Sometimes the world needs me to put down my news feed
and simply show up. ~Pam Wat
Justice News, Events and Action Alerts Update
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
JUUstice Washington Organizational News
Third Thursday – March 19 at 9:30 am with Aly Tharp of UUMFE to talk about UUMFE and its Spring for Change event coming up March 20-23rd! Lots of stuff going on and will be updated over the next couple weeks so keep checking back!
TAKE ACTION-Matching Grant Opportunity! Thank you for those of you who have responded so far, but we still have halfway to go! There’s still time to double your impact with a matching grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility. We’ll need this to hang onto Sahar and Larkin who have been blessed to bring the power of transformation not only to our justice work but in our elements of sustainable activism through nourishing somatic practice, presence, and awareness. We find this work to be so important in this time of great change when many are numbed by and struggle with the isolation of the pandemic. For JUUstWA, times are hard. Like many others during this time, we struggle to sustain. Our work is largely supported by members like you! Please donate today and help us achieve the matching grant! Only you can make this happen. Become a regular recurring Donor or give a one time donation: Contribute online or Contribute by check
Virtual General Assembly 2021: Register Now!
Circle ‘Round for Justice ● Healing ● Courage is the theme for General Assembly 2021. General Assembly is a time to circle ‘round for community. We circle ‘round in care and healing; for liberation and justice; and for love and courage. We share stories of the work happening at our Association and in our congregations. We study ways to implement and live into our mission. UUA GA 2021 will incorporate recommendations from the Commission on Institution Change report, “Widening the Circle of Concern” and dialogue with the Article II Commission about our Principles and Purposes.
Registration is open! Registration for virtual GA 2021 is $200 per person. Learn about registration details.
Volunteer Applications are open for those who want to volunteer to lower their costs to attend. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
If your congregation wants to send delegates to General Assembly, then you must be certified by February 17 (note this deadline has been extended). Not sure what certification means? The UUA Certification Page explains and links to resources to help your congregation complete this important step.
“As UUs, we recognize the existence of many realities and even more so, how those realities are interwoven. The connection between law and race is one of these ever-present truths. Join Political Science Professor Emeritus and UU, Howard Tolley, for three 90 minute sessions examining Supreme Court caselaw involving slavery, native American rights, racial discrimination, segregation, mass incarceration, the death penalty, affirmative action, rights of protesters, and qualified immunity for law enforcement personnel. In this course taught through UUJAZ and UUJO, Tolley considers the impact of race, political ideology, legal principles, and personal preference on the selection of Justices and the decisions they reach.
This course is free to all our monthly sustaining donors. If you wish to join but aren’t a donor, you can contribute a suggested donation on a sliding scale. There is also an opportunity to contribute to racial justice organizing at registration. If you aren’t financially able to donate, join us anyway! Register here.”
News from Our Action Teams
Environmental Justice Action Team.
UUMFE Spring for Change: a Season of Sacred Activism — March 22nd (World Water Day) through May 22nd (International Day for Biodiversity) — is an invitation to the Unitarian Universalist faith community to embody the transformational, regenerative power of Spring through sacred activism for Earth and all our relations. Spring is a time for new life to emerge from the soil and barren branches, and a time for new collaborations and chapters to begin. Check here for upcoming events.
TAKE ACTION! SB 5373, the WA STRONG Act has a hearing scheduled for March 4th at 8:00 am. “Washington STRONG authorizes a 10-year series of “green” bonds, which could unlock more than $16 billion for direct investment and has the potential to create upwards of 150,000 jobs by providing much-needed local stimulus with a focus on rural economic development and frontline communities. These recovery bonds will be financed by a per-ton price on carbon, imposed once, at the time and place of the first sale or use. The proposal has been carefully constructed to minimize the impact on agricultural sectors, moderate and low-income households, and energy intensive and trade exposed businesses. Washington STRONG will generate a sustainable funding stream needed to finance a resilient recovery and transition Washington to a clean economy.” Submit testimony at https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/Senate. Select “Senate Environment, Energy & Technology” on “3/4/21 8:00 am” then selection HB 1072. Follow the instructions to submit either oral or written testimony or state your position. You will have until 8:00 am on March 5th to submit written testimony.
TAKE ACTION! SB 5171, the HEAL Act is due to hit the Senate floor soon. “The HEAL Act, Senate Bill 5141, will center those most affected by pollution as Washington transitions to a green economy. To do this, the HEAL Act will define ‘environmental justice’ in state law, outline how agencies should consider community needs and environmental justice (EJ) in their work, establish a permanent EJ Council to work with these agencies and help create EJ legislation, and expand equitable community participation” (Front and Centered). Contact your Senator and have them pass this onto the House!
Refugee, Immigrant and Migrant Solidarity (RIMS) Action Team
TAKE ACTION! – HB 1072 has passed the house and now has a hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee on March 4th at 8:30 am. The bill removes the restriction of using funds to represent individuals who are in the United States without legal authority. Submit testimony at https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/Senate. Select “Law and Justice Committee” on “3/4/21 8:30 am” then selection HB 1072. Follow the instructions to submit either oral or written testimony or state your position. You will have until 8:30 am on March 5th to submit written testimony.
Upcoming Meeting. JUUstWA’s RIMS group will have its next meeting on March 6th at 10:30 am. Join us as we discuss the rapid changes taking place on a local, national and international level. Zoom link here. Hannah Hafter of UUSC will be joining us to talk about what’s happening on a federal level in the immigration arena, including updates on family detention, pathways to citizenship, private prisons, deportations and more. Check out the Facebook event to get the Zoom link.
First/American Indian Nations Solidarity (FAIN) Action Team
TAKE ACTION: After decades of struggling for recognition, Chinook Nation is putting a call out to support their efforts to re-attain their federal recognition. The Chinook Nation is made up of five tribes, the Lower Chinook, Cathlamet, Clatsop, Wahkiakum, and Willapa. The Chinook Nation was granted official recognition in January 2001, but it was rescinded 18 months later by the Bush administration. Since then there have been regulatory changes and court battles (some background information is provided here). With the incoming Biden Administration, a more congenial Congress, and U.S. District Circuit court ruling in hand, the Chinook Nation is seeking to move forward on its status. Sign letter here and/or the petition here.
TAKE ACTION: Lummi elders: “Free our Relative!” Save endangered orca held captive at Miami Seaquarium. Join us by calling on the Miami Seaquarium to free the orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut and release her back to her family in the Salish Sea after 50 years of captivity! The Miami Seaquarium and its owners must recognize the Indigenous rights of her Lummi relatives and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut’s inherent rights to be with her family in her native ecosystem. The Lummi people are the original inhabitants of Washington state’s northern coastal region and view the Southern Resident Orcas as family members whose history, experiences, and fate are beautifully interconnected with their own. Sign here!
TAKE ACTION: March 9th is the cutoff date for getting legislation out of their house of origin! If we cannot get them out of committee and over to the opposite chamber, they will be dead the rest of this session. Check to see if your bill is still stuck in either their committee of origin, Appropriations or Ways and Means or the Rules Committee and contact committee members and request they move your bill forward. There are several pieces of environmental and social justice legislation that have moved from their chamber of original and are now undergoing hearings in the opposite chamber. Go to leg.wa.gov and follow what’s happening on these bills, particularly if they are scheduled for hearings.
Economic Justice Action Team
TAKE ACTION: UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ) joined in solidarity with the Poor Peoples Campaign in telling Congress to support a $15/hr minimum wage. “Between 1973 and 2016, hourly compensation increased just 12.3 percent, while productivity increased 73.7 percent. And this January, it was reported that the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population–in the middle of a pandemic that is killing our local and household economies! We need to raise the federal minimum wage from the poverty-level wage of $7.25/hr to something that helps Americans win back the benefits of productivity gains since the 1970s, while also taking the first step to addressing immoral income disparities plaguing our nation.” Check in here for more info and to sign the petition!
Racial Justice Action Team
Especially for and about Youth
EUGENE, Ore. February 10, 2021 – Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by 21 youth plaintiffs for the full court to rehear their landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States. The youth plaintiffs say it is now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to correct the legal errors made in the 9th Circuit’s January 2020 ruling and to protect the ability of federal courts to interpret the constitution and resolve controversies through a declaration of law. Read more here. Keep following the case at Our Children’s Trust.