Breaking news! Gov. Inslee responded to months of advocacy in creating a $40M fund for undocumented workers for relief during COVID-19, a vital resource that has been left out of federal stimulus packages. Thank you for your advocacy to make sure these essential workers who are keeping us fed are supported! Above, workers in Yakima show off their masks donated by the community (photo courtesy of Yakima Immigrant Response Network).
Making an Impact on Policing Reform
FAN’s primary engagement regarding substantive policy change in policing is currently through the newly formed Washington Coalition for Police Accountability (WCPA). This coalition’s goal, led by impacted families, is to bring forth and pass legislation at the state level to create more effective accountability that lessens police fatalities. Through this work the WCPA is saying Black Lives Matter!
The coalition has 5 working groups:
- Independent Investigations
- Use of Deadly Force
- Police Oversight
- Collective Bargaining
- Legislator Outreach/lobbyists
The coalition is working with the House Black Caucus and Members of Color Caucuses in both chambers to craft legislation to introduce next January.
The Governor has also established a 20-member Task Force on Independent Investigation of Police Use of Force and will bring forth ideas for legislation next session as well. Some community leaders and family members are involved in both groups. The police-related fatality of Manny Ellis in Tacoma is the primary reason for this task force, so that police do not continue to investigate themselves.
Community and Technical Colleges: Recovery, Equity & Justice
FAN has joined Communities for Our Colleges, an alliance of students, faculty, alumni, and community supporters fighting to defend and improve our two-year colleges, especially during these difficult times. Strong community and technical colleges are essential to Washington’s recovery and to racial and economic equity. These campuses are the backbones of our communities.
Register here to join us Wednesday, August 12 at 1pm for an online forum featuring U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, author of the College for All Act. She will be joined by a panel of other community college leaders and coalition members from across the state.
Pandemic-EBT Benefits – Apply by August 31
Please get this information out to families so they can apply by August 31—only 20% of eligible families have applied:
Apply online at WashingtonConnection.org or call 877-501-2233
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a new one-time food benefit to help low-income families buy groceries while schools are closed due to COVID-19. ALL households with children in a K-12 school who were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals during the school year, OR who attended a school where meals are free for all students, are eligible for P-EBT. This could mean $399 in P-EBT benefits per child. P-EBT is for ALL eligible children, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. It is not subject to public charge and will not affect immigration status for a child or their family members, either in the U.S. or in another country.
Our Power, Our Census!
We’ve been saying it all along, but last week’s news that the Trump administration is ending the 2020 Census on Sept. 30, a month earlier than planned, leaves us much to do to make sure that 30% of people in our state, many who are historically undercounted and underrepresented, are included! We have materials to help you do outreach. Please email FAN@fanwa.org if you have a way to get flyers shared in communities of color, to immigrants, elders, and people with small children. And please, share this one minute video from our interfaith leaders on your social media.
While we increase the urgency of our collective work, we are also asking Congress to extend the statutory deadlines for reporting apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census. Read this Washington Post OpEd by Vanita Gupta. FAN has joined this Census Project sign-on letter.
FAN Regional Organizing
The FAN Governing Board has long wanted to more deeply engage with regions across the state through the help of regional organizers. Thanks to the support of our donors, we will be taking steps toward this dream in the months ahead. These part-time Regional Organizers will work closely with the FAN team to help equip FAN’s existing network of faith communities and individuals in their region, while also extending FAN’s interfaith partnerships in communities of color. If you or someone you know has organizing skills and is located in Central WA or Eastern WA, please contact Co-Director Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org.