More Questions Surrounding CCHD Grantees (Part 2)
In this second part of our report on CCHD grantees whose actions and associations are deserving of further investigation by the USCCB, we will examine an alliance that has developed between seven CCHD grantees, several Catholic Charities branches and a voter mobilization coalition that has the express goal of indoctrinating immigrants to further a pro-abortion and progressive political agenda.
Before detailing the grantees and Catholic groups involved, it is important to first give some background on this voter mobilization organization:
Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) is a coalition of like minded organizations who have developed an immigrant voter mobilization strategy which goes far beyond voter registration. In their own words:
It is important to note that policy change is one of the longest term goals of MIV. (Source: An Evaluation of the
California Collaborative Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Pg. 12)
The MIV explains its theory of producing social “change” as follows:
Over time, and when conducted at a sufficient scale, MIV’s partner organizations’ successful movement-building electoral organizing will cause a marked shift in the consciousness of the electorate within a region, the credibility of organizations’ message, and the overall political power that these organizations hold with elected officials and policy-makers. (Source: Ibid, pg. 7)
And more simply stated:
We spend a lot of time on political education. We want to make sure that our communities know why their voting, what their voting for, that they are informed on the issues, that are critical in their communities, so their votes really count and make a difference in their communities. We don’t think it’s responsible or very good organizing to just get people out to vote. What we’re interested in is what we call a movement building electoral organizing. Yes, we want our communities to register to vote. Yes, we want them to get out and vote. But we want to go beyond that. We want to make sure that the work that we do is linked to the broader missions of our community organizations and fosters the work that they are already doing.” (Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)
What is MIV’s vision of social change and is it compatible with the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice? Decidedly not. For example, the MIV policy platform states the following under its health care section:
Provide low-income immigrant women and girls with access to culturally-appropriate information necessary to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and rights. Reproductive health needs to be an integral part of our state’s safety net. (Source: MIV Immigrant Voices Platform )
This statement is somewhat ambiguous, so it is helpful to look at how MIV has interpreted their own platform. For the 2008 California elections, MIV produced a voter’s guide which urged voters to vote against Proposition 4 which required parental notification for minors seeking an abortion.
Also included in this voter’s guide is is the recommendation to vote against Proposition 8 which would amend the California Constitution to prevent homosexual marriage.
MIV was both enthusiastic and proud while evaluating their efforts to promote abortion and homosexual marriage among the immigrant populations. In their own words:
Two statewide propositions opposed by MIV (Prop. 4 and 6) were defeated at the polls. It is important to note that MIV was one of many organizations within California to take a stand against these propositions. Nevertheless, MIV’s work certainly contributed to the defeat of these propositions, which were both seen by the organization as jeopardizing immigrant communities. Proposition 8, which which sought to ban gay marriage, passed in 2008. Despite the defeat, MIV partners acknowledged that it won by a smaller margin as compared to a similar measure in 2000, and they remained proud of the education they had done in low-income immigrant communities of color on this issue. One niche of MIV is its work to engage low-income immigrant communities of color on “wedge issues” – such as gay marriage, immigration and criminalization – that are used to divide communities. (Source: An Evaluation of the California Collaborative Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Pg. 13 )
The following video produced by the MIV corroborates our claims:
One might expect organizations such as Planned Parenthood or the pro-abortion Khmer Girls in Action to be participating members of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, and they are. More surprisingly, however, is that Catholic Charities, the John XXIII Multi-services Center, and seven CCHD grantees are also on the MIV membership roll as campaign partners. The seven grantees listed are:
- Faith in Community
- People Organized for Westside Renewal – POWER
- Coalition LA
- Justice Overcoming Boundaries in San Diego County
- Nuestra Casa
- San Francisco Organizing Project
- All of Us or None (listed as Time for Change per CCHD)
These Catholic run or Catholic funded groups may make the claim that they were unaware of the stance MIV has taken on abortion and homosexual marriage, but this in actuality cannot be the case. The MIV developed its platform and voters guide in coordination with all its member organizations. According to MIV:
…What our groups also told us is they didn’t want to just go out and be part of MIV for informational purpose but they wanted us to say what we stood for. So we took a draft platform with our six regions. We hashed it out with people. We sent it to our ally organizations. And we wrote up a platform that covers everything from immigration, worker justice, healthcare, worker rights, and more. To really try to give more of a base to who we are. (emphasis added. Source: Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)
Also, according to an MIV survey, 130 out of 133 member organizations endorsed their Immigrants Voice Platform. The explicitly pro-abortion voters guide was also developed with input from the member organizations:
We produce pros and cons information and then we take that out to the communities. We do these issue analysis forums. At the forums we invite everybody, all of our groups, all of our neighbors. The community debates it, what do we think, back and forth. We take a straw-poll vote, how do you feel about this. We do them in our six regions. We bring it back. We compile all that information and go, Ok, what do we want to put in the voter guide? And we use what the people told us out in these forums as the basis of the pros and cons that we write up. (emphasis added. Source: Nancy Berlin, Executive Committee Chair MIV, taken from : http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Vegas%20Eng.pdf)
We assume out of charity that the Catholic Charities groups did not support the pro-abortion language in the 2008 voters guides, but the question remains: Why continue working with such an organization and expose Catholic immigrants to pro-abortion indoctrination?
As for the CCHD grantees who are members of MIV, we can make no such assumptions, since they have never publicly stated a pro-life position. Their association with MIV raises questions which must be answered immediately.
- Did they distribute the MIV produced voter material?
- Why would they participate in a voter mobilization drive led by a group acting directly against Church teaching?
- Will they publicly state their adherence to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church?
Failure to adequately answer these questions should result in immediate suspension of CCHD grants.
In conclusion, we again ask the USCCB to reform the CCHD grants process so Catholics can be assured that not a single penny of their donations are used to fund groups which support or are sympathetic to grave evils condemned by Church teaching. The examples we have outlined in our reports more than justify this request. Visit www.reformcchdnow.com for more information on what Catholics can do to help our bishops make these necessary reforms.