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Criminal Justice Successes in a Whirlwind Year

Restoration of Voting Rights: Legislative progress on criminal justice often requires persistence and patience.  Full restoration of voting rights upon release from prison was finally approved in 2021, ten years after partial rights were restored.  Finally, a clearly stated act HB 1078 will restore this most sacred citizen right of democracy to all persons not under incarceration.  Quaker Voice has been a constant player in this effort, beginning several years before the original bill in 2009 through final passage in 2021 of complete and immediate restoration after release.  Police Accountability: When national events and frustration boil over into protests and a climate of change, progress can come fast.  Many bills addressing police accountability and racial equity, which were priorities for Quaker Voice, were introduced and successfully passed in 2021.  These included HB 1054, providing prohibitions on the use of force such as neck restraints and the use of certain military…

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Housing Justice Strides in 2021

In the Washington State legislative session just concluded, a session that many have judged to be historic in its progressive accomplishments, several enactments combine to enable major strides in housing justice.  Chief among housing-related accomplishments is likely avoidance of a feared tsunami of evictions at the end of the statewide eviction moratorium.  Other major accomplishments are a statewide “just cause” eviction law that stipulates specific grounds for eviction, and a permanent statewide housing sustainability program that features ongoing rental assistance and homelessness prevention. Here are some of the major pieces of housing legislation that came out of the 2020-2021 State Legislature: Glide-path back to normal.  SB 5160 is clearly the centerpiece in this year’s slew of housing-related legislation.  With this enactment, Washington becomes the first state to provide legal representation for tenants facing eviction.  It also requires good-faith repayment planning and working through a state regional dispute resolution center before…

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“Young Quaker Voices Speak” ~ Friday, April 23

You are invited to “Young Quaker Voices Speak,” short final reports from the four participants in the first year of our new program. Their reports will be part of the Quaker Voice session at the Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting virtual spring gathering, Friday, April 23, 7-8 pm.  These under-30 Friends have been following legislative issues all session as part of each Quaker Voice working group and will share why they participated; what issue they followed and what happened with it; and what lessons they learned from the experience. The Voices are Ezra Ford, Rebecca Marder, Gabe Sharp, and Ian Stanfield.  The Zoom information for the session is:   Meeting ID: 640 333 5400  Password: none. We hope to see you there!

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Quaker Voice Virtual Games Night! April 2, 2021

Join nineteen other Quakers for the first-ever Quaker Voice April 2, 2021 ~ 6:00pm to 7:30pm (Pacific Time) RSVP early (form below) as participation limited. ~ Free with Donation Opportunity ~ Just bring paper, a pen, a book and your own good cheer (or let us help you find it) Sign up here for the Quaker Voice Virtual Games Night:

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A quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, address at Western Michigan University, December 18, 1963

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you've got to change the heart and you can't change the heart through legislation. You can't legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there's half‐truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep…

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