Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate is scheduled for April 22nd, when the United States government is likely to release a new climate pledge titled a “Nationally Determined Contribution.” President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to participate in the summit to build international will for climate action. This updated climate pledge will shape federal targets, conversations, and policies for years to come. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that average global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if current warming trends continue. In other words, the global community has less than 12 years left to limit emissions. We must be as ambitious as possible to ensure we stop the trajectory of the climate crisis. Public officials and environmental groups are asking for a 50+% reduction of emissions by 2030, which is not ambitious enough\. In response, youth organizations across the United States have come together to create a Youth Climate Pledge. We deserve a future to look forward to, where all communities can thrive. Sign the petition to demand a pledge that is just and equitable to combat the climate crisis! The US Youth Demand that the US
- Reduce 75% of its emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.
- Implement climate solution projects that are consultative and equitable, and center highly impacted communities such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color; youth, women and girls; transgender and non-binary individuals; low-income people; and people that have disabilities.
- Declare a national climate emergency and use the power of existing laws to expedite our transition away from fossil fuels.
- Deploy financial resources to communities to enable a Just Transition. Economic justice is climate justice!
- Protect the Black, Indigenous, Brown, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and working-class communities that are disproportionately harmed by the climate crisis.
- Recognize and uplift Indigenous and local knowledge and use it to inform decision-making.
- Intentionally create positions for young people, age 35 and younger, in decision-making processes and as consulted parties for climate planning and solutions proposals.
- Enable the capacity for just and equitable climate action with the Paris Agreement’s Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda, which recognizes the importance of an informed and active society in decision-making. The US shall create an ACE strategy and appoint a Youth National Focal Point.
- Mandate a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels that is equitable for all communities and avoids economic and financial instability. All future fossil fuel projects should not be approved.
- Phase-down fossil fuel production and supply to avoid “locking-in” future use of those fuels.
- Reinstate the ban on US crude oil exports worldwide.
- Foster a sustainable Gulf region and stop environmental racism and environmental degradation.
- Stop all new petrochemical project development on the Gulf Coast and throughout the country.
- Provide resources (financial, technological) to developing countries so they are able to respond to the climate crisis.
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
Let's do this, Washington!
Bring Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut Home!A sacred request from Squil-le-he-le (Raynell Morris) and Tah-Mahs (Ellie Kinley) "Our Lhaq'temish [Lummi] people have had a special relationship with our killer whales since time immemorial. We know them as qwe’lhol’mechen, which means “people under the water.” Our stories tell of intermarriage and kinship between our Lhaq'temish people and a local qwe’lhol’mechen clan we know as Sk’aliCh’elh. Fifty years ago, as our own children were being stolen and sent to boarding schools, one of the Sk’aliCh’elh children was stolen and sold to the Miami Seaquarium. We call this orca whale “Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut,” which means daughter of Sk’aliCh’elh. She is our Lhaq'temish daughter, too. She has been held in a small concrete tank and forced to perform for her food since 1970. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People recognizes and uphold our rights to our culture, our spirituality, our families. In order for our Lhaq'temish culture, spirituality, and family to be whole, we must bring Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut home. We are working with the world’s top scientists and experts on how to do this responsibly. We have a plan, but we do not yet have Miami Seaquarium’s agreement to release her into our care. We are asking all individuals to sign our Petition, as put forth by our partners at the Earth Law Center." Hy’shqe, Squil-le-he-le (Raynell Morris) Tah-Mahs (Ellie Kinley) Enrolled members of Lummi Nation Please pass this onto family, friends, allies and partners. Ask them to sign the petition. It is believed that an overwhelming show of support, Miami Seaquarium’s parent companies might do the right thing and allow the Lhaq'temish people to bring their relation home to the Salish Sea, where they and her orca family await her. For more information, check the links below: Links:
- Ceremonies for Ska’liCh’elh-tenaut Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ceremonies-for-Skalichelh-tenaut-111624844000057
- SacredSea.org Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut page: https://sacredsea.org/skalichelhtenaut/
- Petition link: https://www.change.org/p/miami-seaquarium-free-endangered-orca-held-captive-at-miami-seaquarium-for-50-years
- SacredSea YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0qWShmGWtn3HPU-cpWj81Q
In 2018, the legislature passed a bill reducing legal financial obligations (LFO) imposed on defendants convicted of crimes. At that time, LFO legislation was one of the priorities identified at the 2017 Justice Summit. LFO’s are court costs and other financial costs that recently incarcerated people are required to pay after release, and they can deter them from paying other costs such as housing or job searches. HB 1412 would reduce these costs even more because it:
- Allows a court to refrain from imposing or waive full or partial restitution and accrued interest owed to any insurer or entity that is not an individual if the offender does not have the means to pay.
- Allows a court to not impose interest on restitution after inquiring into and considering specified factors and input of the victim.
- Revises standards for the waiver of accrued interest on restitution and non-restitution obligations.
- Revises the time periods in which judgments for restitution and non restitution legal financial obligations may be enforced.
- Establishes a revised standard of indigency for purposes of a number of provisions applicable to legal financial obligations.
At this point in the legislative session, it would be a good idea to meet with your legislators to discuss pending legislation. Most legislators are scheduling town halls online, and you can find out when at the Washington Conservation Voter website. Some will let you ask questions beforehand, which is a good opportunity to discuss our legislative priorities. Here are some of the priorities we discussed in the Justice Summit.
- Environmental priorities: Fluorinated Gases, Clean Fuels, Growth Management Act, Building Electrification.
- Racial Justice priorities: Insurance fairness act, Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) act.
- Criminal Justice priorities: Legal Financial Obligations.
Good news! SB 5141-The HEAL Act, made it out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee last Friday! We are thrilled, but with a close 13-12 vote, there is no room for error. We must be methodical in our next steps.
Now, our focus turns to passing the HEAL Act out of the Senate chamber. This means your Senator needs to hear from you today!
With the tragedy in Texas serving as the lastest example, communities of color bear the brunt of the burden borne by environmental disasters. This can lead to medical ailments, the loss of housing and income, and create lasting hardships. It doesn’t have to be this way, and the HEAL Act directs state agency staff to establish meaningful relationships with underserved communities. This will improve the preparation, prevention, and communication work our state does to shield us from environmental threats. It is crucial because we want everyone to be safe when the next wildfire, flood, or heat wave strikes.
Think of the state of our environment as a sick patient and our environmental laws as the doctor meant to provide the cure. Without the HEAL Act, that doctor won’t be able to provide a full diagnosis, prescribe the right medicines, and provide a wellness plan that matches the patient's needs and abilities. We need to HEAL our environment and not let it get any sicker.
We are engaged in a relentless communication effort to ensure the Senate prioritizes the HEAL Act. Stay tuned for additional actions soon!
Thank you so much,
Sameer Ranade Civic Engagement and Policy Manager Sameer@frontandcentered.org (360) 218-4642
To: Seattle Children's Board of Trustees and Carolyn Down Community Health Clinic Board of Directors We entrusted Seattle Children's and Country Doctor with health and lives of Black and Brown families and you have failed them. You have neglected to uphold the very reasons that Odessa Brown and Carolyn Downs were created by Black activists and healthcare professionals—to provide quality and respectful healthcare to Black families. Now, our most trusted and respected managers and health care providers are leaving your employment due to racist environments. The loss of these healthcare leaders and providers is a devastating blow to Black families and the Black Community across King County. More SIGN-ON to support transferring the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and the Carolyn Downs Community Health Clinic back to the Black community. The Odessa Brown and Carolyn Downs Clinic have served Seattle’s Black community for years. After clear failures by clinic leadership to properly serve Black peoples, the Black community is calling for the return and transfer of both clinics back to Black community ownership in the spirit of agency and self-determination. Please sign-on in support of this effort here.
The Interrupting the School or Prison Pipeline group is exploring bystander intervention training opportunities that JUUstice Washington might offer to congregations. We are checking various options and there are a couple of training opportunities coming up in February that help this exploration.
Bystander intervention training opportunities. One is coming up on February 13th. Some key providers include Cortney Wooten, Seattle 350, Peace Keepers, and Poor People’s Campaign.
The first, on February 13, is by a training team out of DC. They describe it as "an interactive, participatory, beginner’s workshop designed for those that may have none to little prior studies of bystander intervention." Payment is on a sliding fee scale. The two times listed are two sections of the same training.
Edmonds United Methodist Church is offering a related workshop "Stepping into Allyship" workshop will be on February 9 from 6-8 pm. As we seek to create beloved community and dismantle racism, we are intentionally making the workshop free for all participants. The workshop will be led by local equity consultant and organizer, Courtney Wooten, who has collaborated with Edmonds UMC over the last three years. We hope that this offering will bless your communities as we work to together dismantle racism and white supremacy. Registration information is available at Stepping into Allyship (google.com) The presenter also does bystander intervention training.
The Interrupting the School or Prison Pipeline (post-Summit) group is exploring potential ways to find and boost existing programs that directly interrupt the school to prison pipeline. Two programs that we are looking into are Speaking Justice and Community Passageways. If you already work with either of these programs or have insights about their work, please let us know by contacting John Hilke at email@example.com.
The Interrupting the School or Prison Pipeline (post-Summit) group is monitoring and encouraging your engagement with the following legislative proposals dealing the police reforms and racial justice improvements. We welcome additional assistance in monitoring and insights about these bills. Please contact John Hilke at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to help.
HB 1054 (Johnson) banning choke holds etc.
HB 1092 (Lovick) database of police use of force
HB 1089 (Ramos) compliance with I-940 on independent investigations of police violence
HB 1082 (Goodman) reform process of decertification and sanctions for police misconduct
HB 1088 (Lovick) standardizing reporting of police misconduct and impeaching office testimony
SHB 1044 educational opportunities in prisons
HB 1078/SB 5086 restoration of voting rights when persons leave prison
HB 1090 ban on private prisons
HB 1282/SB 5285 reduced prison terms for participating in educational programs
HB 1310 statewide de-escalation standard and limits on use of force
SB 5226 end debt-based suspensions of driver licenses
HB 1186 youth alternative corrections
SB? 5228 Antibias curriculum development
SB 5229 continuing education regarding antibias practices
Apply for the GROW Fellowship by February 1!
Access to health care should be available to all, regardless of immigration status.
Equitable access to health care coverage is particularly crucial now, as underlying inequities have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Immigrants and communities of color are disproportionately contracting, hospitalized for, and dying from COVID-19.
Demand more equitable health care access from lawmakers and ensure the health of Washington’s communities.
On Thursday, January 28th, at 8am the WA State Senate’s Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee will hold a first hearing for SB 5172. If passed the bill could prevent dairy workers, and possibly thousands of agricultural workers in Washington State from receiving retroactive (back) overtime pay.
TAKE ACTION NOW
The bill is due for its first hearing in the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs this Thursday morning at 8am. It’s important that farmworkers and their advocates and supporters show our opposition to the bill.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please share this message widely with people in Washington state who care about fair wages for farmworkers.
Let the committee know that you are opposed to this bill by going to the link below and selecting “Con” (against). The latest you can sign in is 6:59am Thursday morning.
Given that the legislative session is happening remotely, anyone can sign in “pro”, “con”, or “other” to legislation that will receive a hearing. Previously, this was something that could only be done if you were physically in Olympia.
The following bills have hearings next week. Please fill out the form completely, including choosing your position (“pro”) at the beginning. Failure to fill out the form completely will not allow you to submit.
Act before Tuesday 7am: WA Can’t wait, incorporating climate resilience in the Growth Management Act, HB 1099.
Act before Wednesday 7am: Environmental Justice (HEAL Act), SB 5141.
Act before Thursday noon: Net ecological Gain for salmon and orca habitat, HB 1117.
Act before Friday 9am: Healthy Homes, Clean Buildings HB.
Environmental Health & Justice Lobby Days - February 8-10, 2021
This legislative session is unlike any other. As the first all-remote legislative session, communication between constituents and their legislators will be both more accessible and more challenging. It's important for us to let our legislators know that a healthy climate, clean water and environmental justice are key to the kind of pandemic recovery and economic rebuilding we need to see in Washington state. Join us online for Environmental Lobby Days, February 8-10, 2021! Team up with other activists from your district to speak up for environmental health and justice and gain the skills to be a persuasive constituent. You'll have the opportunity to attend online issue briefings, learn how to lobby, hear from environmental champions, and meet virtually with your elected officials to advance the Environmental Priorities Coalition's 2021 priorities. Register here.
Website Bill Tracker: For more information about the priority environmental bills and a link to a spreadsheet with many more bills we are tracking, keep our legislative website handy: https://www.re-sources.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-Legislative-bill-tracking-Public-facing.pdf
HB 1050 addresses the leakage of HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon), a greenhouse gas approximately 10,000 times as potent as CO2, although it is in much smaller concentrations (parts per trillion) than CO2 (parts per million). It was developed to replace CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) when it was discovered that CFCs depleted the ozone layer. Although better than CFCs for solving ozone depletion, HFCs were discovered to be highly potent GHGs. Provisions:
- Applies certain existing regulations addressing emissions of ozone depleting substances to HFCs.
- Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to establish a refrigerant management program to address refrigerant emissions from large air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
- Requires Ecology to provide recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2021, regarding the design of a program to address the end-of-life management and disposal of refrigerants.
- Establishes a state purchasing and procurement preference for recycled refrigerants.
- Requires consideration of HFC emissions in mandatory utility conservation activities and in codes adopted by the State Building Code Council.
Affordable, accessible dental care is an essential component of overall health. Yet people with low incomes struggle to access dental care—a problem made worse by the acute oral health provider shortage and COVID-19. Even when insured through state-funded insurance like Apple Health (Washington state’s version of Medicaid), Washingtonians find that dentists often reject their insurance due to its low reimbursement rates.
When Washingtonians do not have access to preventative oral healthcare, many struggle through the pain and eventually have no other choice but to turn to expensive emergency room settings to receive dental relief, further straining limited hospital capacity.
Dental therapists are dental care professionals who can provide high-quality, preventative oral health care for a lower cost. They work in dental offices under the supervision of licensed dentists. Their efficacy and critical role in expanding access to dental care is already proven thanks to Senate Bill 5079, which passed in 2017 and allows dental therapists to practice in tribal communities in Washington.
Click here to message your Senators urging their support for SB 5142, a bill to authorize dental therapy as a profession across the state.
The environmental-explicit portion of the Growth Management Act (GMA) revision, HB 1099, regarding vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was introduced as part of the GMA suite of bills. This is one of the legislative priorities identified by participants in the Justice Summit.
Provisions of HB 1099 include, inter alia:
Transportation: Encourage efficient multimodal transportation systems that help achieve statewide targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and per capita vehicle miles traveled, and are based on regional priorities and coordinated with county and city comprehensive plans.
Housing: Encourage the availability of affordable housing to all economic segments of the population of this state, promote a variety of residential densities and housing types, and encourage preservation of existing housing stock.
Take Action: HB 1099 passed the House 56-41. (See below for notes on House committee hearing) It went next to the Senate Committee on Housing & Local Government for executive action (see below for March 16 hearing). It passed the Housing & Local Government committee and the Ways and Means, but was stopped in the Senate Transportation Committee. There is an opportunity to incorporate provisions of 1099 in another GMA bill, HB 1241, which has passed the house and is pending in the senate.
The building electrification bill, HB 1084, has been transformed into the Governor's Healthy Homes & Clean Buildings bill. Building electrification is one of the environmental justice legislative priorities identified at the Justice Summit. The following provisions are in the bill:
- Eliminate all gas hookups by 2030.
- Eliminate building code preemption of local building codes; state code becomes minimum but local governments can go beyond.
- Expand requirements in law for benchmarking, energy audits on 5 year cycle for small bldgs.
- Eliminate RCW (Revised Code WA) references that favor gas industry.
- Create surcharge on use of natural gas, money used to address Environmental Justice issues.
- State policy of encouraging electrification throughout state by transition planning (take bldgs. off gas gradually)