Advocacy Committee

Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee evolved out of the urgency we feel to make a difference on issues like homelessness and immigration. In addition to the amazing direct-service work our Temple is already doing, we want to impact public policy and legislation. We’ve heard from many of you that you feel the same way, and we hope you’ll get involved!

Fortunately, we have a great model to follow, from the national Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. As part of a nonprofit organization, its work is completely nonpartisan.

The steering committee chooses 2 – 4 issues a year via education—looking at a range of Jewish voices on complex issues—and specific opportunities for action. We’ve brainstormed a list of issues we care passionately about, including immigration, voter engagement, the environment, housing/homelessness, access to health care, and gun safety.

Please contact Barbara Learner and Mark Berger at advocacy@teesd.org if you’d like to get involved.

Dear Temple Emanu-El Family,

Temple Emanu-El joins Every Voice, Every Vote, the Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 nonpartisan effort to encourage full participation in the November 3, 2020 U.S. election. Through collective efforts, San Diego County has steadily increased voter registration to 81% in 2018. But of all eligible voters, only 55.7% actually voted. Did you vote?

Compelled by Jewish history and values, we take citizenship and the right to vote seriously. With outreach in our congregations and communities our goal is 100 percent voter participation. This year, because of Covid-19, every registered voter will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot. It’s easy. No postage is required.

Voter registration can be done on line (RegisterToVote.ca.gov) or the Advocacy Committee can assist, if needed.

Temple Emanu-El aspires to 100% registration and 100% voting.

Below you will find additional information from the San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters.

From the San Diego County Registrar of Voters
Vote Safer San Diego

  • This year, every active registered voter in San Diego County will receive their ballot in the mail so they can avoid long lines at the polls & stay safe! Voting by mail is simple, safer & secure #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE Learn more: www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/vote-safer-san-diego.html
  • Every active registered voter will receive their ballot and “I Voted” sticker in the mail for the Nov. 3 election. No stamp, no problem! Your mail ballot comes with a prepaid postage return envelope #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/vote-safer-san-diego.html
  • Every active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail for the Nov. 3 election. What do you need to do? Check your voter registration info. Make sure your residence & mailing address is up to date #VoteSaferSD Learn more: www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/Registration.html#CheckRegistration
  • You can now track your mail ballot every step of the way! Sign up for Where’s My Ballot? at sdvote.com to receive email, text, or voice call notifications #SDVOTE #VoteSaferSD www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/elections/wheres-my-ballot.html
  • Have you moved or changed your name? Whether you are new to San Diego County or just moved down the street you need to re-register to vote. Visit sdvote.com to verify your voter registration or re-register to vote #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/Registration.html
  • Your vote is your voice! Do you want to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election? You must be registered to vote. Register online at sdvote.com #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/Registration.html
  • Make sure you have the facts. Get official Nov. 3 Presidential General Election information at www.sdvote.com #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE

The San Diego City Council is voting on adding the independent police commission to the November ballot on June 23rd. We urge you to visit the SDJ site to learn more, and to use their “Email your Councilmember” link—or telephone—to urge your Council member to vote in favor of adding the independent police commission to the November ballot. (When you click on the link, you’ll see a sample letter that you can use.)

We are not passive observers of history. We create history every day in the things we do, the times we act, as well as the times we choose to sit still. In the fight to protect our Black and other minority communities from harm, do not be a silent observer. Speak up, and let your voice be heard. If you’re not quite sure what to say, please reach out to your Advocacy Committee  at advocacy@teesd.org and we will be glad to help you get in touch with the people who represent you.

Here, fighting beside you for the safety of our community,

Your TEESD Advocacy Committee

Voter Information and Misinformation

As you know, elections are just around the corner, with the Presidential Primary elections in March and the General election in November of 2020. The Temple Emanu-El Advocacy Committee has put together a list of tips for you to better navigate our sometimes overwhelming world of online communication.

Before you share that breaking new juicy drama, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Does this story come from a reputable source?

You can expect a level of bias in all media, but not all bias is created equal. Is this article telling you what happened, or is it telling you how to feel?

  • Pay attention to quality and timeliness.

Are there an excess of spelling errors in the article? Reputable sources normally have high standards for proofreading.

Is the story current? Check the date, you may find that particularly surprising stories are originally from years ago.

  • Check the sources and citations.

In the article, who is being quoted and why? If your article has a conspicuous absence of quotes, proceed with caution, good journalism is built on referencing facts.

  • Use a fact checker!

http://factcheck.org/

http://www.poynter.org/category/fact-checking/

http://politifact.com/

http://snopes.com/

Safe Gun Storage

According to this article from the LA Times, gun sales are spiking in the United States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that these are challenging times for all Americans, many of whom feel a firearm is a necessary purchase to protect themselves and their families.

We at the TEESD Advocacy Committee thought this would be a good opportunity to remind the community of the importance of exercising safe firearm storage and use.

While a firearm can offer some a sense of security, to purchase a deadly weapon is to take on a tremendous responsibility for the safety of all those who could potentially access it. This article from KBPS quotes The San Diego City Attorney’s Office “[urging] families with guns in the home to practice proper firearm safety while self-quarantining to keep the weapons out of the hands of children.”

In the article, KPBS speaks to City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office who says,

“When you have guns and children in the home and do not practice safe storage, you are increasing the risk that someone will be accidentally shot,” Elliott said. “Children are very resourceful when it comes to locating things their parents thought they’d never find. When they find a gun, it often leads to tragedy.”

The city’s Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, which was authored by Elliott and went into effect last year, requires San Diego gun owners to store firearms in a locked container or to secure guns with a trigger lock unless they are in the immediate control of an authorized user.”

According to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, every day in the United States eight children and teens are shot in instances of family fire — a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home resulting in injury or death.

The California Office of the Attorney General offers a number of tips for storing your firearms safely.

  • Always store your firearm unloaded.
  • Use a firearms safety device AND store the firearm in a locked container.
  • Store the ammunition separately in a locked container.
  • Always storing your firearm securely is the best method of childproofing your firearm; however, your choice of a storage place can add another element of safety. Carefully choose the storage place in your home especially if children may be around.
  • Do not store your firearm where it is visible.
  • Do not store your firearm in a bedside table, under your mattress or pillow, or on a closet shelf.
  • Do not store your firearm among your valuables (such as jewelry or cameras) unless it is locked in a secure container.
  • Consider storing firearms not possessed for self-defense in a safe and secure manner away from the home.

The San Diego Police Department has offered the phone number to the SDPD Pistol Range [(619) 527-6070] as a resource for answers to any questions about gun safety. If you have any questions about whether a firearm in your home is stored safely, we strongly encourage you to reach out to them or another source of gun safety expertise for clarification.

Thank you for taking the time to read up on gun violence prevention, and for doing your part to keep make your family safer in your home, your home safer in your community, and your community safer in a country where gun violence does not have to be such a routine occurrence.

Our Advocacy Committee will be talking a lot about the “how” of impacting policy and legislation, and we’ll be choosing some specific issues to address as a congregation. But, whatever issue you’re passionate about, we want to help you make a difference. The first step is determining who you’re going to contact.

We all share the same two US Senators.  Here is the contact information for their San Diego offices:

Senator Diane Feinstein:
880 Front Street, Suite 4236, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 231-9712

Senator Kamala Harris:
600 B Street, Suite 2240, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 239 – 3884

City of San Diego: https://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil

City of La Mesa:  http://www.cityoflamesa.com/Directory.aspx?did=11

City of El Cajon: https://www.cityofelcajon.us/your-government/city-council/city-council-contacts

San Diego County: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/general/bos.html

California State Legislators (Assembly & Senate):  http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html

US House of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

There are many wonderful resources for learning about the issues and we will be sharing those as we delve into the world of advocacy.  One of the best comes from our own Jewish movement it is the California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:

https://rac.org/california-religious-action-center-reform-judaism

We hope you will use these resources to educate yourself and determine who your elected officials are. To contact us, please email advocacy@teesd.org. Let it be the first step in joining us in making our voices heard.

According to this article from the LA Times, gun sales are spiking in the United States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that these are challenging times for all Americans, many of whom feel a firearm is a necessary purchase to protect themselves and their families.

We at the TEESD Advocacy Committee thought this would be a good opportunity to remind the community of the importance of exercising safe firearm storage and use.

While a firearm can offer some a sense of security, to purchase a deadly weapon is to take on a tremendous responsibility for the safety of all those who could potentially access it. This article from KBPS quotes The San Diego City Attorney’s Office “[urging] families with guns in the home to practice proper firearm safety while self-quarantining to keep the weapons out of the hands of children.”

In the article, KPBS speaks to City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office who says,

“When you have guns and children in the home and do not practice safe storage, you are increasing the risk that someone will be accidentally shot,” Elliott said. “Children are very resourceful when it comes to locating things their parents thought they’d never find. When they find a gun, it often leads to tragedy.”

The city’s Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, which was authored by Elliott and went into effect last year, requires San Diego gun owners to store firearms in a locked container or to secure guns with a trigger lock unless they are in the immediate control of an authorized user.”

According to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, every day in the United States eight children and teens are shot in instances of family fire — a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home resulting in injury or death.

The California Office of the Attorney General offers a number of tips for storing your firearms safely.

  • Always store your firearm unloaded.
  • Use a firearms safety device AND store the firearm in a locked container.
  • Store the ammunition separately in a locked container.
  • Always storing your firearm securely is the best method of childproofing your firearm; however, your choice of a storage place can add another element of safety. Carefully choose the storage place in your home especially if children may be around.
  • Do not store your firearm where it is visible.
  • Do not store your firearm in a bedside table, under your mattress or pillow, or on a closet shelf.
  • Do not store your firearm among your valuables (such as jewelry or cameras) unless it is locked in a secure container.
  • Consider storing firearms not possessed for self-defense in a safe and secure manner away from the home.

The San Diego Police Department has offered the phone number to the SDPD Pistol Range [(619) 527-6070] as a resource for answers to any questions about gun safety. If you have any questions about whether a firearm in your home is stored safely, we strongly encourage you to reach out to them or another source of gun safety expertise for clarification.

Thank you for taking the time to read up on gun violence prevention, and for doing your part to keep make your family safer in your home, your home safer in your community, and your community safer in a country where gun violence does not have to be such a routine occurrence.