Alerts from the Nation’s Capital

Brethren Witness/Washington Office calls for support of Gulf Coast funding

A May 3 Action Alert from the Brethren Witness/Washington Office has called on Brethren to urge their congressional representatives to fully support Gulf Coast housing funding in HR 4939, including $5.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Gulf Coast region, $202 million in new funds for section eight rent vouchers, and $1.2 billion to FEMA for a Pilot Temporary Housing Program that includes Katrina Cottages.

The alert also urged quick congressional action on President Bush’s request for $2.2 billion in funding to repair and certify levees protecting the New Orleans region. Noting that the 2006 hurricane season is “just weeks away,” the alert said, “families in New Orleans and across the region have already waited much too long to receive the federal assistance they need to rebuild.”

The alert also expressed dismay that FEMA is seeking to cut off housing vouchers to tens of thousands of Katrina survivors after just eight months. “Most of the 55,000 families who received long-term FEMA housing vouchers still cannot return home. Now many face homelessness,” the alert said.

For more about the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board, go to or contact 800-785-3246 or


Lobbying day focuses on conscientious objection

On May 16, the National Campaign for Peace Tax Fund and the Center on Conscience and War are holding a national lobby day to protect the rights of conscientious objectors. Many participants will meet in Washington, D.C., and others will lobby their members of Congress locally.

Supporters will lobby to allow alternative service for drafted tax dollars by enacting HR 2631, the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill, and for a law to protect the rights of conscientious objectors in the military, the Military CO Act.

“The current military policy for conscientious objectors is not working,” said a release from the campaign, “they face harassment, are forced to violate their beliefs, and are denied conscientious objector status for arbitrary reasons.”

Visit or call 888-732-2382.


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to Messenger magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


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