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Nuns on the Bus

Posted on December 1, 2018, by Loretto Community

By Anna Koop

At 9 a.m. on Sept. 15 (the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows) a gaggle of folks including Pat McCormick, Joan Spero, Martha Crawley, Cathy Mueller and I rallied outside of Congressman Mike Coffman’s office to speak about NETWORK’s focus on “reasonable revenue for responsible programs.” “Nuns on the Bus” was on the road again to talk to people about the tax cuts, which primarily benefit wealthy persons and definitely will hurt the most vulnerable people among us.

The rally preceding our meeting with Coffman was spirited and led by Simone Campbell, and included brief sharing from three people: Regis University student Selihom Andarge, Sally Wolf from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Voice of the Poor, and Rachel Wall, who spoke about healthcare and pre-existing conditions.

Following the rally Andarge, Wall, Campbell, Liz Fuhr and I went to meet with Coffman. We were met at the door with the announcement that only four persons would be allowed in to the meeting, though we definitely had been told that five was the number. There was no way to hold them to their original agreement, and Fuhr dropped out of the circle.

Andarge, Wall and I gave moving testimony as to the consequences of tax cuts in the areas of student aid, health care and housing. None of this had much impact on Coffman, who insisted that he had not seen programs being cut. The congressman gave many examples of the good things coming out of Congress. The meeting was congenial but not exceptionally productive.

Following the meeting the bus headed off to Omaha, the next stop on the tour. We wished them all happy travels and fruitful meetings as they moved across the country, concluding their tour in Mar-A-Lago with a big “Fiesta of the Common Good.”

Above are Loretto Volunteers Adele McKiernan, far left, and Lindsey Faust with Kathy Sullivan and Claudia Calzetta at the Missouri Health Care for All (MHCFA) sign-in table for ‘Nuns on the Bus’ as it rolls into St. Louis on its Tax Justice Truth Tour. MHCFA is a nonprofit that advocates for affordable and quality health care for all Missourians based on the fact that all people deserve dignity and well-being. Adele works at MHCFA as an Organizing Fellow for her Loretto Volunteer year and helped organize MHCFA volunteers to welcome the traveling sisters. Roberta Hudlow, Jes Stevens, Barb Mecker, Mary Ann McGivern and Donna Day also were there.
(Photo by Roberta Hudlow)

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