Pastor Lisa Connolly and Julie Clark of Coupeville United Methodist Church shared this memorial of empty chairs for the lives lost in Uvalde, Texas, this week. We grieve and take action together.
Our Grief and Prayers Cry Out for Action
We join our prayers with yours and so many rising up in grief during these weeks of tragedy and gun violence in Uvalde, Buffalo, Irvine, and other places not as prominent in the news, and as we remember the murder of George Floyd two years ago. We join voices calling out for immediate, significant decrease in the availability of lethal weapons and the use of lethal police force in our nation. We are grateful for all the ways multi-faith communities have made a place for grieving, prayer, and consolation during these difficult times, and for the powerful statements from faith leaders in our network. We stand with you in that prayer and cry out for justice.
Faith Action Network urges you to move prayers into action for all the lives lost to gun violence. We continue to look for ways to act together, especially at the national level, to create the kinds of policies that will protect children, BIPOC communities, and all our neighbors. We know that in our state, there is no more powerful force to counter gun violence than the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, working with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Moms Demand Action, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, and faith communities. With them, we invite you to call for a ban on assault weapons at the federal level. Please take action today and send a letter to Congress calling for a federal assault weapons ban.
Register for FAN Summits in Yakima and Spokane
We are midway through Spring Summits and have been grateful to reconnect with advocates in the Puget Sound and Southwest Washington regions already. Coming up are summits in Central Washington on June 5 and Eastern Washington on June 12. We are hearing a renewed sense of commitment from advocates, as well as thoughtful input on the issues for next year’s legislative agenda. Attendees are also having opportunities to talk about future collaborations in their regions. Find more information and the registration form at fanwa.org/regional-spring-summits.
Decline to Sign I-1929
We continue to encourage you to Decline to Sign Initiative 1929 when you see petition gatherers collecting signatures for this ballot initiative to repeal the capital gains tax we worked so hard to pass. We need you to stand with us to protect these important investments that support children and families, including:
- Broader income eligibility for Working Connections Child Care.
- Lower family copays.
- Higher subsidy reimbursement rates for child care providers.
- Expanded access to health insurance for child care.
We came together to pass the capital gains tax last year. Now we’ve got to join in to defend it. We will insist that the very wealthy pay what they owe, just like the rest of us, so every community has the resources it needs to thrive.
Please Decline to Sign yourself and consider signing on your organization.
Support Children and Families through Budget Reconciliation
FAN joined our national Christian advocacy partners in sending a letter to the White House and Congress on behalf of children this week. As Congress begins to craft an economic reconciliation bill, we are calling on the nation’s political leaders to prioritize low-income children by making the Child Tax Credit available to low-income families on a permanent basis. In addition to the public letter, the May 26 edition of Politico carried an ad and Religious News Service featured this effort. Boosting family income leads to healthier children who perform better in schools and earn higher income as adults, according to numerous studies. Child poverty increased by 41% in January 2022, after the expanded Child Tax Credits, included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, expired. The 2021 expansion not only reduced child poverty, it also increased racial and geographic equity by extending the credit to Black, Latino, and rural children whose families’ incomes were too low to receive the full credit. Making the current $2,000 Child Tax Credit fully available to all low-income families would decrease the number of children experiencing poverty by about 20%. If Congress fails to make the credit fully refundable in the reconciliation package, these children would again be left out and left behind. The letter concludes: “To pass a reconciliation bill without including a permanent and fully refundable Child Tax Credit would be morally indefensible.”
Support Housing First
You can sign on to an interfaith letter to Congress led by our national ELCA Advocacy partners encouraging lawmakers to support Housing First policies and oppose recent efforts to prevent its use federally. Housing First is a proven model for addressing homelessness that prioritizes access to permanent, stable housing – and it is increasingly used by faith-based providers nationwide. With a small contingency of House lawmakers citing religious language as justification of opposing Housing First (often to the surprise of denominations and faith-based service providers) it is uniquely critical that the religious community share and clarify their perspective on the model with Congress now. This letter is open for national, state, and local faith-based organizations, religious advocacy groups, and houses of worship. Sign onto the letter by May 30 here.
Events and Opportunities
June 2, 6:30pm, March and Vigil for an End to Gun Violence, Seattle. With our partners at Temple de Hirsch Sinai, St. James Cathedral, Saint Mark’s Cathedral, and First AME, we will share moments of reflection, prayer, and inspiration toward action. Meet at Temple de Hirsch at 6:30, march together to St. James, and join in a shared service of prayer and community. Please join us.
June 5, 11:30am-1:30pm, at Powell Barnett Park, Seattle. The Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Justice Northwest joins with Never Again Seattle and Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) to celebrate Shavuot by supporting La Resistencia.
June 13, 6:00-7:30pm, online. The Seattle Regional Poor Peoples’ Campaign (PPC) in partnership with The Well and the WA PPC is honored to host Dr. Cornel West for a virtual talk on King’s Philosophy of Nonviolence. Dr. West will ground us and prepare us for the Mass Assembly and March on Washington DC June 18th!
June 14, 6:30pm, online. Free webinar: Green Your Home’s Carbon Footprint sponsored by Faith Action Climate Team (FACT). Court Olson, a civil engineer with decades of experience in green buildings will be presenting. Register for the meeting.