In Central Oregon, We March

August 28th, 2013

Dear ROPnetters:

This Spring, 50 of us traveled by bus across Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District and into Washington and Idaho to call for just immigration reform and drivers licenses as part of the March for ONE Oregon.  We experienced incredible highs: the largest march ever known to Hermiston, hundreds lining the streets in town after town.  We also experienced backlash: an arson at Trinity Episcopal Church, and a lack of commitment from Rep. Walden to vote for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. Not to mention not a single public Town Hall from Walden (again!) to talk about this timely and crucial issue for us and our rural communities.

The March for ONE Oregon brought us together, built community and made us stronger.  We are ready to march again! This time, we will walk from Madras, the heart of Central Oregon’s agriculture community, to Congressman Walden’s Bend office.

Join the Rural Organizing Project, Causa, Recursos para Derechos Humanos, Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, Human Dignity Advocates and many others from September 15-17th as we come together with the faith community for a Peregrina para la Ciudadania, a Walk for Citizenship.

In the Peregrina para la Ciudadania there is a meeting of cultures and traditions; “the pilgrimage,” a centuries-old religious tradition, is a trip made with sacrifice and hardship as expression of penance and of commitment, and often involves a petition to the patron of the pilgrimage.

We will bring the political to this spiritual call. We will deliver thousands of signatures to Congressman Walden’s office calling for citizenship. We will call him out again for his lack of accessibility and his refusal to discuss the most important issues of the day with his constituents in public.  We will raise this question for our neighbors and community members: what kind of representation do we deserve in Washington DC?

This is a call out to Where’s Walden?! activists, to the grandmas who sat in during the Co$t of War campaign, to the Occupiers and to human dignity leaders across Oregon! Let us come together with our friends and neighbors in the Latino community, to build community, to break bread together and to strengthen our shared movement for justice.  You do not need to live in Congressional District 2 to join.

The announcement below (and downloadable flyer here) shares more details.  Walk for 3 hours or 3 days. Choose what works best for you, but join us as we build the movement we need and model the kind of community we all deserve with dignity for all Oregonians. Register as a walker today:

Warmly, Cara

Walk for Citizenship

Over 11 million undocumented mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are forced to live in the shadows because of the broken immigration system.

On September 15th-17th, faith leaders, advocates, union leaders and community members will come together for the Walk for Citizenship.

Over three days we will march from Madras to Bend, from the heart of Central Oregon’s agricultural community to the Central Oregon office of our Congressman Greg Walden. We will march from town to town, holding vigils, mass, community conversations and rallies.   Join us to rally for and celebrate communities that welcome all people and promote the dignity of all.

For years, we’ve seen our families divided and live in fear due to our broken immigration system.  It’s time for us to love our neighbors by welcoming them out of the shadows and onto a path towards citizenship. It’s time for people of all walks of life to come together and call for laws that keep families and communities together.

It’s time for just and fair immigration reform.

Representative Walden is a key voice in the national conversation on immigration reform, but he is the only Oregon Congressional delegate that has not come out in support of a pathway to citizenship for our immigrant brothers and sisters. This August, we have approached him, asking him to hold public conversations in his district on this topic.  We have heard little response.  The Walk For Citizenship will bring the voices of constituents directly to his office to share our stories. We need him to commit to supporting a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants and a vote in the Senate.

Dozens of walkers ~ 42.2 miles~ 15 partner organizations~ thousands of supporters~ history in the making

We are encouraging walkers to register here:  If you cannot walk all three days, not to worry, we want you there whether you can walk 3 days or 3 minutes. We are also making stops in some special cities, where churches that have been at the forefront of this conversation are located. There, we will welcome and celebrate the walkers and will have a short program to bring our people closer together and up to date on National Immigration Reform.

DAY 3 – REDMOND TO BEND, END: Greg Walden’s Office in Bend.

Partners, Sponsors, & Participants: AFL-CIO, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Redmond Church, Causa Oregon, Rural Organizing Project, MEChA, SEIU, Immigrant Law Group, United Farm Workers, Oregon Action, Western States Center, PCUN, Central Oregon Jobs With Justice

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