Economic Justice Working Group Clerk, Steven Aldrich.
Nearly 760,000 people live below the poverty level in Washington (over 10 percent of the state’s population). Over 200,000 of these are children. More than 180,000 have jobs. Native Americans and African Americans are disproportionately represented. See POVERTY STATUS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS – Survey/Program: American Community Survey – TableID: S1701: 2018: ACS 1-Year Estimates Subject Tables
Quaker Voice focuses our efforts on protecting and extending ways to help these people get out of poverty, through food, housing, and income support. In the 2020 legislative session, we are focusing on:
House Bill 2453/ Senate Bill 6379. Just Cause for Evictions. This bill requires landlords to provide a legitimate reason to evict a tenant. Eviction is a major factor cycling struggling families into homelessness. Landlords should not be able to cause such a crisis without a legitimate reason.
Add-on funding for Housing and Essential Needs (HENS). We support Rep. Macri’s proposal to add $4 million to HENS funding, to bring it closer to meeting the state’s needs.
House Bill 1694. Installment deposits for rentals. This bill would require landlords to let tenants pay their security deposits over three months instead of in a lump sum. Since so few American families have savings, and even fewer poor families, this leeway is critical to getting families into their own housing and out of shelters or off the streets.
In addition to these focus actions, we have additional priorities for legislative action in this session. [link to a second page of the EJ section]