FAN Staff members gave virtual testimony this week – Jaspreet Singh (left) on HB 1840 to improve diversity, equity, and mental health at community and technical colleges, and Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang on HB 1868 to improve worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement. See more below!


Second Week of Session

The Legislature began the week with both political parties honoring Martin Luther King: “I hope the decisions we make in this chamber do honor to the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by turning that heavy wheel towards meaningful change, and to make real the movement towards serving EVERY Washingtonian better.” – Rep. Jamila Taylor, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, speaking on the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and answering the challenge of this moment in history. Hear the full speech on YouTube. This week the Legislature also passed two bills (HB 1733, HB 1732) to improve the WA Cares Fund by extending the rollout of the long-term care program, delaying premiums for working families, and offering voluntary exemptions for certain people, including disabled veterans and military spouses.ENVIRONMENTOn Tuesday 1/18, the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee heard SB 5697 Renew Recycle Act which would improve our recycling system, reduce plastics and wastes, and place more responsibility on manufacturers. The bill intends to help the state meet its recycling goals such as achieving 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging in all goods sold in Washington by 2025. On Wednesday, the House Rural Development Agricultural Natural Resource Committee heard HB 1838 Lorraine Loomis Act to protect, restore, and maintain habitat for salmon recovery. Ms. Loomis’s nephew, Swinomish Vice Chair Jeremy Wilbur, helped craft the legislation. “The act is necessary because the status quo is failing our salmon, failing our killer whales, failing all of Washingtonians that enjoy fishing here in Puget Sound,” Wilbur testified. Over 100 people signed up to testify. The hearing will continue Friday.EDUCATION and FOOD JUSTICEOn Wednesday 1/19, FAN staff member Jaspreet Singh testified in favor of HB 1840 which would improve diversity, equity, and mental health at the community and technical colleges. Thursday 1/20, the House Education Committee heard HB 1878 to expand free school lunches for all students, as well as HB 1833 to create a multilingual online tool for families to access student meals and programs. Lua Pritchard, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Cultural Center, testified on how AAPI students are experiencing food insecurity and the importance of reducing language barriers for immigrant families, so families have access to consistent nutritious meals to fuel students’ learning.HEALTHCARE LABOR STANDARDSAlso Wednesday, the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee heard HB 1868 which would address the statewide hospital staffing crisis and improve working conditions for healthcare workers. The online hearing included 2,291 people signed in—1,578 pro and 686 con. FAN has endorsed this WA Safe + Healthy Campaign. Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified in support: “It is not enough to increase the number of healthcare workers. We need to improve retention efforts and provide sustainable working conditions. The massive burnout and exhaustion healthcare workers are facing must be addressed. Short-staffing, lack of pay, and workplace safety are among the top reasons healthcare workers are considering leaving the healthcare profession. Safe staffing standards such as those proposed in HB 1868 are a solution to hospital burnout and turnover, medical errors, and poor patient satisfaction.”FAMILY SUPPORTFriday 1/21, the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee heard HB 1947 which would provide a monthly diaper subsidy for parents or other caregivers receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).To connect more about FAN’s policy work, please contact Policy Engagement Director Kristin at Ang@fanwa.org.


Take Action

HOUSINGNext Tuesday 1/25 at 8:00AM, the Housing Committee will hear HB 2017 The Housing Justice Act which would prevent landlords from denying housing solely based on a tenant or family member’s previous arrest or incarceration. When all people can find a stable home, it makes our community a better place for all of us to live. Please show support and sign in PRO here:

WORKING FAMILIESHB 1888 would provide more community outreach for working people to access The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) that was successfully passed last session. The WFTC is our state’s version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. It will decrease the hardship of working people with low incomes by putting money ($300-$1200) in their pockets.HB 1888 will have a public hearing in the House Finance Committee – 10am on Monday, 1/24. Take 1 minute to sign in PRO here.HEALTHCARESTAFFING CRISIS. Send a message to your state legislators urging them to support HB 1868 and SB 5751 to improve worker safety and patient care in healthcare facilities across Washington state. Urge legislators to support SB 5751/HB 1868 to improve safety for healthcare workers and patients.DENTAL THERAPY. Tell your Legislators that our communities need dental care and help pass HB 1885. Every Washingtonian deserves access to quality dental care, no matter our race, where we live, or what insurance we can afford. House Bill 1885 was introduced this session to improve access for those of us not currently getting the dental care we need and provide clear training requirements for dental therapists based on recommendations made by the state’s Dental Therapy Task Force. Click here to contact your legislators: Washington Needs Dental Therapy Now! – Statewide Poverty Action NetworkPOLICE ACCOUNTABILITYOur partners, the ACLU and WA Police Accountability Coalition, are recommending signing against HB 2037, as it would give officers more authority to use force. Sign in CON by 1/25 8:00am before the House Public Safety Committee hearing. I would like my position noted for the legislative recordFAN’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. You can always call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message for your legislators as well.


Register Now for Advocacy Days!

There is still time to register for the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference happening this Saturday, January 22 from 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM.The day will include keynote speaker, Fr. Pat Conroy, SJ, recently retired chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, speaking on the theme, “Mobilizing for Our Future”; an interfaith panel with representatives of four faiths (including FAN Eastern WA interim organizer Naghmana Sherazi); and  several issue workshops. FAN’s Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang will join Washington State Catholic Conference and Earth Ministry/WAIPL to provide a Legislative Briefing.Participants must register ahead for the online link, or by calling 509-535-1813, or email event@thefigtree.org. Interfaith Advocacy Day is happening on Thursday, February 10! Please register for IFAD as soon as possible if you want us to try to get appointments for you; we are finding legislators’ calendars are quite full. Some of your appointments may be scheduled for Friday, 2/11 – we will let you know by Feb 4 the dates and times of your appointments. You will have a chance to hear updates about the legislative session, attend workshops on the issues on our legislative agenda, and caucus with other attendees from your district. Register now at bit.ly/IFAD2022.


Job Opportunities

Immanuel Community Services (ICS) in Seattle is hiring for three positions. Please share these throughout King County: