'Challenging extreme inequity locally and globally is a moral imperative.'
Gregory Boyd, one of the three business moderators, during Commission on Social Witness consideration of the UUA Statement of Conscience on Escalating Economic Inequality. (© 2017 NancyPierce/UUA)
After about an hour of debate Saturday morning, onsite and offsite General Assembly delegates overwhelmingly supported passage of the UUA Statement of Conscience Escalating Economic Inequality.
Delegates at the 2014 GA in Providence, Rhode Island, selected "Escalating Inequality" to be the UUA’s 2014–2018 Congregational Study/Action Issue. Delegates at this year’s GA considered the resulting Statement of Conscience that grew out of the CSAI, both in a miniassembly and during the general session.
During the three-hour miniassembly on Thursday, about 150 people, one third of whom were offsite participants, met to discuss the proposed text, suggest changes, and submit amendments. Most of the changes focused on clarifying and fine-tuning the existing language. The Commission on Social Witness reviewed all proposed changes and incorporated a great many of them into the version that went before the General Assembly Saturday morning, including changing the name of the Statement of Conscience to Escalating Economic Inequality.
Several participants in the miniassembly expressed concerns that the statement, while a good idea, still read like a draft and needed more work. Meanwhile, the group Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community had circulated a statement explicitly calling for delegates to vote against the statement because it said it failed to address key factors. Some of these same concerns were voiced on the general session floor on Saturday, but in the end, most delegates clearly felt it was more important to pass what they saw as an imperfect but extremely important Statement of Conscience.
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Sonja L. Cohen is deputy managing editor of UU World and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.
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