Climate change is a moral issue

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In this 2015 file photo, solar panels that sit atop a manufacturing plant for Method, a company that makes ecologically safe cleaning products, in the Pullman neighborhood. | James Foster/for Sun-Times Media

This week is Holy Week in the Christian faith and Passover in the Jewish faith. As a pastor, this is a big week.

This year, my focus is to bring the light of faith and action to the crucial issue of our environment and how we interact with our planet.

Climate change is the moral issue of our time, and I wonder if we will truly stand up and defend the amazing planet God created? Or will we resign from the battle and continue to destroy it for our future generations?

I have faith that we can join together and defend our planet.

As policy director with the Faith in Place Action Fund — a group of faith and conscience that promotes political action for environmental justice in Illinois — we are committed to seeing Illinois become the leader in these issues.

Faith in Place Action Fund is strongly supportive of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), which is currently being considered in Springfield. As part of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, we helped facilitate more than 75 events throughout the state to hear from neighbors, small businesses, labor, workers, clergy and corporations about their goals for a clean energy future.

The priorities of CEJA reflect this feedback. We invite you to join us May 9, in Springfield, to meet with your legislators and rally to support 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

Additionally, we are very encouraged by the latest Chicago City Council resolution calling for Chicago’s energy to be 100 percent renewable by 2035.

Goals are important and valuable. I know our organizers and advocates will hold our City Council accountable to that goal.

We are excited to work with Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, who publicly supported CEJA, and committed to various other environmental justice initiatives on our questionnaire. Lightfoot’s coalition for change has the power to have real impact in traditionally underserved communities in Chicago.

As we gather with family this week, I humbly ask you to include our planet in your prayers. We must have faith that our planet will sustain us, but we must also take action to be sure of it.

Pastor Scott Onque’, policy director, Faith in Place Action Fund

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Implement Trump’s sanctuary city proposal immediately

The Trump Administration, citing the crisis on the southern border, made an offhand recommendation to send illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, such as Portland.

The truth of the matter is, it is a grand idea.

Currently, the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants arriving every month on the U.S.-Mexican border, after being detained, have been let go into the border towns of Yuma, El Paso and San Diego. The surge of immigrants has overwhelmed these communities.

Why not send them to sanctuary cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, which would welcome the immigrants and provide them with medical care, employment, shelter and food benefits to help them establish their lives in America?I think the mayors of each of these cities should contact the U.S. Border Patrol to express their intent to take the immigrants to their respective cities and begin the process immediately.

David F Eastman, Gresham, Oregon

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