FAN has been part of statewide Mourning Into Unity vigils to honor those who have died from COVID-19 and stand together to protect our democracy. On the right, Zahra Roach, Central WA Regional Organizer, led an event in Richland last week – see the NBC video coverage here. First AME Church in Seattle also hosted an event and will continue these vigils through the election under the title Pray the Ballot, Mondays 10/26 and 11/2.
Protecting the Integrity of the Election
Concern is widespread that either civil unrest will occur following the presidential election next Tuesday, November 3, and the Trump Administration’s threats to interfere with the results of the election. There are three things that every one of us can do to respond: 1) Vote, 2) Encourage everyone we know to vote, especially friends and family in swing states, and 3) Take action to make sure that every vote is counted. We hope you have done Steps 1 and 2, so now is the time to get ready for Step 3.
Fortunately, many national and local organizations have sprung into action, and there are numerous ways to engage. You can start by attending a virtual training session: nationally from Choose Democracy or Faith in Public Life, or locally from .
Fix Democracy First. Fix Democracy First and Protect the Results are hosting a WA State virtual rally to protect the results of the election on November 4 at 5pm. RSVP at the Protect the Results website.
FAN is hosting an Action Hour to Support a Free and Fair Election on Zoom this Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 pm to bring our interfaith community together to ensure a safe and fair election. Block off one hour of your time to send emails and sign petitions alongside other people of faith from around the state. All you have to do is show up – there will be prepared emails, scripts, and links with clear instructions on how to take action. RSVP here. We hope you can join us!
Other opportunities: Write to Secretary of State Kim Wyman, urging her to publicly commit to a free and fair election, and to publicly state for the nation how safe mail-in voting is, which we know from years of experience here in WA! email@example.com.
Gather with family and friends in public spaces with signs, flags, and banners demanding a fair and full vote count. Many organizers are emphasizing small, dispersed outdoor actions in order to promote social distancing and avoid attracting counter protesters.
Connect with your friends and colleagues in labor and community organizations to see what they have planned:
- 350Seattle.org is bannering daily over I-5 in Seattle at NE 50th St. from 7:45-9:30 am and 4:45-6:30 pm.
- Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation is organizing small affinity groups for bannering and other outdoor actions (email Janis Pruitt-Hamm). They also have a great list of actions you can take on their Choose Democracy: Protect the Election page.
- There will be a virtual interfaith service in Seattle on Sunday, November 1 at 6:30 PM in preparation for the election. Let us know if there are others happening in your area!
- In Spokane, organizations have come together to publish a strong statement to local elected officials urging them to support a fair and peaceful election. FAN has signed on to this statement and will joining others being organized statewide. FAN Board Member Rev. Jim CastroLang is part of a “2020 Post Election Safety Planning” grassroots team in Spokane to protect the legitimacy of the election which includes weekly Zoom meetings and three subgroups on taking action, contacting elected officials, and community communications. Contact Jim for more information. He is also hosting a Meeting and Messaging Training for Faith Leaders event on Tuesday, October 27 from 2-3 PM. In Northwest WA, activists have coalesced in the Fourth Corner Election Integrity Group. Contact Steve Huchens for more.
- AFT Washington is hosting a “SHOWING UP ON SIDEWALKS & STREETS Practical Pointers for Protest” workshop on October 28 from 5-7 PM to peacefully demand that all votes are counted and respected, and to prepare for peaceful protest.
Calling All Virtual Table Hosts!
Our virtual Annual Dinner is less than three weeks away! We hope you will join us as we Rise Up Together on November 15 at 5 PM – RSVP at bit.ly/FANDinner2020. On your registration page, you will notice that you have the opportunity to be a Virtual Table Host for your faith community, organization, or friend group. These important hosts will be responsible for gathering your group at 5 PM in a private Zoom meeting to mingle before we all migrate to the main event link! We have a detailed Virtual Table Host packet, and more information will come the week before the event, including a Zoom test run for those who need it. Please let us know if you can be a Virtual Table Host as soon as possible!
Support Community & Technical Colleges
October 30 is the last day for faith leaders to sign onto the Protect Community Colleges petition, calling for zero cuts to community and technical colleges in the state budget. Community and technical colleges are centers of workforce development and equal opportunity, and they are critical to the pursuit of racial justice in our state. The full text of the letter is included in the petition. Please sign only if you are the leader of a faith community or organization.
Bellevue: Support Affordable Homes
For advocates in Bellevue, the Bellevue Planning Commission is voting on an amendment that will allow faith-based organizations, non-profits, and public entities to build more affordable housing by increasing zoning density on those properties. This opportunity is possible because of FAN’s advocacy for HB 1337 in the 2019 legislative session, and if it passes, Bellevue will be the first city in King County to implement it. Housing Development Consortium has a Take Action link you can use to urge the commission to vote YES on Affordable Housing Strategy C-2.
Events & Opportunities
Referendum 90 for Safe and Healthy Youth is seeking phone banking volunteers now through 8 PM on November 3. FAN endorsed R90 because it is comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education that is consistent with many faith traditions. Signup here to phonebank with the campaign.
The WA COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is open to undocumented residents, thanks to the advocacy of many organizations and individuals! See immigrantreliefwa.org/ for information, graphics, and print-outs in English and Spanish (and more languages to come) that you can use to share this vital resource with your community.