Currently there are two bills before our federal legislators. Take action and contact the folks below.
- Rural tribes finally have a shot at faster internet
- Here is an older paper "No Connection: The Issue of Internet on the Reservation by Emily Siess, but it does bring forward general issues of internet in Indian Country
- Another reference is "Native Americans On Tribal Land Are 'The Least Connected' To High-Speed Internet"
The COVID-19 crisis puts workers, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, Black and Brown people, and the most vulnerable among us at great risk. They are on the front lines of the crisis. While DI partners and allies are working day and night to protect their respective communities, President Trump is openly pushing a divisive message and leading a deliberate strategy to suppress votes—especially Black, Brown, and vulnerable communities already suffering the most severe life and death consequences from COVID-19. We saw the ugly results of this partisan political strategy play out in the Wisconsin primary where voters and poll workers literally risked their lives on election day after Republican legislators and courts blocked the Governor’s attempts to protect people by expanding vote by mail, extending absentee voting and delaying the election. 52 poll workers and voters tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in the primary. More
The 2020 election is a watershed moment for our country. We need to have mail-in election ballots with hard copy paper trails--which means we need the Postal Service. Today the Postal Service is in financial trouble due to decreased revenue from business advertising because so many businesses have closed due to the virus. Lack of bailout help poses a threat to mail-in balloting in the 2020 election. On "Democracy Now," I heard a commentator say that if every American went online and ordered a couple books of stamps, it would create enough revenue to keep the Postal Service up and running. I just went online & ordered 3 books of stamps. Would you please take a few minutes today, go online, set up an account, and order stamps? Sometimes it's the small everyday action that can offer hope and save lives.
Pat from Edmonds UU
On April 1, 2020, the US Census Bureau will perform a point-in-time count of every person living in the United States. The Census, which is performed once every ten years, is a head count of every single person living in the United States. It is the primary way that funding decisions for social services-- like public transportation, hospitals, and schools-- are made by the government. It also informs the make-up of the US House of Representatives, whose 435 seats are distributed based on state population. An accurate census count ensures that Washington's communities will be fairly represented in Congress. In short, Census data will be what is used over the next DECADE to pay for our communities' parks, roads, and schools; fund nonprofits that provide emergency services; and ensure our voices are heard in Congress. You'll want to make sure you're counted too!
Frequent QuestionsWhat do I have to do to complete the Census? By now, you should have received an invitation in the mail from the Census Bureau, with a link and instructions on how to fill out the Census. If you haven't received it by April 1, don't worry-- you can you still complete the Census! There are three ways to complete the Census independently-- online (12 languages + 59 language guides available), by phone (12 languages), or by mail (English and Spanish only). If you don't have the chance to complete it independently, an official Census employee will follow up with you in person. What does the Census look like and what does it ask? The Census is a short, simple questionnaire. It asks basic questions about you and all the people who live in your household with you (partners, children, roommates, siblings, relatives, etc), such as what your race/ethnicities are, how old you are, and whether you rent or own the place you live in. It does NOT ask for your social security number, nor does it ask about anyone's citizenship status. Here's a link to explore the questions asked. Since the Census asks for one response per HOUSEHOLD, we recommend that you designate one person in your household to be the person in charge of making sure that Census gets completed. Of course, everyone else in the household can (and should!) participate in ensuring their own answers are correct. Do I have to respond on April 1? What if I forget? Don't worry! Counting all 300 million Americans is a massive undertaking, and the process will last through June (click here for an official timeline). Even though April 1 is recognized as national "Census Day," you can take the Census before and after that day. Census employees will follow up by phone, mail, and in-person to non-responsive households. How are my answers kept safe? The Census Bureau is bound by law to keep all individual responses completely confidential. Responses will only be used to provide statistics, which then will help the government make funding and representation decisions based on the number of people in each community. For more information on privacy and confidentiality, click here. If you have more questions, the Census Bureau's official website is the best place to visit. And remember, make sure you're counted and complete the Census!
Every year, WWF activists head to Capitol Hill to meet with their representatives about pertinent conservation issues as part of Lobby Day. The future of nature is at stake. As constituents and citizens, it's up to us to share our concerns and hopes for conservation and to hold our elected leaders accountable. We spoke with three participants from around the country to learn why they’re attending Lobby Day and what issues are most important to them.
- Yoselin Herrera - Las Vegas, Nevada
- Amanda Lovan - Des Moines, Iowa
- Tiffany Jones - Dallas, Texas
In the wake of revelations that Washington State Patrol troopers search Native Americans and other people of color at far higher rates than whites, the state Legislature has agreed to appropriate $50,000 to investigate bias in police stops. . . . The money for the bias study, requested by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, a Goldendale Republican, funds a collaboration between state police and Washington State University to analyze traffic stop data kept by the patrol. That money will also be spent to survey Washington residents’ perceptions of the state patrol. The funding was included in the state budget passed by the Legislature on Thursday; it now awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s approval.
Revelations that Washington State Patrol troopers are searching people of color at rates much higher than whites have prompted the Washington House of Representatives to propose restarting bias studies that the Patrol quietly discontinued 13 years ago. The House’s proposed budget would also launch a campaign to beef up efforts to recruit people of color to join the ranks of troopers, whose numbers are overwhelmingly white and male . . . The House’s proposed supplemental operating budget contains $50,000 to fund a collaboration between the State Patrol and Washington State University to analyze traffic stops for evidence of bias. The State Patrol contracted with Washington State University researchers to conduct similar studies in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Read more here.
We are only 40 days out from the launch of Census 2020 on March 12, as postcards will begin to arrive inviting households to participate. Official Census Day is April 1. In the State of Washington, $16.7B in tax dollars for our communities are at stake, along with our democratic representation in Congress. We cannot afford to miss counting anyone in this census, especially traditionally undercounted communities of color, immigrants, tribes, rural areas, and young children. You can help in three ways right now: Save the date for a Faith-based Census training on February 19 in Tukwila. Let us know if you'd like to attend by responding to the survey below. Respond to our survey indicating ways you would like to help with the Census in your faith community and beyond. There ARE people in your faith community who may not be counted without our extra efforts. Share our part-time Census Coordinator job description - we are accepting applications through February 9. Please download the job description and share with your communities. We see this as a statewide effort and are excited to join a powerful coalition for the Census.
President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.
HB 2427 adds climate change to the planning goals that guide the development and adoption of city and county comprehensive plans and development regulations under the Growth Management Act (GMA). It requires the consideration of the climate change planning goal by regional transportation planning organizations and in countywide planning policies under the GMA. The bill is dead for this session but may be reintroduced in a future session.
Crosscut, by Shauna Sowersby / January 17, 2020
Twelve years after the Washington Legislature first codified limits on greenhouse gas emissions, lawmakers are considering a new bill that would establish even stricter state targets.
The original legislation, passed in 2008, sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a goal that the state has not met. In fact, emissions are 8% higher than 1990 levels.
Still, policymakers insist that increasing targets is a necessary step toward combating climate change.
Read more here.
For Background: In 2008, Washington enacted legislation (RCW 70.235) that set a series of limits on the emission of greenhouse gases within the state: quote:
- By 2020, reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases in the state to 1990 levels;
- By 2035, reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases in the state to twenty-five percent below 1990 levels;
- By 2050, the state will do its part to reach global climate stabilization levels by reducing overall emissions to fifty percent below 1990 levels, or seventy percent below the state's expected emissions that year. End quote.
- 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2030,
- 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2040, and
- 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, with the goal of net zero emissions. This would mean that any remaining emissions would be offset by sequestration.
HB 1110 is the Clean Fuels Bill that requires reductions in carbon emissions from transportation fuels. It directs the Department of Ecology to adopt a rule establishing a Clean Fuels Program to limit greenhouse gas emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. HB 1110 has passed the house but it has strong opposition in the senate. To counter this opposition, an amendment introduced by Senate Environment Committee Chair Reuven Carlyle made passage contingent on funding transportation projects including an I-5 bridge over the Columbia River. The bill passed the Environment Committee but it has been stalled in the Transportation Committee and will probably die this session.
On January 16, 2020, the Washington State House Environment Committee held a hearing on HB 2248, the community solar bill. Most organizations supported the bill as a major contribution to Washington’s climate policy. A companion bill, SB 6223, had a hearing January 22 in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology (see arguments below). HB 2248 passed the House and Senate but Governor Inslee did not sign it because the state budget has been severely impacted by the corona virus.
A new organization, Change Roots, wants to be the app empowering you to end toxic partisanship. Simply put, bipartisanship is working with the other party to get something done. Its opposite, partisanship, is working only to get done what your party wants, at the expense of the other party. .. While we mostly focus on how bitterly partisan the country has become, as a nation we have a rich history of bipartisanship. A few notable examples include:
- Abraham Lincoln’s team of rivals. Lincoln beat three Republicans to win the nomination and then the presidency in 1860. Once elected, he appointed all three rivals as well as a Democrat to his cabinet. It would be like if Elizabeth Warren was elected president and appointed Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Mitt Romney to her cabinet.
- Democrat Harry Truman appoints Republican Supreme Court Justice. Three months after FDR’s death, new Democratic President Harry S Truman was faced with an open Supreme Court seat. Truman broke with his party and chose Republican Ohio Sen. Harold Burton for the Court. It was an olive branch to congressional Republicans—and a chance for a new president to find common ground with the congressional opposition.
- Civil Rights Act. The landmark civil rights law that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was passed with over 60% of both parties voting for it. More