CSOA Lobbies Against Hate and for Building Security

It helps to give the local perspective to elected officials.

Earlier this week I “Zoom lobbied” in favor of five federal bills of importance to the larger Jewish community, touching on many forms of hatred including antisemitism, with the ADL-Midwest (Anti-Defamation League), JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) and the Jewish United Fund.  Over two days, 100 volunteers and staff from six Midwest states took the virtual bus to travel “up the Hill” to 24 Congressional meetings. I was one of two Wisconsin participants and met with the offices of Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Il), Rep. Angie Craig (MN) and Rep. Ron Kind (WI).

I couldn’t speak directly about issues in Illinois and Minnesota though did get asked to carry back personal greetings to some of our members who know their members. (You know how that goes.)

I was able to speak quite on point to Congressman Kind’s staff about our La Crosse community’s security concerns and need for two measures in particular to be enacted: an increase in funding of the Non-Profit Security Grant Program and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350/S. 963). I mentioned the uneasiness we sometimes feel with our building’s visual exposure on Main Street, and our high financial cost of providing police presence.

Rep. Kind’s staff asked to be kept in the loop regarding our needs and our observations. I invite you to do that by contacting Rep. Kind directly or through his congressional aide, Ben.Hutterer@mail.house.gov.

The other bills lobbied by the ADL and other Jewish groups in the large coalition were the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Equity Act (H.R. 5/S. 393, and Jabera-Beyer NO HATE Act. I can send you summaries and why they are relevant.

I was happy to engage virtually with members of Congress to share our support for legislation that responds to recent increases in extremism, antisemitism, and hate.

Maureen Freedland