Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
Families are hurting because of COVID-19 and the state needs to hear from you that now is not the time to cut people off electricity, strap them with unaffordable bills, and allow utility shareholders to put additional expense on rate payers. We need you to show up and weigh in. TAKE ACTION TODAY Over these next two weeks, Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) – which regulates private, investor-owned energy utilities – will make decisions about:
- When utilities start disconnecting households from power due to non-payment,
- If utilities institute bill assistance programs that erase the utility debt of low-income households,
- And if utilities pay their fair share of COVID-19 pandemic-related costs.
- Keep Washington families connected to power. This includes, at a minimum, guaranteeing service until all counties in a utility’s service district are in Phase 4 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan. Ultimately, we know energy is a fundamental need and no one should be disconnected from access.
- Support low-income families by approving staff’s proposal for each utility to provide up to $2,500 in bill assistance to households earning up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Through the Clean Energy Transition Act Front and Centered help draft and pass, utilities will be required to plan for a massive increase in assistance, but we can't wait given the current crisis. Households need support now.
- Require utilities to pay their fair share. This includes but is not limited to: prohibiting deferred accounting petitions regarding late payment fees and reconnection charges that utilities are legally prohibited from collecting during the pandemic by Governor Inslee’s Proclamation.
Sameer Ranade | (he/him/his)
Civic Engagement and Policy Manager
Mobile: 360-218-4642 | Office: 206-487-4303
From Community to Community (C2C-partner of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship):
Update! On Monday we asked our supporters to call the Department of Health and L&I to demand health and safety protections for farmworkers. We now have the direct phone number for Joel Sacks, Director of L&I. Please call him directly at (360) 902-4293. Demand that proper ventilation is required in Farmworker housing. Demand that workplaces are shut down in response to covid outbreaks. We will not tolerate the ongoing exploitation of Farmworker lives!
“We have lost one of the greatest American patriots to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee mourned. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was so much more than a judge; she was one of America’s greatest champions for justice, in the truest sense of the word. “We should all raise our voices to make sure her last wishes are met: Her seat should not be filled until 2021.” Call your senator and tell them to honor the precedent set in 2016: demand they delay a vote confirming a new Supreme Court Justice until after the election. Here is the contact information for your Washington State Senators: Patty Murray - (202) 224-2621 Toll Free: (866) 481-9186 https://contactsenators.com/washington/patty-murray Maria Cantwell - (202) 224-3441 https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact
I have been in touch with the Seattle University Law School and the Housing Justice Project about training and placing court watchers in the King County eviction courts. Once the moratorium ends there will likely be a tsunami of eviction cases. Volunteer court watchers who sit in a courtroom and take notes not only provide us with data on racial bias and discrimination, but actually impact outcomes merely by being there. Experience has shown that judges, prosecutors, and attorneys who know that they are being watched and will be held accountable are more likely to take care to operate fairly and to follow reforms designed to improve our justice system. Housing Justice Project will provide training and volunteers will probably serve for half a day once a month. Background checks will be required.
Let us know if you are interested by contacting Karla Davis (email@example.com)and we will get you updates on this as the project moves forward.
Think global, act local: make a difference with the Strengthening Local Climate Commitments campaign! 198 Mayors (including Seattle's Mayor Jenny Durkan and several others in Washington state,) just released a letter calling on Congress to take bold action for climate, racial and health justice. Send an email to thank your mayor for their leadership, or join the campaign and get your mayor on board. On July 23, 2020, 198 mayors released a letter to Congress pushing for bold strategic action to address the intersecting crises of Covid-19, racial injustice and climate chaos. As Congress negotiates the next Covid-19 aid package, this letter puts forth a clear vision rooted in a set of principles for protecting health, the environment and making our economy work for everyone. This letter was organized by the broader network of more than 450 mayors comprising Climate Mayors, who have made commitments to leading on local climate action. One way that UUs are taking action right now is telling mayors this commitment to climate action is being noticed — and that local citizen leaders will keep them to their word. These public declarations of climate commitments and principles provide benchmarks for citizens to hold officials accountable, and inspiration for other mayors to see their locale as part of a bigger solution. So far, seventeen emails have been sent by UUs to let their mayor know they noticed and to push them to live up to their commitment as climate mayors.
Side With Love 5-Session Series, "Taking A Collective Breath: Deepening our alignment with the Movement for Black Lives" Begins August 11, 2020
We invite you to participate in Taking A Collective Breath: Deepening our alignment with the Movement for Black Lives, a five-session series built around the elements of the BREATHE Act. The webinars will explore the components of the BREATHE Act and utilize its structure as a way to focus our energies to effectively support ongoing racial justice work. Come learn and build with local and national partners who are shaping conditions to make liberation possible. This is an invitation to locate yourself in this moment as well, we each have a role to play.
We at Sunrise, we know that everyone has something to lose to the climate crisis and everything to gain by stopping it. We deeply respect and appreciate the wisdom, experience, and support of our elders in the organizing community and understand that we can learn a lot about social movements, fighting for justice, and what does and doesn’t work. That being said, Sunrise is a youth-led, youth-centered movement where we're focused primarily on organizing young people: ~35 and younger. If you’re not a young person, but still want to support and organize with Sunrise, this document is the place for you!
Sunrise’s decision to be youth-led and youth-centered is both a strategic and cultural one. In the climate crisis, young people face an unfortunate reality: every one of us will see the devastating effects of climate change in our lifetime. We have inherited a crisis that we did not create— and there is a story to tell about a new generation of Americans who are standing up to protect their future. Throughout history, we have seen that youth voices hold a unique moral clarity, and the climate crisis is no exception. Choosing to focus on young people is a key part of our strategy to reach millions.
Sunrise is also filling a cultural gap for young people in the movement. Young people today have grown up knowing that the stable climate that human civilization has depended on for millennia could crumble within our lifetimes. Yet, we’ve seen political leaders continue to fail us, often laughing us off or calling us young and naive. That’s been deeply discouraging for many of us. In our society, there aren’t many spaces that trust and uplift the leadership of young people. Young people were searching for a space that would not only allow them to organize but would also give them the community they were searching for. Our youth-centered focus makes sure that we are building a community and an identity— vital ingredients to keep a movement together.
We need the support of all of you— it just comes in a slightly different form. We love the enthusiasm you’ve shown and appreciate the organizing that you’ve already done to help get us to this point! This 35+ Supporters document will provide key principles on how to be an ally with Sunrise, suggestions of how to uplift youth leadership, and roles to be taken on. We’re also in the process of putting together a #35+ Supporters caucus for Sunrise members that are older than ~35 and have set up a #35+supporters slack channel for our adult/elder allies to connect, coordinate and form a community.
We will be holding six webinars from June through November 2020 for the Greenhouse Gas Assessment for Projects (GAP) rulemaking. The webinars will be focused on specific topics described in the table below. Each webinar will include a 30-45 minute presentation by Ecology on the topic. Then there will be time for the public to provide input for Ecology to consider in developing the GAP rule. The presentations for each webinar will also be posted to the website.
We want to hear from you and there are several ways to be involved during the draft rule development.
• Attend the webinars.
• Provide input during the webinar comment period.
• Provide input by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Check the website. We will post information throughout the rulemaking process.
• Sign up for the LISTSERV to get information about the GAP rulemaking at http://listserv.ecology.wa.gov/scripts/wa-ECOLOGY.exe?A0=GAP-RULE.
Webinar schedule and topics
This information is being provided for planning. You will need to register for each webinar individually. You can register in advance or at the time of the webinar. The links for the webinars will be added to the GAP Rule webpage at https://ecology.wa.gov/Regulations-Permits/Laws-rules-rulemaking/Rulemaking/WAC-173-445.
Date Time Webinar Topic
June 25, 2020 1:30-4:00 pm Rulemaking process and key concepts
July 23, 2020 2:00-4:30 pm Applicability of the rule
August 27, 2020 9:30 am – Noon Environmental assessment methods
September 24, 2020 2:00-4:30 pm Mitigation
October 29, 2020 9:30 am – Noon TBD
November 17, 2020 9:00 am – Noon Draft rule overview
Your input is important and we will consider your comments as we develop the draft GAP rule. Please note that this is not a formal comment period so there will not be formal responses to your comments.
To request ADA accommodation, contact Ecology's ADA Coordinator by email at email@example.com, or call 360-407-6831, 711 (relay service), or 877-833-6341 (TTY).
Lake Institute Survey on COVID-19 Financial Impact
Building upon what they learned through their 2019 National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices (NSCEP), our partners at the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving are now seeking to better understand the unique ways that the COVID-19 crisis is impacting congregations financially.They are currently inviting the participation of congregational leaders in a survey that will take about 15 minutes to complete. If you represent a congregation, you may participate directly. If you represent an organization or denomination, they invite you to forward the survey to your colleagues and networks. Your participation is valuable to other congregations that are seeking to address many of the same pressing financial questions.
CoViD-19 is a confluence of crises that further exacerbates inequities and exposes societal and economic vulnerabilities. Our latest RailBite, Solutionary Rail in a Time of Pandemic explores how this moment of crisis is also an opportunity to address those vulnerabilities, as well as one of the underlying causes of this and future pandemics, i.e. climate change, by undertaking a transformational national infrastructure project. Solutionary Rail offers a pathway to tackle some of the most difficult decarbonization challenges while improving public health, delivering environmental justice, and rebuilding local & national economic vitality. Solutionary Rail continues to champion bold, synergistic solutions for these most difficult, interwoven crises. The time for Solutionary Rail is now. Join with us by becoming an ambassador for this vision.
- Please share this RailBite with your Congressional representatives.
- Use our SR Ambassador Toolkit to write a letter to the editor, present to your local community.
- Pass a resolution in your town or organization like the City of La Crosse, Wisconsin recently did.
Last week, Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now presented a plan to reinvest 50% of SPD’s remaining 2020 budget into pro-community, pro-safety measures. Specifically, we proposed reinvestments in four categories (described in more detail below.)
- Replace current 911 operations with a civilian-controlled system
- Scale-up community-led solutions
- Fund a community-created roadmap to life without policing
- Invest in housing for all
Call/email/tag city council members asking them to support the 4-point proposal for defunding SPD by 50% and reinvesting in community. If you already did this, DO IT AGAIN! Make sure to contact your own council member, as well as Gonzalez and Mosqueda, the two members-at-large.
Repost our call to action on your social media.
Organize others to bring the pressure! Share our call to action with any listservs you manage, and with friends, family and community members.
Write an organizational letter of support addressed to all city council members in support of the proposal.
Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites Asks for Your Voice at City Council Defund-the-Police Budget Hearing, June 8, 2020
The Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites is MOBILIZING to DEFUND the SPD by 50% and REINVEST IN BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES. We have until July 17th to influence the city budget. As a people who have historically benefited from the institution of police, we have a responsibility to advocate for its abolition.
We are MOBILIZING TOGETHER to DEFUND the SPD by 50% and REINVEST IN BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES
This work is not done! If you have been following the news lately, you likely know that Mayor Durkan is on the offensive. She has proposed a 20% budget cut, even though if we can maintain a veto-proof majority in city council, she has very little power to implement that proposal.
SO, it is imperative that we keep pressure on our Council Members to hold to their commitment. The pro-police folks are organizing as well. They're planning on using our tactics to try to flip Council Members votes.
Our action is to keep up the calls and emails! They matter- don't let up and give the pro-police folks the phone lines! Only a quarter of our Phone Zap spots are filled for today - so sign up. And make the calls even if you don't sign up! Below you will find all of the city council members contact information!
From the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH):
We need a strong HOUSING focus in federal COVID-19 relief:
Pass the Emergency Housing Protections & Relief Act of 2020
The House of Representatives just passed crucial housing and homelessness resources in the "Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020" aka H.R. 7301. This bill is a TOP priority for every advocacy group concerned about the need to get more people housed, keep people in their homes, and prevent dramatic increases in homelessness.
Our partners at the National Low Income Housing Coalition have made it easy to send your Senators a note to VOTE YES on HR. 7301. Ask people you know in other states to join you. We need a strong push across all 50 states to make sure the federal response to COVID-19 prioritizes homes and prevent homelessness.
Virtual town halls are the new norm when it comes to communicating with our elected officials. With there being so many different ways to host a virtual town hall, we at Town Hall Project want to make sure our members of Congress are truly listening to their constituents.
To do this, we need YOUR help. We need volunteers to (virtually) attend these town halls and report back on how accessible they truly are.
This is volunteering you can do from the comfort and safety of your own home, in as little as 1-2 hours per week. And it will be critical in holding our lawmakers accountable.
Please sign up here to join our team of Town Hall Monitors. Together we can hold our members of Congress accountable.
With Kind Regards,
Organizing Director, Town Hall Project
In this time of pandemic and economic crisis, Congress is more out of touch than ever. With public health restrictions keeping lawmakers from meeting in-person in their communities, far too many are only seeing this crisis through the news. We at Town Hall Project are convinced that if our elected leaders were able to hold in-person town halls right now they'd see just how bad this crisis is -- and how much worse it could get. But in just four weeks, expanded unemployment benefits and other vital support will end -- unless Congress acts. So it's vitally important we lift up the stories of Americans at the front line of this crisis. If you, or a loved one, are unemployed and depending on expanded support to make rent, mortgage, or other basic needs, your story can make a real difference. Please: share your story today and we'll help elevate it -- in social media, in virtual town halls, and through the news media -- to make sure Congress understands.townhallproject.com mutualaidhub.org
Black Collective Voice Page Engage Series, Part 2 "From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation," July 3, 2020, Seattle
The WA Low Income Housing Alliance works toward the opportunity for all Washington residents to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities. They sponsor a weekly webinar to highlight work and provide action points on these issues.
Examples of recent/coming meetings: Marc Dones joined us July 1st to share about the newly formed Center on Housing Justice, an arm of the National Innovation Service that will focus on dismantling structural racism inside our nation’s housing and homeless service systems, and redesigning toward an equitable future! On July 8th, we'll be joined by Lowel Krueger from the Yakima Housing Authority and Amber Johnson from SNAP to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting their tenants.
If you would like to submit a question ahead of the call, please use this form to do so! We will do our very best to answer your questions during the call or in follow-up correspondence.
You can register for the call at this link, or by clicking the button above. After registering, you should receive a confirmation email with the call-in information and a password. If for some reason you do not, please email John at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you get it.