Workers’ group stands up to Bishops in Portland

Written By BFC


July 16, 2014


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News broke yesterday that a small Portland, OR based workers’ rights organization called VOZ is standing up to the Bishops after they were told to cut ties with an LGBT friendly ally group, or lose a critical $75,000 grant.

The workers of VOZ stood up and told the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that they would prefer to lose their grant than lose their principles.

VOZ has told CCHD: “We are a worker-led organization that empowers immigrants and day laborers to gain control over their working conditions. At the root of that mission, is the pursuit of justice and equality for all immigrants and day laborers. We have always found that to do this, we need all allies, day laborers, and immigrants to stand together in unity.

The philosophy of building borders between friends and allies has long been a debilitating instrument to slow the advancement of social justice and equality. Alone we cannot achieve anything.

Martin Luther King Jr., the namesake of our Worker Center once said: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

We stand with [our friends at the National Council of La Raza]. We stand with their values.”

They are calling on Catholics to stand with them.  CCHD faces pressure from vocal groups advocating these guilt by association policies; let’s make sure they know Catholics don’t believe in this bullying!  Sign the petition and find out more here.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is an official program of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Each fall, Catholics in the pews are asked to donate during Mass to a “special collection” which funds the grants given by the CCHD to domestic antipoverty efforts. This annual appeal funds millions in grants like the one they gave VOZ to help the workers of Portland create change. Now they are using that money to bully organizations like VOZ, and draw lines between allies.

This is not the first time CCHD has used connections to LGBT friendly groups as an excuse to take a grant away from an organization relying on it. Now VOZ is scrambling to find how it will provide health insurance to its staff and keep alive its state-wide campaign to stop wage theft, you can help.   Let’s stand with these amazing workers!


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