Take Action

Bills are now moving through the opposite chamber – let’s keep up the momentum and push them all the way to the Governor’s desk! Please add your own language to the email prompts and see the issue fact sheets linked for more information:

  • Expanding Emergency Food and Cash Assistance (HB 1151) – Email your Senator and ask if they support this bill, especially if they serve on the Ways & Means Committee.
  • Earned Time for Good Behavior (HB 1282) – Email your Representatives and ask if they support this bill, especially if they serve on the Appropriations Committee.
  • Driving While License Suspended (SB 5226) – FAN supports amending this bill in its current form so that it ends license suspensions while keeping a payment plan accountability. FAN is part of the coalition to end debt-based license suspensions which supports this amendment. Email your Representatives and ask if they support this bill and the amendment, especially if they serve on the House Transportation Committee. You can also sign-in and note your position as “other” before the hearing on Monday, March 22 at 3:30 PM.
  • Community and Technical Colleges (SB 5194) – Sign-in PRO or provide written testimony. Take action before the hearing on Monday, March 22 at 1:30 PM.

Follow these links to see which committees your Senators and Representatives sit on. 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 TrackerAnother great way to stay engaged this session is by attending your legislators’ town hall meetings and advocating for the bills you want to keep moving!

Week Ten

Week Ten was full of committee hearings lots of amendments, 60-second testimonies, and of course a lot of voting by committee members. Key bills on FAN’s legislative agenda and a few on our support list that passed or were heard are:

Passed out of committee:

  • HB 1044 – Post-secondary education in prison (support list)
  • HB 1054 – Prohibiting certain police tactics
  • HB 1090 – Prohibiting private detention
  • HB 1236 – Establishes a just cause for rental evictions
  • HB 1267 – Establishes a state Office of Independent Investigations
  • HB 1297 – Working Families Tax Credit
  • HB 1310 – Establishes a statewide standard of deadly force as a last resort
  • SB 5051 – Establishes new standards to decertify police officers

Heard in committee:

  • HB 1151 – Expands eligibility and funding for emergency food assistance
  • HB 1282 – Increases earned time for good behavior for those in prison who qualify
  • SB 5038 – Restricts open carry for guns in certain public places
  • SB 5096 – Establishes a tax on capital gains
  • SB 5164 – Creates relief for incarcerated people convicted under the 3-strikes law with robbery 2 (non-violent offenses)
  • SB 5399 – Creates a Universal Health Care Commission

Looking Ahead to Week Eleven

Next week will be another week of committee hearings with the policy committee cut-off on Friday, March 25th (the fiscal committee cut-off is April 2nd). The 2021-23 biennial budgets are being finalized – the Senate will make theirs public this week and a public hearing will be the day after. The House will release their version the following week. Bills to be heard or voted on this week from FAN’s legislative agenda are:

  • HB 1044 – Post-secondary education in prison – Vote in the Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday 3/23 at 4 PM
  • SB 5194 – More equity, services, and faculty for Community and Technical Colleges – Hearing in the College & Workforce Development Committee on Monday 3/22 at 1:30 PM
  • SB 5226 – Makes equitable reforms to the Driving While License Suspended law – Hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Monday 3/22 at 3:30 PM

Op-Ed Workshop on Police Accountability

From Zahra, Central WA Regional Organizer:

The symbols of rebirth and renewal are vividly present in the Spring season. The season brings life, new possibilities, sun, blossoms. It also signals the end of winter, a long, dark, cold period of time. When we get to this lifegiving change of season, we may decide to purge our homes of excess and debris. I cannot help but think that we have the opportunity to do the same not only in our personal homes, but inside the People’s House, The Washington State Legislature, this year.

The events of the past year have underscored the racist structures that are still very much alive and well in America, one of those being police brutality. Activists have fought hard and long, not relenting to purge our system of these policing tactics. This legislative season we started with five bills proposed by Governor Inslee’s State Task Force on Independent Investigations of Police Use of Force. Currently, there are four bills that are still active. They are HB 1202, HB 1267, HB 1310, HB 1054.

Please join us Thursday, March 25th at 4pm for a special Op-Ed Workshop on Police Accountability where we will be joined by Jordan Chaney who is a Black Indigenous poet, speaker, and writer. Poet Jordan was also an appointee to the Governor’s Task Force in 2020 and will weave his experience advocating for justice for the lives of those that have been taken unnecessarily by police. Poet Jordan will guide us in writing our own original advocacy letters to make an impactful case for why we should continue to purge our community of its brutally racist practices. I hope that you can make space for this advocacy work.

Allyship in Action Training

In response to the tragedy in Atlanta on March 16th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Pacific Northwest, with FAN and other co-sponsoring organizations, are hosting Allyship in Action, an interactive allyship training for communities across the Northwest, on March 24 from 12-1 PMRegister for the Zoom link here and share with your communities.

This event will feature opening remarks by former Governor Gary Locke, a training by ADL educators, and a call to action by Thu Nguyen, the Director of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, one of the nation’s largest AAPI civil rights organizations.

Breaking White Silence 2021 Spring Study Groups

Breaking White Silence Northwest will sponsor three study groups this Spring. All the study groups are given at no charge and led by experienced facilitators. Although they strongly encourage everyone to buy their own copy of Robin DiAngelo’s What Does It Mean to Be White? (Revised Edition), they do have copies available to borrow for the duration of the study group.

Suzanne Engelberg will facilitate a Zoom-based study group with a maximum of seven participants. The study group will be Sundays from 1-3 PM for six consecutive Sundays, starting April 11 and ending May 16. To register, email Suzanne at suzaeng@gmail.com.

Chava Monastersky and Cecily Kaplan will facilitate a Zoom-based study group with a maximum of six participants. The study group will be Sundays from 4-6 PM starting April 11 and ending May 9. To register, email Cecily Kaplan at cksings2@gmail.com.

Paul Finley and Jen Davison will facilitate a Zoom-based study group with a maximum of eight participants. The study group will be Mondays from 7 to 8:45 PM on April 19, May 3, May 17, May 31, June 14, June 21. (Please note that the second to the last date is a change from what was in an earlier announcement). With one exception (5/31 and 6/14), these are on alternating weeks. To register, email Paul Finley at p.n.finley83@gmail.com.

If you have any questions, please email info@breakingwhitesilencenw.org.