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Members of Congress

  • Sen. Patty Murray
    (202) 224-2621 | Email

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell
    (202) 224-3441 | Email

  • Rep. Suzan DelBene (1st)
    (202) 225-6311 | Email

  • Rep. Kim Schrier (8th)
    (202) 225-7761 | Email

  • Rep. Adam Smith (9th)
    (202) 225-8901 | Email

  • For the Week of August 19, 2019

    🔷 Well, it’s been another brutal week of decisions from the White House. So many people will be negatively impacted by the changes that they have made, not to mention our endangered wildlife and our environment. It seems like just when you think they can’t get any worse, they find a way. Do these people never rest?

    For the past two and a half years we’ve been focused on trying to manage our outrage and turn it into productive activity. We hope that you are able to find ways to manage the stress but still find the energy to put your anger and frustration into making some calls, writing some postcards, coming out to wave some letters with Alphabet Resistance or whatever other avenues you have found to push back. The next year is going to be tough. Remember folks, marathon, not sprint!

    🔷 Our friends at Lawyer Moms of America have put together an open letter to all members of Congress about the situation faced by immigrant children and families at the border. You can read and sign onto it here. There are two opportunities locally to help deliver a copy of the letter to Members of Congress, both on Thur Aug 22.

    🔷 A few of our Upcoming Events:

    • Mon, Aug 19, 7-9 pm Postcards To Voters – Redmond. We will be writing for Dan McCready in a North Carolina special election (September 10) caused by Republican ballot tampering. It’s not too late to register to attend!
    • Thur, Aug 22, 4:45-6 pm Alphabet Resistance – Bellevue Please sign up so that we know how long a message we can make!
    • Thurs, Sept 5, 7-9pm Postcards To Voters – Woodinville

    🔷 Here are your 3 actions for this week.

    Action 1 – [Members of Congress] PROTECT LEGAL IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS TO ACCESS HEALTHCARE & BENEFITS

    From 5calls.org

    The Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is implementing a new rule that takes effect on October 15 to punish immigrants and their US-citizen children for accessing a wide range of public benefits, including common tax deductions. When considering whether to provide applicants with immigration visas or legal permanent residency, DHS already penalizes immigrants who receive cash welfare payments. However, DHS is expanding this rule to penalize immigrants who use any form of public benefit, from health insurance subsidies to the earned income tax credit used by about one-fifth of taxpayers. The rule, which was crafted by the notoriously xenophobic Stephen Miller, also punishes immigrants whose US-citizen spouses or children use a public benefit. Under this new rule, immigrants will be disqualified from receiving a green card if they claim nearly any benefits or if DHS deems them likely to receive benefits in the future.

    As is typical with the Trump administration, the reasoning for this rule is divorced from the facts. Rather than being a burden on the economy, immigrants pay billions in taxes, create new jobs and businesses, and use public benefits at the same or lower rates as US-born people. Punishing immigrants for accessing basic government services will harm our communities and the economy and must not be tolerated.

    The ‘public charge’ policy has a long and sorry place in American immigration history and there is an argument for it to be abolished altogether. This administration is using it, unsurprisingly, to advance their agenda to limit immigration to white people of means.

    There is some good news in that a lawsuit has been filed by thirteen states, led by our state AG, Bob Ferguson. We hope that this bears fruit but in the meantime let’s apply pressure to our Members of Congress to add their weight to the opposition to this rule change.

    ☎ Sample Script:

    “Hi, my name is [NAME], and I’m a constituent from [CITY ZIP].

    I’m calling to urge [MOC] to speak out against the administration’s plan to penalize legal immigrants for accessing non-cash public benefits. Legal immigrants pay billions in taxes, stimulate the economy, and deserve the right to access basic benefits like the earned income tax credit.

    Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.”

    IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.

    Action 2 – [YOU] Contact State Republican leadership and ask them to expel and condemn Matt Shea

    From Fuse Washington

    You may have been following the sordid tale of Rep Matt Shea and his links to white supremacist groups. Shea is a six-term Republican representative for Washington state’s Fourth District in Spokane Valley and this week more information was revealed about the depths of these connections, including to a group that promotes training young men to be soldiers in a holy war.

    After much foot dragging, the House initiated an independent investigation before the latest revelations. It is expected that there will be a preliminary report by Sept 30 and a final report by Dec 1.

    This is an unacceptable delay. Rep. Matt Shea is unfit to represent Washington, and we’re urging the Washington House Republicans to immediately expel him from their caucus.

    Please contact Republican House leadership Chair JT Wilcox and Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Caleb Heimlich to insist that they take action to remove Shea from their caucus.

    NOTE: The email links load pre-filled emails. Please sign your name before sending.

    ☎ Sample Script (please personalize; for a phone call, you might use just the first and last paragraphs):

    ‘I urge you to remove Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican House Caucus.

    We must hold our elected officials here in Washington to the highest possible standards, and when they commit heinous actions, we need to hold them accountable.

    Just earlier this year, The Guardian revealed that Representative Shea was part of a far-right wing group aiming to surveil, attack, and intimidate Spokane Valley residents. Now The Guardian is reporting that Shea supports a group training young men in “biblical warfare,” including how to use knives, pistols, and rifles. Shea made videos for the group and appeared alongside them at events and has paid their founder with his campaign funds. Many of their lessons come from a neo-Confederate pastor who is a “leading proponent for training Christians for armed battle.”

    Representative Shea is helping fuel the rise of white supremacy in Washington, especially in Eastern Washington. As a legislator, he’s using his platform to give a voice and credibility to those who hold hateful, violent views. This is unconscionable behavior by a sitting representative.

    From his “holy war” manifesto last year to this most recent incident, Representative Shea’s pattern of frightening behavior should not be condoned by state Republicans. In light of his terrifying willingness to carry out background checks and train young men to perpetuate violence against others, I urge you to expel Representative Shea from the Republican House Caucus for his dangerous and repugnant actions.’

    Bonus Action ✊ Join in our efforts to support great candidates in Spokane and the Spokane Valley. Along with our progressive allies, we supported Lance Gurel in the August primaries, and he came second (out of four candidates).

    There will be a phonebank training put on by Puget Sound’s Progressive Coalition (including Code Blue, Sister District and Wallingford Indivisible) on Sept. 15th. This particular event is focused on calling voters in Virginia about candidates Joshua Cole and Debra Rodman but there are ongoing calling sessions to Eastern Washington voters and this training will enable you to participate. Please register at the Eventbrite link.

    Action 3 – [YOU] Educate yourself about Referendum 88

    From ballotpedia.org

    You may have seen signature gatherers out and about recently talking about Referendum 88. It is important to educate yourself and others about the ins and outs of this referendum, as it can be confusing, and opponents of affirmative action are deliberately muddying the waters.

    The secretary of state certified the measure for the ballot on August 7, 2019, after finding that proponents had submitted sufficient valid signatures, and it will be on the ballot in Washington as a veto referendum on November 5, 2019.

    Overview: What would Referendum 88 do?

    Washington I-200 of 1998 prohibited public institutions from discriminating or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting.

    Washington Initiative 1000 was designed to allow affirmative action policies by the state of Washington in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting as long as such policies do not constitute preferential treatment (as defined) and do not use quotas. I-1000 was an Initiative to the Legislature that the 2019 legislature approved. Since the legislature approved I-1000, it was not placed on the ballot for voter approval or rejection.

    • Under I-1000, preferential treatment is prohibited. I-1000 defines preferential treatment as using certain characteristics (such as race, sex, color, or age) as the sole factor for selecting a lesser-qualified candidate over another.
    • However, affirmative action is allowed under I-1000. I-1000 defines affirmative action as using certain characteristics (such as race, sex, color, or age) as factors when considering a person for education or employment opportunities.

    Referendum 88 was designed to require a vote on I-1000, meaning an approve vote on R-88 approves I-1000 and a reject vote on R-88 rejects I-1000.

    • An approve vote supports Initiative 1000, expressly allowing the state to implement affirmative action policies (without the use of preferential treatment or quotas) in public employment, education, and contracting.
    • A reject vote blocks I-1000 from going into effect, restricting the state from implementing affirmative action policies in public employment, education, and contracting.

    Please share this information widely to ensure that there is a better understanding of the issue, so that the objectives of I-1000 can be put into practice in our state.

    Calendar of In-Person Events:

    … and More:

    Resources:


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