Thank you to all who joined us for Interfaith Advocacy Day 2021! We had a great morning of legislative overview, words from interfaith leaders and legislators, workshops on the issues, and legislative appointments Thursday and Friday. See our recap below! Featuring Rep. Tarra Simmons (top center) and Sen. Marko Liias (bottom right).


Take Action!

Four House bills FAN has been working on with the WA Coalition for Police Accountability could use your outreach to your House member—Click here to let them know you support them and ask for their support as they are moving in the process. Please add your own message to the prompt provided. Following is more information about each:

SB 5051 (Sen. Pedersen) – The Police decertification and Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) reform bill is in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Click this link to email your Senator to tell them you support it and ask for their vote. Please add your own message to the prompt provided.

SB 5194 (Sen. Liias) – Greater access, services, and investments for Community & Technical Colleges. This bill will have a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means on Friday 2/19. Click here to email your Senator to tell them you support it and ask for their vote. Please add your own message to the prompt provided.

HB 1091 (Rep. Fitzgibbon) – The Clean Fuels Standards bill is in the House Transportation Committee. Click here to see if your Representatives sit on this committee, and email them to ask for their vote if so (Use the formula firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov or call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000).


Week Five

Last week, FAN hosted our annual Interfaith Leaders Council meeting with the governor, with 20 in attendance. Issues covered ranged from revenue to housing to the environment and COVID-19 vaccinations. We also had a great virtual Interfaith Advocacy Day which you can read more about below!

Here are a few bills we worked on this week:

  • SB 5399 (Sen. Randall) was heard to establish a commission on next steps for a universal health care system. Three recommendations were brought forth to the legislature in December from a bill passed last session.
  • FAN is involved in the negotiations on the canine/police dogs section of HB 1054 (Rep. J. Johnson) prohibiting certain police tactics. This bill is in the Rules Committee but needs better agreement before it will be brought to the floor.
  • The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) lobbying team that FAN is part of met with the Senate Ways & Means leaders, including the new Vice Chair Sen. June Robinson from Everett.
  • HB 1151 (Rep. Leavitt) had a successful hearing in the Appropriations Committee and should be able to be voted out before the 2/22 fiscal cutoff. This bill would bolster economic recovery by providing public assistance including food benefits to households and increase accessibility by loosening eligibility restrictions.

Looking Ahead to Week Six

The first round of cutoffs begins this week with the policy cutoff on 2/15 – if a bill is not out of its policy committee by Monday, it is dead. The fiscal cutoff (for bills with a financial component) is 2/22 and the house of origin cutoff is 3/9 (House bills must be voted out of the House, and same with Senate bills).

Monday: Several bills on FAN’s legislative agenda will up for executive session (amendments and a final committee vote) or a hearing if it is a fiscal bill:

Tuesday:

Wednesday: In the US Congress, there will be a hearing at 7 AM on HR 40 – the African American Reparations study commission in the House Judiciary Committee.

Friday: SB 5194 (Sen. Liias) – Greater access, services, and investments for Community & Technical Colleges – public hearing in Ways & Means.


Thank You Advocates!

You showed up last week on Interfaith Advocacy Day to rise up for justice in our state’s virtual capitol. Advocates attended from Bellingham to Vancouver, Spokane to Ocean Shores, with Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Yakima, Tri-Cities, and lots of Puget Sound represented, and many beautiful places in between!

More than 170 of you (nearly 200 with two to a screen) from 42 legislative districts turned out for #IFAD2021 to hear legislative updates, meet with members in your district, attend workshops by amazing coalition leaders, and join in 105 meetings with your legislators. Special guests offered words of encouragement for advocacy—thank you Dr. Jasmit Singh (please see his interfaith reflection on our Blog), Sen. Marko Liias, and Rep. Tarra Simmons. You can listen to their remarks and the introductory and closing sessions on our YouTube page.

This year’s IFAD was all remote, all virtual, with some challenges, but full of hearts and minds for justice! We draw energy for this work from each other. Our IFAD voices were raised during a week that included Housing and Hunger Advocacy Days, so our voices of compassion for our neighbors resounded through the Capitol.

There is much to do to get these bills we support passed into law. We have the power to do it together–stay tuned to our emails, follow our Bill Tracker on the website, and remember leg.wa.gov has almost everything you need to follow bills and show your support by signing in Pro/Con during committee hearings. Continue to TAKE ACTION and keep in touch with your legislators!


Join us for Central WA Advocacy Day!

We have one more Advocacy Day this year, and we’d love for you to join! In Central WA, we will gather this Saturday, February 20, for Advocacy Day with the theme Moving Past Crisis and Into Action. Register here for a morning of legislative overview, a panel discussion on policies affecting immigrants, and breakout action groups on Poverty, Climate, Redistricting, Healthcare, and Immigration. We will emphasize collective actions we can take to move the policies forward, both locally and at the state level. Interpretation for Spanish speakers provided.


Gloval COVID Advocacy Opportunity

With our partners at Washington Fair Trade Coalition, FAN has signed onto this national letter and invite you to add your ORGANIZATIONS OR FAITH COMMUNITIES urging President Biden to help bring an end to the global COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible by reversing the Trump administration’s insistence that the World Trade Organization (WTO) put Big Pharma profits ahead of public health. Towards this end, over 100 countries have called for a temporary waiver at the WTO of “Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights” (TRIPS) on the technologies needed to produce more COVID-19 vaccines and medications. Together, we’re asking the Biden administration to reverse that Trump-era decision and support the TRIPS waiver. This is an urgent, life-or-death matter for people everywhere.  Please add your organization to the sign-on letter by filling out this form by Wednesday, February 24.  


Events & Opportunities

Hospitality workers, including low-income workers from bars, restaurants, hotels, and motels who live and work within the City of Seattle are eligible for financial assistance through the Seattle Hospitality Worker Emergency Relief Fund. You must apply by February 15 – please share this information with your communities (available in many languages).

Exciting news of a new, low-barrier women’s shelter in Seattle that opened just in time for the snow! Even as the shelter fills to capacity, they will still need women staff who can work as good team members in a come-as-you-are setting. $17/hour, and benefits (medical and dental) are offered to full-time workers after three months. Email employment queries only to womensempowerment@sharewheel.org. More about the shelter here.