The following comes from an April 25 Catholic Voice article by Michele Jurich:
Catholics from around California converged on Sacramento to visit their elected representatives and advocate for legislation on Catholic Advocacy Day.
The issues they discussed on April 19 ranged from additions to the assisted-suicide legislation passed last year, and matters of restorative justice, human trafficking and tax relief for teachers.
In scheduled meetings with Assembly members and state senators, or in some cases, members of their staffs, the diocesan representatives expressed their opposition to two actions under consideration: the establishment of a state-funded 800 telephone number to provide information on the end-of-life option and another that would provide state funds to Medi-Cal recipients to end their own lives.
Before heading to the Capitol, the California Catholics attended a prayer service, led by Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, in the hall of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
Ned Dolejsi of the California Catholic Conference told the 100 assembled participants about the busy day ahead of them, offering brief descriptions of the legislation on the table, and reminding them that they are the “voices of many.”
“I don’t think we changed any legislators’ minds on the issue of assisted suicide,” Gwen Watson said after visits at three offices. “But I felt we made the aides we spoke with better informed on the matter of the toll-free phone number.
Irene Alonso-Perez said she has been active in her parish’s family-to-family program with Catholic Charities, and is now involved in efforts to fight human trafficking.
Jaime Perez, her husband, said the issue of the tax relief for teachers hit home. The Catholic group is advocating for a tax credit for teachers who, within five years after receiving their credential, must complete continuing education that can cost about $2,500.