Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and stand in solidarity with Afghan people everywhere. We are grateful for the local community partners who are working to support Afghan people who have recently had to flee their country and have been arriving in our state. For those of you who are interested in assisting with local efforts, Aneelah Afzali from MAPS-AMEN has created an email list for volunteer opportunities. You can sign up for updates at this link. And we also want to encourage you to support the Emergency Afghan Refugee Fund for Washington State. We also stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti. In addition to ongoing political upheaval, violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic, conditions in Haiti have only worsened in recent months with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and more recently, a massive 7.2 earthquake that has claimed over 2,200 lives. Even as Haiti faces these natural and political crises, deportation flights from the U.S. of Haitian nationals have continued. We recently joined over 300 organizations and advocates in urging the Biden Administration to immediately halt deportations and extend further protections to Haitian immigrants. The letter to the administration may be viewed here.
The UUJEC is, of course, very interested in democracy. We need more of it in our own operations. Participating in a task force that conducts our work is a good way for you to promote justice in the denomination and in the world. Please, examine this task force list to decide where you can make your best impact on the world. When you find one (or two), click on the adjacent survey monkey link. Ehttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9CSTZM3ach link opens an eight-question survey that asks when and how you can meet with other interested members. Program Task Forces:
Health Care Leader: Judy Deutch https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9CSTZM3The Health Care Task Force works for health equity. We're concerned about access to health care and the quality of health care. This task force works with the UUA to implement the Action of Immediate Witness, COVID-19 Pandemic: Justice, Healing, Courage. As part of this program, we support Medicare for All and congregation-based organizing for personal and social wellness.
Green New Deal Leader: Lucy Hitchcock https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9YZVWSPThe Green New Deal task force explores and educates on the natural, industrial, social, political and economic causes and consequences of climate change and the actions of prevention and restoration in which we can engage. The GND task force sponsors a webinar once a month, assembles resources on our web pages, and invites participation in our work and community.
Reparations for Racism Leader: Carl McCargo https://www.
Housing Justice Leader: Sally Gellert https://www.
Today, the WA Immigrant Solidarity Network stands in complete solidarity with the Afghan people. We urge the Biden-Harris administration to live up to their promise of centering human rights in foreign policy and provide refuge to ALL refugees who seek safety. What you can do:
- Send a letter to your member of Congress demanding the Biden-Harris administration lift the cap on Afghan refugees immediately.
- Sign up to support Afghan refugees in Washington. Anything from clothing to housing, to mental health support is appreciated.
- Donate funds to support Afghan refugees in Washington. The Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) is fundraising to provide much-needed resources to refugees.
- If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, volunteer to support local Afghan refugees. Lutheran Community Services is recruiting volunteers for apartment set up, rides from the airport, and more.
- Sign this MoveOn petition. This petition calls on President Biden to lift the cap on Afghan refugees.
- Sign this petition and send another letter to Congress about lifting the cap on Afghan refugees, with a specific focus on wartime allies.
The Church Council of Greater Seattle asks you to show up for our siblings in Haiti & Afghanistan
***CALL TO ACTION: Sign onto this letter and demand the Biden administration lift the cap on Afghan refugees NOW****
Democracy Can't Wait Rallies to Push Passage of the For the People Act, Aug. 10, check for local time, place
This Tuesday, August 10, thousands of people across the country will attend a Democracy Can’t Wait rally in their community to demand Senate action on the For the People Act, a once in a lifetime bill that will ensure fair districting, make voting easier and more accessible, and take on dark money in politics. Now is the time to show up, loudly and relentlessly, to fight for our democracy. Will you? Despite some positive signs (as reported by The Washington Post), we’re at a make it or break it moment in the fight to defend our democracy, and we cannot afford to wait any longer for Senate action: → Next Thursday, August 12, the census data will be released, allowing states to begin drawing new maps for state and federal districts. If passed before the deadline, the For the People Act will ensure fair districting and ensure our communities can thrive for the next 10 years and beyond. When it comes to our districts, we draw the line. And the stakes have never been higher. → The freedom to vote is under attack by extremist state lawmakers across the country who want to put up deliberate barriers to make it harder to vote -- especially for people of color. In response to this urgent threat to our democracy, people all across the country have been raising their voices and showing up every day to fight for the passage of this bill, on the streets and through phone banking, writing letters to the editor, and organizing actions. Now the Senate needs to step up, do their job, and pass the For the People Act to protect our votes and our democracy before the August 12 deadline. That’s why on August 10, local rallies across the country will take place, joining in power for one massive national day of action to send a strong and clear message: democracy CAN’T wait. We need the Senate to stop stalling and take decisive action now. Check out the map of dozens of rallies across the country and sign up to attend a Democracy Can’t Wait rally in your community! Every single fight for the advancement of civil rights in our nation’s history has been met with resistance and required Americans to rise up to demand change. We must do our part to make our message impossible to ignore. Sign up now to attend a Democracy Can’t Wait rally near you. And, if for some reason you can’t attend a rally, we still have other ways for you to take action:
- Call your senators and keep calling every single day demanding that they get this done.
- Check to see if your state legislators are signed onto this letter. If they are, thank them. And if they’re not, ask them why the hell they’re on the sidelines.
- Record a video asking your senators to eliminate the filibuster and stop voter suppression. And urge your friends, family, and colleagues to get involved in this fight.
The Eastside Advocacy Hub is a place to check for current calls to action and find out how you can provide important support for local change efforts. We provide information on racial equity and social justice advocacy issues that we’re tracking. Find out what’s coming up in our communities and how you can help when it’s time. You can share actions that you know about., and information about the decision-makers in our community. Do we have representatives with the lived experiences and identities to drive equity and inclusion efforts? You can lead – let us help you!This centralized resource for East King County RACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY is built, maintained, and powered by community. Would you like to help keep this resource strong? Contact us – thank you! Eastside Advocacy Hub
- End the filibuster
- Pass all provisions of the For the People Act
- Fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hr
- Permanent protections, dignity & respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition and the Welcome With Dignity campaign are hosting Days of Action from July 17-31 to create awareness and end Title 42 and expand asylum protections. The Biden Administration is expected to make a series of announcements on a Trump-era anti-asylum policy known as Title 42 which has been used to block asylum since March 2020, sending families back to dangerous situations and blocking their legal and moral right to seek asylum. #Faiths4Asylum has a Prayer Vigil Toolkit, an action letter to send to your Congressmembers, and a Welcome with Dignity Pledge you can sign.
It Starts With Faith: Organizing School for Teams? There’s still time. Complete the brief application by July 30th! Organizing School will support 20-30 teams with the goal of aligning all of our faith organizing to build power and impact in 2022. The teams will have access to organizing coaches and be invited to participate in national leadership roles in our upcoming Side With Love Action Center. If you are looking for ways to advance racial justice through your congregation or social justice teams, this year’s Organizing School is for you!
Yesterday, we launched our big plan for the upcoming congressional recess from June 28 - July 10: Deadline for Democracy. And now we’ve got just a few weeks to plan hundreds of events, drive thousands of signups, and get everything ready to put pressure on all 100 senators for real democracy reform. A red and blue graphic. On the right is a woman wearing a medical mask and speaking into a megaphone. On the left it says "Deadline for Democracy June 28 - July 10 We must mobilize like never before to show our Senators that there is overwhelming grassroots support for voting rights!" If you missed yesterday’s email with all the details, read on below for the rundown of what we’re planning for this crucial recess. If you’re ready to support us right now, click here to donate $10 to help us support events nationwide, build toolkits, create graphics, run ads, and more to make this recess a success and accomplish all our goals. Why Deadline for Democracy? To put it simply, we’re running out of time to implement all the most important democracy reform policies we’re fighting for. To make sure that measures like voting rights protections, fair redistricting, election security, and more are in place in time for the 2022 election cycle, laws like the For the People Act need to be on the books by August. With a fleeting Democratic trifecta in power, we need to use these next few weeks to build massive public pressure for democracy reform and demand bold, transformative action for a democracy that works for everyone. Congressional recesses are a key time for our activism -- with senators in their home districts, constituents can host rallies, earn press attention, and get creative to show our senators just how crucial these reforms are. And Indivisible activists know how to do just that: we’ve been doing it for years. How are we supporting this mobilization? Indivisible organizers and volunteers nationwide are already hard at work planning virtual and in-person events in their communities to keep building the momentum we need to win (there are already 79 events on our map -- check it out and add your own on the Deadline for Democracy website!). And here at Indivisible National, we’re getting ready to provide the resources, support, and tools they’ll need to make their plans a success. Here are some of the ways we’re investing to make this recess the biggest one yet:
- Running digital ads to recruit volunteers and get the word out about our key priorities
- Buying materials and sending out swag boxes to volunteers around the country to give them everything they need to run successful events
- Printing personalized postcards for groups to send to their members of Congress in support of top democracy reform bills
- Hosting a shiny new website on behalf of dozens of partner organizations
- Running exclusive targeted peer-to-peer texting programs in priority states to build attendance
- Plus spending hundreds of hours writing policy resources, creating digital toolkits, and more to get everyone in the movement on board.
Netse Mot: Support Lummi Nation and Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea)
2nd Call for Support: Bring Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut Home!
Netse Mot 2021-Call to bring Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut Home2021 will focus on the return of Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) to the Pacific Northwest from Miami Seaquarim in Florida. In the 1970s Southern Resident Orca youth were forcibly and violently taken from their pods and shipped out to aquariums and parks all over the world. Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) was taken to Miami Seaquarium where she is the last surviving Orca youth taken. Lummi Nation has been trying for decades now to have her returned but Miami Seaquarim is refusing to release her. In 2019, two Lummi women, Squil-le-he-le and Mah Tahs working with Earth Law Center, invoked the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and announced their intent to sue Miami Seaquarium if the Seaquarium. To date (April 2021), Miami Seaquarim is still refusing to release Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut. Squil-le-he-le and Mah Tahs are calling upon us to respond as well.
- For individuals, they are asking that we sign the petition established by Earth Law Center that is collecting signatures to go to Miami Seaquarim and its parent and affiliates—Palace Entertainment and Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales SA.
- For groups and organizations, they are asking that we sign a request to Governor's Inslee (WA) and Brown (OR) and BC Premier John Horgan to sign a proclamation to support the efforts to bring her home. Please sign by 24 May 2021. We'd like to present it to the Governors in June during Orca Action Month.
- We are also being asked to reach out to other Indigenous connections we may have and invite them to sign the Indigenous Statement of Solidarity. The request also includes a video of ceremonies in solidarity. If you have connections with an Indigenous group, please ask them to contact Julie at email@example.com.
For the past few weeks, UU Ministry for Earth and Elders Climate Action have been busy with the UU Project Drawdown Initiative 2021. UU DD 21 mobilizes teams or individuals to earn points for taking a variety of actions for climate and environmental justice. You can SIGN UP and take part in the challenge at any time until June, when the collective efforts will be compiled in a video to be shared and celebrated at UUA General Assembly. Get inspired with these highlights of progress so far.
Join the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Ministry For Earth, UU Service Committee and Love Resists for a letter writing campaign to show solidarity with Steve Martinez, a NoDAPL political prisoner who has been recently incarcerated after refusing to face a grand jury for a second time. Steve, an Indigenous water protector, was first subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in 2017 for his participation in the NoDAPL resistance movement and refused to comply then as now. This recent targeting came as a disconcerting surprise to many who have been supporting water protector political prisoners for the past four years. On the call, hear from Water Protectors and UU organizers about Steve’s current legal situation, and write your own letter to Steve and other NoDAPL political prisoners. Register here Another way to support is to DONATE to Steve Martinez’s GoFundMe.
On Thursday March 18th the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the house with a 247-172 vote; the majority of votes in favor coming from Democrats. C2C and Farmworker organizations nationally have opposed this legislation since it was introduced in 2019 during the Trump administration. We are deeply concerned that Democrats are giving in to political pressure to move quickly on immigration bills; with a dangerous tradeoff that will set in place the long-term implications of the FWMA. We remain opposed to the FWMA as it is written. We urge our supporters to reach out to your senators and tell them to vote “NO” on this bill. While it is being touted as a bipartisan effort to attain a path for citizenship, what is being left out of the conversation is that this bill’s “path” sets up an 8-year period of exploitation that farmworkers have to survive in order to eventually qualify for citizenship. Workers who are injured during the eight-year process will be disqualified. The ultimate recommendation for citizenship will have to come from employers, which further entrenches the longstanding power imbalance between workers and farm owners. Two dangerous long-term mandates in this bill are forcing agricultural employers to use E-Verify, the faulty audit system that has resulted in massive detention and deportation. This will put millions of undocumented people living and working in the United States at risk. The other mandate is linking legalization to the exploitative federal H2A (guest worker) program, and permanently expanding it, making it harder for workers to organize and easier for corporate agriculture to obtain and exploit cheap labor, instead of hiring farmworkers already living in the U.S. Read our joint statement with the Food Chain Workers Alliance here. Sign on to Oppose FWMA Here! Call and write your senators THIS WEEK and ask them to vote NO on the FWMA. Find your senator’s contact info here!
Tom White, one of the lead authors of the Amtrak Cascades LRP, and Solutionary Rail Project Lead Bill Moyer, wrote this article about the future of rail in our State:
by Thomas White and Bill Moyer
Washington state has two potential tracks toward a 21st century rail future, with starkly different outcomes.
One provides higher speed, climate-friendly passenger service linking as many as 13 communities on the Cascadia corridor, with increased capacity for freight trains. It has been in development since 1991 and some elements have already been completed. It would provide clean, electrified Amtrak Cascades passenger service at up to 110mph along existing lines. The phased effort would rapidly create jobs, upgrade service and cut carbon pollution. It could be completed in a decade.
Tragically, this shovel-ready plan is being ignored while another flashy vision grabs the spotlight. That is the “ultra-high-speed rail” (UHSR) project proposed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s administration and developed by WSP, a giant engineering firm. It offers a maximum of five stops along the route. To facilitate speeds up to 220mph, it would require an entirely new passenger-only corridor acquired through costly land acquisitions and the controversial use of eminent domain, with many environmental challenges. While science tells us we need to dramatically cut carbon pollution this decade, UHSR would take many years before the first track is put on the ground and decades more to completion — if it happens at all.
@Washingtonians: there's still time to reach out to State Legislators & ask that the Amtrak Cascades LRP be funded.Please, if you haven't done so yet, contact your two state Representatives AND your state Senator, asking for:
- State funding to update the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan
- Legislators to work with WSDOT to request that Federal Railroad Administration grant programs be generously funded by the federal government.
Send this letter ("Legislative Sponsors Needed") by email:
- Click to download the suggested text
- Copy and paste the subject line and text
- Send today to each of your State legislators