With a reverence for human life, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur take action on issues that we believe violate basic human needs and rights. Our actions include education, advocacy and prayer.
We welcome your participation as we work towards the common good both here and abroad. Our main issues include:
- Abolishing the death penalty in California
- Advocating for stricter gun control
- Abolishing human trafficking
- Promoting care of the earth
- Abolishing crippling debt for developing nations
- Promoting just laws for immigrants
- Overcoming racism
Fracking in Our Backyard
The Sierra Club is warning people in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito Counties that our environment is threatened by fracking. SB4, a law which favors big oil, does not require frackers to disclose how much water or what chemicals they use. Nor do they have to monitor seismic activity as a consequence of fracking, have to conduct any environmental review beforehand, or have to obtain a permit to limit the number of wells they drill!
This is unconscionable!!!
Currently, in San Benito County water and toxic chemicals are being are being forced into oil wells and possibly in Sargent Ranch oil field near Gilroy.Our drinking water could contain hydrochloric acid, lead, and mercury, without our knowledge.
We have written extensively in the past about the far-reaching negative effects of fracking elsewhere in the United States, but it is happening in California too and now in our backyard. Here's a chilling article from Earth Justice.
- Pray that oil company executives and personnel open their eyes to the ravages of fracking technology.
- Act by urging Governor Brown to support a moratorium on fracking as New York State has just done. Call 916-445-2841.
Death Penalty Thoughts…
You may have heard that federal judge Cormac Carney recently ruled California's death penalty system as unconstitutional. He said that because of the "inordinate and unpredictable delay…it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment." In other words, if someone receives a death sentence, the sentence should be meted out in a timely fashion, not delayed and appealed ad infinitum. According to the New York Times "about 40 percent of California's 748 death row inmates have been there for more than 19 years." Since 1976 there have been just 13 executions, the last one in 2006.
But rather than trying to "fix" this broken, flawed, expensive system, isn't it time California got out of the execution business? Isn't it time for California to join the list of states that no longer have death penalties?
Yes, let's be tough on crime. Let's lock up those who commit heinous crimes to life in prison without possibility of parole. Let's have them work to provide some restitution to the victim's family. And let's use the millions of dollars spent on the broken death penalty system for better things, like education and poverty eradication.
P.S. You might be interested in looking at the Death Penalty Pros and Cons website.
- Changing Concern Into Action – Sisters of Notre Dame Justice & Peace e-Newsletter
- Jubilee USA – "Joining hands to break the chains of debt"
- Safe California – "Replacing the death penalty with justice that works"
- Fair Trade USA – "Every purchase matters"
Please contact Sr. Margaret Hoffman if you are interested in learning more.