The WA Coalition for Police Accountability, which FAN is part of and Co-Director Paul Benz worked closely with this past legislative session, held a press conference last week where families and advocates addressed law enforcement resistance to the implementation of HB 1310 and HB 1054, the new state policies on use of force and prohibitions and restrictions on police tactics. Watch the full recording of the press conference on YouTube and read more here.
Great news! The Biden Administration is revising the nutrition standards of the SNAP program, after years of advocacy by anti-hunger advocates, which will prompt the largest increase in benefits in the program’s history! Benefits will increase more than 25%, affecting 42 million people. Read more in this article by the New York Times, and keep up the advocacy to reduce hunger and poverty.
Faith Action Network has been connecting with our national partners to urge that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) Expansions are made permanent to reduce child poverty. We have signed on to several national letters:
- The Automatic Benefit for Children (ABC) Coalition through the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Children’s Defense Fund has a letter that is still open for more organizations to sign on and will be updated at this link regularly.
FAN joined the Jewish Federations of North America in issuing this faith community letter.
Accessibility: The virtual nature of the 2021 legislative session allowed for innovation in remote testimony opportunities for advocates which had not been used extensively in other sessions. Disability Rights WA, The Mockingbird Society, and WA Low Income Housing Alliance are calling on the legislature to keep and expand this vital method for advocates to engage, even as the state reopens, so that more people have the opportunity to testify without having to travel to Olympia. Please consider signing their petition by August 31 so that our legislature continues to improve its accessibility to all.
Boarding Schools: There is still time to sign on as an individual, faith leader, or faith community to the Interfaith Network for Indigenous Community (INIC) statement on boarding schools, with pledges of action steps we can take in uncovering our nation’s, and primarily Christian faith communities’, complicity with cultural genocide in boarding schools. Read the statement and sign-on here. INIC will be meeting on September 9 to determine the next steps for sharing the letter with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
From Our Coalition Partners
We encourage you to join an event we are co-sponsoring this week featuring the film “American Muslim” which documents the stories of five Muslim Americans living in New York during the Muslim Ban under President Trump. It is available to view for free from August 15-18, with an online panel discussion with regional speakers discussing their reaction to the film on August 18 at 7 PM. Access the film and panel event through Interfaith Works, and read more about it here.
FAN signed onto the WA Black Lives Matter community letter to Seattle Children’s Hospital in response to the Covington report that non-white patients are given subpar care and non-white staff are not supported as the assets they are. Dr. Ben Danielson resigned earlier this year because of these racist and biased patterns. Read the sign-on letter, findings from the Covington report, and recommendations from the Covington report for more.
FAN is co-sponsoring the WA Fair Trade Coalition’s West Coast TRIPS Waiver Virtual Action Conference on September 11 at 10 AM to demand that the World Trade Organization (WTO) release an emergency waiver of “Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights” (TRIPS) to enable vaccines and treatments to be produced in as many places as possible, as quickly as possible. Without this vital sharing of information, some countries will not receive vaccines until as far out as 2024! Register to attend this important event and take action.
From Community Alliance for Global Justice: Over 500 faith leaders across the African continent have signed an open letter to the Gates Foundation to demand that they stop funding industrial agriculture in Africa and fund agroecology instead. The Gates Foundation did not respond, so the Southern African Faith Communities’ Institute held a press conference sharing how these models increase disparities in wealth, land, and food access, and they are not aligned with ethical environmental stewardship.
FAN is Hiring!
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 our team this Fall. Please see the Regional Organizer job description and reply by Sept. 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Events & Opportunities
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is helping to pay funeral costs for COVID-19-related deaths. If you or someone you know is grieving a COVID-19 death, you can apply for funeral assistance by calling FEMA at 844-684-6333, Monday-Friday, 6 AM – 6 PM. Eligible applicants could be reimbursed up to $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. Learn more at FEMA.gov.