Testimony in Maryland

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Decriminalization, MD

Daniel Morhaim, Maryland House of Delegates; Rev. Alexander Sharp, Clergy for a New Drug Policy; Grant Smith, Drug Policy Alliance; and Rev. Alex Vishio, United Church of Christ, Central Atlantic Conference testify before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee.

Sometimes the most important thing you can do if you want to change somebody’s mind is not to argue, but instead, ask a question that gets at the very heart of the matter. This is exactly what Delegate Daniel Morhaim did last week as he introduced legislation before Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee that, if passed, could at long last bring an end to the War on Drugs in this country.

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Clergy & Lay Leaders Against Affordable Care Act Repeal

Rev. Saeed Richardson Take Action

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides coverage for ambulatory services, hospitalization, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, rehabilitative services, and other provisions. Repealing this care would eliminate health care for over 20 million Americans, including over one million children. Nearly 2.8 million would lose eligibility for substance abuse treatment. 

Republicans and Democrats across the country are expressing concern over these actions. Agencies like the Illinois Health and Hospital Association estimate that repeal without replacement would result in losses of up to $13.1 billion of economic activity equating to a potential maximum of 95,000 jobs loss.


CNDP urges clergy persons and lay leaders to join in this action. Use the icons below to share this message with other religious leaders and take action by clicking the image above or the button below.

Clergy Voices for Obamacare

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Harm Reduction 1237 Comments

Photo credit Tabitha Kaylee Hawk

Among the relentless flow of President Trump’s executive orders over the past two weeks, the one instructing Congress to move toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, received comparatively little attention. Perhaps this is because, unlike banning immigrants from entering the country, it was far less obvious that revising health care eligibility for millions could happen with the stroke of a pen.

But the debate in Congress will heat up soon enough, presumably with the confirmation of a Secretary of Human Services. When it does, we should all, especially clergy, enter the fray — and not just for the obvious reasons.
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A Challenge to Governor Rauner

Rev. Saeed Richardson Harm Reduction 1330 Comments

Image (cropped) via source

On January 31, Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth urged Governor Bruce Rauner to speak out in support of The Affordable Care Act. Their letter is reprinted here.

January 31, 2017

The Honorable Bruce Rauner
Governor, State of Illinois
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Rauner:

As you are aware, Republican leaders in Congress have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without enacting a simultaneous replacement plan. Nationwide, this strategy threatens to disrupt our entire healthcare system—subjecting patients, providers, hospitals, and insurers to chaos. As Governor of our state, we seek your input on how to improve our health care system and urge you to stand on the side of Illinoisans in opposing any action that would reduce coverage, increase costs, reduce the quality of health care, burden our providers, or harm our state’s economy.

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Moving Backward with Sessions

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Mandatory Minimums, Privatization of Prisons, Racial Inequality

Photo credit via Flickr

The likely confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to be U.S. attorney general is deeply troubling. He believes people who possess marijuana should be arrested. He has recently opposed reform of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and appears to support privatized prisons. Surely clemency is beyond the pale.

But the real difficulty goes far deeper than his views about particular policies. He threatens to take us back to the days before we became aware of our national collective responsibility for mass incarceration.

It is only seven years – how much longer it seems – since Michelle Alexander told us in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness that the United States puts more people in prison per capita than any nation on earth and relegates African American and Hispanic communities to third-world status. Her landmark book exposed the War on Drugs, exploding in the 1980’s, as the primary cause.Read More