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On The Hill to Advance the Mission: Catholic Charities New York Meets Legislators

Catholic Charities Directors in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: Catholic Charities USA

by John-Mark de Palma

Last week, members of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York met in Washington, D.C. for the annual Catholic Charities USA’s Spring Gathering, where leaders had the opportunity to discuss issues and meet with elected representatives and government leaders. Among those in attendance from New York were Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Director of Governmental and Community Relations, Luz Tavarez, and Chief of Staff, Marion Boteju.

The meetings allowed Catholic Charities agencies to jointly advocate for the people they serve across the nation and back in their home areas who do not have direct access to lawmakers. The delegation urged congressional leaders for a humane immigration and refugee policies and met with congressional leaders on issues of poverty and housing. On hand, were representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Health and Human Services (HHS).

Catholic Charities New York's Luz Tavarez adds that when we advocate, we are representing the needs of all those that we serve; the immigrant, the elderly, the homeless, the working parent and others. But just like Catholic Charities, there are thousands of other groups traveling to our nation’s capital to educate elected and public officials on the real-life effects of their policies and positions. Charities like ours don’t have large PAC’s to support our public policy agendas, but we do have real life stories – and within those, there is one that each of those people we meet with can identify with.  It is our duty to put a face on the story of each and every voiceless individual we represent and serve.


Luz Tavarez, Director of Government & Community Relations at @CathCharitiesNY, reflects on why it's so important to meet with representatives on #CCUSAHillDay to share real stories that demonstrate how their decisions impact the people we serve. #TuesdayThoughts #BeAGoodSamaritan

— CatholicCharitiesUSA (@CCharitiesUSA) April 16, 2019