A struggling effort to organize progressive clergy around election-year issues as a political lobbying group in 2004 has undergone a new year’s transformation with a new name, a new tax status and a renewed commitment to rally liberal religious voters in the 2006 midterm elections.
The Clergy Leadership Network, formed in November 2003 with hopes of providing an alternative voice to religious conservatives, is now called the “Clergy and Laity Network.” It hired Sarah Labowitz, a recent college graduate, as its Washington coordinator.
The new CLN is no longer a “527” political advocacy group. It is now incorporated like most nonprofit groups with limited ability to conduct issue advocacy and education efforts.
Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said the new focus will be on “grass-roots social impact organizing. We connect with people of faith where they live, as voters and active citizens.”