Guided by God's vision of the common good as reflected in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, the JRLC mobilizes religious communities to influence public policy in Minnesota.
Who we are
JRLC is the largest and most inclusive interfaith public interest group in Minnesota — people of diverse faiths bringing vision and wisdom to the public realm for the well-being of Minnesotans. JRLC is authorized and governed by four Sponsoring Members: the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the Minnesota Council of Churches, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and the Islamic Center of Minnesota.
When JRLC was founded in 1971, it was the first interfaith public-interest lobby group in the United States. JRLC now has an extensive body of public policy statements and continually influences Minnesota legislation in many policy arenas including: welfare reform, housing, health care, human rights, criminal justice, environmental stewardship, tax policy, ethics in government, gambling, economic justice, bias crimes, firearms regulation, and other policy areas.
JRLC is governed by a 16-person Executive Board made up of four representatives from each of the sponsoring faith communities. The Board guides policy decisions culminating in a ratification process that requires each JRLC position to be approved by all the sponsors' governing bodies. JRLC is unique in this accountability structure and thus speaks in a unified voice for these faith groups.
What We Do
The JRLC Legislative Network involves over 8,000 faithful citizens and volunteers who act upon timely action alerts and issue briefings, and organize activities to shape public policy.
On March 13, 2018, we will convene our Day on the Hill conference at Central Presbyterian and the State Capitol. Participants will be briefed on social justice issues and then visit members of the legislature. In 2017, over 700 people from 64 of Minnesota's 67 senate districts participated.
Organizing For Social Justice
We conduct action-oriented forums, workshops, and institutes which focus on faith and citizenship. We tap into deeply held religious principles and organize faithful citizens across Minnesota to build civic capacity for our advocacy work and for a healthier democracy. In election years, we organize non-partisan voter registration and turnout efforts.
We research and publish Issue Papers on pressing social justice issues in Minnesota. We explore interfaith religious principles and expert policy analysis. We make recommendations to the citizens of Minnesota and the State Legislature.
Who We Represent
There are nearly 2.4 million people in Minnesota who identify themselves with one of the four faith traditions that support the JRLC. That's nearly 48% of Minnesota's population and nearly 80% of those Minnesotans who claim a religious identity affiliate with a religious sponsor of JRLC.
If you support our work for social justice, please join us!