We love seeing FAN advocates in action! Lora Rathbone from Shalom UCC in the Tri-Cities (right) testified on a faith panel with Co-Director Paul Benz and Jessica Zimmerle from Earth Ministry in support of SB 5373 WA Strong which will curb carbon pollution and strengthen the economy through green recovery bonds. Rep. Lekanoff (left) also testified in favor.

Take Action!

Tuesday, March 9 is the house of origin cutoff, so this week is critical! Please add your own language to the email prompts:

  • Community and Technical Colleges (SB 5194 Sen. Liias) – This bill expands services and access to community and technical colleges. Email your Senator to ask them if they support this bill and urge them to bring it up for a vote.
  • Just Cause Evictions (HB 1236 Rep. Macri) – This bill strengthens renter protections by preventing unlawful lease provisions and limiting reasons for eviction. Email your Representatives to ask them if they support this bill and urge them to bring it up for a vote.
  • Housing Revenue (HB 1277 Rep. Ormsby) – This bill increases the document recording fee to add revenue for eviction prevention and housing stability. Email your Representatives to ask them if they support this bill and urge them to bring it up for a vote.

You can also call the Legislative Hotline to advocate for these bills at 1-800-562-6000. To learn more about each bill, go to apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/ and enter the bill number or check out FAN’s Issue Fact Sheets and Bill Tracker.

Week Eight

The House and Senate were busy day and night amending, debating, and voting on bills all this week. On Thursday morning, two bills on FAN’s legislative agenda were heard:

  • SB 5373 (Sen. Lovelett) – The WA Strong bill uses green recovery bonds financed by a $25/ton tax on carbon emissions for a variety of investments from family wage jobs, to public health-based infrastructure projects, to bridging the digital divide. FAN helped coordinate a faith panel to testify. The bill is designated NTIB (necessary to implement the budget), so it is not affected by cut-offs. Carbon WA and Front & Centered are leading organizations on this bill.
  • HB 1072 (Rep. Lekanoff) – This bill would make undocumented individuals eligible to receive civil legal aid services. Columbia Legal Services is the lead organization on this bill.

Bills that passed this week on FAN’s legislative agenda were:

  • HB 1267 (Rep. Entenman) – Establishes an office for independent investigations of homicides by police officers.
  • SB 5141 (Sen. Saldaña) – The HEAL Act will establish an environmental justice principle in each state agency.
  • SB 5160 (Sen. Kuderer) – This bill strengthens protections for tenants and expands mitigation dollars for landlords.
  • SB 5214 (Sen. Nguyen) – Extends the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) time limit for eligible households.
  • SB 5399 (Sen. Randall) – Establishes a Universal Health Care Commission.

Looking Ahead to Week Nine

Next week, the legislature will transition from floor action in the house of origin to committee hearings in the new chamber. Monday and Tuesday are the final days for floor action on remaining bills. Wednesday through Friday will be full days of committee hearings.

The following bills on FAN’s leg agenda will be heard next week:

  • HB 1091 (Rep. Fitzgibbon) – Clean Fuels Standards – Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee on Wednesday at 8.
  • HB 1050 (Rep. Fitzgibbon) – Prohibiting police tactics – Senate Law & Justice Committee on Thursday at 10:30.
  • HB 1090 (Rep. Ortiz-Self) – Prohibiting private detention – Senate Human Services Committee on Thursday at 1:30.
  • SB 5051 (Rep. Pedersen) – Decertification of peace officers and Criminal Justice Training Commission reforms – House Public Safety Committee on Thursday at 1:30.
  • SB 5141 – HEAL Act – House Environment & Energy Committee on Friday at 10.

Eastern WA Update

FAN Regional Organizer Lauren Schubring is starting a newsletter for Eastern Washington! Here is the link to this month’s newsletter which highlights the FAN network in Eastern WA, upcoming events, an engagement form so Lauren can learn about your interests, and an invitation to a weekly Action Hour on Mondays at 4 PM. We hope our Eastern WA advocates can use these tools to better connect with us – feel free to reach out to Lauren if you have ideas on future collaborations.

Seattle Action Updates

FAN has signed onto a letter to Seattle’s Mayor Durkan along with 47 community organizations, labor unions, faith groups, service providers, public health organizations and small businesses, to extend the city eviction moratorium through the end of 2021. For more background on this effort, see Katie Wilson’s column in Crosscut.

Hundreds of people signed a letter to Seattle Public Schools last week to move the first day of school after Rosh Hashanah, and you will hear directly from the Jewish Federation sponsors of that letter about any results or updates if you signed. Also this week, the Kadima Reconstructionist Community invites you to consider signing on to another letter to Seattle Public Schools, urging they negotiate in good faith with the Seattle Education Association as preparations are made to return teachers to classrooms. You can find some background on the issue in this KUOW piece and that letter at: https://forms.gle/G1ze5goRpYGBr9hQ6

Challenge 2.0: Faith and Politics

FAN Co-Directors were part of a conversation about Faith and Politics that premiered this week. We offer this video blog that you can use to start your own conversations in community. Thank you to Paths To Understanding and their wonderful Challenge 2.0 media program, so graciously hosted by Jeff Renner. What is the proper relationship between faith, politics and government? Are they exclusive, or does an active faith life demand involvement in politics and government policy?

Faith Leader Opportunity

Each legislative session, faith leaders deliver a daily invocation to start the floor sessions. Now that the session is virtual, faith leaders have the opportunity to send in video invocation messages to the Lieutenant Governor’s office to be played at the start of each Senate floor session. They’ve received many videos to date but could always use more as floor session days ramp up. If you are interested in this opportunity, you can contact Jesika Westmond in the Lieutenant Governor’s office for more information.

Event Highlight: Columbia River Treaty

FAN has been helping facilitate the Interfaith Network for Indigenous Communities (INIC) since 2015, when faith community representatives began gathering to discuss ways to take action together on the 30th Anniversary of the Apology Letter to Tribes. Since then, we’ve co-hosted conversations on the Doctrine of Discovery, the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples, and indigenous films. This week, we invite the broader community to join a conversation about the necessity of including tribes at the table in updating the Columbia River Treaty. Please join us Thursday, May 11, at 1:00pm to hear U.W. School of Social Work professors Stan DeMello and Morna McEachern and special guests; rsvp to receive the link: http://bit.ly/INIC-ColumbiaRvr