For example, 3.6% of those 65 and older in Washington state identify as Latino, yet only 2.5% of that population has been vaccinated. And 2.1% of Washingtonians older than 65 are Black, but only 1.2% have been vaccinated so far. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, for her part, said she has focused on adult family homes, affordable housing buildings and pop-up clinics, with roughly 70% of the more than 4,000 individuals vaccinated by the city identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. Read more here.
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
Experts and voters themselves have suggested a variety of explanations for signature rejections among Latino voters, including language barriers, education levels and implicit bias. This issue is amplified by Latino voters seeming to be less successful than other voters at “curing,” or fixing, their signature rejections, the InvestigateWest analysis found “I’m not surprised that Latin American sounding names are thrown by the wayside,” Reyes said of InvestigateWest’s analysis. She doesn’t believe her signature should be suspect. Like other kids in her Benton County school, she learned cursive long ago, and her parents even helped her practice at home. Read more here.
Season 1, Episode 3, Video duration, 6 min 43 s
The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed again a fundamental truth about the Anthropocene: When disaster strikes, the vulnerable take the hardest punches. Communities of color have suffered much higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and mortality, both because they are disproportionately represented in frontline service positions and because their access to routine healthcare is more limited.
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.
National parks preserve the legacies of visionaries such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, as well as landmark sites in the struggle for equality, including the Brown v. Board of Education and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Sites and dozens of Civil War battlefields where soldiers fought and died to end slavery and preserve the union. Yet many other lesser-known parks share compelling and unexpected stories. Here are seven fascinating but less obvious places to learn about Black history. Read more 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. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScUlPNGG7coDk5dQPYW-nbntdz08_iEr2Blj4-07g5SOp4N-Q/viewform 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
The marble hallways of Washington’s Capitol have long been well stocked with powerful interest groups, from businesses and industry associations, to labor unions and environmentalists. Now, as state lawmakers gather remotely for the legislative session, a new statewide advocacy group is joining the ranks: the WA Black Lives Matter Alliance. The alliance has emerged after a year of widespread social justice protests in the wake of killings by police of Black people, such as George Floyd in Minneapolis and Manuel Ellis in Tacoma. Organized in part by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, the alliance is looking far beyond police reform. It is now urging legislators to address equity across society. Read more here.
Apply for the GROW Fellowship by February 1!
Check out this great series, The Coolest Show, featuring the voices of many Backbone and Solutionary Rail partners who are doing essential work and connecting the dots on trucking and transportation justice. Hear from those on the frontlines of transportation injustice, and learn why solutions must center equity and justice for Black and Brown communities. As Reverend Yearwood says, "Transportation justice IS racial justice." Subscribe to #TheCoolestShow and listen to this 4-part series: Episode 1: Electrification without Automation – Long Beach CLICK HERE to listen. Episode 2: Mobility Crossroads – Kansas City CLICK HERE to listen. Episode 3: Transportation Justice is Racial Justice – Chicago CLICK HERE to listen. Episode 4: EV for the People CLICK HERE to listen. And check out the work of our coalition partners at the Moving Forward Network and the Athena Coalition. Forward Together!
An EPA analysis obtained by APM Reports and The Intercept found that more than 9,000 federally subsidized properties — many with hundreds of apartments or townhouses — sit within a mile of Superfund sites. Those properties are in 480 cities in 49 states and territories. But even that is an undercount. The list of 9,000 properties doesn’t include several subsidized-housing complexes within a mile of Superfund sites. In most cases, the federal government has chosen not to relocate housing complexes near Superfund sites and made only piecemeal attempts to address the health threats. Housing officials often don’t inform people who move into these housing complexes that a Superfund site is nearby. Neither the EPA nor the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the two federal agencies primarily responsible for protecting residents, regularly monitor the potential health threats to residents from nearby environmental pollution. In fact, some housing complexes near Superfund sites haven’t been tested for contamination in years, according to the APM Reports and Intercept investigation. Even when testing is conducted and dangerous contamination is found, the pollution isn’t always cleaned up. As a result, thousands of residents continue to live in places that are potentially dangerous to their health. Read more here.
Here is what I know. The ocean is not separate from us or our daily concerns. It is our nourishment, protection, livelihood, and the air we breathe. It is culture, joy, and freedom. All this is at risk, and we need ocean justice. Ocean conservation is about people—more specifically, it’s about marginalized people. Sometimes it seems we’ve been duped into thinking ocean conservation is just about fish, dolphins, whales, corals, and remote tropical islands. The well-being of communities of color and of poor and working-class folks is deeply affected as the ocean’s health degrades. No different than on land, we are either excluded from accessing ocean resources or relegated to the most denuded and polluted places. Although we bear the greatest brunt of the impacts, we often had the least hand in causing them. Read more here.
THE POLICE KILLING of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in Kentucky in March when plainclothes officers barged into her apartment in the middle of the night, has set off a series of state and local efforts to ban “no-knock” raids — the police practice of breaking into someone’s home unannounced to execute a search warrant. A bill introduced by New York state legislators on Thursday goes further than most of those efforts, seeking to not only ban the vast majority of no-knock raids, but also strictly limit other avenues for forcible entry by police. The New York bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Brian Benjamin and James Sanders Jr. and Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell, seeks to limit the use of unannounced, no-knock raids to the most severe circumstances, like the pursuit of a murder suspect or incidents involving active shooters, hostage-taking, terrorism, or human trafficking. It would ban the issuance of no-knock warrants aimed exclusively at searching for drugs, currently the most common use of these heavily militarized raids. But unlike other current and draft state and local legislation, as well as three federal proposals, the New York bill would also impose a host of restrictions on what are known as “knock-and-announce” search warrants, a more common type of forcible entry that has led to dozens of deadly encounters in recent years. Read more here.