MINNEAPOLIS, MN - More than 100 Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders held recently a gathering at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in West St. Paul to voice their opposition to the proposed photo ID amendment. “Three Faith Traditions, One Purpose”, amulti-faith, multi-racial evening of learning, conversation and action was sponsored by ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action and Somali Action Alliance.
Former Gov. Arne Carlson was the featured speaker at the event. He spoke on how the photo ID Amendment would make it harder for students, minorities, the elderly and members of the military to vote. He also shared his beliefs that the amendment is “an expensive and partisan fix for supposed voter fraud” and that it is aimed at solving a problem that doesn’t exist.
Throughout the event, religious leaders from each of the faith traditions shared personal stories and their concerns of how the amendment would affect people in their communities, particularly those who are low income and people of color. Hashi Shafi, Executive Director, Somali Action Alliance stated that Somalis are opposing photo ID because their community is largely mobile and many will be disadvantaged.
“For Jews, creating an inclusive society requires that everyone has access to participating in that society.”
-Vic Rosenthal, Executive Director, Jewish Community Action
“The ability to hear, truly hear, the longings and the hopes of other people of faith has moved me to better realize the need that no one person be left out or disenfranchised.”
-Rev. Chris Becker, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church
According to the League of Women Voters, 15 percent of voters earning less than $35,000 a year do not currently have a photo ID and 25 percent of African-American citizens of voting age do not have a current, government-issued ID.
Somali Action Alliance’s mission is to educate Somalis in the United States on civic engagement, civil rights, responsibilities and full participation of democracy.
Jewish Community Action's mission is to bring together Jewish people from diverse traditions and perspectives to promote understanding and take action on social and economic justice issues in Minnesota.
ISAIAH is a multi-ethnic, congregation-based community organization in the Twin City and St. Cloud regions. Its mission is to promote racial and economic equity by working to ensure that all people,regardless of class, race, ethnicity or religion, are involved in creating the region’s future.