Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
SB 5438, under consideration by our legislature, represents a significant step toward protecting the safety and dignity of workers brought to our state under the H-2A farm labor program. It is the top priority this session for Rosalinda Guillen and Community to Community, and Ramon Torres, President of FUJ, leaders in addressing the issues of migrant workers in this State. SB 5438 would create a new Office of Agricultural and Seasonal Workforce Services within the ESD, staffed and authorized to conduct field visits of H2A workplace sites. It would create an oversight committee composed of farm employers and farm workers. It would permit the charging of a fee, on farm employers who request workers under the H-2A program and this would fund the new office and the work of the oversight committee. This is the only type of legislation of this nature in the nation–no other state is proposing or providing adequate, coordinated and funded oversight. It will be setting precedent. SB 5438 has been passed by the Senate and has passed to the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.
- First, it must be voted favorably out of that committee, which is holding a public hearing on Thursday 3/21.
- Then must pass out of the Rules Committee for a vote by the full House
- The deadline for the House vote is April 3rd
Since Puget Sound Resident Orca Mother Tahlequah carried her deceased calf for 17 days, a message of urgency about the dire conditions faced by her pod, Backbone Campaign has mobilized banners, light projections, and eight Human Orca Murals across the State. Our hope is to double that number by June 1st. If you want to create this in your community, let us know. Upcoming Orca Murals are planned for Wenatchee, Spokane, Olympic Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, and more! WATCH a short video of the Orca Mural in Astoria, Oregon.
Senate Environment and Energy Committee hearing on HB 1110:
Committee staff described HB 1110 bill contents, including deadlines for establishing rules on emissions (for details, see separate posts on House hearings). It passed the House 53-43. You can take action on this bill by clicking on the link above, and click on “Comment on this Bill.” The comment link will take you to a page that requests your address and email information, a button where you can indicate support, oppose or neutral. You need to make a comment but it can be short – “please support the bill.”
Senate Committee Hearing ESHB 1578 Oil Transportation Bill:
ESHB 1578 specifies permit requirements for oil tankers, requires tug escorts, assesses threats of oil tankers to Orcas and other wildlife in straits. It passed the House 70-28 with amendments. You can take action on this bill by clicking on the link above, and click on “Comment on this Bill.” The comment link will take you to a page that requests your address and email information, a button where you can indicate support, oppose or neutral. You need to make a comment but it can be short – “please support the bill.”
That’s right! For years now, Washington state has ranked as having the number one worst tax code in the entire country! It’s beyond time that our absurd state tax structure was turned right side up. We need a tax structure that works for low- and moderate-income people, not just wealthy people. That’s why this upcoming Thursday, March 21, we are gathering in Olympia to demand change and action from our lawmakers. At the rally, we will be calling on lawmakers to fund and modernize the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC). If the WFTC is funded, that will mean that about a million low- and moderate-income households in Washington will get a tax refund of about $350, thereby boosting families’ economic security and taking important steps to fix our broken tax system.
We woke up with the horrendous news of the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and we’ve been listening for how best to respond as faith leaders and faith communities to support our Muslim neighbors. We condemn and lament Islamophobia and white supremacy in all its forms, and we pledge to act together against such hatred and violence in the days ahead.
Our friends at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) invite us to stand in solidarity with our neighbors and grieve as a worldwide community on Monday at the Interfaith Vigil and Anti-Islamophobia Teach-In, hosted by MAPS, MAPS-AMEN, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday, March 18 from 7-9 PM at MAPS Redmond (17550 NE 67th Ct). We also encourage you to download a #WeStandWithOurMuslimNeighbors sign and put it in your faith community or workplace to let our Muslim neighbors know of your support.
Town Halls are an excellent way to actively engage in the civic process and advocate for the change you want to see. Usually held either in person at local community centers, or over the phone on a conference line, town halls are an opportunity for your lawmaker to listen to you, their constituent, and receive feedback on the policy priorities that matter most to your community. The 2019 Legislative Session is just about halfway over, which means that while some bills are moving quickly, others are progressing more slowly as lawmakers decide what bills to prioritize. Town Halls are the time and space to hold your lawmakers accountable to the changes and priorities that matter most to the wellbeing of your community!
Here is a list of when and where each district's Town Hall is located(thank you Housing Alliance!). And if you don't know which district you live in,here's how to find out.
A Message from Interfaith Worker Justice
13 March 2019
Contact your Senator and Senate Committee Members
ESHB 1110 - (Second House Bill 1110) has passed in the House, and is now in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology.
This is the Clean Fuels Program (CFP) bill- The objective is to lower the “Carbon Intensity” of fuels used by Washington drivers by 10 % by 2028, and 20% by 2035 based on fuels used in 2017. Allowable replacements are synthetic and Bio fuels. This bill/law mirrors similar laws in place in California and Oregon. Currently, biofuels are made in Washington and (in large part) sold in Oregon or California. Financial impact in CA and OR has been minimal, and impact has been significant. See Leg.wa.gov for full information.
Who to contact:
- Your senator
- Committee Members: Carlyle, Chair (D); Palumbo, Vice Chair (D); Ericksen; Fortunato; Sheldon; Billig; Brown; Das; Hobbs; Liias; McCoy; Nguyen; Rivers; Short; Wellman
When to contact your Senator: NOW
PUBLIC Hearing on this bill - this is our chance to weigh in on this bill. MARCH 19th 10:00 - in the Senate Hearing rooms
Please contact Kelly Thompson if you would like to coordinate our testimony.
The Senate Environment and Energy Committee on March 14, 2019, held a hearing on ESHB 1112 (ESHB refers to Engraved Substitute House Bill). The bill, which passed the House, would phase out use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over the next five years, as follows:
- January 1, 2020, for propellants, foam blowing agents such as polyurethane or spray foam, and supermarket systems, stand-alone systems, remote condensing units, and vending machines;
- January 1, 2021, for refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment, compact residential consumer refrigeration products, polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet, and rigid polyurethane low-pressure two component spray foam;
- January 1, 2022, for residential consumer refrigeration products, except compact and built-in residential consumer refrigeration products;
- January 1,2023, for built-in consumer refrigeration products and cold storage warehouses; and
- January 1, 2024, for centrifugal chillers and positive displacement chillers.
An urgent ask from Al Otro Lado: Do you have people in your network who can help companion children who were separated at the border to be reunited? Read more here and fill out this form to express interest in volunteering as a companion.
Oil companies, big polluters, and the GOP members of Congress in their pockets are doing everything they can to smear the Green New Deal and deny the devastating effects of climate change in order to protect their bottom lines. But a grassroots movement, led by youth activists from the Sunrise Movement, is fighting back and ready to make climate and the Green New Deal a centerpiece issue for the new Congress and in the 2020 election—including holding a nationwide student walkout this Friday to support action on the climate crisis.
There is no time to waste. Join MoveOn in showing your support for the Green New Deal by ordering your "Earth Can't Wait" sticker now, placing it somewhere visible, and sharing the message with your family and friends.
Thanks for all you do.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under current law, able-bodied adults without dependents are subject to the harsh time limit of only three months of assistance every three years if they do not work enough hours each week. However, the USDA can grant waivers in areas where unemployment is higher than the national average. Nearly every state has employed a waiver from the USDA in the past 20 years. This rule change would limit the ability to access these waivers, therefore limiting access to SNAP benefits for people who are unemployed or who do not meet a quota of hours of job training and/or work each week. Those who don't meet the required hours would lose their SNAP eligibility after three months, regardless of how hard they are trying to find more work, more hours, or job training. In Washington State, 70% of counties with high unemployment rates would lose their waivers under this change, which would take SNAP benefits away from 80,000 people in our state alone.
WorkFirst, Washington state’s version of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, is a critical resource that helps low-income families with kids stay housed, pay bills, and purchase food and essential items for growing children. It should be there when families need it.
However, due to program cuts implemented a decade ago during the Great Recession, WorkFirst policy changes have made it increasingly harder for families to stay engaged with TANF and get the assistance they require.
Stand with low-income kids and parents in Washington state and take action now
On Friday February 15th, the Senate passed SB 5339, the 2019 bill to end the death penalty. This year's lobby day will focus on our House Representatives. You might remember that last year the bill to end the death penalty made it through the Senate and a House committee, but never made it to the House floor for a vote. Let's make 2019 different.
register by March 18th
send an email to your legislators
Promise to Protect Training April 27,28 (Seattle WA): Get Ready for Next Anti-Tar Sands Pipeline Campaign
The training will cover multicultural competence for partnering with people in Lakota territory, a power analysis of the fossil fuel industry, and direct action as a strategic tool. The tour is coming to 10 cities beginning in March and going through May. Construction could begin in June (though delays are likely). The training will cover multicultural competence for partnering with people in Lakota territory, a power analysis of the fossil fuel industry, and direct action as a strategic tool. The tour is coming to Seattle on April 27 and 28, 2019. see https://nokxlpromise.org/train
We are super excited to announce our keynote speaker at the 2019 CUUSAN Conference will be Chris Crass!! If you know Chris, you are freaking out with joy right now! If you don't, you've got to get yourself to this conference!
Living Our Values, Building Our Movement
When: Wed June 19, 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Where: A Hotel near the GA venue (Spokane WA) Location TBA soon
We need you to REGISTER, please
Ethnic studies bill 5023 is currently being considered by the state legislature. It Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop and periodically update a model ethnic studies curriculum for use in grades 7–12. It requires an advisory committee to oversee the process.