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Ecumenical Community's Legislative Advocacy Priorities
Complement Call to Renewal's "Covenant to Overcome Poverty"

February 16, 2000, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislative advocacy priorities for the ecumenical community’s joint efforts this year complement the Call to Renewal’s "Covenant to Overcome Poverty," said the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.

When Dr. Edgar stands with other national Christian leaders on the East steps of the U.S. Capitol this morning to launch the covenant and campaign, he will bring a commitment to work to overcome poverty especially through advocacy for the Hunger Relief Act and for minimum wage/living wage legislation.

And he will express the NCC’s particular concern for children in poverty, a concern highlighted in the "Covenant to Overcome Poverty." One in every five children in America – one in every three children of color – is growing up in poverty in America, the covenant notes, and this in the strongest economy in the wealthiest nation in history.

Work for passage of the Hunger Relief Act and of minimum wage/living wage legislation – along with a commitment to work together against gun violence, to address AIDS in Africa and to advance the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign – were identified in mid-January by an NCC-convened consultation as priorities for their joint public policy advocacy work in the Year 2000.

Participants included some 70 representatives of denominational and ecumenical legislative and social policy offices, representatives of state ecumenical and interfaith agencies and staff of the NCC and its Church World Service and Witness Unit.

The five priorities along with specific action steps will be brought to the NCC’s Executive Board meeting in New York City February 28-29 for endorsement.

Today’s event at the U.S. Capitol concludes the four-day annual summit of Washington, D.C.-based Call to Renewal, an alliance of faith-based organizations uniting to overcome poverty.

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