We are grateful for the 200 advocates who attended Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia last Thursday, and for the 50 who attended Yakima IFAD on Saturday! See our Facebook page for pictures!

Week Four in Review

Many important justice lobby days took place last week: Hunger Action Day, Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day, Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Day, and FAN’s Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia. Thanks to all who attended, raised your voices, and marched with us to the capitol steps! As Co-Director Paul said on Thursday, our work doesn’t end with one action day – now is the time to follow up with your legislators and staff, keep advocating for bills moving through the session, and let us know what you are hearing.

A few key bills from FAN’s Legislative Agenda had hearings this week:

  • The Clean Slate bill (SB 2793 Hansen) and the Private Detention Ban bill (SB 2576 Ortiz-Self) in the House Public Safety Committee.
  • The Individual Tax Identification Number bill (SB 6557 Saldaña) in the Senate Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee.
  • The Sustainable Farms & Fields bill (SB 5947 McCoy) in the House Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee.

Looking Ahead to Week Five

Monday: Latino Advocacy Day and the annual Farm Worker Tribunal

Tuesday: Fiscal cutoff – if a bill has a financial component and is not voted out of Appropriations or the Ways & Means Committees, it is “dead” for the session.

Wednesday: The beginning of a full week of floor action where bills that have moved from the Rules Committee to the Order for Consideration are debated and voted on.

Take Action for Justice!

The Clean Slate bill (HB 2793 Hansen) needs to be heard and voted on in the House Appropriations Committee by Tuesday, February 11 or it will be dead for this session. This bill would automatically vacate certain misdemeanors and felonies from one’s record, once a person has served their sentence and has not been convicted of a crime for a set period of time. This bill is a follow-up to the New Hope Act passed last year, which allowed eligible persons to apply to have certain records expunged – the Clean Slate Act ensures that all such records are expunged so one does not need prior knowledge of the law change to benefit from it.

This bill was voted out of the Public Safety Committee 9-2 with a bipartisan vote. Many of you have a Representative who sits on the House Appropriations Committee – please use this link to urge them to ask the Chair of the Appropriations Committee to hear and vote this bill out of committee by Tuesday, February 11.

For any other bills on our agenda, contact your legislators using the email formula firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov, 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.

Work with FAN on Census 2020!

We are a few weeks out from the launch of Census 2020 on March 12, as postcards will begin to arrive inviting households to participate. Official Census Day is April 1. In the State of Washington, $16.7B in tax dollars for our communities are at stake, along with our democratic representation in Congress. We cannot afford to miss counting anyone in this census, especially traditionally undercounted communities of color, immigrants, tribes, rural areas, and young children.

To prepare for this important season, our partners at the U.S. Census Bureau are hosting a Faith-Based Community Summit on Wednesday, February 19 from 9 AM – 3 PM. We hope you will be able to join and learn how you can mobilize your community around Census 2020! We also encourage you to take our survey to tell us how you would like to be further involved in this important work.