Our Faith Our Vote is a United Church of Christ (UCC) campaign focused on faithful, nonpartisan engagement in the electoral process. As Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries for the UCC, said recently, “We are the church. We’re not going to tell you who to vote for. But I am going to tell you to vote for yourself, for your principles, for what you say you live by.”
Plymouth Our Faith Our Vote Campaign: The Justice and Peace Action Network (P-JPAN)* is leading the Plymouth 2020 Our Faith Our Vote (OFOV) Campaign. The OFOV Campaign employs 3 strategies – Voter Registration, Issue Education, and Get Out the Vote (GOTV). Watch the Plymouth Weekly for regular updates on the OFOV project, or check back here for updated information on the Plymouth website.
Voter Registration & GOTV
We encourage Plymouth members to be sure you are registered to vote or to register if you are not already registered. The following link will take you to the UCC Civic Action Center, where you can check and/or update voter registration information online: https://p2a.co/zv3KyiE.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, P-JPAN has been urging Plymouth members to vote absentee as a safe way to vote. If you decide to vote absentee, there are two (2) options for how you can cast your absentee ballot for this election:
- A voter may request and cast an absentee ballot in person at the county election office. (Iowa code§53.10)
- A voter may request and cast an absentee ballot via mail. (Iowa code §53.8)
Note that to receive an absentee ballot, you must fill out a blank Absentee Ballot Request Form, not a form that had your personal information already pre-filled out. Also, your request for an absentee ballot must be received by the county auditor no later than 5 pm on October 24.
And remember, when you receive your absentee ballot, complete it right away being sure to following the instructions carefully, and mail it or take it to your county auditor’s office. Do not delay! Make sure your vote is counted!
To track the status of your absentee ballot, you can check the Secretary of State’s tracker by clicking here.
If you decide to vote in person on election day, please note the following.
- The polls will be open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on November 3, Election Day.
- Due to COVID-19, your polling place may be different this election. If you have questions, you can contact your county auditor’s office to find the location of your polling place.
- If you had previously requested an absentee ballot, but have decided instead that you want to vote in-person on Election Day, you must take your absentee ballot with you and surrender it at the polling place in order to vote in-person.
We are supporting community organizations that serve people of color, immigrants and poor people by identifying opportunities for Plymouth members to plug into community voter registration and GOTV efforts.
So far, we have identified the following volunteer opportunities.
NAACP will be hosting voter registration tables at various community parks from 1-3 p.m. on Sundays August 23, September 13 and September 27. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Mary Nelson at maryandsteve@Q.com.
The League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) needs 40 volunteers for a postcard project to encourage voter participation in precincts with low voter turnout. Volunteers will be provided a list of voters, pre-printed postcards and stamps; and will be asked to add a personal note and mail the postcards. Postcards will be available beginning September 2, can be completed at home, and need to be mailed by September 25. To volunteer, contact Alicia Claypool at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) is targeting diverse neighborhoods across Des Moines with low voter registration numbers and/or low rates of voting, where they can park a mobile voter registration unit on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. While they do not need volunteers, they are looking for suggested locations where people can see the truck, stop, park, register to vote, and complete an absentee ballot request form. Please send any suggestions to Christie Gerken at email@example.com.
We are holding a series of five Zoom webinars on “Creating God’s Kingdom on Earth.” The title is drawn from a passage in Marcus Borg’s “The Heart of Christianity” where the author points to the line from the Lord’s Prayer,“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” as evidence of God’s passion for justice here on Earth. Speakers will re-imagine a better world – for economic security, the environment, public safety, and for welcoming migrants and refugees.
To prepare for the 2020 elections, the United Church of Christ, D.C. office, with the help of ecumenical friends and partners, has prepared several issue one-pagers, which are listed below in the Resource section for each webinar. We are in the midst of a critical election year, and it is important that we consider some of the major topics and how our faith informs our vote. We hope these issue one- pagers and other resources help you learn about these topics vital to the upcoming elections, allow you to view the topic through the lens of your faith, and guide you to action.
Webinars are scheduled on Zoom from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesdays from September 9 through October 7. Just follow this link to join each of the webinars: https://zoom.us/j/96425536868. All are welcome! Speakers include national and local leaders. No preregistration is needed.
September 9: Re-imagining a Better World After COVID-19 – Lessons Learned from the Great Depression.
Speakers: Sheena Thomas and George Dorsey, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) leaders.
AMOS focuses on concrete, specific, and winnable solutions to the problems plaguing families in our community; using a bottom-up, grassroots process of listening and telling our stories. Issues are identified and solutions formed through volunteer, citizen-led teams and small group house meetings. Over its twenty year history, AMOS has amassed an impressive track record of finding solutions to otherwise divisive, complex public problems through an intensive, win-win, non-partisan approach to politics.
The webinar is a look at the parallels between the 1930’s and now, and what ideas might be pertinent to today’s world. AMOS wants your thoughts, your leadership and your action as we question our candidates, both local and national over the next two months.
Missed the Webinar?
Click here to open the recording, and enter this password: *$uVJ6^*
September 16: Re-imagining an America with Economic Security.
Speakers: Natalie Robinson and Ayisha Al-Hassan, Co-Chairs of the Iowa Poor People’s Campaign.
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America. They sought to build a broad, fusion movement that could unite poor and impact communities across the country. Their movement was named “The Poor People’s Campaign”. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work. The webinar will focus on the PPC’s Jubilee Policy Platform.
The PPC also offers additional training for those interested in becoming a MORE (Mobilize, Organize, Register, Educate) organizer to do outreach within your own community to connect people to register to vote and complete the census, receive important election updates and reminders, and learn more about the Jubilee Policy Platform, while preparing to get involved with the Poor People’s Campaign. Anyone can be a MORE organizer. MORE training is scheduled September 6, 13, and 20 at 3 p.m.; and September 12 and 26 at 2 p.m. Register for a session at: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/voting/more-registration/.
Missed the Webinar?
Click here to open the recording, and enter this password: %@N5xM*=
September 23: Re-imagining Creation Justice.
Speaker: Rev. Brooks Berndt, the UCC Minister for Environmental Justice. Hosted by Amy Elbert, chair of the Plymouth Creation Care & Justice Coalition.
Rev. Brooks Berndt is the author of Cathedral on Fire!: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis. He writes and edits an environmental justice newsletter called The Pollinator, and co-hosts monthly Creation Justice Webinars.
This webinar will include a discussion of the church’s role in dealing with climate change, environmental justice and how people of faith must protect God’s creation for future generations.
Missed the Webinar?
Click here to open the recording, and enter this password: GRXS81.?
September 30: Re-imagining an America that Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees.
Speakers: Rev. Noel Andersen, UCC National Immigration Collaborative and National Grassroots Coordinator, Church World Service; and Alejandro Murguia-Ortiz, Community Organizer, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)/Iowa Justice for Our Neighbor (soon to be Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice).
The issue of immigration has increasingly become a controversial issue within our nation’s politics, how should we think about these questions as people of faith? As part of Plymouth’s Our Faith Our Vote educational webinar series, speakers will discuss the issue of immigration and how faith communities are called to re-imagine an America that welcomes immigrants and refugees. Speakers will present the national, state and local landscape of immigration policies, how they impact our immigrant neighbors, and the implications of the upcoming election. Time will also be provided for questions and discussion to further explore this critical issue within our current political debates and the role faith communities play in responding.
Missed the Webinar?
Click here to open the recording, and enter this password: 6gf6?9s%
OFOV: One Page Immigration
AFSC Iowa Action
October 7: Re-imagining Public Safety.
Speaker: Erin Lain, J.D., Ph. D., Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion, Professor of Law, Drake University.
Missed the Webinar?
Click here to open the recording, and enter this password: w%9bwWX!
OFOV: One Page Racial Justice
The New Jim Crow (book)
Serial- Season 3 (podcast)
Throughline: American Police (podcast)
Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court (book)
One of the Des Moines Black Lives Matter group to city council is to create a civilian review board which will investigate the actions of DMPD officers.
To take action this week, read this article about civilian review boards and this article about how to write to your city council member. Then, send your city council member or one of the at-large members a letter supporting the civilian review board demand.
More Information: Watch the Plymouth Weekly for regular updates on the OFOV project. You can also visit this page for updated information as well.
*P-JPAN members include the Board of Christian Social Action, Creation Care and Justice Coalition, Cuba Partnership Team, Anti-Racism Committee (ARC), Welcoming Migrants Committee (WMC), Peace Committee, Human Trafficking Committee, and A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS).