VOTING BEGINS MONDAY
It’s time to get ready to vote! County auditors can open for in-person absentee voting and begin mailing ballots this Monday, Oct. 5.
If you’re not sure you’re registered to vote, or to download an absentee ballot request form, click here: voterready.iowa.gov/.
Of course, you can also vote in-person on Election Day, Nov. 3.
Have you put the work in to properly form your conscience? Start here with information from the bishops of Iowa: iowacatholicconference.org/bishops-urge-iowa-catholics-to-inform-their-consciences-and-get-involved-in-the-political-process/.
You are also encouraged to take the “Civilize It” pledge and find resources to help you engage in civil dialogue at www.civilizeit.org.
ASK CONGRESS TO PROVIDE COVID-19 RELIEF
It’s time to take action! Congress is set to leave town and they still have not provided relief to those who are suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), failure to act would leave millions of people struggling to pay rent, buy food, afford healthcare, maintain employment, and meet their basic human needs.
You can send a message on the issue to your members of Congress at www.votervoice.net/USCCB/campaigns/77500/respond.
Unfortunately, the U.S. House Democrats’ new COVID-19 aid package, the revised Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, provides no equitable services for students in non-public schools and maintains language that prohibits any funds from being used to provide financial assistance to non-public school children. The USCCB supports robust education aid for all students, however, it is unacceptable that any aid proposal would specifically exclude any children.
The bill includes helpful provisions on the bishops’ nutrition and housing priorities, several of our priorities to meet the current needs of migrants, additional funding and changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, an extension of the 50% coverage for reimbursing nonprofit unemployment costs to mid-next year, and additional international assistance.
Interestingly, a RealClear Opinion Research survey of 2,020 registered voters shows increasing support for school choice and for specific policy proposals. Since the last poll in April, there's been a ten-point jump in support for the concept of school choice, from 67% to 77%, among public school parents.
U.S. BISHOPS’ VIRTUAL ROSARY STARTS OCT. 7
The USCCB will host a virtual rosary event on October 7, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, has called for this moment of prayer with the intention of uniting Catholics across the country at this time when there is much unrest and uncertainty.
Archbishop Gomez has invited several bishops, representing the various geographical regions of the United States, to pray a part of the rosary. It will premiere on the USCCB’s YouTube channel and Facebook page on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.
POPE TO RELEASE ENCYCLICAL THIS WEEKEND
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis will sign a new encyclical, “Fratelli tutti,” on Saturday. The topic is expected to be fraternity and social friendship. The title is a reference to the writings of St. Francis: "Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who to save His sheep bore the suffering of the Cross" (Admonitions, 6, 1: FF155).
APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED TO HELP WITH HEATING COSTS
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is accepting applications to help low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. Applications are taken at your local community action agency. To find your local agency, you may call 211, or visit humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU?
United Ways of Iowa has partnered with the University of Northern Iowa's Strategic Marketing Services to ask Iowans how the pandemic has affected their family finances, childcare arrangements and employment opportunities. This work will help Iowa United Ways support communities throughout recovery. There’s an opportunity to win one of 10 gift cards for gas/groceries worth $50. Click here to take the survey.