There are so many ways to pay tribute to Dr. King across the state this weekend. Thank you Seattle MLK, Jr. Organizing Coalition for this graphic!

Week One in Review

Week one of the legislative session included over 100 committee hearings, the official seating of new members, the Governor’s annual State of the State address, and the collection of co-sponsors before proposals become official bills. Both the House and the Senate passed bills this week, a highlight of which was a success for FAN’s Legislative Agenda – the Agriculture Carbon Sequestration bill (SB 5947) which passed the Senate at 32 yeas, 17 nays!

FAN was part of four important policy partner meetings to help identify and call for equitable and just policies in our state: the WA Anti-Poverty Advocates Group, the Open Courts to All stakeholders, a Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) policy call facilitated by Paul Benz, and the Racial Equity Team. A Driving While License Suspended (DWLS-3) meeting was facilitated by the two prime sponsors, Rep. Goodman and Sen. Salomon, bringing together criminal and economic justice advocates and debt collectors.

Be sure to follow our Bill Tracker for updates on bills FAN is following this session.

Looking Ahead to Week Two

We look forward to movement on some key FAN bills next week. Tune into any of these meetings on TVW.

In the House:

  • HB 2441 (Rep. Entenman) Creating more racial equity in our state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program – Public hearing on Wednesday 1/22 at 1:30 PM in the Human Services & Early Learning Committee.
  • HB 2240 (Rep. Valdez) Regulating high capacity magazines, and HB 2241 (Rep. Peterson) Banning assault weapons – Public hearing with other gun violence-related bills on Tuesday 1/21 at 10 AM in the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.

In the Senate:

  • SB 6091 (Sen. Warnick) Instituting the Food Policy forum and SB 6306 (Sen. Liias) Creating the Washington soil health initiative – Scheduled for a vote in the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks on Thursday 1/23 at 1:30 PM.
  • SB 6255 (Sen. C. Wilson) Creating access to childcare for parents attending high school (GRADS program) – Public hearing on Friday 1/24 at 8:30 AM in the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee
  • SB 6261 (Sen. McCoy) Strengthening the farmworker/H-2A labor contract system – Public hearing on Tuesday 1/21 at 8:00 AM in the Labor & Commerce Committee.
  • SB 6228 (Sen. Kuderer) Restoring voting rights to certain people convicted of felonies – Scheduled for a vote on Friday 1/24 at 1:30 PM in the State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee.

Take Action for Justice!

This week, we encourage you to advocate for the Open Courts to All Act (HB 2567 Rep. Thai). This bill is a follow-up to the Keep Washington Working bill that was passed last session, and it prohibits communications with and arrests by ICE/Customs and Border Patrol agents within and outside county courthouses. This bill will reduce detentions and deportations, providing protection and reduce fear for our undocumented neighbors, who like all of us utilize the courthouse for certain transactions. Please send a message to your Representatives to support this bill, especially if they sit on the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee. This bill will be up for public hearing on Wednesday 1/22 at 8 AM.

For any other bills on our agenda, contact your legislators using the email formula, or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 between 8 AM and 7 PM, Monday through Friday. Check out the Seattle/King County League of Women Voters’ 2020 They Represent You online directory of Washington legislators.

Come to Interfaith Advocacy Day!

Each Winter, FAN hosts three Interfaith Advocacy Day opportunities to bring voices of compassion and justice to our elected officials. In Olympia, we gather at The United Churches of Olympia for workshops, strategy meetings in legislative districts, and meetings with our legislators. IFAD was unfortunately snowed out last year, so we are hoping to be a bold presence in Olympia in 2020! Registering early is important this year because there are new regulations limiting attendance to only 250 participants at the church, so the sooner you sign up the better! Please pay ahead of time, either when you register online or by phone or mail, so that we can guarantee you a spot. We are also seeking volunteers for registration and caucus leaders to convene your legislative district before meeting with your elected officials. Email FAN if you can help in either of these capacities.

FAN also co-hosts legislative conferences in Spokane and Yakima, in collaboration with our local partners. The Eastern Washington Legislative Conference in Spokane will be held January 25 from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church (115 N. Raymond St, Spokane Valley). Yakima Advocacy Day will be February 8 from 9 AM – 2 PM at St. Michael’s Episcopal Mission (5 S Naches Ave, Yakima).

Work with FAN on Census 2020!

We are pleased to announce that we have received funding from the Washington Census Equity Fund, managed by Philanthropy Northwest, which will help us promote a robust and accurate count in the 2020 Census. Census data is used to determine how more than $800 billion in federal funds are distributed back to local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, fire departments and roads. Washington has more than 1.6 million residents from historically “hard-to-count” population groups, including communities of color, Native Americans both on and off tribal lands, immigrants and limited English speakers, young children and rural residents of all backgrounds. With this grant we will be able to support opportunities for participation in the census which will help ensure that all communities receive their fair share of critical federal and state funding. We are thrilled to be a recipient of this grant and a participant in this important work.

To further this effort, we are hiring a part-time Census Coordinator to assist in outreach efforts for FAN. We will be hiring by January 31 and see this as a statewide effort. If you believe everyone counts in Census 2020 and want to help faith communities fill an important role, send your resume and cover letter to