Advocate for the Jubilee Act

Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation.

As part of Ecumenical Advocacy Days I advocated on Capitol Hill for the first time.  I asked for Jubileeacttakeactioniconrou_01 comprehensive immigration reform, and for the passage of the Jubilee Act, a bill that would help address the root causes of immigration.  This experience left me feeling encouraged that I had a voice in the system, and I recommend trying a face-to-face visit on any issue that you feel passionate about.

In the late 1990s people of faith advocated to pass two Jubilee Acts, one in 1999 and one in 2005,after which 28 impoverished countries received cancellation of eligible debt.

The Jubilee Act of 2009 calls on Congress to broaden debt cancellation eligibility to 22 more of the world's most impoverished countries (up from 40 countries currently eligible).

If debt is canceled in these impoverished countries, their governments will have more resources to use towards education, health, and public infrastructure projects.  With these core programs strengthened, there will not be as much need to seek employment elsewhere, thus the need for economic immigration will be lessened.

Debt cancellation will also help the global environment and health.  With more funds going to public infrastructure and health more people worldwide will have access to clean water and sanitation, and the environment will gain as well.  With the savingsfrom debt relief, Mozambique vaccinated 500,000 children.  In Zambia fees for rural health care were abolished in 2006 after debt relief.

More action on debt cancellation is needed, along with just lending measures for the future.  Every day $100 million is spent on debt service, which takes money away from education, clean water, health care, and the global environment in impoverished countries.

Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Jubilee Act, through the Jubilee USA Network.  And, if you feel particularly moved by this issue, visit your representative on Capitol Hill or at a home office – this act of witness will give you a feeling of power for standing with our neighbors in need of basic services and protection.

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