CLUE Opposes LGBT Discrimination

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), called to the task of sacred resistance to inhumane policies that serve to divide our communities,  reiterates our commitment to a religious foundational principle that all human beings are imbued with what many consider divine attributes and thus of infinite worth and dignity. If any specific set of people are attacked then this diminishes what many of our faiths view as the image of God. At this challenging time, we are called to proclaim that we stand with LGBTQI people and their allies. Any denial of their human rights is an attack against the image of God in all of us. 

While the current administration attempts to roll back the protection and the rights that the LGBTQI community has won over the past decades, CLUE will stand in its way, engaging in sacred resistance and demanding not only that current law be observed—that LGBTQI persons not be discriminated against in housing, employment, public accommodations, government services—but we will continue to demand that the law be as expansive as possible so that LGBTQI people and their unique gifts be completely honored as a sacred part of the human fabric that they inherently are.

The Hebrew Bible teaches that the original person, created out of the earth/adamah, was created in the image of God and called Adam. This original being, by Divine ordinance, is the source of all humanity, reflecting as humanity grew the infinite facets of God’s image. All of us are descendants of the original being, and thus we celebrate all these facets. “For You are the source of life, by Your light do we see light.” (Psalms 36:10)


CLUE Board of Directors
Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen
Rev. Jim Conn
Rabbi Stephen Einstein
Esperanza Fonseca
The Rev. Francisco Garcia
Father Mike Gutierrez
Rev. Sarah Halverson-Cano
Betty Hung, Esq
Rev. Stephanie Jaeger, Ph.D
Glynndana Shevlin
Rev. William D. Smart, Jr
Mary Stancavage
Bishop Mary Anne Swenson
Rev. Heidi Worthen-Gamble
Richard Zaldivar

Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director

Action Checklist: Early February 2017

Essential Acts of #SacredResistance to kick off your February:

  • Come to Long Beach City Council on February 7th at 4pm to support Long Beach becoming a Sanctuary City - LEARN MORE
  • Support the CA Values Act to refuse California resources for federal deportation efforts - SIGN THE PETITION
  • Share the CAIR Reporting Page with your Muslim/AMEMSA friends on Social Media - GO TO THE FORM
  • Share the Yes on H video with friends and groups based in LA County on Facebook - WATCH THE VIDEO
  • Volunteer for No on S to stop a the shutdown of development throughouth Los Angeles - CANVAS or PHONE BANK
  • Read a Book with Us and talk real change at the UCLA Labor Center on February 16th - RSVP ON FB
  • Celebrate our Victories at our annual Orange County Architects of Justice Dinner, February 22nd at 6pm - BUY TICKETS
  • Empower our initiatives to organize for the protection of our immigrant and AMEMSA neighbors - DONATE TODAY

Long Beach Moves Toward Sanctuary


Last Tuesday, more than 100 faith and community leaders gathered outside of Long Beach City Hall for a vigil of solidarity with those most affected by recent Executive Orders on immigration. Rev. Ricardo Avila of St. Luke's Episcopal Church led the event, opening with the announcement that his church would become a Sanctuary Parish for those facing deportation or otherwise in need of help. Reverend Noel Anderson (shown above) also shared from his perspective as a leader in the national Sanctuary Movement.

On Tuesday, February 6th at 4pm, we have the opportunity to start turning this energy into policy! Council will vote on whether to support the California Values Act, which will prevent state resources from being used for any federal deportation efforts. While we're thrilled that Councilmember Gonzales proposed this official support, we know that more is needed.

CLUE is organizing dozens of clergy and community leaders to show support of an official sanctuary designation for the city of Long Beach, both at a press conference before the council meeting, and at the meeting itself. Whether or not we pass sanctuary policy at the state level, city policies are an important show of protection and solidarity to local residents. We welcome you to advocate for sanctuary policies not only in Long Beach, but in every city in California. 



Action Checklist - End of January 2017

Your Guide to Sacred Resistance for Trump's Second Week in Office:

  • Oppose confirmation of "Foreclosure King" Steve Mnuchin to Secretary of the Treasury - sign now!
  • Oppose confirmation of anti-labor fast-food CEO Andy Pudzer to Secretary of Labor - sign now!
  • Organize and mobilize for Orange County at our Clergy and Community Gathering, January 31st at 10am - RSVP now!
  • Get sanctuary training on the basic rights of immigrants and AMEMSA people, February 1st at 10am - RSVP now! 
  • Organize and mobilize for women at our CLUE P♀WER meeting, February 1st at 10:30am - RSVP now!
  • Organize and mobilize for Black and Brown communities at our Black-Brown Clergy Coalition Meeting, February 9th at 1pm - RSVP now!
  • Celebrate our victories and connect with other progressive clergy and laity at our annual Orange County Architects of Justice Dinner, February 22nd at 6pm - buy tickets today!
  • Empower our initiatives to organize for the protection of our immigrant and AMEMSA neighbors - donate to CLUE today!

Statement on Immigration Executive Orders

A Statement From CLUE

Regarding President Trump's

Executive Orders on Immigration

Ratified by the CLUE Board, January 26th, 2017

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice reiterates our fervent belief that this country must be a haven for those escaping violence and crushing poverty. Immigrants should not suffer discrimination based on their citizenship status. Families should be protected, not broken up by a failed immigration system built upon fear of the Other.

We hold as sacred the image of Abraham’s tent open to all four directions as a sign of hospitality, sacred shelter and refuge. We applaud the City and County of Los Angeles in taking steps to not cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement agencies, the City of Santa Ana for legislating their identity as a Sanctuary City, and the State of California for vowing to not cooperate with the federal government on issues which undermine the rights of Californians. Southern Californians of all faiths and no faith demand that scarce federal resources be used to house and clothe our people, to build schools and highways, to create a vibrant infrastructure and not be wasted on a foolish “Trump Wall” with Mexico. We commend state legislators for introducing SB-54 (De Leon, The California Values Act, to prevent CA resources for funding federal enforcement), SB-30 (Lara, to require a vote to build the wall in California), SB-29 (Lara, to prohibit contracting for privately-run detention centers), and SB-6 (Hueso, to fund immigrant legal services for deportation proceedings), all measures which honor the inherent worth and dignity of immigrants in our land of immigrants.

Our greatness will be judged by how just we are as a society, not by how many peoples we have antagonized, or countries we have demeaned. If we are to make America great, we must follow the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Zion will be redeemed with justice” (1:27). Opposition to bigotry is a holy act, and as a faith community, we will continue to practice sacred resistance whenever necessary.

CLUE Board of Directors
CLUE_Standard_Logo_-_High_Quality.jpgRev. Norman Copeland, Board Chair
Robert A. Branch
Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen
Rev. Jim Conn
Rabbi Stephen Einstein
Esperanza Fonseca
The Rev. Francisco Garcia
Father Mike Gutierrez
Rev. Sarah Halverson-Cano
Betty Hung, Esq
Rev. Stephanie Jaeger, Ph.D
Glynndana Shevlin
Rev. William D. Smart, Jr
Mary Stancavage
Bishop Mary Anne Swenson
Rev. Heidi Worthen-Gamble
Richard Zaldivar

Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director


Where Was CLUE during Trump's Inauguration?

During Friday's inauguration, CLUE staff expressed their solidarity with AMEMSA, Latin@, and Black communities at events throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Each of us were left with a story of hope and Sacred Resistance.

Inauguration Events Calendar

Join us, and our partners and friends, in raising our voices in objection to Trump's inauguration! These events are important opportunities for education and networking for long-term change. Click on the event name to go to its Facebook event page or website:

We Are Here to Stay:
Fearless & United Rally, Art Performance
Saturday, January 14 at 11 AM
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 
501 North Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 

UTLA #SchoolTrump
Districtwide Demonstration
Thursday, January 19 at 7 AM
Schools Citywide

(Inauguration and Next-Day)
Caravan of Justice
Friday, January 20 at 10 AM
Location TBD 

United Against Hate
Inauguration March Los Angeles
Friday, January 20 at 11 AM
Olympic & Figueroa 

Protest Trump's Inauguration! 
United Front Against Fascism!
Friday, January 20 at 2 PM
Los Angeles City Hall

Inauguration Vigil for Human Rights: OC Rise!
Friday, January 20 at 5 PM
211 W Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4100

Women's Rally Pasadena
Saturday, January 21 at 8 AM
Pasadena City Hall 

Women's March Los Angeles
Saturday, January 21 at 9 AM
Pershing Square 

Rev. William Barber at Occidental College
Wednesday, February 1 at 7 PM
Occidental College

Walking the Posada for Refugees


Just a few days before Christmas, I joined around 200 people for a unique pilgrimage. Marchers remembered, in song and in step, Mary and Joseph's long journey to Bethlehem as well as their refugee flight to Egypt. Adapting this longstanding Catholic tradition, we walked for today's refugees. The walk included educational skits about immigrant rights, a peaceful protest at City Hall to demand full non-cooperation with federal immigration and detention, and finally, a small concert outside of the detention center-- a small concert that I still can't get off my mind. 

The Posada was CLUE's third immigration advocacy event in three days. Earlier in the week, many of our interfaith leaders made a public commitment to work for Sanctuary at a well-attended press conference. Then, staff, clergy, and laity turned out to a LA County Board of Supervisors hearing to speak in favor of a proposed deportation defense fund, which would begin to mend a huge gap in the right to due process. We're constantly thinking, talking, and developing actions about the immigration and deportation crises, especially as we acknowledge that it is almost sure to get a lot worse in the next four years.

But standing underneath the detention center, all the talk fell away as we saw lights flash and silhouetted hands wave to us through the narrow slit windows. It truly hit home, for me and for so many others, that there were people in there-- living, breathing human beings who were separated from their families, who were facing deportation without legal representation, who needed to know they had friends on the outside.

And I think they did. We waved back, the announcer and clergy blessed and encouraged them in Spanish, the band played for them. The concert, the whole posada, wasn't for us. It wasn't for the public. It was for our neighbors in detention, to sustain them and give them hope that they are not alone.

Introducing Irene Arellano

We're happy to welcome our newest organizer, Irene Arellano! With an extensive background in labor work, Irene will lead the way in Anaheim and strengthen our partnerships with communities throughout Orange and Los Angeles county. 

image2.JPGHello! I'm Irene Arellano, the new Faith Rooted Organizer with CLUE in Orange County.

I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants, raised in a strong labor union household in Anaheim, and I have been involved with the labor movement through family all of my life. My admiration for religious communities rallying around social justice issues was born out of this union upbringing as well as my Catholic faith, which teaches that there must be dignity of work and the rights of workers because the economy must serve the people and not vice versa.

From my early childhood I can recall vivid memories of picket lines and contract campaigns. Later on as a student activist and organizer, I organized students and service workers in Orange County, Los Angeles, and in Pennsylvania. In 2013, I organized UC Irvine students in support of gaining a fair contract for service workers within the UC system throughout the state of California. I was later hired as a full time organizer with AFSCME Local 3299 in Los Angeles where I walked the halls of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center ensuring that workers had a voice on the job against management abuses. I listened attentively during house visits, led spirited pickets, and helped secure a good contract with the threat of a strike looming in 2014.


I graduated with a degree in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton in 2015. That same year, I moved across the country to pursue my interests in the labor movement after I was granted a scholarship from The Pennsylvania State University for a Master’s degree in the school of Labor and Employment Relations. My program in Labor and Global Worker’s Rights has a strong focus on strategic corporate research, gender and race relations at work and workers’ rights in the global economy.

At Penn State, my cohort was comprised of trade union organizers from Brazil, India, South Korea, Germany and the U.S. Under the umbrella of the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE), our cohort helped to launch a union authorization card drive, the first step in calling for a unionization election, in an effort to secure better pay, health benefits, and protections for the 3,500 graduate employees at Penn State.

I have since returned to Anaheim, to bring together workers and faith-based communities in the common cause of justice. When I’m not fighting for worker’s rights, I enjoy painting, learning about Frida Kahlo and spending time with my lovely daughter Alessandra.

You can get in contact with me through email at

I look forward to working with you all to advance the cause of justice in our congregations and workplaces!

~ Irene

5 Concrete Progressive Steps To Take Before 2017

These are bewildering times. It seems like every day, we are bombarded with more bad news about our president-elect's cabinet appointments, policy plans, and new political-cultural friendships. It's so important that we remember that there ARE things that we can do not only to stay informed, but to voice and embody our progressive values. 

Join us in these five acts of Sacred Resistance as 2016 comes to a close:

1. Support the El Super Boycott


El Super has consistently violated workers' rights through multiple abuses and denying them a union contract. Now, at least one Grupo Chedraui (parent company) executive has turned his back on the Latino communities the company claims to serve by financially contributing to Donald Trump's campaign. Employees represented by UFCW Local 770 are asking the public to boycott the chain during this crucial holiday season! Sign and share the official pledge.

>> Sign the Pledge >>

2. Join CLUE's Growing Network of Sacred Resistance and Sanctuary


On December 1st, over 100 faith leaders and activists gathered to envision how their denominations might participate in a new effort to protect the most vulnerable. Hosted at the Islamic Center of Southern California, discussion included potential threats to both Latin American immigrants and Muslims.

As a result of this first meeting, we've already been honored to see two major victories:

  • The Episcopal Diocese, thanks to Rev. Garcia, is now a “Sanctuary Diocese!”
  • The ELCA Lutheran Synod, thanks to Rev. Jaeger working with the venerable Bishop Erwin, immediately established a “Synod Task Force for Sanctuary and Protection!“

If you would like to link your congregation or denomination to this network, sign the pledge below! You will be automatically added to a list to receive email updates about future meetings. 

>> Sign the Pledge >>

3. Join the "We the People Resist" Listserv

Just five days after the election of Donald J. Trump, hundreds of LA progressives gathered to articulate our concerns and priorities. This meeting of minds was powerful, but it was only the first step. Now the dialogue -- and meaningful planning for action -- continues online! We The People Resist is a dynamic meeting place for progressive thought and action. Members are already sharing resources and ideas, sending calls to action for specific events, and making powerful connections with one another.

>> Request to Be Added >>

4. Advocate for Immigrants' Legal Representation

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has an immediate opportunity to protect immigrants in the county. This motion by Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn will: 

  1. provide lawyers for immigrants in deportation proceedings, and 
  2. prevent county resources from being used for immigration enforcement.

WHO: All Community Members and Advocates

WHAT: Press Conference and Board of Supervisors Hearing (Attend and Voice Support in Public Comment)

WHEN: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 - Press Conference at 9:30 AM - Board of Supervisors Meeting at 10 AM

WHERE: Meet on the steps of Kenneth Hahn Hall, 500 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

5. March for an Inclusive California


From our friends at CHIRLA: "December 18 is designated by the UN as International Migrants Day. This year, immigrants stand shoulder to shoulder with working people from all communities to defend social justice, racial justice, labor rights, environmental justice and governance that reflects our diversity."

>> See the Facebook Event >>

2017 will challenge us all to define new and enhanced roles for ourselves. We hope that as you follow the call to engage the world in a new way, you will join us on the front lines of sacred resistance, standing with the most vulnerable members of our society. 


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