FAN attended one of many events on Monday to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Seattle. We hope you were able to connect with your community and carry on Dr. King’s call to anti-racism, economic justice, and an end to war and violence.

Week Two in Review

Three of FAN’s partners hosted a lobby day in Olympia on MLK Day: I Did the Time (an organization founded in Spokane for formerly incarcerated people and their allies), Statewide Poverty Action Network (SPAN), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In the evening, FAN co-sponsored the first rally to end mass incarceration at the state capitol. It was planned and led by Prison Voice. Many speakers presented, and Sen. Darneille was honored for her longtime work on criminal justice reforms in the state legislature.

Twenty-plus committee meetings heard over one hundred bills throughout the rest of the week, including two key bills from FAN’s legislative agenda – Courts Open to All (HB 2567 Thai/SB 6522 Wellman), and a bill to reduce racial inequities in how DSHS administers the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, concerning time limits and sanctions (HB 2441 Entenman). FAN also presented on our legislative work in Olympia at the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA’s Bishops Convocation.

Looking Ahead to Week Three

Monday – Senate hearing on guardianship and vulnerable adults in the Law & Justice Committee.

Tuesday – Senate hearing on the Sentencing Reform Bill (SB 6530 Dhingra) in the Law & Justice Committee

Wednesday – Senate hearings on the Private Detention Ban bill (SB 6442 Saldaña) in the Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee and the Homeless ID Card bill (SB 6426 Cleveland) in the Transportation Committee.

Thursday – Environmental Lobby Day (see details in the Events & Opportunities section below).

Take Action for Justice!

The Senate Private Detention Ban bill (SB 6442 Saldaña) will be heard on Wednesday in the Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee at 8 AM. FAN is part of an immigrant advocacy coalition with over 150 organizations endorsing these companion bills. Incarceration is inherently a governmental function that cannot be outsourced because of the public interest in humane treatment and transparency. Private prisons fail the public and harm individuals – inmates, their families, and staff. This bill will phase out the use of private prisons by prohibiting any new contracts and extensions of existing private contracts to provide prison or detention services, with exceptions for private contracting for mental health, drug, and juvenile rehabilitation, and for tribally owned jails. The House bill (HB 2576 Ortiz-Self) will be heard in early February.

Please send a message to your Senator to support this bill, especially if they sit on the Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee.

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!

We are excited to announce our opening speaker for IFAD in Olympia: new Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins! We hope you’ll join us on February 6 to bring voices of compassion and justice to our elected officials. We will gather at The United Churches of Olympia for workshops, strategy meetings in legislative districts, and meetings with our legislators.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 this weekend – 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!

FAN is hiring a part-time Census Coordinator to assist in outreach efforts thanks to a grant from the Washington Census Equity Fund, managed by Philanthropy Northwest. The Census Coordinator 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.

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