|If you are directly impacted by the events in Georgia, this resource from Northwestern University has collected several different resources for fighting xenophobia and anti-Asian racism.|
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta protects the civil rights of the AAPI community in Georgia and the southeast. If you can, consider donating.
- Asian American Feminist Collective has a wide range of resources including a zine for supporting Asian American communities during COVID-19, links to mutual aid funds and nonprofits providing support, reading lists, and more.
- Red Canary Song provides resources for Asian migrant communities, Asian sex working communities, and the overlap between these two groups. Read their statement on the murder of the Asian American massage workers in Atlanta, and consider donating.
- Check out The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee for a comprehensive look on the long and forgotten history of Asian American life.
- If your representative is one of these 164 Republicans who voted against Rep. Meng’s resolution condemning Anti-Asian racism, or one of the 172 Republicans who voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (less than 24-hours after the murders in Atlanta), call them at (202) 224-3121 to let them know you were paying attention and their actions have consequences.
- Then, check out and share this resource on anti-Asian violence.
- If you’re able, split a donation among eight organizations that are fighting to protect and support the AAPI community. Click here to split a donation now.
The maps, commissioned as part of InvestigateWest's yearlong reporting project, Getting to Zero: Decarbonizing Cascadia, span Washington and Oregon and provide digital windows into vulnerabilities that are likely to worsen with climate change. Montana-based Headwaters Economicscreated the interactive visualizations using a pair of powerful mapping tools that the community planning firm launched last year. The maps created for this project are an example of tools undegoing growing use in Cascadia, where equity advocates, academic researchers and governments are teaming up to create new data-driven methods to identify and address unequal environmental risks. A movement that began several years ago accelerated in 2020 as the skewed death tolls from COVID-19 laid bare systemic social and economic inequalities on both sides of the border, and surging outrage amidst police shootings spurred governments into action. Read more here.
Have you ever wondered, Why were the minority neighborhoods in Texas the first to lose power during the recent power blackouts? Why are polluting industries and waste dumps always sited where Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) folks live? Why has the Covid pandemic been particularly devastating for the poor, marginalized BIPOC communities? And, yet, why have they been deprived of early vaccination? The list of injustices is never ending!
So, why do climate justice work in a UU church? Our faith calls us to build the Beloved Community that Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King dreamed of. We cannot build a Beloved Community when racism, oppression and discrimination is the custom of the land. Our principles call on us to uphold the inherent worth and dignity of all and to respect the interdependent web of all existence. And the proposed Eighth Principle calls us to accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions. Then, how can we not, as UUs, dedicate ourselves to finding justice for the most vulnerable who are least responsible for the continued destruction of our environment but are ignored time and time again. Indeed, the BIPOC are hardly ever at the table to represent their own interests!
In collaboration with the UU Ministry for Earth, we are privileged to the recent launch of a caucus for BIPOC UUs who are passionate about the intersections of racial, environmental and climate injustices.
Why a separate caucus for BIPOC? As we said above, we have long witnessed the disproportionate and disastrous impacts of climate change on communities of color. The BIPOC caucus will create a space for us to meet with others devoted to environmental and climate justice work, and also be a voice for us in the broader environmental and climate justice movement. It will allow us to form bonds with other BIPOC who fight not only racial and environmental injustices but are also the embodiment of living through a long history of injustice and cruelty.
Meetings of the group are open to everyone right now, irrespective of their racial identity, with time set aside for BIPOC and White caucusing. Starting this summer, the mutliracial group will meet approximately once a quarter, and the BIPOC caucus will meet roughly monthly.
We are grateful for the UUMFE for giving us a home as we begin this journey, and for offering time, energy and support. And, we thank all those who joined us for our first meeting and hope to see more folks attend the second session, on Thursday, March 18 at 5pm PT / 8pm EDT - you can find more information below in this newsletter. We pray that they keep coming back, that the caucus grows, and that we can engage in meaningful and spiritually fulfilling work. Amen.
In faith and solidarity,
This year, state legislatures will redraw the electoral map. The GOP controls most state legislatures, and they are expected to draw congressional districts to favor Republicans, which will make it easier for them to win a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, even if they fail to win the most votes overall. This dynamic will influence policymaking on a number of issues, including the environment. Recent events in North Carolina give some idea of what to expect. In North Carolina, coal-fired plants historically dealt with the leftover ash by mixing it with wastewater and dumping it into an open pit nearby. Because coal generators need a lot of water, power plants and coal ash ponds usually sit next to a lake or river. Read more here.
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.
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.
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.