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Quaker Voice on Washington Public Policy is embarking on a process of discernment about the scope and structure of its public policy advocacy, through consultation and interaction with those who are already active in its network and with the broader Quaker community in the state of Washington. This kind of discernment is valuable periodically.

The responses will be used to organize several open discernment sessions, including in person at the NPYM Annual Session and at Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting plus at least one online. Replies received by July 9 will have the strongest influence on the first in-person session. The survey will close on October 10.

We request your input to the process by sending a response to this survey. Answers to the questions may also be sent directly to info@quakervoicewa.org. For a description of how we will use your answers, go to the text below the survey questions.

 


This process will be used to write a new policy statement that forms the framework for Board decisions about signing on to advocacy letters and asking our activists to sign in pro or con in legislative hearings. Quaker Voice can only take up further advocacy where a Friend is willing to become knowledgeable about the issues and lead action in legislative or implementation processes. The discernment process will be used to assess whether our current working group structure adequately reflects the issues where individual Friends are willing to be active in those ways.

The Quaker Voice Board will group the responses by theme and organize drafting teams for each theme. The teams will be asked to propose a short title for the theme and a brief statement of the “heart” of the area, that is, the spiritual base for Quakers to take action on that concern within the state. In a second stage, the process will identify specific public policy areas within each theme, along with proposed policy positions. Current working groups and their members will be fully involved in this process, and we are leaving space for revised working group structures as Spirit leads. The end goal is to develop a policy statement for advocacy within Washington state modeled on the format of FCNL’s document, The World We Seek. Our statement would be approved at the Quaker Voice annual meeting. Like the FCNL document, we expect this one to endure through several legislative sessions.

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