The Washington State Legislature gets to work on January 14th and so should we. This legislative session is a long one. It promises to have many progressive bills introduced. Our job is to know what is happening and let our legislators hear from us often about our priorities.
EUUC has three powerful faith based organizations that help us do our work. They each have priorities, work in Olympia and send out requests for us to send our opinions about bills to our legislators.
The newly formed JUUstice Washington is a network of Unitarian Universalist congregations that actively works on justice. One arm of the organization focuses on advocacy by following and lobbying on legislative priorities that are voted on each fall by members.
This session’s priorities are:
- Ensure Carbon Pollution Accountability
- Reform the Legal System, End Cash Bail
- Reform State Taxes and Funding and Establish a Washington State Public Bank
JUUstice Washington is a primarily a volunteer organization. One of its most important strategies is its network of Power Lobbyists. That’s where you can play a part. A JUUstice Washington Power Lobbyist is someone who is willing to contact his/her/their legislator on short notice to provide feedback on bills as they come up for review. The legislature schedules hearings with very little notice (sometimes just a day in advance), so your willingness to commit to respond rapidly gives us strength in numbers and an even more powerful voice at the legislature. Find out more at: http://juustwa.org/legislative-advocacy/State Capitol
EUUC makes a contribution for each member. You may also become an individual member and receive alerts and have an opportunity to vote on priorities.
Our second organization is the Faith Action Network, a growing and very active network of faith based groups from around the state that works together on legislative and justice priorities. FAN has two lobbyists and is well known in the capitol. They host a lobby day on February 14, in which people come from all over the state come together to lobby their legislators. FAN coordinates so that we have appointments with our legislators or their staffs. FAN also has online advocacy tools and sends out alerts for us to write to both state and federal representatives.
FAN’s legislative priorities for 2019 are as follows:
- Advocating for a Biennial Budget that Protects the Poor and Vulnerable
- Restoring Justice in our Criminal Justice System
- Funding Housing for All
- Caring for Creation
- Protecting Immigrant Families and Civil Rights
- Ensuring Healthcare and Mental Health for All
EUUC contributes to FAN. You can also join as an individual. Find out more at about this year’s legislative priorities and how you can participate at: http://fanwa.org
Faith Based Environmental Lobbying
Earth Ministry is the third organization that EUUC contributes to in order to further our mission. Earth Ministry focuses on environmental issues and works with FAN, many environmental organizations and indigenous communities. Their work in lobbying also includes organizing opportunities to testify at hearings on fossil fuel projects. They will participate in FAN lobby day on Feb. 14 and on Environmental Lobby Day, Tuesday, Jan. 29. EUUC will coordinate transportation so our members can attend both days.
Earth Ministry’s 2019 legislative priorities are:
- 100% Clean Energy
- Clean Fuel Standard
- Oil Spill Prevention Act
- Orca Emergency Response
- Reducing Plastic Pollution
Find out more about Earth Ministry at: https://earthministry.org
Finally, EUUC maintains a Legislative Action list serve. Sign up at the Social Justice desk or https://euuc.org/email-to-peace-and-justice-co-chairs/