Preparing for the Legislative Session
Our attention continues to turn to the 2023 Legislative Session, and next week our legislative agenda will be finalized for approval by FAN’s Governing Board. We will share it with you soon!
One way you can get ready for the legislative session is to make sure you know your legislative district after 2022 redistricting. Meanwhile, we encourage you to register for our pre-legislative-session trainings that will take place the first week of January. Please share in your communities:
Thursday, January 5, 6-7pm, online, FAN 2023 Legislative Preview, an overview of what to expect this session and FAN’s legislative agenda. Register for Zoom link here.
Sunday, January 8, 2-3pm, online, FAN Advocacy 101, presenting advocacy tools to use during the session. Register for Zoom link here.
Eastern Washington Legislative Conference: Caring for our Common Home, Saturday, January 21, 8:30am to 3pm, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church and online. The day will include plenary sessions, legislative briefings, and workshops. Register here.
Interfaith Advocacy Day, Thursday, February 9, 9am-3pm, in Olympia. More details and registration soon.
Protect Dreamers and Other Immigrants
With our national partners at ELCA Advocacy and Interfaith Immigration Coalition, we are highlighting International Migrant Day this weekend as the culmination of a week of action for immigrant justice. With only a few more weeks left in this 117th Congress and an impending court ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Congress has a narrow window of opportunity to pass legislation protecting Dreamers and their families, as well as other undocumented immigrants.
The United Nations has declared December 18 International Migrants Day, asserting: “Mounting evidence indicates that international migration is usually positive both for countries of origin and of destination.”
We can help make a difference for these neighbors who strengthen our communities! Please write now to our Senators using the template linked here.
The House has passed the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), which would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders living in the United States. Undocumented farmworkers should also be included in this legislation. The Senate needs to act, by advancing H.R. 6 or a different bill.
Some facts/resources to support your letters to Congress:
The National Interfaith Immigration Coalition Toolkit has resources for how we can take action for citizenship now.
Immigrants Boost Economic Growth: The 10.2 million undocumented immigrants in the US have lived here for an average of 16 years, and putting undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship would increase U.S. GDP by up to $1.7 trillion over the next decade, raise wages for all Americans, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, advancing the country’s economic recovery.
Immigrants Are Essential to Agriculture: Immigrants make up 72.6% of the farm workforce in Washington.
Our partners at ELCA Advocacy and AMMPARO shared this toolkit in Spanish with social media posts.
Grounding advocacy in our faith traditions:
Faith Voices For Workers
FAN has a long relationship working for justice with organized labor. We are grateful for FAN’s office to be located in SEIU Local 6 building in Seattle, where we see and hear their members’ struggles every day. We have historically teamed up to get minimum wages in SeaTac, Seattle, then statewide. We have also participated in many labor actions to create better working conditions.
In the year ahead, we plan to re-establish regular faith-labor discussions and joint work. Please respond to our Economic Justice Working Group co-leader Steve Claggett at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be informed of and/or participate in this effort. Are you a member of a union and a faith community? We’d love to have you in the conversation!
Meanwhile we will share opportunities for solidarity as they arise, and this week we highlight the following efforts. The United Food and Commercial Workers, UFCW 3000, has requested our presence at informational picket labor actions next Wednesday December 21, in three locations for workers who launder linens and uniforms everyday for restaurants, hospitals and other industries, and have been at the bargaining table since September.
Kent: 9:00-11:00am at Aramark, 7810 S 228th St, Kent, WA 98032.
Tacoma: 11:30am to 12pm, at 6445 S Adams St, Tacoma, WA 98409.
Everett: 9am to 10am, 7200 Hardeson Rd, Everett, WA 98203.
SEIU Local 6 also invites our solidarity: SEIU6 airport workers are joining airport workers across the country in calling on Congress to stand with working people and sign the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. Airport passenger service workers like wheelchair agents and cabin cleaners have been facing a crisis of corporate greed for decades. This largely Black, brown, and immigrant workforce is denied affordable healthcare here at SeaTac, and faces poverty wages at airports across the nation. Please join us in sending a message to Congress to pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act to raise wage and benefit standards for airport workers everywhere.
The Longest Night for People Experiencing Homelessness
The Homeless Remembrance Project in Seattle will hold their annual Women in Black Solstice Vigil on the evening of Wednesday, December 21, starting with an informal ritual and reading of names at sunset (4:21 PM) at Seattle City Hall Plaza (4th/James), and moving into an hour-long candlelit vigil from 5-6 PM. They will be remembering more than 200 people who died this year while unhoused and marking national Homeless Memorial Day with a call to action. Anitra Freeman from WHEEL and the Remembrance Project shared why the vigil and your participation matters: What I hear again and again when deaths and vigils come up in writing workshops is “we’re dying and nobody cares.” And what I hear from friends and family of the people we stand for, and from homeless women who stand, is “You see us. You remember us. You care. Thank you.”
Other cities in our state also mark this longest night for people experiencing homelessness—if you know of another event we can share via social media, please let us know.
Our national partners at Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania are helping produce a Homeless Remembrance Blanket Project art display and press event on the West Lawn of the Capitol in D.C. on Dec. 21, in which participants across the nation are taking part through blanket making, logistics, and follow up with lawmakers. At the time of writing, over 1,500 blankets have been committed to the event, which will cover a considerable amount of area along the West Lawn of the Capitol. More information here.
We always post the E-News to our website each week at fanwa.org/news/.
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