Many thanks to everyone who made the New Person of the Year award dinner such a hopeful and sincere celebration of Wasi Mohamed’s work and vision. Here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to since the last issue of the NewPeople.
TMC was one of the founding organizations of the Our Water, Our Rivers Campaign coalition pushing for safe, affordable, publicly owned water in the Pittsburgh region, and we’re excited to expand this work into the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint service area. Almost fifty residents came out to the first meeting in Wilkinsburg. The board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority also pledged not to allow privatization of our public water in the future.
We’re hosting monthly research nights to investigate powerful people and organizations affecting our region, and this month we partnered with Clean Air Council to host an event with volunteers researching Allegheny County Council. Contact info@ThomasMertonCenter.org if you’d like to partner on a research night related to a campaign you’re working on.
We joined the lobby day in Harrisburg organized by the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, gathered postcards to Governor Wolf supporting the Driving PA Forward campaign to allow undocumented people to apply for drivers licenses, and hosted a reportback from an interfaith delegation to Honduras. We also partnered with Casa San Jose, Just Harvest, and Pittsburgh United on an event gathering public comments opposing the Trump administration’s proposed changes to housing assistance programs that could lead to the eviction of roughly 100,000 immigrant families.
TMC endorsed the proposed legislation to create a public registry of oil and gas leases in Allegheny County. This registry would allow activists to organize far more effectively against the toxic fracking industry, and we plan to help make sure this legislation passes as soon as possible.
The TMC board and the coordinating committee of Pittsburghers for Public Transit also voted to become coplaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Uber demanding that they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
We were also thrilled to participate in the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress in DC last month. The Poor People’s Campaign aims to fight five interlocking injustices: systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, and distorted and misguided religious nationalism. We remain committed to helping lead the fight against militarism and the war economy as part of an interlocked system of oppressions.