Report from UUA General Assembly #2

By Peter Holmes

Congregational Study Action Issues (CSAI) and
Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW)

A large chunk of the business meetings at the 2016 GA was taken up making decisions about which CSAI to adopt and which AIW’s to support. Amie Burling and I voted as delegates representing UUCC on these proposals. Four CSAI’s were proposed, and we had to select one issue for study and action within our congregations as part of the larger denominational movement for the next four years. The proposed CSAI’s were:

  1. Climate Change and Environmental Justice
  2. A National Conversation on Race
  3. Ending Gun Violence in America
  4. The Corruption of our Democracy

The CSAI that got the most votes was number 4, the corruption of our democracy. As corporations use “corporate personhood” and “money as speech” for their interests rather than people’s needs, can a constitutional amendment be passed to protect us? Could this further UU work for social and environmental justice and help protect the health and safety of the people and planet?

Three AIW’s were proposed and adopted by delegates:

  1. Build Solidarity with our Muslims Neighbors
  2. Some Guns, All Guns: Legislating Appropriate Restrictions
  3. Stop The Hate: Protect and Support our Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Family

The AIW process allows Unitarian Universalists to respond quickly to social issues deemed urgent. Adopted AIWs are used by congregations in local efforts to take action and recommend action through other departments of the UUA and other Unitarian Universalist groups.

I found myself thinking about all the many social issues our congregation is trying to address. Our energy often seems to be spread very thin and consequently we do not make much progress in any one particular area. What if we decided to adopt just one particular issue each year, put our own favorite cause aside, and all work together to really create change? Could we not be more effective in our actions by doing this?