Last Tuesday, Governor Inslee signed SB 5096 Capital Gains Tax and HB 1297 Funding the Working Families Tax Credit into law! These bills have taken many years of advocacy to pass, and they are two important steps in righting WA State’s upside-down tax code where the lowest-income earners pay 17% of their income in taxes while the wealthiest pay only 3%. Thanks to all who made this historic day possible!
Your Voice Needed Now in the Other Washington!
As the 2021 remote session in Olympia came to an end on April 25th, FAN has begun to put more focus on congressional issues and bills. Racial equity and police reform were big priorities of FAN’s legislative agenda and certainly inform our congressional advocacy. So in Congress we lift up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA) HR 1280 – Congresswoman Karen Bass is the prime sponsor. This bill has passed the House and is now almost completely negotiated by Senators Scott and Booker – it includes a ban on chokeholds except in life emergency situations, sets stricter standards on no-knock warrants, and limits the transfer of some military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. See this letter FAN signed onto about ending qualified immunity for more information.
We ask you this week to use this link to email Senators Cantwell and Murray and call them at their district offices with this suggested message:
Reforming our law enforcement system is vital to repairing the huge breach in relationships with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. I am a person of faith and a member of Faith Action Network and urge your support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and its passage by May 25th with no further weakening amendments.
We will update you weekly on other bills are we following in Congress.
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 by issue interest group, 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. We will hold a volunteer preparation session beforehand.
Faith Communities for Vaccines
Working to increase vaccination levels across our state will take many trusted messengers, and that means you! Faith communities have the ability to create person-to-person, trusting conversations that can overcome fears or misinformation. Faith communities have already served as community resources by providing pop-up clinics in collaboration with healthcare providers.
During May, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle has provided a vaccination clinic in their sanctuary, and this week as a drive-through in their parking lot. Dean Steve Thomason, as a faith leader and medical doctor, saw the potential early on: “It has been a marvelous experience and a good partnership with a community-based clinic which serves a very diverse population. Folks have been delighted with the invitation to enter the cathedral, hear organ music (and in some cases, pray) while they wait their 15 minutes post-vaccine,” he said. “This is the very sort of thing that affords us an opportunity to express our missional obligations to the broader community as a gathering place.”
See the Seattle Times article and photos about Saint Mark’s vaccination clinic, and you can check here for appointments! Please let us know if you’re planning vaccine outreach or a pop-up clinic—your experience can inspire others.
We are hosting a Vaccine Equity Toolkit on our website with resources/links to share in your community. Please share the toolkit in your congregations, and stay tuned for updates!
Events & Opportunities
The Seattle Veteran Benefits Administration is looking to expand community relationships and is highlighting faith communities during the month of May. See their flyer here and feel free to reach out to Helen Pearl Sauceda or Craig Davidson to schedule a VA benefit briefing.