Postcard from Rhode Island: AAM Talks Trade at UUA Convention

Posted by mmcmullan on 07/09/2014

Greetings from the Ocean State!

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Field Coordinators Linda Murch and Rachel Bennett Steury recently attended the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly in Rhode Island. They weren’t alone, as more than 4,600 delegates from all over the world attended the annual meeting to worship, witness, learn, connect, and vote on UUA policy. And many of them — from as nearby as Providence and far away as Transylvania —came to visit AAM’s booth to talk about jobs, fair trade, and social justice. 

AAM and UUA share a common mission to ensure our trade practices do not disadvantage or exploit working people. It is AAM’s goal to make sure legislators understand that inequality and unfair trade can be a detriment to an economic revival in the US — not to mention a cause environmental, workplace and social degradation overseas. Working people across the globe should be able to make an honest living for themselves, free from fear or exploitation caused by bad policy and political agendas. Unfair trade eliminates common decency and equity from those equations.

At this year’s assembly, delegates approved a 4-year Congregational Study/Action Issue around escalating inequality. It explains:

Upward mobility—the American Dream—has become a myth. Concentration of wealth and power has skyrocketed. King’s dream of justice and equality has fractured. Half of all Americans are impoverished or struggling, as the middle class shrinks and billionaires take the profits. Where’s our commitment to the Common Good?

Among many other things, the four-year program will:

Study root causes of inequality, such as corporate globalization, “free trade”, outsourcing, privatization, tax shifting and evasion, subsidies and bailouts, monopoly, suppression of labor, money in politics, “externalizing” social and environmental costs, “free market” / libertarian ideologies, deregulation, unlimited income / wealth.

We are pleased to be aligned with an organization that doesn’t stand on the sidelines but instead stands up, stands tall, and works toward justice. Congratulations to the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community for their tireless efforts addressing inequality through this study. Together we can make a difference.

This post was authored by AAM Field Coordinator Rachel Bennett Steury.

Linda is pictured with Dale McCormick, a delegate from Maine, a good example of someone living through Unitarian Universalist principles for social justice, women’s rights, and political activism. 

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