On behalf of the Board of JUUstice Washington, we hope that your holiday time was reflective and regenerating. We would like to express our gratitude to all of you who are passionately and diligently working on justice issues within your communities. We’d also like to thank you for your generosity in supporting the JUUstice Washington organization.
Now that 2019 has come to a close, we turn our sights to the future and what a year this will be!
We’ve solidified much of the organization’s infrastructure (there are a few changes yet to come, though), JUUstice Washington leadership will be looking to expand and deepen its service to UU individuals, congregations and allies and partners and their justice work. There is a lot happening this year and we stand ready to lead and assist you to lead in tackling the many issues that we’ll be facing this year.
Some of the justice focus areas identified so far for this winter and spring by various organizations will include much of what we’re doing already, with some new goals as well.
The legislature will begin meeting January 13th and already various justice lobby days are on the calendar with more to come. It is a short session this year which will mean we have a lot to do in a shorter period of time.
A number of pieces of climate and environmental legislation in WA State are active and will need our support and that means actively connecting with legislators to move these pieces of out committee and onto the floors for votes. Efforts will be focused on carbon limits clean fuels, the reduction of plastic pollution, the Safe Passage 97 project, Electric Bike Bill, protecting our fish and wildlife, our Southern Resident Orcas, mining project impacts, public transportation and more. Outside of state legislation, there is Climate Action Month coming up (March 22-April 22) and more Climate Strikes (June 2020).
First Nations issues will focus on the protection and restoration of our Southern Resident Orcas and the Salish will include many legislative efforts and engaging with WA’s Indian Tribes and Nations including the upcoing Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea) which will be carried over from Bellingham (2019 event) to Olympia on March 21st on the North Steps of the State capitol. Efforts also includes Governor Inslee pursuing the study of the Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement Report (comments are being collected through January 24th) regarding the breaching of the dams. As well the Truth & Reconciliation movement will be going forward and other focus areas include Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Youth suicide prevention, opioid crisis, cultural education, Trans Mountain Pipeline and other fossil fuel and resource extraction projects.
2020 Election cycle will need our attention as we work with the UUA and community organizers to get out the vote sowe can make the necessary leadership changes that will undo the damage done and redirect us towards goals of sustainability and equity.
Economic justice will also continue to see action in tax reform, hunger and nutrition, homelessness and housing, access to health care and the State budget for low-income programs.
Immigration will be looking to the ongoing support of H2A and other migrant farmworkers and the ways in which we deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There will be continued support of families impacted by detention and deportation.
Racial Justice issues will see a continuing and deepening of equity in all justice issues particularly in criminal justice (death penalty repeal, access to legal representation) reforms, health care access, equity in education reforms and representation on the 2020 census.
We have our work cut out for us and the leadership at JUUstice Washington is looking forward to supporting and working with you this new year!
Deborah J. Cruz
President, JUUstice Washington
17250 NE 156th Court
Woodinville, WA 98072