Around the Safe Harbor Human Trafficking Bill

Women of the ELCA & Lutheran Office for Public Policy Gather As Beloved Community
Around the Safe Harbor Hu
man Trafficking Bill
By Amelia Gonzales, LOPPW Intern

The Women of the ELCA and Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin joined together to hold a rally on youth are impacted by sex trafficking on September 24.  The day began at Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison.  We then went to the capitol, equipped with information and faith-based responses to advocate for the Safe Harbor bill.  AB 41/AB 49 would move Wisconsin ahead in directing trafficked youth to receiving human services rather than criminalizing them.

We heard from Morgan Meadows, M. Ed., Survivor of sex trafficking and consultant in leadership and survivor advocacy, Door County; Bishop Jim Arends, La Crosse Area Synod; Jen DeLeon, National WELCA Director for Justice; Dana World Patterson and Jay Reinke, Milwaukee Joint Task Force on Human Trafficking; and Representative Jill Billings. District 95.

The Safe Harbor Rally was a chance to bring together people to support a very important piece of legislation that is currently making its way through the system. For someone who has been an advocate for human trafficking for three years now, the rally was a truly an amazing experience to be a part of.  Not only was it great to hear the amazing speakers from the Milwaukee Human Trafficking Task Force and a survivor of human trafficking, Morgan Meadows, but also to have the chance to speak to legislators about why the Safe Harbor Bill is needed in the state of Wisconsin. The day also gave me joy to see people come to the rally who perhaps weren’t familiar with the bill but were willing to learn more about it and to understand why it was needed.

The rally was also taught us why certain legislators weren’t in support of the Safe Harbor Bill and how to be that person to perhaps further educate legislators

Amelia Gonzales joined the Lutheran Office for Public Policy as a graduate student in social work at UW-Madison in September.  She comes to us via the university’s 4W-STREETS (Social Transformation to End the Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex) program. Amelia is a recent graduate in social work and sociology from UW Oshkosh.

Thank you for your mission support that helps ministries like this happen!

Thoughts from Rev. Cindy Crane, Director, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin

“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people.  In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” Aldo Leopold

Thoughts from Rev. Cindy Crane, Director, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin

Many prayers for all who are experiencing displacement and loss because of the flooding throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The immediate needs of many have been vast, and the long-term effects of how water has overcome certain areas are unknown.  So much is out of our control, but considering that which humans can affect, we pause and wonder.  Which public policies make it more difficult for the earth to absorb water.  What are scientists saying about patterns that bring to light the impact climate change is having in the present?  Some respond by pointing out that the earth has always been altering and that flooding is a part of life.  Yet, based on what science teaches us, we can make needed changes even if we never achieve complete harmony with the land.

James instructs us to show no partiality based on economic status.  We say that’s what we’d like to do as a democracy as well, and yet money in politics has led to significant deregulation of environmental protections as a result of many government officials showing gross favoritism of corporations owned by wealthy donors.  The good news is that we find an increasing number of groups claiming the value of tapping into renewable energy, that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide emissions.  Many individuals, businesses, secular and religious nonprofits, cities and counties are making grassroots efforts to change.  Our advocacy on all levels from local to federal for our leaders to give less preferential treatment to those who steer us toward harming the earth is vital.

Show no partiality – how beautiful that is to experience and unlikely to 100% achieve.  With all our imperfections, we need to try for impartiality, realizing that it can win out and that sins can be forgiven.  Strive, knowing that God loves each of us and all of creation.

Learn more and sign up for advocacy alerts at:  https://www.loppw.org/