Here’s the letter we gave to legislators. Feel free to send it to yours! Here’s where you find their contact info: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Monday, January 16, 2017
We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively – that means all of us together – collectively we are rich. Martin Luther King Jr
An open letter to Washington state legislators and our community:
2017 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign launched by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today we are experiencing, both globally and nationally, unprecedented poverty and hardship in the midst of unheard of abundance and record inequality. Despite the official celebration of civil rights advances, racial and gender inequality remain as deep as ever.
I marched here to the Washington State Capitol today with others in my community to forward Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s call for racial, social and economic justice. We call on you to work toward an equitable world where everyone is able to meet their basic needs and is appreciated for fulfilling their role in society. You have our deepest gratitude for your work on policies that support human rights at this crucial time in our nation’s political history.
In particular, we ask you to support the following policies:
• Governor Inslee’s proposed budget proposals to generate new revenue by closing outdated tax exemptions to support Energy Assistance and Transportation Support for programs such as Working Connections Child Care, Basic Food and Housing and Essential Needs.
• Eliminate asset limits (including vehicles) for Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and State Family Assistance (SFA) recipients
• Increase cash grants for TANF/SFA and Refugee Cash Assistance by 7.5 percent and the ABD cash grant from $197 to $400.
• Support the City of Olympia resolution to become a sanctuary city by becoming a state that provides sanctuary to immigrants who will be targeted by changing national policies.
• Adopt the recommendations of the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing Joint Task Force to remove references to malice and good faith from the law, collect state-level data on use of force by law enforcement, increase training for officers and improve Washington’s mental-health system.
• Begin addressing the school to prison pipeline that starts with isolation rooms in kindergarten and is continued through zero and low tolerance punishment policies targeting children with disabilities, children of color and poor children by creating a system to collect data correlating school discipline and race, ethnicity, abilities and income.
• Legalize Survival of our most vulnerable citizens by removing legal barriers to basic humans needs, including permanent location for shelter and 24/7 access to restrooms.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called upon the dispossessed of this nation to organize a revolution against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty. We intend to organize ourselves – as the poor – with all people of faith and conscience who believe that poverty is immoral and unnecessary — to reignite Rev. Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign. We will continue to take action together and become that “new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.”
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