More than Israel: Steve Keen on Jewish Social Justice Trip to Washington, D.C.

By Steve Keen
Past president and board member, JCUA

Steve Keen

On July 28 and 29 I had an opportunity to travel with several JCUA leaders to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional leaders and key staff at the White House.

What was most important about our trip was the fact that the administration had an opportunity to hear from progressive Jews that there is more on our agenda than Israel. Among other things, our issues include housing, education, food justice, healthcare, immigration, and women’s reproductive rights.

It was great to meet with several progressive congressional leaders and let them hear our voice on social justice issues, although we also attempted to meet with legislators who didn’t share our viewpoints.

In meeting with HUD leaders

One such legislator was Sen. Mark Kirk, who unfortunately chose not to meet with us. However, we were still able to share our concerns on his “security first” stance on immigration reform by going to his Senate office and speaking with his staff.

What is critical now is that we as the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable determine how to follow up with leaders from Congress and the White House on these issues to keep our voices heard, and possibly take up a suggestion that was made on Friday that Roundtable organizations committed to working on immigration issues join the We Were Strangers, Too: Jewish Campaign for Immigration Reform.

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