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Announcing the Young Quaker Voices Program

Learn about the legislative processWork on issues important to Quakers:Criminal Justice / Environmental Stewardship / Economic JusticeEarn a small stipend The Young Quaker Voices program will bring young adults into contact with issues in the state legislature and encourage their active engagement in the legislative process in ways that reflect Quaker values. Young adults aged 16-30 are eligible for the program. They will be trained by Quaker Voice on the legislative process and participate in a QV working group, developing background materials and tracking legislation on an issue within the Quaker Voice scope. All work will be done remotely. Time commitment will be about 25-30 hours over the legislative session. To apply for the Young Quaker Voices program: Contact us at info@QuakerVoiceWA.org and request an application and further information on the programApplications are due by January 20, 2021The program begins on February 8, 2021 Download, print, and share the flyer…

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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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