TWO DAYS LEFT TO APPLY! The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund was created when advocates urged the Governor to protect our immigrant neighbors during the global pandemic. Please share widely about this important resource – you must apply by December 6 to receive benefits at immigrantreliefwa.org!
Announcing FAN’s 2021 State Legislative Agenda
Please find our 2021 Legislative Agenda (fanwa.org) where you can also download and share a copy.
Each year the FAN Governing Board and staff, in collaboration with our coalition partners and input from our Spring Summit attendees and the FAN Program Committee, approves FAN’s Legislative Agenda that guides our work during the state legislative session. We will be adding and adjusting priorities even as the 2021 session gets underway, so please check back here for updates.
Be sure you’re receiving our weekly E-News for legislative alerts starting in January. You can learn more about the bills on our Issue Fact Sheets page, which we continue to update as we receive bill information. And each week we will update the progress of the bills through our Bill Tracker.
Plan to join us for an Advocacy Day near you, held virtually this year for Spokane/Eastern WA 1/30, Olympia-focused 2/11, and Central WA 2/20. More information and registration links will be posted soon!
This year we are offering two pre-session trainings, on Wednesday, January 6, 6:00-8:00pm, and Sunday January 10, 2:00-4:00pm. Both will have the same content: An introduction to what to expect of the 2021 virtual legislative session and our legislative agenda by Paul Benz, with breakout rooms/workshops on specific content areas and some Advocacy 101 training. Registrations and more information to come on those, please hold the date!
Introducing Our Eastern WA Regional Organizer
To help carry out this important work statewide, we are delighted to introduce our newest regional organizer for Eastern WA. Lauren Schubring already hit the ground running in October, and helped FAN Board member Jim CastroLang organize the Spokane Big Table for our Annual Dinner. We’re glad to have her onboard, contracted for 10 hours per week for now, to build towards 20 by springtime. Here are Lauren’s own words:
Lauren Schubring, Eastern WA Regional Organizer, loves to connect people around shared values and to find ways to make a difference together. This new part-time role is an excellent way for her to do that in Spokane and the rest of Eastern Washington. Lauren grew up in Michigan before moving to Spokane for college. Lauren completed her undergraduate education at Moody Bible Institute, and will be completing her Masters in Public Administration and Urban & Regional Planning at Eastern Washington University in March 2021. Lauren also works at The Arc of Spokane as their Assistant Director of County Programs. She cares greatly about seeing inclusion, justice, and equity for all as a reality. Lauren is excited to be working with FAN to continue to see how much progress can be made when a community works together.
Call on Congress to Take Action Before They Adjourn!
Congress reconvened this week for its final session before the year ends. Please urge your members to take action before Congress adjourns:
COVID relief package needed!—Since the CARES Act was passed in March of this year, Congress has been unable to pass any new economic or emergency relief in response to the impacts of the coronavirus. But this week, Congress and White House leaders have restarted talks on making a new compromise before the end of the year. A relief package of $908 billion is under consideration. This is a critical moment for faith advocates across the country to contact their lawmakers AGAIN to urge a new deal soon. With our national Lutheran/ELCA Advocacy partners, we urge you to write to your member about your priorities for COVID relief.
Extend the Eviction Moratorium past Dec 31—The National Low Income Housing Coalition has a sign-on letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), requesting an extension and some implementation fixes to the eviction moratorium that expires on December 31. FAN has joined on as a statewide organization, and they are seeking statewide and local groups to sign on as well by December 15.
Take Steps toward Reparations—With the ACLU, we call for Congress to move forward H.R. 40, first introduced by the Honorable John Lewis, which is critical toward addressing the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of the institution of slavery in the colonies and the United States. H.R. 40 would set up a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its legacy and make recommendations for reparations to Congress, and now, there is a chance it could go to markup before the House adjourns this year. There are likely only about two weeks for movement to happen around this, and we need to put as much pressure on lawmakers as possible. Please, send a message to your representative to support H.R. 40 now.
Statewide Actions You Can Take Before Session
Support Students! As our partners at Communities for Our Colleges Coalition prepare for the legislative session, there will be more opportunities to learn firsthand from students and other leaders the importance of our community and technical colleges to economic recovery and racial equity. Make sure you’ve seen their fact sheet and policy platform and stay tuned for upcoming forums.
Partners Wanted to Expand College Financial Aid Use: The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) partnered this year with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and other statewide organizations to train volunteers to go into communities and offer financial aid workshops for adults and high school students. More than 300 volunteers were trained. They would like to connect with faith-based organizations that would be willing to sponsor workshops in their communities, so that the trained volunteers can help many more Washington residents complete both federal and state financial aid applications. The Washington College Grant, in particular, is now available to many more prospective and current students at our colleges, significantly reducing and in some cases eliminating tuition costs. Interested organizations should contact Joe Holliday, Director of Student Services at SBCTC, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Action for Climate Solutions! Our partners at Climate Solutions are inviting your response to their Clean Fuels petition ahead of legislative session. For more information on their priorities, see this attached pdf.