Dear supporters, friends and allies,
At the beginning of legislative session we saw an unprecedented number of legislators of color taking office in the Washington State Legislature. Meanwhile our Statewide Environmental Justice Summit created a groundswell of interest and energy from communities of color calling for change.
By the end of session, we made environmental justice and equity a real and meaningful conversation in Olympia, with outcomes that will move our state toward a just transition. Together, with our coalition and allies, we worked to ensure the 100 percent clean energy law prioritizes equity, and that clean electricity will benefit and be affordable to all. We blazed a trail for environmental justice principles to be adopted as state law, and now have a task force with leaders representing communities most impacted by pollution poised to recommend strategies for addressing long-standing health disparities.
Community Listening Forums on Implementing I-940 to Improve Police Procedures, May 2 and 8, Kent and Seattle WA
Initiative 940 is officially law in Washington State. However, the road towards implementation has just begun.
We have an opportunity to speak up on how this law is shaped and practiced. Two very crucial components are being developed: law enforcement training and independent investigations (when deadly force is used). We will provide an update on what steps have taken place since its passage and discuss what our communities envision for how this law is carried out. Comments shared at the event will be submitted to the Criminal Justice Training Commission who is responsible for finalizing the new training rules.
In our work as the Commission on Institutional Change, we have found that an area in need of analysis is that of over-reliance on informal structures to carry out governance work whether at the local, regional, or denominational level. Informal structures rely on social relationships and thus tend to privilege people from the dominant culture in a community or organization.
As we seek to add more and diverse voices into leadership among us, reliance on informal structures can mean that new people cannot figure out how to contribute. If the way to get something done is to know the “right” people, then this can perpetuate a narrower circle of leadership.
Continue reading Informal Structures Privilege Those in Power on UUA.org.
Join us for this important and long-overdue community conversation!
Rep. Ilhan Omar. Linda Sarsour. Tamika Mallory. Marc Lamont Hill. Angela Davis.
How are charges of antisemitism being weaponized to specifically target powerful Black and Muslim leaders, force Jews and Jewish allies into false dichotomies, divert attention from the worldwide rise of white nationalism and state violence, and divide progressive movement-building?
Who benefits? Who is harmed? And most importantly, what can we do to recognize and disarm these attempts to divide us?
FREE event, but registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intersectional-dialogue-on-weaponizing-charges-of-antisemitism-tickets-60506424344
5th Annual CUUSAN Conference 2019
Living Our Values, Building Our Movement
June 19, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Doubletree Grand Ballroom I
322 N Spokane Falls Ct, Spokane WA
We are super excited to announce our keynote speaker at the 2019 CUUSAN Conference will be Chris Crass!! If you know Chris, you are freaking out with joy right now! If you don't, you've got to get yourself to this conference! More
We are also collaborating with our friends and colleagues at JUUstice Washington - we're really excited about this conference and hope you can come!
We need you to REGISTER, please
We are working alongside community members and partner organizations to ensure that lawmakers fund and modernize the Working Families Tax Credit. We’re holding a phone bank on Thursday, April 18, to urge passage and we need volunteers! The phone bank will be at Poverty Action’s office in Wallingford, Seattle (1501 N 45th Street), from 5-7:30 PM. Volunteers will receive training and support from staff and a free pizza dinner. If you can’t stay for the whole time, no sweat. Join us for as long as you can! For more information or sign up, please call 206-694-6794. We hope to see you there!
During these final weeks of the 2019 Legislative Session, lawmakers must negotiate and pass a 2-year state operating budget for 2019-2021. It is crucial that the final version of this budget contains a progressive restructuring of our state’s tax code and bold investments in social service programs that support Washington’s low-income communities and communities of color.
In addition to supporting the working families tax credit (funded by a tax on capital gains, which is also included in budget proposals), we are working alongside community members and partner organizations to ensure that lawmakers provide a bold and much-needed funding increase to Housing & Essential Needs, stop the sweep of money from the state’s TANF program, and reject the Senate’s proposed cuts to the state’s Medicaid Dental Program. (For more information and our analysis on both the House & Senate’s budget proposals .)
Send an email here to urge lawmakers to pass a progressive budget that tackles poverty head-on!
A collection of progressive bills, most of which will primarily impact low-income communities and communities of color in Washington state, were voted on and passed by state legislators. These bills—some of which Poverty Action has been working alongside community members and partner organizations for years— could not have been passed without your voice and your action!
Thanks to your advocacy, Washingtonians will now see more robust and transparent laws regarding debt collection than ever before. This comprehensive package of five consumer protections bills is a big step forward for Washington state and particularly for its communities of color.
A relatively new phenomenon at East Shore is the Alternative Service Co-op, an attempt to deepen our spirituality by centering marginalized voices.
- In November, they produced a 9:00 am service centering the homeless men staying at our church.
- In February they produced a Black History Month 11:00 am service with three speakers, including Elmer Dixon, one of the founding members of the Seattle Black Panthers.
We woke up with the horrendous news of the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and we’ve been listening for how best to respond as faith leaders and faith communities to support our Muslim neighbors. We condemn and lament Islamophobia and white supremacy in all its forms, and we pledge to act together against such hatred and violence in the days ahead.
Our friends at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) invite us to stand in solidarity with our neighbors and grieve as a worldwide community on Monday at the Interfaith Vigil and Anti-Islamophobia Teach-In, hosted by MAPS, MAPS-AMEN, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday, March 18 from 7-9 PM at MAPS Redmond (17550 NE 67th Ct). We also encourage you to download a #WeStandWithOurMuslimNeighbors sign and put it in your faith community or workplace to let our Muslim neighbors know of your support.
Scientists and policymakers have long known that black and Hispanic Americans tend to live in neighborhoods with more pollution of all kinds, than white Americans. And because pollution exposure can cause a range of health problems, this inequity could be a driver of unequal health outcomes across the U.S.
A study published Monday in the journal PNAS adds a new twist to the pollution problem by looking at consumption . . .
Read more here . . .
Washington State - 225 leaders of color gather at Front and Centered’s Statewide Environmental Justice Summit
On Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, Front and Centered hosted our Statewide Environmental Justice Summit at University of Washington’s (UW’s) Alder Auditorium. We were inspired by the response, maxing out Summit capacity at 225 participants. Never before have this many leaders of color and indigenous leaders across our state gathered in one space for two days specifically to connect on local environmental justice and climate issues.
Coming from Yakima, Bellingham, and Tacoma to Seattle, participants took this rare opportunity to gather new tools and connect our efforts to restore our environment and the health of our people. The Summit came on the heels of a groundbreaking year for advocates of color in environmental justice. We helped author the nation’s most progressive climate policy, Initiative 1631, a fee on polluters to equitably fund clean energy solutions, create jobs and clean our air. We shifted the narrative to the front lines of climate change where our communities disproportionately suffer the worst environmental impacts.
Ethnic studies bill 5023 is currently being considered by the state legislature. It Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop and periodically update a model ethnic studies curriculum for use in grades 7–12. It requires an advisory committee to oversee the process.
In October a federal court in Texas struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), what I consider to be an important piece of civil rights legislation for Native families here in the U.S. This important law, passed in 1978, strengthened the legal rights of Indigenous families and specified that when Native children are removed from the care of their families, they will be placed in the care of extended family members, families in their own tribe, or Indigenous families from another tribe. Oral arguments will be heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 13. In preparation for this hearing, 325 tribal nations, 57 Native organizations, and 21 states [including WA State through the Bob Ferguson, our Attorney General] joined the United States and four intervenor tribes by filing briefs to urge the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act. We are working to organize candle-light vigils in our communities on March 13th in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. For this to have an impact in each of our communities, we ask that participating congregations send press releases to local papers explaining these vigils, so that they know we support Indigenous Self-Determination, and stand with the 322 tribes that wish to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act.
~ From Sarah Augustine, Structures Committee Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition
Blackface is a damnable blot on the nation’s history. Today many Americans recognize it, belatedly, as the abomination it always was.
Redface, too, is a damnable blot, though so common in our time it is nearly invisible.
This contradiction puzzles Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. He is a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and lives in Virginia, where he has followed the burgeoning blackface scandal in state government.
Read more here . . .
The Initiative 1000 campaign on January 4, 2019, submitted more than 387,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office. If I-1000 qualifies, it could be approved during the current legislative session or could be sent to the November ballot. Initiative 1000 would change Washington state law to allow the government to use “affirmative action that does not constitute preferential treatment” to remedy discrimination in public employment, education and contracting against veterans and historically disadvantaged groups, such as women and people of color.
Schools, Pipelines to Prisons: Change the Cycle-North Puget Sound Conference on Race 2019, April 24, 2019, Everett WA
Save the Date for the upcoming North Puget Sound Conference on Race on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Everett Community College, EvCC Fitness Center, Everett. Please mark your calendars: NPSCOR 2019, April 20. The theme of the NPSCOR 2019 is Schools, Pipeline to Prisons: Change the Cycle.
More detailed information regarding speakers and workshop justice areas will follow. However, the website begins an overview of some of the day’s events.
The conference is free. It is important that you register your intent to attend the conference on the C3 Coalition website. Please register today by clicking on the REGISTER button on our website.
Proclamation of Support for Truth and Reconciliation in Washington StateThere is an emerging and compelling desire to acknowledge the events of the past so that we can work towards a stronger and healthier future. The truth telling and reconciliation process is a sincere acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Indigenous peoples in Washington State and the need for continued healing. This is a profound commitment to establishing new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect that will forge a brighter future. The truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to reconciliation. 1 Read more here and sign the petition.