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“Fast for Families Across America” Bus Tour Arrives in Richmond, Will Fast for Four Days in Eric Cantor’s Backyard as Hunger Grows for Commonsense Immigration Reform

Contact: Beatriz Lopez, beatriz.lopez@seiu.org202-412-7396
Casey Schoeneberger, cschoeneberger@seiu.org202-569-4254

“Fast for Families” Resurrects Tent in Monroe Park, Meets with Rep. Cantor’s Office and Virginia Republican Party, Prepares to Engage Cantor Donors, and Take Action Across Virginia


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Video clips for press usage include highlights from press event and the meeting with the Executive Director of the Virginia Republican Party, Shaun Kenney: http://www.fast4families.org/pressvideo

RICHMOND, VA– As the “Fast for Families Across America” national bus tour enters its sixth week, faith, labor and immigrant rights advocates joined Virginia clergy and fasters in Richmond’s Monroe Park today to launch a four day water-only fast and urge Rep. Eric Cantor to use his leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring commonsense immigration reform to a vote in 2014.

“What some thought would end with a few days of fasting last year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. has become a full-fledged national movement to highlight the sacrifices aspiring Americans make everyday in service to this country,” said Virginia’s own Rev. Tony Suarez of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “They set out on a pilgrimage. And today, they have reached the promise land of dreams. Our community joins them in calling on Congressman Cantor and the Virginia congressional delegation to make the dreams of our immigrant brethren a reality.”

“We have travelled more than 14,000 miles, to over 60 Congressional Districts in more than 30 states, and at every stop, we hear the stories of families who are torn apart, about children left behind when their parents are sent back to their country of origin, about sons and daughters whose parents passed away without being able to say goodbye,” said SEIU’s former Secretary-Treasurer and “Fast for Families” leader Eliseo Medina. “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has the power to change the lives of our community and the history of our country; it’s time he leads his colleagues in the House to move immigration reform to a vote.”

In addition to SEIU’s Medina and NHCLC Suarez, fasters were joined by Virginia Organizing’s Ray Scher; Virginia State Delegate Delores McQuinn; Sojourners’ President Jim Wallis and Senior Director of Mobilizing Lisa Sharon Harper; the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Michel Sajur; RVA Dreamer Yanet Limon; and Virginia constituents and families who’ve been impacted by the country’s broken immigration system.

Similar to the “Fast for Families” tent at the National Mall last November, the group has resurrected the tent on Monroe Park in Richmond as the fasters make stops across congressional districts, including U.S. Representatives Randy Forbes and Bob Goodlatte. “Fast for Families” leaders and constituents will also be visiting the offices of key donors who have made contributions to Congressman Cantor’s political campaigns.

Today, Virginia constituents and the fasters made a visit to the Republican Party of Virginia headquarters in Richmond. Initially to drop off a letter, the Chairman of the party welcomed “Fast for Families” and others to discuss the prospects of immigration reform.

“This is not an issue of right or left, this is an issue of right and wrong. And that’s what we need to hear… If we are going to have any sort of solution on immigration policy that is moral, that is just, that honors the sacrifices not just of our families and friends and our forefathers but of what America ought to be — you’ve done a small part here today. I can’t thank you enough for coming here today,” stated Shaun Kenney, Executive Director, Virginia Republican Party. “From our perspective, if we only do this [immigration reform] because we are gathering votes – wrong motive. Let’s do it because it’s the right thing to do. Let’s do it because it is moral and just and because it builds a better America.”


THURSDAY – April 3
6:30 PM: Light the Way Gathering – “Fast for Families” and community call on Congressman Randy Forbes
Location: Town Center Fountain, 222 Central Park Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

6:30 PM: Community Meeting at “Fast for Families” Tent in Monroe Park

1:00 – 3:00 PM: “Fast for Families” fasters and Virginia constituents visit Congressman Cantor’s donors.
Contact Beatriz Lopez at beatriz.lopez@seiu.org for more information.

4:00 PM: Sacred Heart Community Center
Location: 1400 Perry Place, Richmond, VA

5:00 PM: Procession to Monroe Park from Sacred Heart Community Center

6:30 PM: Community Meeting at “Fast for Families” Tent in Monroe Park

2:30 PM: Rally at Monroe Park

6:30 PM: Community Meeting at “Fast for Families” Tent in Monroe Park

2:30 PM: Passover Event at Monroe Park

6:30 PM: Community Meeting at “Fast for Families” Tent in Monroe Park