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Social Justice Committee - July Update

Social Justice Committee                                                                                            By Carl Selkin, SJC Co-Chair                                                                                                                                                   

 We are in a tsunami of Supreme Court activism that is impacting many aspects of   our lives, from today’s canceling of the protection of women’s rights to abortion   under Roe v. Wade, to that of concealed carry gun laws, to the challenge to   regulations protecting our food, air and water as “Chevron deference” is re-   examined, replacing informed decision-making in regulation—all changes that   will   require information, evaluation and legislation. Watch for opportunities to   protect our environment, our freedom to love whom we please, our ability to feel safe from gun violence, and our right to cast our votes and have them counted as we pursue the Social Justice Committee mission: To respond to societal conditions and contemporary issues based on traditional Jewish values and the prophetic admonition--Tzedek, tzedek tirdofe, “Justice, justice shall you pursue.”

   Members of the Social Justice Committee turned out in Pasadena to support the March for Our Lives on June 11, a nationwide protest against the gun violence that claims 45,000 lives each year (based on 2021). The Parkland, Florida student-survivors of the mass murder in Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School four years ago have been campaigning to support reforms like those instituted in Florida after the shootings—including red flag laws and restrictions to gun purchases by people under 21.  The group has been instrumental in moving the Congress to craft the first new gun control legislation in three decades.

   The SJC has been active in local efforts to combat climate change.  On June 13, the Pasadena city council scheduled action to craft a new ordinance supported by the Pasadena Building Electrification coalition in which the Social Justice Committee participates, providing input to city council members, Mayor Gordo and various commissions and committees. This ordinance will be before the Pasadena City Council on July 11.  It will require major new construction and renovations to rely solely on electricity and not to include natural gas infrastructure, a key component of the movement for Pasadena to transition completely from electricity generated from carbon-fueled power generation by 2030.

   On June 19th, Juneteenth, a small group toured the newly installed trail of historical markers in the Parsons redevelopment complex. These informative, well-designed additions trace the history of the African-American, Japanese-American and other minority communities divided and displaced by the 134 and 210 freeways. Kathy Kobayashi pointed out that one of the photos in the display was reproduced from the book Shades of L.A. that Kathy and Carolyn Kozo Cole created and published in 1996. 

   For information about the Social Justice Committee, please email and view some of our programs on our YouTube channel, including an interview of George Gascon by Anne-Marie Otey, a youth climate panel, and our interview of Rick Tulsky of Injustice Watch.

Sun, March 26 2023 4 Nisan 5783