Announcing our 2020 Annual Dinner! Save the Date November 15 for a new way of celebrating the year together – our program will be completely online this year in light of COVID-19, with some live elements. Depending on which phase of reopening your area is in, we are hoping some regions will be safe enough to gather in small groups – think about who you might like to host at your table. Stay tuned for more!
Congressional Relief Package – Take Action
In May, the House passed the HEROES Act for the next phase of Coronavirus relief. The Senate is creating their own version, so we need to be diligent in our advocacy to ensure vital programs continue and are expanded to support our most vulnerable communities. Negotiations are taking place daily before Congress adjourns for the August recess – Take Action today to urge your senators and representative to include the following in the final package:
- Expand and increase SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) by 15%, increase the minimum SNAP monthly benefit from $16 to $30, and suspend all administrative SNAP rule changes indefinitely during this time of economic distress.
- Ensure that the housing priorities in the House HEROES bill stay in the final bill, such as $100 billion for emergency rental assistance and $11.5 billion for homeless emergency grants, and establish a nationwide uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
- Extend the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) beyond July 31st and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beyond Dec. 31st.
It is vital to reach both your House and Senate members, even if they are supportive of these efforts, so they are clear on their constituents’ priorities and are encouraged to continue in the path forward for justice! Send a letter today!
We celebrate the passage of the NO BAN Act in the House this week which works to reverse the Trump administration’s Islamophobic Muslim Ban and prevent future bans on groups of people entering the United States from occurring. We signed onto this organizational nationwide letter in support of the NO BAN Act. You can learn more at muslimadvocates.org.
In response to armed and unidentified federal security forces in Portland, the Western States Center and their national partners have launched a Defend Our Democracy campaign. You can listen to this week’s emergency briefing and consider signing on to the regional/national campaign here: westernstatescenter.org/wedefenddemocracy
In light of the first federal death penalty execution committed in 17 years, FAN joined with members of the national Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition to decry the use of the death penalty as a racist tool that violates human life and wastes economic resources. See our statement here.
Remembrance of 75 Years of WA Nuclear Legacy
On the 75th anniversary of the tragic atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in honor of the survivors, in memory of the lives lost, in struggle with those who still bear the health consequences and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons, we will continue organizing and lobbying for nuclear weapons abolition. FAN is part of the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition, comprising 51 organizations statewide from the health, environmental, civic, faith and medical sectors of society, which urges your conscious action this year to change the trajectory of the United States’ dangerously aggressive and offensive nuclear weapons posture. We invite you and your organizations to sign up to participate in the August 1-15 virtual lobby week, on the theme “#75 Years of Washington Nuclear Legacy”.
Faith Census Weekend – We Have the Power!
In another attempt to instill fear in undocumented immigrants, President Trump this week issued a memo illegally attempting to exclude undocumented people from the final Census 2020 count for redistricting. He lost the battle for a census citizenship question in the courts, and while we trust he will lose this one, we join voices across the nation in deploring this action. There is no data in the census that will determine who is undocumented. There are stiff legal protections over census data, and Congress and advocates are ready to respond. Read more about it on NPR.
It is more important than ever to make sure EVERYONE IS COUNTED in Census 2020 to show their power. As Lutheran Bishop Richard Jaech of the SW WA ELCA Synod said in our Faith Census Summit in February: If anyone comes for our immigrant neighbors after they participate in the Census, we will stand with them. Without participation of historically undercounted groups, hundreds of thousands of people in our state will continue to be underserved and underrepresented for 10 years!
We have a fantastic new 1-minute video featuring Washington’s own faith leaders from a variety of traditions promoting the census. Thanks to Pyramid Communications and the WA Complete Count Committee, we have this amazing tool to share. Please consider playing it in your online services or announcements this weekend, and post it to your website and Facebook page!
Thirty percent of our state’s population have not been counted. Residents of rural communities, immigrants, children, Indigenous peoples and people of color have historically been undercounted, and we have the opportunity and duty to include everyone this time. This interactive map shows which communities have been undercounted and can guide our outreach this season. Do you have friends or family in any of these regions, and can you reach out to them? Are you a member of a faith community in one of these areas, and can you share our video, an announcement, or flyer with others in your congregation, or through the school system, cafes or public library? Check out our Census Toolkit on the FAN website for flyers, worship resources, and children’s activities. We have until October 31 to achieve a complete and accurate count.
We are grateful for the ways you continue to show love for neighbors through this effort. Participating in the 2020 Census helps all of us have equal access to political representation and resources for thriving. The census determines how many books and computers our schools can afford, whether our elders have access to health care, and where bus routes are located.