Introduction to the 2022 Legislative Session

The 2021 Legislative Session will begin January 10th, and the last day of session is March 10th. This will be an action packed 60 days. With another virtual session ahead, you will not have to travel to participate in the legislative process.  All floor sessions and committee meetings will be livestreamed at tvw.org. A mobile TVW app is available.

You can find committee info, including agendas and documents at leg.wa.gov/house/committees for the House and at leg.wa.gov/senate/committees for the Senate. You can get involved in the law-making process by submitting testimony online where your testimony will be entered as part of the official record. You can still meet with your legislators remotely, just reach out to their office via email or phone to schedule a meeting. Though no in-person meetings will take place, you can testify remotely at every committee from any location.

Advocate Now! You can testify remotely, have your position noted for the legislative record, and/or submit written testimony at committee hearings next week. FAN’s bills that have committee hearings scheduled next week:

Here is the link to find your committee hearing and sign-in: https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/House

EXAMPLE

To sign in pro on HB 1202 Peace Officer Accountability Act: CSI (wa.gov)

FAN’s webtools are also a great way to keep up with the bills we are supporting this year. Check out our Legislative Agenda, corresponding Issue Fact Sheets, the Bill Tracker to see where bills are moving during the session, and the Advocacy Toolkit for tips on advocating.


Register Now for the Eastern WA Legislative Conference

The 2022 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference (EWLC) will explore some of the issues before the 2022 Washington State Legislature. It will be held online from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22, on Zoom. The keynote speaker, Fr. Pat Conroy, SJ, recently retired chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives who now serves as campus minister at Gonzaga University, will speak on the theme, “Mobilizing for Our Future,” looking at the political divisiveness of these times and offering words of hope based on his experiences in Congress and previous work teaching and serving with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

An interfaith panel with representatives of four faiths will discuss how their faith communities mobilize people to act on issues, current priorities, blocks to mobilizing and where they need solidarity. Workshops will be offered on the climate crisis and environmental legislation, affordable housing and homelessness, food security, refugees and immigration, human trafficking, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, securing our democracy, and schools and racism.

FAN’s Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang will join Washington State Catholic Conference and Earth Ministry/WAIPL to provide a Legislative Briefing midday.

The event is organized and sponsored this year by The Fig Tree, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Faith Action Network, Earth Ministry, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Sisters of Providence and the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane.

Participants must register ahead for the online link, or by calling 509-535-1813, or email event@thefigtree.org.

Please share the flyer at thefigtree.org in your communities.


Preparing to Advocate in the 2022 Legislative Session

FAN is collaborating with Paths to Understanding (PTU) to host virtual Pre-Session Trainings. We had a great event with 60+ advocates this past Thursday night, and there is still space to join us at the next training on Sunday, January 9 at 3 PM. At the training, attendees will view new advocacy videos produced by PTU, hear a legislative preview by FAN’s new Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang, and dive into FAN’s 2022 Legislative Agenda by topic area in breakout groups. Register here: bit.ly/2022Pre-Session2.

Our annual Interfaith Advocacy Day will be held online on Thursday, February 10, 9am-afternoon. At Interfaith Advocacy Day, advocates across the state will have an opportunity to hear from legislators, join workshops on the issues from FAN’s Legislative Agenda, and gather in caucus groups by legislative district to plan for meetings with legislators. Please register as soon as possible so we can begin to book appointments with your legislators: bit.ly/IFAD2022.


Advocacy Courses with Paths to Understanding

Paths to Understanding and Faith Action Network are launching two on-demand courses as follow-up to our Pre-Session Trainings that will teach you How and Why to Advocate for Change through legislative bodies at local, state and federal levels. Hear directly from Washington State legislators how citizens have influenced them and how best to connect with them during the Legislative Session and beyond!

Register for these on-demand courses now, then take them in your own time. Each course takes less than two hours to complete! Registration is free, or by donation.

With Why to Advocate, you will understand:

  • why policy change in your community is important
  • what impact your meetings with policy makers can have
  • different ways to advocate effectively

With How to Advocate, you will learn how to:

  • affect policy change in your community
  • be prepared to meet with your legislator
  • be effective at testifying in Legislative Committees meetings

Welcome Naghmana Sherazi, Interim Eastern WA Organizer!

We’re excited to share that Naghmana Sherazi will be joining us as our Interim Eastern Washington Regional Organizer while Lauren is out on maternity leave. We are so excited to see how Naghmana will move our network forward through this legislative session. Learn a bit more about Naghmana:

Naghmana Sherazi is a scientist, an educator, a medical professional and a community leader; has an MA in English, BA in Economics as well as a AS in Bio-Technology and a second BS in Cytogenetic Technology. She moved to Spokane ten years ago. She serves on the steering Committee of Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), as a Board member for Refugee Connections, Chair of Muslims for Community Action and Support (MCAS), and does outreach for Spokane Women Together, is Co-Chair for Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, on the board of Greater Spokane Progress, Spokane Coalition of Color, and Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane, and writes a column for SpokaneFaVS – a faith-based internet publication. Naghmana is a single mother and loves to connect with people on the basis of food, music, culture, art, ethnicity, religion and social justice issues. She ran for City Council from District 1 in Spokane, won in the primary but did not win in the General, raising almost a $100,000 and made history by unionizing her campaign, the first campaign on the East side of the Cascades to do so. She also made history by being the first Muslim, immigrant woman of color, of South Asian descent to run for office and win in a primary in Spokane City. She currently works for the Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium.

You can connect with Naghmana by emailing her at sherazi@fanwa.org.


LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER by Partnership Coordinator Elizabeth Dickinson

There is so much we can learn from each other! This edition of the FAN newsletter marks the beginning of a feature highlighting action and wisdom from different faith communities and individuals in our network. We hope this will help us get to know each other better. We hope this will help build beloved community. We hope we inspire each other!

We begin with Temple Beth Or, a Jewish Reform temple in Everett. I chatted last month with Sonia Siegel Vexler, a founding member of the temple, as well as chair of their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. Last year, this task force offered a 16-week program modeled off the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. They created an impressive curriculum of readings, activities, and conversation prompts drawing on many sources, with the goal of better understanding individuals and communities who directly experience racism, ageism, income inequality and poverty, religious discrimination, gender inequality, voter suppression, and more. Underlying the curriculum was the question, “What do we need to do differently?” to become a more hospitable, aware, and truly inclusive congregation. Films like “What Happened on First Street” in Snohomish and a comparison of two Mukilteo public high schools in different neighborhoods brought issues “home” to the congregation. A solid core of 25, and up to 50 participants, participated in weekly study and conversation, resulting in seven recommendations to the congregation. One change they implemented was to accompany their land acknowledgment with opportunities to give to specific chosen indigenous-led organizations, adding solidarity action to their words.

Sonia Siegel Vexler has invited other faith communities to talk with her about their experience, as well as to share some of their curriculum. If you’re interested, please contact Elizabeth at dickinson@fanwa.org.


Come Work with Our FAN Team!

We are seeking some temporary office assistance January-March 2022 to help with office work, processing email and donations, and helping set up legislator appointments and logistics for Interfaith Advocacy Day on February 10. Daytime hours, 10-20 hours a week, including one day in the FAN offices in Seattle. Previous office work, attention to detail, familiarity with databases are a plus. Flexible scheduling, opportunity to continue after March depending on interest; pay range is $20-24 per hour. Please send a letter of interest and your resume to apply@fanwa.org.