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Quaker Voice Statement on Racial Inequity

Quaker Voice Friends and Supporters,  We urge you, as you are led, to send the Quaker Voice Statement on Racial Inequity (PDF format) to your state legislators, with a cover letter from you requesting action in the coming sessions.  This statement was approved by the Quaker Voice Board for release on June 19, 2020, Juneteenth. It is based on contributions from the three working groups and from Board members.  This document is intended to make a strong statement about the response of Quaker Voice to the national outpouring of outrage over the deaths of so many people of color by law enforcement. Our response arises out of Quaker values and provides a brief outline of our ongoing and future work with the state legislature. Also, you might let legislators know that Quaker Voice is willing to assist them in working toward meeting the goals in the Statement on Racial Inequity. To ask for our assistance, legislators may contact our Legislative Advocate,…

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Quaker Voice Report 2020

Highlights: Washington State will enact new greenhouse gas emission benchmarks for state agencies and the state as a whole.Washington State banned private prisons for state facilities.This year saw a large increase in investment in the Housing and Essential Needs (HENS) fund, which targets the most vulnerable people in Washington state without immediate access to Federal aid.A bill allowing tenants to pay deposits in installments will lower barriers to housing for low income people See the report here. (PDF format, 180 KB)

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Economic Justice accomplishments in 2020

In the 2020 session, the Economic Justice group emphasized housing, food, and income in its priorities, with top priorities in housing. The legislature passed a remarkable wave of bills in this area, providing $174 million in resources for the state’s affordable housing and homelessness needs. Showing the importance of the issues, all of this spending has survived the Governor’s April budget-reducing vetoes. On Lobby Day, Quaker Voice advocated a modest increase in the Housing and Essential Needs rental assistance program, and the legislative provided more than we asked -- $15 million a year. We also worked for a bill that allows renters to pay move-in costs over three months instead of having to provide them all at the start of a lease. This provision helps everyone, particularly low-income families that struggle to save enough for the big, one-time move-in bill. This bill passed and has been signed into law. A…

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Criminal Justice Progress 2020 Session

Two bills we supported this year are becoming law: (1) A bill to prohibit contracts by the WA Dept. of Corrections for privately-operated prisons (2) A “bail-jumping” bill, that will reduce penalties for not appearing in court, which tend to affect low-income people most. We are greatly pleased with the success in implementing the corrections ombuds bill that we championed for many years until its passage in 2018.  Unfortunately, several of our priority issues were not resolved this session and await further work next session, including: (1) Abolishing the Death Penalty (2) Restoration of voting rights for persons released from prison but under community supervision (3) Establishment of a system for review for possible release for persons serving long-term sentences such as 15-20 years (4) Reform of debt-based suspension of drivers’ licenses. Quaker Voice understands that we are in this work for the long haul.  For many bills, success requires…

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Let’s Support Our Community!

Dear Friends: We hope you are staying safe in these challenging times! We know that many of us will be receiving a stimulus check from the federal government and some of us do not urgently need the funds. If you are looking for ideas for donating some or part of your stimulus check, Quaker Voice has some suggestions for you. Local or statewide food banks and senior food programs, such as:NW Harvest, It has a network of 375 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools. Through this network, they provide nearly 2 million meals every month.WA Food Fund, a statewide collaboration with local nonprofits and philanthropic organizations to raise money for hunger relief, which will be donated to three food distribution organizations: Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest, and Second Harvest.Second Harvest which serves EWA and Idaho.Food Lifeline sources millions of pounds of nutritious food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, and retailers that would otherwise…

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