River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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UU Legislative Ministry

The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULM-MD) envisions a Maryland free of oppression and injustice, where all are guaranteed their human rights. The UULM-MD will address this vision by alerting, educating, activating, and facilitating the state-wide Unitarian Universalist base to address human rights and public policy issues before federal, Maryland state, and local governments.

Actions being implemented include: creating a Congregation Liaison Council with a representative from each of Maryland's 23 congregations; enlisting congregation support, involvement, and affiliation; recruiting an Annapolis Corps to be available on short notice to participate in rallies, hearings, and press conferences; involving Maryland UU youth in advocacy issues, training and action; and recruiting a UU seminary student intern. In December, 2006, the Social Justice Council of RRUUC voted unanimously to affiliate with UULM-MD.

An email-based information and alert system has been implemented. Products were created to increase UULM-MD visibility, including a membership brochure, a banner, a web site, and a display board. Other products included: stickers, letterhead, a telephone, registered domain name, systems for conference calls, fliers, background papers, and testimonies; all of these products greatly enhance UULM-MD's efficiency and effectiveness.

In the 2006 Legislative Session: UULM-MD focused on three priority issues and was actively involved in defeating seven proposals to put on the ballot a Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage; overriding the

Governor's veto of a bill requiring large employers to provide health coverage (WalMart Bill); and passing the strongest air pollution law at that time in the country-the Healthy Air Act. Partnerships and collaboration with other UU groups and secular organizations involved in the issues were key in the success. UUs have established a presence in Annapolis as a liberal religious voice expressing their concerns and values, and participated in public witness through UULM-MD.

Contact: Don Chery