FAN staff Lauren Schubring (left) and Tara Miller (right) are excited for their COVID-19 vaccinations! Thank you to our partners at SEIU 6 for giving three FAN staff their first vaccinations last weekend! We invite you to share with us your vaccine pictures and stories so we can feature them in the E-News – how is getting the vaccine connected to your faith and values? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of the campaign to reach everyone with vaccines!
Governor Inslee is signing bills this week – let’s keep up the momentum and pass these bills into law! Please add your own language to the email prompts:
- HB 1277 Document Recording Fee – This bill will help fund affordable housing by increasing the document recording fee – It is currently awaiting Senate floor action. Email your Senator and urge them to pass this important housing justice bill.
- SB 5096 Capital Gains – This is it. While a conference committee works to reconcile differences on the Capital Gains tax, you have one more opportunity to contact your legislators before Sunday about the need to pass SB 5096 and take a critical step towards balancing Washington’s tax code. We know budgets, and the taxes used to pay for them, are moral documents that reflect our values. Now more than ever we need a budget that includes meaningful reform to our tax code. We cannot balance our budget on the backs of working Washingtonians. A capital gains tax on extraordinary wealth helps balance our tax code by finally requiring the wealthy to pay their share and can fund programs that offset costs for WA’s working families. Email your Senator by 4/25 and urge them to pass this important economic justice bill.
- HR 40 Reparations Bill – As we close this week where a vital step was taken toward accountability in the death of George Floyd, we invite you to commit your faith community or organization to this important step toward justice—the reparations bill in Congress. With our national partners at Domestic Human Needs and Human Rights Watch, we invite you to join FAN in signing on to this faith-based letter for HR40/S40. This letter is open to all faith leaders, organizations, and denominations. Please circulate and sign-on before close of business Monday, April 26th.
Legislative Session Recap
The last week of this 105-day session has included a continuation of bill concurrence, conferences to resolve differences in bills, the governor signing bills, and the adoption of the three state biennial budgets by the end of day Sunday (capital, transportation, and operating). This week a few important bills from FAN’s legislative agenda (or ones that we are supporting) are moving closer to final passage or onto the governor’s desk:
- SB 5051 – Decertification standards for law enforcement – The Senate concurred to House amendments.
- SB 5096 – Capital Gains Tax – The Senate did not concur with the House amendment, so it will go to conference committee.
- HB 1277 – Document Recording Fee for Affordable Housing – Still awaiting floor action in the Senate.
- HB 1054 and HB 1310 – Police tactics and De-escalation – The conference report should be adopted on Friday by both chambers.
- SB 5476 – Legislative response to the state Supreme Court Blake decision regarding drug possession sentencing reform – Still awaiting floor action in the House.
Thanks for ALL your advocacy this session! In the next E-news, we will publish all the bills from FAN’s agenda or that were actively supported by FAN that passed into law!
This week we began turning our advocacy towards Congress. FAN staff participated virtually in Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC focused on Climate Justice and helped coordinate the following meetings with WA constituents and members of Congress and their staff:
- Senator Cantwell’s staff person
- Congressman Kilmer – 6th district (Olympic Peninsula and some of Tacoma)
- Congresswoman Del Bene’s staff person – 1st district (from Medina to the Canadian border)
- Congressman Larsen staffperson – 2nd district (from Everett to Bellingham)
- Congresswoman Jayapal’s staffperson – 7th district (from the west side of Seattle to Edmonds)
- Congresswoman Schrier’s staffperson – 8th district (from Wenatchee to Auburn)
- Congressman Smith’s staffperson – 9th district (from South Seattle to Federal Way)
Sign up now for FAN’s annual Spring Summits – Sundays, May 23 and June 6, from 2-4 PM! At the Summit you can gather virtually with advocates in your region and in your issue area of interest and begin to consider what steps we might take together in the year ahead. This event is open to advocates across the state, and the content and breakouts will be the same each Sunday. Please share the flyer, post it in your newsletter, and register for one of the dates below:
Calling all volunteers! If you would like to help facilitate a breakout session during one of these events, please let us know at email@example.com.
Faith Communities in Action
During their spring Vaisakhi celebrations, the Sikh community in our state have felt the sadness of violence and hate crimes, heaped on top of the plight of Indian farmers in their sixth month of nonviolent protest. They are responding with heartfelt actions to serve their community this weekend; please join if you are in the Puget Sound region.
Last week, a mass shooting in Indianapolis resulted in the death of eight individuals, four of whom were Sikh. As more information is being uncovered, the gunman has been reported to have visited white supremacist sites and witnesses have also stated that he intentionally shot at Sikh employees. Yet, the media and police have been virtually silent about the role of bias in this incident. In the midst of the verdict of George Floyd’s murder and acts of violence perpetuated against BIPOC communities, we continue to remember those we have lost and demand accountability.
The Seattle community will be holding a Sukhmani Sahib (treasure of peace) program and candlelight vigil this Saturday night, 4/24, in remembrance of the innocent lives that were taken. We want to emphasize that anyone is welcome to come join us as we heal and mourn together as a community. As a reminder, please consider donating to support the families of the victims if you are able.
And on Sunday 4/25, a Vaccine Clinic at Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Renton, co-sponsored by Khalsa Gurmat Center, with this invite from FAN staff member Jaspreet Singh:
Warmest salutations to our neighbors and friends who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us through these tough times of COVID-19. We know anxieties are high yet our hope grows, as vaccine availability grows day by day. In that effort and hope we, the Sikh Community are reaching out to invite everyone so we can provide vaccines for any individuals that would like to be vaccinated. Please join us by registering using the information on the flyer. We hope to see you there.
Earth Day is Year-Round
With this week of celebrations and actions on behalf of the earth and for climate justice, we want to make sure you saw and shared these resources from the Faith Action Climate Team:
Western Washington’s Faith Action Climate Team (FACT) offers Faith Communities and Fossil Fuels: Information and resources to help congregations grapple with their own contributions to climate change, with a special focus on how we heat our buildings. Online resources can be found on FAN’s Advocacy Toolkit page, which includes thoughtful discernment questions; illuminating background information; practical, actionable suggestions and resources; and the opportunity to discuss meaningful carbon reduction possibilities with FACT members.
FACT is an interfaith, grassroots group in the greater Seattle area which since 2016 has leveraged the moral power of its members’ faith traditions to work for climate justice. For more information, contact Keith Ervin: firstname.lastname@example.org.