The Jewish Center for Justice made great strides in 2021 (see our recap video here). However, our work is far from complete. Here are just five of our top justice goals for the upcoming year of 2022.
Pass voting rights legislation
Several voting rights bills are currently on the floor of the Senate but have yet to come to a vote. Our mission in 2022 is to advocate fiercely to get these vital pieces of legislation passed, including The Freedom to Vote Act, The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and The For the People Act.
The Freedom to Vote Act would require same-day voter registration at all voting locations by 2024, ensure two-week early voting for all federal elections, restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated people, and eliminate extreme gerrymandering.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted in the 2013 Supreme Court decision of Shelby v. Holder.
The For the People Act would make it easier to vote in federal elections, end congressional gerrymandering, overhaul federal campaign finance laws, increase safeguards against foreign interference, strengthen government ethics rules, and more.
Pass pieces of the Build Back Better agenda
Although the Build Back Better Act did not pass in 2021, there are aspects of the Build Back Better agenda that could be passed in the coming weeks. We plan to spend our time working with members of Congress to pass significant economic justice pieces of this bill to ensure that millions of Americans receive the help they need, from health care to child tax credits to over $150 billion in affordable housing.
Protect reproductive rights
In 2021, we witnessed an unprecedented assault on reproductive rights from a conservative Supreme Court. States including Texas, Mississippi, and others began to chip away at the foundation of Roe v. Wade, making it more difficult for an individual to access safe and affordable reproductive care.
In 2022, we will work with states such as California, Washington, and New York to expand access to choice and ensure that there are safe places to receive care. We will also work directly with private organizations and institutions to help with abortion-related travel needs.
As our Legislative Fellows did this past summer, we will not stop advocating for the Senate to pass The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, also called H.R. 3755, which passed the House of Representatives in September 2021 and will help codify the right to choice.
Support environmental justice initiatives
Although 2021 saw devastating fires and floods due to the effects of climate change, it was also a banner year for global, national, state and local initiatives to combat climate change and pursue environmental justice. At November’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, world and local leaders met with counterparts to discuss how to combat this crisis. The Biden administration has taken a leadership role on the world stage and has issued a number of executive orders here at home to lead on climate change.
Our work in 2022 will ensure that there is a greater private-public partnership to combat this crisis, and that we fix infrastructure concerns that have shined a light on issues of environmental injustice.
Fight economic injustices
Being headquartered in California, JCJ begins every year with the goal of alleviating our state’s ongoing housing crisis. Addressing the lack of affordable housing and ensuring that communities remain affordable for their current and future residence is a key priority.
Additionally, with the end of 2021 highlighting inflation problems, now is the time to make gains in the long-standing effort to raise the minimum wage.