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BRIEF: Fast 4 Families bus tour to stop in Spokane

Fast for Families bus/Courtesy Fast for Families

BRIEF: Fast 4 Families bus tour to stop in Spokane

Fast for Families bus/Courtesy Fast for Families
Fast for Families bus/Courtesy Fast for Families

Members of the Fast 4 Families Across America Bus Tour will stop in Spokane on Thursday to give a presentation and hold a press conference on immigration reform and pathways to citizenship.

People across the country have signed up to join the fast, following the examples of Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. According to the Fast 4 Families website, the fast hopes to send a message to elected leaders, urging them to address “the moral crisis of an immigration system that fails to comport with our national values, our creeds and belief in justice.”

In June, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration bill (S.744). Now, the bill is in the hands of the House of Representatives. However, the vote has been continuously delayed.

Fast for Families reignited the immigration debate last November when Fast for Families leaders Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, Rudy Lopez, and others, abstained from all food, except for water, for 22 days at the National Mall. Joined by faith, labor and immigrant rights leaders and thousands across the country who fasted in solidarity, the movement drew national attention, including the support of President Obama, members of Congress, and national civil rights leaders.

On Thursday at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at City Hall, Lopez and  Yoon will be joined by Spokane constituents and leaders – including Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, the Rev. Todd F. Eklof of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and David Brookbank and Stephanie Fuentes of OneAmerica – to discuss how the current immigration policies are impacting families, and will address “the moral urgency for reform.”

They will also speak at Gonzaga’s Foley Library at 6 p.m.

Bishop Blase Cupich, of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane and Mariachi Arriba Jalisco are expected to attend.

The “Fast for Families Across America” bus tour – covering 18 states and more than 14,200 miles – kicked off in Los Angeles on Feb. 24 and is targeting 75 key congressional representatives and mobilizing advocates from across the political spectrum, according to a press release.

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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