In the midst of some difficult weeks in June, we gave thanks for the ability to celebrate community. At Pride events across the state, faith communities marched to celebrate God’s Love as affirming and inclusive. Pictured are some members of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran at Seattle Pride, and FAN board member Rev. Jim CastroLang marching with FAN advocates at Spokane Pride.
Follow-up to Supreme Court Decisions
These past weeks, we have been following U.S. Supreme Court decisions that will adversely impact the people we love and the inclusive society we seek to uphold. Today’s decision that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions will impede our ability to combat climate change. Last week, the Dobb’s decision that will have immediate impact on access to abortion across the nation moved FAN Governing Board and staff to issue this statement, along with our commitment to support policies that will uphold reproductive rights in Washington state. We were saddened to see others’ religious freedoms threatened by the court’s decision in the case of the Bremerton High School coach; we thank local faith leaders who spoke out about the separation of church and state on the Supreme Court steps.
And in the aftermath of so much gun violence, the Supreme Court decision that overturned New York’s ban on guns in public places was a blow. During June, our network had prayed and marched for protections from gun violence; see statements from two FAN board members, Aneelah Afzali and Rabbi Jason Levine, at a vigil at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Seattle. We applaud the bi-partisan gun legislation that Congress passed and President Biden signed into law as a beginning, knowing there is more work to be done.
We promise to work with you to find policy solutions in response to these rulings, especially as they impact Washington.
And for some Good news on I-1929!
While we were focused on many things in June, we want to celebrate with you that Initiative 1929 to repeal the capital gains tax is officially dead.
Thank you for your good advocacy in helping stop I-1929 before it even started! You helped shine the spotlight on the dangers of I-1929 and the risks to children and families in our state. FAN joined 37 organizations from across Washington in opposing this initiative. With our coalition partners, we’ll be watching the court case on capital gains. We’ll also keep working to fix our upside-down tax code and support investments in children and communities.
Help Implement the Working Families Tax Credit
Once a bill is passed, there is much work to do to implement it. FAN is part of the Working Families Tax Credit coalition to implement this important source of cash for individuals and families. You can help!
The Department of Revenue (DOR) is currently undergoing the rulemaking process, and we are concerned about some provisions that would be onerous for those applying. FAN staff testified at a hearing and DOR is accepting public comments until July 5. If you are interested in commenting, we will send you more information and a template—email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Testimony from those with direct service experience to low-income and/or immigrant families is especially needed.
Our coalition’s advocacy in the legislative session made $10 million in grants for organizations to do outreach and navigation support to low-income families, individuals, and immigrants who are ITIN filers, to make sure people know they are eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit. See the Dept of Commerce announcement and submit your community’s application by July 25.
Comment on Lower Snake River Dams
Our partners at Earth Ministry have an action alert regarding the report recently released by Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee, calling for comments on replacement of dams to stop salmon extinction and protect Native Nations’ treaty rights.
You can send a comment by July 11.
Thank you to Lauren Schubring!
We are sad to announce the departure of Eastern WA Regional Organizer, Lauren Schubring, and want to thank her for excellent teamwork. Lauren is moving on to a regional/urban planning position, which she prepared for during her graduate studies. She has built good relationships with advocates and faith communities in Spokane, and we plan to continue the momentum she began. Lauren wanted to share these words with our network:
“While I won’t be in my current role anymore, I do plan to continue to advocate alongside of you and be a part of this network, just as you all are! I have considered it such a privilege to be able to do this work with FAN. Working alongside of you all to get faith communities further engaged in advocacy has been so encouraging to me. I love that there are so many people of faith actively fighting for and supporting all people.
Sometimes it feels like that progressive faith voice is so faint compared to what many think people of faith believe, but when you engage in work with FAN, it really does make the faith voice louder as we push for progress in this region together! I’m truly cheering on FAN and each of you as you continue to engage in this very important work.”
Learning from Each Other
Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila is a FAN advocating faith community and neighborhood service hub for their community. On a day this spring, cars for the food bank were lined up along the long driveway from the church out to the street. The Raise the Wage Tukwila campaign has an office in the church and folks were out gathering signatures at the food line. Rev. Jan Bolerjack said the food bank serves about 1,200 families each week.
Tukwila is home to many immigrants; at one time the school district was the most diverse in the nation, comprised of people who speak more than fifty languages according to Rev. Jan. City residents face growing rents and scarcity of affordable housing, as Seattle pushes south, and the minimum wage is $14.50, lower than in Seattle or SeaTac.
Riverton Park UMC is responding with both direct services and advocacy… Click here to continue reading.
Events and Opportunities
June 30 | 6:00 PM | Remote
Free webinar TODAY: Join the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility for a conversation about Guaranteed Basic Income: A Powerful Health Intervention. Register here.
July 8-9 | Redmond, WA
As Muslims begin celebration of Eid-al-Adha on July 9th, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound is hosting various prayer and potluck events. Visit their website for more information.
July 9 | 12:00 – 6:00 PM | Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Pride will be taking place between 7th and 9th on Pacific Ave on Saturday, July 9th. Learn more.
July 9 | 10:00 – 5:00 PM | Vancouver, WA
Our United Methodist friends at Orchards, Mill Plain, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, and Vancouver First invite you to stop by their booth at Vancouver Pride at Esther Short Park on July 9th.
July 17 | 12:00 – 2:00 PM | Seattle, WA
Join Washington Community Action Network for a community picnic and GOTV Kick Off at Judkins Park in Seattle! This is a time to share stories, catch up, and connect with WashingtonCAN staff, members, and community. Food and Beverages will be provided, and families are welcome. RSVP here.