Monday, January 4, 2010

Reaching out to Sen. Begich and Reps. Murkowski and Young

An email campaign directed at our legislative delegation in Washington D.C. is one of the methods that we will be using in 2010 to help put an end to the atrocities perpetrated by the government of Sudan. In order to email any one of our legislative delegation, a form available on each website must be completed. Fill out the form.

I have included links to their contact pages below.
Rep. Young
Rep. Murkowski
Sen. Begich

HOUSE RESOLUTION 3081: Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.

Purpose: This legislation provides the following funding to address the crisis in Darfur:$512 million for the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID); $45 million for U.S. programs to train and equip African militaries to participate in UNAMID; $830 million in International Disaster Assistance to address global humanitarian crises, including in Darfur; and $251.35 million for the UN peacekeeping force in Sudan (UNMIS).

Status: Approved by the House 318-106 on July 9, 2009. Awaiting consideration by a House-Senate conference committee.

Action: Call or write your Representatives and urge them to reject any cuts to Darfur funding in the final House-Senate conference report for H.R. 3081.

SENATE BILL 1434: An original bill making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.

Purpose: This legislation provides the following funds to address the crisis in Darfur:$2.125 billion for Contributions to International Peacekeeping, including funds for the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN peacekeeping force in Sudan (UNMIS); $855 million for International Disaster Assistance to address global humanitarian crises, including in Darfur; and $6.632 billion for Diplomatic and Consular programs, including funding for the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and other diplomatic initiatives for Sudan.

Status: Approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations on July 9, 2009. Awaiting floor consideration.

Action: Call or write your U.S. Senator and request that funding for Darfur programs at current levels are protected when the bill is considered by the full Senate.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fundraiser a Huge Success!

Parishoners and visitors to St. Mary's Episcopal Church enjoyed authentic Sudanese food, drumming, and singing on November 15th as part of a fundraiser that netted over $2,000 for Darfur refugee assitance. Most of the money will be used to help Darfuri refugees currently living in displaced persons camps in Africa purchase Berkeley-Darfur Stoves®. These super efficient stoves help decrease Darfuri women and girls' exposure to violence by reducing the amount of time they must spend away from the relative safety of the camps to gather firewood. The rest of the funds are being donated to Church World Service, a highly respected and effective non-profit organization that provides refugee assistance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Legislation Update

HB 92, the Sudan Divestment bill, has moved out of the House State Affairs Committee and on to the House Finance Committee!! This is one BIG step farther than last year's bill got, but a long journey remains.

1. Bill to be heard in (and moved out of) the House Finance Committee.
2. It then goes to the House Rules Committee, which schedules it to go back to the whole House (House floor).
3. In the House, it's in second reading when more amendments may be made.
4. It is forwarded to third reading the same day, debated and voted on.
5. Now it starts all over again in the Senate in the new World Trade Committee. (The Senate can start this process without waiting for HB 92 to get through the House...hopefully, they will!)
6. On to Senate State Affairs.
7. On to Senate Finance.
8. On to Senate Rules.
9. On to Senate Floor second and third readings.
10. If the Senate bill is different than House bill it goes to joint committee then back to each body.
11. When passed it goes to Governor for signature (but can become law without it).

Let's keep the pressure on our representatives, senators, and our Governor. We don't want this bill to stall anywhere in the process.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How You Can Help the Sudanese Families Displaced by Recent Fire

A duplex fire in late February destroyed the homes of two Sudanese families. Sixteen of the family members are children. Tor Gach, the father of one of the families, says that as of today he and his family have found housing, but the other family has not. Nyaret Yoang and her 8 children are staying in a hotel until permanent housing can be found. If you know of a 4-bedroom home for rent, please call 907-980-1473. Nyaret does not speak English well, but her son, Delang, can translate for her.

Besides housing for Nyaret and her children, Tor says their greatest need is furniture. To help meet that need, the Moose's Tooth/Bear Tooth folks are collecting monetary donations at their home office. The money will go directly to the two families to buy replacement furnishings.

Your checks can be mailed to the address below. (Cash should be dropped off there.)
Brooke VanVeckhoven
Fresh Ale Pubs Office
1317 W. Northern Lights Suite 8
Anchorage, AK 99503

Please make the checks out to one of the family representatives:
Nyekan Bichiok
Nyaret Yoang

Thank you for your support, prayers, and well wishes!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sudan Divestment Bill Scheduled for Hearing

On Tuesday, February 24, between 8 and 10 AM, the House State Affairs Committee will discuss House Bill 92 and determine whether or not it will continue its journey toward enactment or die in this Committee. Backed by Governor Palin and members of both parties, this year's Sudan Divestment legislation is more palatable to the state's investment advisers. Even Permanent Fund Executive Director Mike Burns, who testified against divestment legislation last year, told the Juneau Empire that "he'll recommend to the trustees that they no longer oppose the [Sudan Divestment] bills." This is great news and we offer our gratitude to Mr. Burns.

Click here to read more about this year's legislation and the change of heart its fostering in our investment advisers. Then, please call the State Affairs Committee members listed below (and your state representative) to voice your support of the legislation. And, if you're in Juneau on the 24th, attend the hearing and SHOW your support!

Committee Number: 465-4963
Bob Lynn, Chair: 465-4931
Paul Seaton, Vice-Chair: 465-2689
Carl Gatto: 465-3743
Craig Johnson: 465-4993
Peggy Wilson: 465-3824
Max Gruenberg: 465-4940
Pete Petersen: 465-4939

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sudan Awareness Week Kick-Off Full of Celebration

There was standing room only at Grassroots - A Fair Trade Store on February 15th for the Sudan Awareness Week Kick-Off Event. Debbie Bock, a dedicated and super hardworking member of Save Darfur Anchorage, started the 2-hour celebration by providing a great overview of the current situation in Sudan. Sudanese refugees then shared their experiences living in Sudan and their takes on the political situation. The event wrapped up with an hour of traditional Sudanese drumming, singing, and dancing. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Scheduled Feb 22nd Sudan Awareness Week Events

On February 22nd, Save Darfur Anchorage members, Debbie Bock and Nance Blake, will lead Sudan Awareness Week events at the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Palmer's Church of the Covenant, respectively. Both will show a power point presentation they developed about Sudan's history and current situation. Debbie's presentation will begin at 9 AM and Nance's will start at 9:30 AM. Sudanese refugees now living in Sudan will attend the Anchorage event to meet with the public and share their stories.

Letters for Justice will meet from 10:45 to 11:45 AM in the basement of Holy Family Cathedral to write letters to Governor Palin encouraging her continued support of divestment from Sudan. To learn more about the Divest for Darfur effort, visit the Sudan Divestment Task Force website.