Please save the dates for our online Spring Summits on two Sunday afternoons: May 7 and June 4. To make these post-session conversations accessible to as many people as possible, we have opted for virtual meetings. We plan to follow up with smaller, in-person cluster meetings and regional gatherings this summer and fall.
Register to join us for Spring Summits to hear the legislative session recap and strategize in small groups on the issues you care about. We will publish more information in the coming weeks.
There is just one week left in the legislative session before Sine Die (last day of session) on April 23. The focus this week is reconciling the final budgets for Operating, Capital, and Transportation, between the House and Senate. Our budgets are moral documents, and your voice is needed in this negotiation! Please follow this link to see the specific safety net, housing, and healthcare for immigrants items we are concerned about, and let your senator and representatives know what you want them to prioritize in the final budget.
WEEK 14 Legislative Session Recap
Legislators spent long days and nights debating and voting on bills this past week. Wednesday, April 12, was the cutoff for bills to pass the opposite chamber, and many of our bills did pass.
Gun responsibility advocates achieved an historic victory this week with the passing of HB 1240 Establishing Firearms-Related Safety Measures. Washington is now the 10th state to prohibit the sale of assault weapons. This momentous victory, along with the passing of HB 1143 Requiring a Permit to Purchase Firearms, which mandates a 10-day waiting period and safety training for all firearm purchases, marks a significant step toward creating safer communities. Both bills will now go to Governor Inslee, who is expected to sign them. This victory was years in the making and a result of tireless efforts by gun violence survivors who shared their experiences with lawmakers. The passing of these bills is a major win for all Washingtonians and will help ensure responsible gun ownership while reducing the risk of gun violence.
Another significant gun responsibility bill, SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act, passed on partisan lines. SB 5078 ensures that firearms manufacturers and sellers will face liability if they fail to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls on the manufacture, sale, distribution, and marketing of firearms to keep them out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
On April 10, SB 5082 Repeal Statewide Advisory Votes was signed by the Speaker of the House and is now headed to the Governor’s desk for signing. This bill will put an end to nonbinding and misleading advisory votes on the ballot. It will also mandate the creation of a public website to provide summaries of operating, capital, and transportation budgets, as well as graphs and charts that detail state and local expenditures.
This week also marked a significant milestone for supporters of abolishing capital punishment in Washington State. On April 7, SB 5087 Repealing the Death Penalty and other Unconstitutional State Statutes passed in the House and was signed by the Speaker on April 10. As a coalition that represents diverse faith traditions that uphold the sacredness of human life, FAN actively supported and testified in favor of this bill to repeal unconstitutional and unenforceable statutes, including the death penalty and forced sterilization. The death penalty’s application in a racially discriminatory manner made it declared unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court. This is a significant victory for FAN and our partners who believe in a fair and just society.
All of our social safety net bills also passed, including HB 1238 Free School Meals for More Kids, HB 1447 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Improvements, HB 1260 Aged, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) Fix, and HB 1559 Hunger Free Campus.
On Thursday, FAN celebrated significant strides toward combating hunger in Washington as volunteer Trevor Sandison and members of the Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition attended the signing of HB 1784 Concerning Hunger Relief by Governor Inslee. This bill will allocate $28 million to food banks, senior meals, and fruit and vegetable incentives, to aid in the replacement of federal pandemic food benefits that have expired. Also on Thursday, FAN’s Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang met with anti-hunger coalition partners in Battle Ground to participate in a Farm Bill listening session with newly elected US Congressmember Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who serves on the House Agricultural Committee. At the meeting, we advocated for robust SNAP benefits and increased funding for food banks. We also expressed concern about harmful SNAP work requirements, which impede access to SNAP benefits for those who face significant employment obstacles, such as people who are unhoused and those who have been formerly incarcerated.
We asked you last week to encourage your state representatives to put forward and vote for our priority bills before the opposite chamber cutoff deadline, and they did!
The Senate passed:
- HB 1143 Firearm Permit Requirements
- HB 1177 MMIWP Cold Case Unit
- HB 1181 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future
- HB 1238 Free School Meals for More Kids
- HB 1240 Ban on the Sale of Assault Weapons
- HB 1260 Aged, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) Fix
- HB 1329 Extreme Heat Utility Shutoff Moratorium
- HB 1447 TANF Improvements
- HB 1469 Shield Law
- HB 1477 Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) Fixes
- HB 1559 Hunger Free Campus
The House passed:
- SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act
- SB 5082 Repeal Statewide Advisory Votes
- SB 5087 Repealing the Death Penalty and other Unconstitutional State Statutes
Join the Movement, #StopTheMerger
Rally with UFCW3000 to tell the Federal Trade Commission to #StopTheMerger of Kroger and Albertsons. You can write to the FTC here. This merger will lead to higher prices, job cuts, fewer choices, and store closures. Anti-Merger Bag Actions will be taking place in several Western Washington locations on April 19 and 20. Visit NoGroceryMerger.com to learn more and get involved.
The WA Cares Fund is looking for storytellers who provide or receive long-term care for family and loved ones to help promote this important benefit. They are especially interested in hearing care experiences from:
- Older adults (65+) who receive part time, in-home care.
- Younger adults (20-30) who care for an older person.
- Native Spanish speakers.
Please contact Kathy Mellstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of April.
Saturday, April 15, 1:00-5:00pm, in-person, University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Avenue NE, Seattle. Seattle Convergence: PRAXIS. A workshop for religious/spiritual leaders led by Ayoka Turner and Chris Crass to generate lessons, culture, and power for collective liberation.
Saturday, April 15, 10:00am-2:00pm, in person, Khalsa Gurmat Center, 2835 S 344th Street, Federal Way. Vaisakhi Festival. Celebrations will include a traditional form of religious procession known as Nagar Kirtan, which can involve hymn singing, martial arts display, and distribution of food representing the concept of langar. Guests may stop by at any time during the celebrations.
Saturday, April 15, 7:30pm, in person, Interfaith Community Sanctuary, 1763 NW 62nd Street, Seattle (Ballard). Mimouna Celebration: Spring Blessing for Life Renewed. Join with Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg and those of many faith and spiritual traditions to celebrate this beloved occasion at the end of Passover and the end of Ramadan. There will be food and drinks served, and children’s activities available. RSVP by e-mail at email@example.com,
Sunday, April 16, 4:30-7:00pm, in-person, University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Avenue NE, Seattle. Seattle Convergence: Anti-Racist Parenting for Collective Liberation. This participatory workshop for parents, grandparents and caregivers will focus on sharing stories and insights with an understanding that there are many ways that we do this/can do this in our families, and that sharing and being in community together can help us feel more connected, grounded and capable.
Thursday, April 20, 7:00pm, in person, Temple Beth Shalom, 1322 E 30th Avenue, Spokane. The Dangers of Indifference: the U.S. and the Holocaust. Join the annual Spokane Community Observance of the Holocaust, which will feature a keynote address by Associate Professor Raymond Sun, artwork display, musical performances, and a candle-lighting ceremony. Contact Dr. Hershel Zellman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Saturday, April 22, 1:00-4:00pm, in-person, University Congregational UCC, 4515 16th Ave NE Seattle. Seattle Convergence: Heart and Soul Nourishment for Anti-Racism and Collective Liberation. This gathering featuring Rev. Osagyefo Sekou and Chris Crass is open to all and is designed to encourage and uplift us. It will include music, sharing, learning, and connecting.
Saturday, April 22, 4:30-5:30pm, in-person, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E 12th Ave, Spokane. A Vigil for the Healing of Earth’s Waters. Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho invites us to listen to those affected, as well as connect with those actively healing our rivers and lakes.
Sunday, April 23, 6:30-8:00pm, in person and online, Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, 308 4th Avenue S, Kirkland. What Should be the Relationship between Religion and State? – Interfaith Dialogue. This event, hosted by Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE), will be moderated by Michael Reid Trice, Ph.D.. It will explore the historical tensions shared by those in different faith communities in their relationship to the state.
Tuesday-Thursday, April 25-27, online. Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2023. Join FAN staff in attending this online conference and meet our members of Congress.
Thursday, April 27, 6:00-8:00pm, online. Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement Spring Workshop Series – Leading by Centering the Margins, The Narrative of the Lie: White Christian Nationalism and Rage. Join this conversation with Rev. Dr. Troy Lynn Carr and Rev. Dr. Richard W. Rouse, moderated by FAN Board Member Rev. Dr. Edward Donalson III.
Saturday, May 6, 10:00am-noon, in person, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 911 Stewart Street, Seattle. Farm Worker Ministry Northwest Community Forum, co-sponsored by Faith Action Network. This event features organizers for United Farm Workers, which is supporting the Ostrom Mushroom Farms workers as they continue their struggle for justice. Learn how you can support them. Contact Farm Worker Ministry at email@example.com to pre-register and for further questions.
Earth Day/Week Events
Friday, April 21, 7:00pm, in-person, Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ, 1919 E Prospect Street, Seattle. Earth Week Film Screening: Current Revolution. These 3 short films show the possibility of a just transition to a clean energy economy where the well-being of workers and frontline community members is valued.
Saturday, April 22, 9:00am-4:00pm, in-person, Student Center, Seattle University. 2023 Catholic Earth Day Summit. Hosted by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, the day will include a mass, keynote speakers, and discernment groups to build reciprocity with the earth and take action together for climate justice.
Saturday, April 22, 1:00-4:00pm, in-person, location TBD. Seed Exchange and Cultural Foods Celebration, hosted by Global Social Business Partners. Bring seeds to exchange, enjoy various dishes, and learn to address food insecurity. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website to learn more.
Saturday, April 22, 8:30am-5:30pm, in-person, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E 12th Avenue, Spokane. Hope for Creation Conference: Care for Water. More information and schedule of events here. Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho invites us to listen to those affected, as well as connect with those actively healing our rivers and lakes. The conference will conclude with a vigil for the healing of earth’s waters from 4:30-5:30pm.