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Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office
Other posts by Tammy Alexander

Tammy Alexander is Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs in the MCC Washington office.

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Wider View: Washington Comment

In the Grip of Denial (2/13/2015 7:00:00 AM)
The U.S. Senate has finally acknowledged that climate change is real. On January 21, as part of the debate on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate passed an amendment by a vote of 98 to 1 stating, “It is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”

You Don't Have Rights Here (10/24/2014 7:00:00 AM)

Alicia,* who witnessed her mother's murder and feared retaliation from local gang members, made the dangerous trek from Honduras to the U.S. with her two children, ages three and ten-years-old in August. She was detained. She told U.S. Border Patrol officers of her fear of returning home. "I cried, I said I couldn't return to my country. Sometimes you are so afraid . . ." Two days later, Alicia was deported.

Mennonites join the Peoples Climate March (9/25/2014 7:00:00 AM)

United Nations Climate Summit. Merv Horst, Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship, and Lawrence Jennings, Infinity Mennonite Church, helped to organize the participation of several dozen Mennonites, including groups from Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Ontario, Canada.



Who Benefits? (6/13/2014 7:00:00 AM)

Norma, a single mom, was walking with her kids one night when she was arrested for trespassing on private property. The charges were later found to be baseless but she was deported anyway. Her 16-year-old daughter is now looking for a job to support the family. Norma’s 9-year-old son cries himself to sleep at night.

Longing to be Home (1/17/2014 7:00:00 AM)

Many people travel to spend time with family or friends over the holiday season. This year, my family logged more than 1200 miles and was thwarted twice by automobile-related mechanical difficulties and once by winter storm Hercules. However, these inconvenient but relatively minor delays were nothing compared to the obstacles many faced in seeing family this Christmas.

Why Immigration Reform Can't Wait (9/13/2013 7:00:00 AM)

As immigration reform legislation stalls in the House of Representatives, immigrants continue to suffer many injustices. As legislators encourage “patience” and a “step-by-step” approach, the emails detailing indignity after indignity keep pouring into my inbox.

Swallowing Our Pride (8/17/2012 7:00:00 AM)

Like millions of others around the world, I sat down in front of my television a few weeks ago to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I was thoroughly impressed by the show – the theatrics, the music, the dancers – and moved by the spirit of fellowship among the athletes.

Standing Up for Health Care (4/23/2012 7:00:00 AM)

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On the first of three days of arguments, I stood with other faith-based advocates in front of the court as a public witness of our support for the law.

A Thousand Paper Cranes (10/7/2011 7:00:00 AM)

Basim Elkarra, a Muslim American, tells the story of walking by an Islamic school in Sacramento, California, a couple of days after September 11, 2001 and doing a double-take. What looked like a thousand origami cranes were hanging in the windows. They had been put there by Japanese Americans in the community as a symbol of peace and friendship.

A Lawless Border? (8/19/2011 7:00:00 AM)

In the summer months, many of us spend time in national parks or other public lands. We do this for the fresh air, the wide open expanses, and the time to escape our busy lives, whether in solitude or in the company of family and friends.

A Culture of Unwelcome (1/7/2011 7:00:00 AM)

As we begin a new year, there is a tendency to evaluate where we are and where we want to go. Where does our society meet God’s hope for humanity on Earth? Where do we fall short?

A Bittersweet Anniversary (10/8/2010 7:00:00 AM)

September 23 marked the six month anniversary of the signing of the health care reform bills into law. Personally, I didn’t feel much like celebrating.

It probably didn’t help that I was waging my own private health care struggle at the time.   When a laboratory assistant sucked three vials of blood out of my arm, I was perfectly calm. I felt considerably more lightheaded, however, when I received the bill and discovered they were also going to suck $500 out of my bank account. Those terms ‘coinsurance’ and ‘deductible’ seem perfectly innocuous until you see them at the bottom of an insurance statement.

"Secure the Border!" (5/21/2010 7:00:00 AM)

Its closure didn’t make the national news. It’s not a place that many from northern states have visited. But the Sabal Palm Sanctuary is a special place indeed.

Health Care Reform: Progress or Politics? (2/5/2010 7:00:00 AM)

Last week, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address, renewing his call for Congress to pass comprehensive health care reform:

By the time I’m finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.

Cheap Energy, Hidden Costs (10/30/2009 7:00:00 AM)

I had the opportunity to visit eastern Kentucky last week, up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. While there, I met a man named Elmer, who had been a coal miner most of his life. Elmer had always dreamed of having a fish pond. So, over the course of several months, he did the research, built his pond, and brought in fish. Originally, he thought that his family would eat some of the fish they raised. But, in the end, he found that he couldn’t bear to eat the fish he and his kids had played with.


Messages of Hope and Fear in the Health Care Debate (8/14/2009 7:00:00 AM)

“Protect your Family while you still have time.” That was the subject line of a message I received in my email inbox two weeks ago. The message talked about one of the health care reform bills being debated in the U.S. Congress, citing several different page numbers and explaining why I should be afraid. Problem is, most of the information was completely wrong. checked out several of the claims , rating most “Barely True,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire!”

Caring for God's People and God's Planet (5/29/2009 7:00:00 AM)

On May 18, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce began debating a bill to address the negative effects of climate change. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, H.R. 2454, would establish a “cap and trade” system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; encourage the use of renewable sources of energy (such as wind, solar, geothermal, and certain forms of hydropower and biofuels); and work to increase energy efficiency in buildings, automobiles, and industrial plants.

Resisting Calls for Assimilation (9/26/2008 7:00:00 AM)

Talk of assimilation also quite often invokes the common argument that early European immigrants assimilated quickly while more recent immigrants hold onto their cultural ties. To this point I have to say that, if the first European immigrants to this country had truly assimilated, we’d all be living very much like the indigenous cultures the pilgrims encountered. It is also worth pointing out that, in many early Mennonite immigrant communities, German was the primary language spoken for generations. It was only after the two World Wars that the switch to English was made.

On the Road (6/27/2008)
I really enjoy getting out of the office and taking MCC’s prophetic, Anabaptist message on the road. This past week, I had a chance to do that in three different ways: itinerating an MCC partner from Uganda, attending and speaking at a relief sale, and speaking at a local church.

Why Are We Doing This? (5/2/2008 7:00:00 AM)

“Why are they building the wall?” That was the question I got from 10-year-old Christopher after he heard me speak to the congregation at Iglesia Menonita Rey de Gloria this past Sunday on the environmental impacts of the U.S-Mexico border fence.

Building Walls, Destroying God's Creation (2/29/2008)

Most people in the U.S. have heard about the construction of hundreds of miles of fences and walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. Few, however, understand that such a barrier will have devastating consequences not only for humans but for wildlife in the border region.

The Women of Congo: Lost in the War on Terror (11/16/2007)

It’s impossible to read the reports coming out of Eastern Congo these days and not cringe. Civilians, caught in the crossfire between warring rebel groups and army troops are suffering unspeakable horrors.

Trashing the Planet (9/28/2007)

Leave the forest as you found it. That’s what my mom always said. Don’t litter on the sidewalk. Don’t throw your garbage in someone else’s yard. But that’s exactly what we do every day. 

Conflict Through the Lens of Justice and Peace (8/10/2007 7:00:00 AM)
As Christians, we are told to pay attention to issues of economic justice, including the equitable distribution of resources. We are also called to be peacemakers and not jump to violent methods for solving our conflicts, whether on an interpersonal level or on a global scale. There are many ways in which looking at a conflict through the lens of justice and peacemaking can help bring about a new perspective on the conflict and new ideas for resolution. 

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