Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
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 community solar bill, HB 1046 was introduced and initial hearings took place January 12. You can review them by clicking on the bill number, above, and then the TVW link at the bottom of the bill page. Slide the slider about 15 minutes into the hearing for this bill.
This is the same bill that was passed last year but vetoed by the governor because it involved state expenditures for solar incentives. This year’s bill stripped out the funding but left in place the mechanism for incentives from other funding sources. The bill would require the Utilities and Transportation Commission to adopt by rule a program for the procurement of electricity from community solar projects by investor-owned utilities.
Take Action: You can support this bill by clicking on the bill number, above, which will take you to the bill page. Click on "Comment on this Bill," fill in the details, and choose your reps to send a comment, indicating that you want a response. Then click on the "Support" button and add a comment if you want.
The environmental-explicit portion of the Growth Management Act (GMA) revision, HB 1099, regarding vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions will be introduced as part of the GMA suite of bills. This is one of the legislative priorities identified by participants in the Justice Summit. Hearings may be scheduled soon, so please click on the bill link to find the schedule at the bottom of the bill page.
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: You can take action any time by clicking on the bill number, above, and that will take you to the bill information page where you can click on "Comment on this Bill." Put in your address to find your reps, click next to their names and then click on "Support." Write in a comment if you want. There is a hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, January 19. Please go to the bill page (click on the bill number, above) and to the TVW link at the bottom for the hearing and you can sign in and comment in writing after the hearing within 24 hours at https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/house.
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. At present, few details are available but as the text of the bill and the bill digest become available, more details will be posted. From the Governor's Healthy and Clean Buildings information, we can expect the following provisions to be included:
- 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 EJ issues.
- State policy of encouraging electrification throughout state by transition planning (take bldgs. off gas gradually)
HB 1091 is the Clean Fuels Bill, reintroduced in the 2021-22 session after failing in 2020. It requires reductions in carbon emissions from transportation fuels. A public hearing was held on January 14 in the House Committee on Environment and Energy; see below for more details. Take Action: Please sign on to the testimony page, look at the rules for testifying, and volunteer to testify. Then look at the bill page, by clicking on the bill number above, for the hearings schedule. You do not have to speak if you don't want to. You can simply indicate your position, "pro" or "con," and it will be noted with the record of the hearing. If you want to submit written testimony, you should view the live testimony on TVW and then you can write your testimony and send it within 24 hours. You can reinforce or refute what other witnesses say, or add your own points. If you want to comment on the bill directly to your reps, click on the bill number, above, and that will take you to the bill information page where you can click on "Comment on this Bill." Put in your address to find your reps, click next to their names and then click on "Support." Write in a comment if you want. Provisions of the bill:
- Directs the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to adopt rules establishing a Clean Fuels Program (CFP) to limit the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035.
- Directs Ecology to update, prior to 2032, CFP rules to further reduce GHG emissions from each unit of transportation fuel for each year through 2050, consistent with statutory state emission reduction limits.
- Excludes exported fuel, electricity, fuel used by vessels, railroad locomotives, and aircraft, and certain other categories of transportation fuel from the CFP's GHG emission intensity reduction requirements.
It’s a big week for fossil fuel resistance! Yesterday launched 30 days of action to defend the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in solidarity with Gwich’in and Iñupiaq community members defending the sacred. With the Trump administration rushing to lease this sacred land to oil drilling, take action between now and January 6, 2021. With construction set to begin on the Line 3 pipeline, show up during the Digital Rally to Stop Line 3 on Wednesday, December 9. And then on Friday, December 11, rise up for National Day of Action by pressuring banks to Defund Line 3 and Keystone KXL. Read more about ways to get involved!
From Elizabeth Maupin, IssaquahSammamishInterfaithCoa
I recommend taking time to listen to this video from KIRO 7. https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/states-eviction-moratorium-expires-end-december/BNTQPN7PWZF6FPF4KIVWVOPF6E/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=3a5e277b-d54e-4e83-a2f6-cc5a512d2b6d
In the past two weeks, multiple studies have been published showing a link between increased evictions and increased COVID-19 infections and death rates. One study has shown that lifting eviction moratoriums has accounted for 433,700 additional coronavirus cases and 10,700 excess deaths nationally. We must not allow Washington to follow those trends!
It is crucial to understand the connection between evictions and our lack of affordable housing. The mounting rental debt crisis faced by more than 153,000 renters in Washington didn’t come from nowhere. Before COVID-19, more than 72% of extremely low-income Washington residents were paying over half of their income on rent. This is the result of long-term underinvestment in deeply affordable housing that low-income people can actually afford. For every 100 extremely low income households in our state, there are just 31 homes available and affordable to them. This massive shortage creates conditions in which many households spend far more than their budgets allow, forego other basic needs, double up on housing, or live in substandard and unhealthy homes, all simply to keep a roof over their heads.
Make no mistake, inflated rents driven by private market profit motives have been squeezing people’s budgets for years! Now in this recession, any reduction in income, or increased cost of living, can cause low-income renters to fall behind and into debt. The clear solutions include extending the eviction moratorium to prevent anybody from losing their home, providing significant rental assistance to eliminate debt, AND investing DEEPLY in our state Housing Trust Fund to ensure everyone can access a home that is affordable to them.
If you choose to write to the governor asking for an extension of the moratorium, here is a link: https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=3a5e277b-d54e-4e83-a2f6-cc5a512d2b6d
Put HOUSING in the subject line. If you only have time to sign a petition, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2HZ92GF?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=3a5e277b-d54e-4e83-a2f6-cc5a512d2b6d.
A sample letter is attached that you might use for information to craft your own letter.
Trabjadores unidos por la Justicia needs your support. They are currently struggling to create a union Workers United for Justice (TUJ) union at Allan Brothers, Inc., for their farmworkers and families. They are trying to form this union in order to seek fair wages, safe working conditions, access to health care, the ability to retire with dignity and other basic human needs.
Allan Brothers, Inc. apparently has been engaged in intimidating behavior threatening to fire the workers, report them to ICE and threatening deportation of them and their families, and other tactics to prevent them from voting to form this union.
Morale among the farmworkers is suffering and they need to know we support them. We also need to show Allan Brothers, Inc., that we are behind the farmworkers. It’s a simple ask: take a picture of yourself with a sign to show your support and post it to their Facebook page!
Trabjadores unidos por la Justicia: https://www.facebook.com/trabajadoresunidosworkersunited/
- Sign this petition to return the sacred Black Hills to the original stewards and close Mt. Rushmore.
- Sign the Climate Mandate and call for the Biden Administration to appoint Representative Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior.
- We call on our allies to support, donate, and amplify our #LANDBACK campaign and join this movement for collective liberation.
Since Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) launched the WA COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund, over 55,000 people have applied and 16,000 applications have been approved! This is thanks to the tireless work of our community and our organizational partners doing vital outreach and application support. We have two weeks left to get as many applications as possible. That’s where you come in. Due to COVID-19, we haven’t been able to host in-person events to help our community members apply. But you can help by volunteering to be a Virtual Application Helper. The timing is completely flexible–just list the hours you’re available to help and wait for a community member to sign up. We also welcome any languages, so no need to only speak Spanish. Ready to volunteer? Join a required Application Assistance training:
- Nov. 30, 5:30-7:00
- Dec. 1, 6:00-8:00pm
- Dec. 2, 5:30-7:00pm
- Dec. 3, 6:00-8:00pm
The Washington State Senate will be meeting virtually this year and next. In preparation for the session that begins in January, the Senate Environment Committee met virtually on December 1, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. The following topics were be discussed:
Voter Protection Hotline. The vast majority of voting experiences will be easy, but there may be challenges in select locations. Make sure you and your community know to call or text 1-866-OUR-VOTE or visit 866ourvote.org for live answers to any questions about voting rights and procedures, or to report any issues you experience or witness at the polls.
2. Beware of Disinformation. It's human nature to want to share something alarming you see online. But know that active disinformation isn't just possible this year, it's likely. And disinformation campaigns can be powerful ways to scare people from voting. So please, in these next few days -- and especially on Election Day -- only share stories or reports you see from reputable journalists or state and local elections officials.
If you see disinformation about voting in an online post or ad, do your part to stop the spread. Don't engage, react or comment — that only means more people will see it!
Do take a screenshot to submit it to ReportDisinfo.org. Then share official voting information, like your local election official or Secretary of State. Do your part to keep voters safe from disinformation!
3. Town Hall Pledge. We don't endorse candidates at Town Hall Project, but we love to highlight candidates who've taken the common-sense Town Hall Pledge to hold regular town halls (virtual until its safe again) with their constituents. Over 100 candidates this year have taken the pledge, including dozens of sitting members of Congress. If you have friends still making up their mind, let them know why accessibility and accountability are essential qualities in a public servant: townhallpledge.com
We want every member of CARW’s base to be meaningfully engaged in the fight for collective liberation and to have a growing sense of political home. After the election, we’ll be launching neighborhood-based cohorts all over Seattle and south King County.
If you’ve been looking for a way to deepen your involvement with CARW and build a community of shared values, this is your opportunity.
We’ll connect you with a group of your neighbors for a series of facilitated conversations to excavate internalized white supremacy, grapple with core tensions of white anti-racist practice, and build a shared political analysis. These cohorts will run loosely from Election Day to Inauguration Day and will meet twice a month from mid-November through late January for a total of six sessions. All sessions will include an action component, aligned with the latest demands from King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle. If you’re interested in participating, please sign up through this form by Sunday, Nov 8.
We want abolition now. We want every member of CARW’s base engaged in the struggle for Black liberation, indigenous sovereignty, migrant justice and a more equitable world in a way that stretches them, teaches them, and feeds them. We’re grateful to be in community with you all.
In Solidarity, CARW
UU the Vote invites everyone to join us for a week of action to harvest the power! Running Wednesday, October 21st through Tuesday, October 27th, this is one of our final pushes to ensure we reach 2,000,000 voters before Election Day. Join us! Congregational Call-in Days: October 21 – October 27 Organize your congregation to host a phonebank! Join us is activating congregations across the country to organize their members to take contact voters. You assemble your team, and national and state organizers will help you with the rest. To reach 1 million voters and defeat hate in 2020, we need you and your congregation to go all in. Take the pledge to host a congregational phone bank and then download the toolkit with all the steps! Thursday, October 22nd: National UU the Vote Prop 208 Phone Bank with UU Justice Arizona Network (UUJAZ) & Arizona Education Association National UU the Vote Prop 208 Phone Bank with UU Justice Arizona Network (UUJAZ) & Arizona Education Association. As Unitarian Universalists we are called to work for justice. Join UUs across the country as we put our values into action by calling Arizona voters to support Prop 208, investing in our children and educators! Register Saturday, October 24: Let Our People Vote with POWER (Philadelphia) Pennsylvania is a politically, economically, and racially diverse state, with the majority of its poorest citizens and citizens of color living in Philadelphia. 2016 brought low turnout numbers in Philadelphia, with ramifications across the Commonwealth and country. Join Philadelphia UUs for a phone bank with our local Interfaith Justice Coalition, POWER, as we call low-propensity voters in this pivotal city to Get Out the Vote! Training will be available for newcomers. Join us to make sure all our people are able to have their voices heard in November. Using Thrutalk (you’ll need a computer plus phone) POWER is an interfaith organization committed to building communities of opportunity that work for all. POWER represents over 50 congregations throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania. POWER is a proud member of the Faith in Action (Formerly PICO) and Partnership for Working Families Networks. Sunday, October 25: Karen’s “All I Want for My Birthday is Good Government” Phonebank You’re invited, Sunday 10/25, to Karen’s Birthday Phonebank with MUUSJA, the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance. Karen says, “All I want for my birthday is social justice and good government!” These aren’t the pushy or robotic calls you hate, just give friendliness a try. We’ll be calling lower-turnout, mainly BIPOC precincts in Greater Minnesota towns, where there’s a chance we can help send a more progressive Congressional delegation to Washington this year. We won’t tell people who to vote for, just how to vote if they need and want to know. Reaching people whom the Parties often ignore is social justice work. Asking everyone to be an #OctoberVoter might even save lives, by inviting folks to vote from home, or vote early at their elections office. So even if you think you’ll hate it, try making two or three calls to help celebrate Karen’s birthday? Thank you! Sunday, October 25: UU the Vote Worship Host a UU the Vote worship service! Our UU the Vote service is a full1 hour service with the typical elements of a UU liturgy, as well as some unique components. The entire service, including all worship elements, will be available online for congregations to stream via the platform of their choice. Join UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray, the UU the Vote team, and a lineup of powerful, prophetic UU voices as we explore the intersections of faith, justice, and democracy in this collective virtual service. Sign up! Already have something planned October 25th? We’ll stream an evening service to the UUA Facebook and Youtube page at 6:00 pm ET/3:00 pm PT. We are asking congregations to support UU the Vote’s organizing work and to help us cover the costs of production (including remunerating worship leaders), much as you would pay a guest worship leader and/or musician. We recommend using the UU Ministers Association’s Scale of Professional Fees as a guide: $315 for small congregations, $350 for mid-sized congregations, $385 for large congregations. In addition, we ask that your congregation dedicate the Sunday offering to UU the Vote on the day you use the worship materials. To mark this threshold year of 2020 and all the possibility and peril that it represents, we are inviting the congregation to consider gifts that honor the number 2020 ($2,020, $202, $20.20, and so forth). Please know that every single gift makes a difference in the organizing work we are doing at UU the Vote. There are a variety of ways you can make your financial contributions.
- Send a check payable to the UUA with “UU the Vote worship” on the memo line. You may combine a donation for use of the worship materials and any share-the-plate proceeds into a single check.
- Contributing by credit card or PayPal at: https://uuthe.vote/give
- Texting VOTELOVE to 91999.
As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, those most at risk are the members of our community who are in detention. Last week, La Resistencia broke the news that dozens of immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center had been exposed to COVID-19 by a GEO guard. Last month, we heard how in Georgia, immigrants held at a detention center were subject to forced hysterectomies and general medical neglect. These reminders are just two of the many reasons that we know immigration detention centers should be shut down and ICE should be abolished. While we prepare for the long-term fight, we are also doing what we can to free the members of our communities who are in immigration detention. I am pleased to announce that the Fair Fight Bond Fund is gearing up to re-open in the coming weeks to pay the immigration bond funds of community members detained by ICE in Washington State. Next week, we will be participating in Fall Freedom Day---an effort coordinated by the National Bail Fund Network to pay bonds to free hundreds of community members from immigration detention in one day. Last year, the NBFN moved $2.1 million and was able to pay the bonds of nearly 200 people detained by ICE across the country. The Fair Fight Bond Fund will be participating in these efforts this year and hope that with our partners across the country we can release even more of our community members. As we work out some of the final details before we officially resume accepting and reviewing applications to help pay for immigration bonds, we ask that you consider donating to the Fair Fight Bond Fund so that we can have as much money in the fund to start paying bonds. If you have any questions, interest in volunteering with the bond fund, or other comments, please contact me at email@example.com. Please send questions or requests about paying for bonds for specific cases to firstname.lastname@example.org. In Solidarity,
Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) calls for congregations to research, identify, and acknowledge Indigenous peoples
- Do you know the history of the land your congregation calls “home?”
- Do you know what Indigenous people historically or currently inhabit that land?
- Do you know who the Indigenous people or communities are who live in your area or region and what their visions and struggles are?
- Are you acting in relationship or solidarity with any of them?
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