Lobby night is Feb. 19

Maryland Catholics are urged to rally at Lobby Night in Annapolis Feb., 19, Presidents’ Day, to learn about important public-policy initiatives and meet their elected state officials.

The 23rd annual Lobby Night, sponsored by the Maryland Catholic Conference, will begin at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s School, Marian Hall, with issue briefings. The briefings will also be offered in special sessions for youths and Spanish-speaking constituents. They will acquaint participants with proposals on:

*Social concerns – aid for vulnerable persons (those who are poor, aged, disabled and new to the country), health care, immigration and the environment.

* Respect for life – a ban on human cloning, support for research in human adult stem cells and opposition to research using the stem cells of human embryos, a ban on assault weapons, and repeal of Maryland’s death penalty.

* Education – support for the BOAST Maryland business tax credit (Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers), extending existing tax credits to nonpublic school teachers and for full funding of the nonpublic school textbook/technology program.

* Family life – support for protection of traditional marriage, for adequate maternity leave and flexible sick leave to care for sick children and dependents, for adoption and adoptive families, and for mandatory background checks of all employees and volunteers who work with children.

Following the 3-5 p.m. briefings, buses will take participants to the state office buildings for scheduled appointments with senators and delegates. Legislators will also join participants for a 6 p.m. reception in the Lowe House Office Building, Room 170.

“We encourage all Maryland Catholics to take part in Lobby Night, which is devoted to shaping the future of Maryland,” said Richard J. Dowling, Catholic Conference executive director. “We encourage you to bring a friend or two so that we can at least double the size of our witness.”

Participants are asked to register by Feb. 12 so appointments can be made with representatives. For more information and to register, visit www.mdcathcon.org, e-mail chris@mdcathcon.org, or call 410-269-1155 or 301-261-1979.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.