FAN continues to live into our statewide vision with the help of Regional Organizers, working in their communities across Washington. WE ARE HIRING for part-time, regional organizers in Central WA and Western WA to join a new Policy Engagement Director and our team this Fall. Please see the Regional Organizer job description and reply by Sept. 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith Community Sign on Statement about Boarding Schools
The Interfaith Network for Indigenous Communities (INIC), an ad-hoc committee that FAN facilitates, has issued a statement in response to the tragic discoveries of mass graves at boarding schools in Canada. INIC was organized to mark the 30th anniversary of the Christian church leaders’ apology to Northwest tribes, and we have been meeting ever since to discern ways to carry out our commitments to indigenous communities.
Together we drafted this statement (also posted at www.fanwa.org/INIC), with pledges of action steps we all can take, especially if we are aligned with Christian faith communities, to uncover our faith traditions’ complicity with the cultural genocide experienced in boarding schools. We commit ourselves to the pledges in this statement in new ways, especially as Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland moves forward her U.S. Federal Indian Boarding School Truth Initiative, and the National Congress of American Indians resolution builds on that.
We are asking you to consider signing on to this statement at our link: https://bit.ly/INICBoardingSchoolsStatement
As individuals who sign, we will keep you informed of the steps that will be taken along the way, both regionally and nationally, to carry out these commitments. As faith communities that sign, we will add your community to a list shared with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition as part of our Pacific Northwest commitment.
We encourage you to take this statement and make it your own: Share it in your networks. Find ways your faith community can carry out the actions needed. Create your own statement and set of commitments based on your own faith tradition’s history. Follow with us Secretary Haaland’s initiative and other legislation still to be introduced. Encourage your local and national leaders to speak out, like this statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Curry. Please join with us and contribute to the conversation and action in the months ahead.
Time for Reparations
During the August recess, we encourage you to speak with your member of Congress about your support for Reparations via passage of H.R. 40, a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for African Americans for inequities dating to the time of slavery.
A pastor in Evanston, Illinois, the first U.S. city to adopt a municipal initiative on reparations, told a gathering of faith leaders last week that they can play a key role in moving a community toward action on the long-debated issue, even if it takes a while. The Rev. Michael C.R. Nabors, a Baptist pastor in Evanston and the president of Evanston’s NAACP chapter, said it took more than two decades for his city to provide reparations: “Faith leaders have been involved from the beginning,” he said.
You can read more about the press conference and webinar, Reparations: A Moral and Spiritual Responsibility, hosted by Religions for Peace USA: https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/reparations-bill-gains-momentum-as-an-interfaith-cause/2021/07/23/06cb5dc2-ebf8-11eb-a2ba-3be31d349258_story.html
Take Federal Action for Housing and Extend the Eviction Moratorium
With pending action in Congress on extending the eviction moratorium, people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity are on our minds and hearts. Please contact your member of Congress today at this link.
6.5 million households are behind on rent as the COVID-19 pandemic caused devastating economic consequences in an already-bleak economy. It is crucial that our House members vote to extend the eviction moratorium so our nation does not face a new wave of homelessness as the global health crisis continues.
Additionally, from our coalition partners at the WA Low Income Housing Alliance: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced two new bills last week to end homelessness and invest in housing. As Congress continues to debate a national infrastructure package that could pass this summer, the support for these two bills will help drive deeper affordable housing investments in that package. It is critical that our Members of Congress hear directly from you about the need for the robust investments and protections in these two bills:
The Housing is Infrastructure Act (H.R. 4497) would provide $320 billion for critical public housing repairs, new affordable housing construction, and rental assistance. This landscape-shifting legislation ensures fair and equitable development while addressing our biggest infrastructure issues, including strategies to ensure sustainable and environmentally resilient housing. Read more about the bill here.
Alongside these long-needed investments in our country’s housing infrastructure, the Ending Homelessness Act (H.R. 4496) would establish a universal rental assistance voucher program, provide an additional $10.5 billion to build affordable housing for the most vulnerable members of our communities, ban source of income discrimination (when landlords refuse to rent to someone relying on government assistance or housing vouchers to pay the rent), and reduce segregation by establishing voucher payment standards based on “Small Area Fair Market Rents” (SAFMRs) to make more expensive communities accessible to households using rental vouchers. You can learn more about the bill here.
Please click here to take action today!
Getting Ready for Back-to-School
As Governor Inslee has mandated this week mask-wearing when public schools reopen to protect children who are unable to get vaccinated, we want to share resources with you as children across our state prepare to return to school. Washington State Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO, www.oeo.wa.gov) is a small state agency under the Governor’s office that was created to help share information with families and communities about our state’s K-12 public schools, help collaboratively resolve disputes between families and schools aimed at reducing educational opportunity gaps and racial injustice.
Events & Opportunities
Fauntleroy Church, UCC, a progressive, open and affirming congregation in West Seattle, is seeking a part-time Communications & Operations Manager. This is a 34 hour/week position paying $23-25/hour, with health insurance on the church’s group plan. Position to begin September 1, 2021. To apply, please go to http://fauntleroyucc.org/comm.