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Economic Justice Legislative Priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session

The Quaker Voice Economic Justice Working Group is focusing on three priorities in the upcoming session:  Housing Justice, Mental Health Workforce Development, and Guaranteed Basic Income. In advocating for those most economically vulnerable, we are focused on the intersections between people of color, people living with disabilities, and people with housing insecurity, among other conditions that may cause one to be economically at risk. We seek and advocate for a just and sustainable economy in which all Washington residents can thrive.

Housing justice –

Quaker Voice advocates for housing that all people can afford to purchase or rent, allows easy transportation between work and home, and is economically and racially diverse. Our vision of housing justice embraces environmental sustainability by reducing the need for travel as well as sufficient density in metropolitan areas that makes public transportation accessible and effective.  Our legislative priorities to advance this vision include addressing racial disparities in home ownership, reform of residential zoning codes to enable increased multi-family housing in urban areas, landlord-tenant relations and skyrocketing rental rates, and housing as a public good on the order of water, electricity, transportation, and education systems. 

Mental Health Workforce Development –

Quaker Voice advocates for services that would meet the behavioral health needs of the community, with a focus on the most vulnerable. Examples include wrap-around services in supportive housing, crisis intervention, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and addiction treatment. At present, there are not enough providers on the continuum of care from peers to PhD. Behavioral health workers make up a vital part of the social safety net, yet entering the career field is a strenuous financial commitment to make. Some possible ways to increase the workforce include scholarships and loan repayment, support for bachelor-level roles, apprenticeships, and credentialing for peers.

Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) –

Funding for Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) is vital to creating financial security for some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. This would make it possible for many Washington residents to have discretionary funds necessary to pay for essentials like groceries, insurance, utilities, or rent. Monthly distributions would be based on a percentage of Area Median Income, which varies in different parts of the state. Quaker Voice supports the creation of the Evergreen Basic Income Trust which will provide funding for a Washington State pilot GBI program.

We invite those who share our concern for economic justice issues to learn more and join in this effort. Click here, Contact Us, for the link page on the Quaker Voice home page.

 

 

 

 

 

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