Washington UU Voices for Justice has been, and continues to be, an effective legislative advocacy voice because it is rooted in our faith – a faith of hope, of belief in the goodness of life, of belief in the possibility of Beloved Community. This faith has inspired my social justice ministry as I have served as your representative and spokesperson in Olympia during campaigns to preserve needed funding for the most vulnerable people in our state to have adequate housing, food, and health care. It has inspired me to be work to preserve this environment, to speak out for clean air, water, and soil. It has inspired me to work for equality – first to add the words “sexual orientation” to our state’s antidiscrimination laws, then to create and expand our domestic partner laws, and finally to be the fifth state in the United States to provides full marriage equality, continue reading
October 9th our members spent a day together at the University Unitarian Church in Seattle exploring key issues, saying farewell to the Rev. Carol McKinley as the Voices coordinator and hello to Jolinda Stephens, as the new coordinator. This was our annual Legislative Conference.
We selected four areas of focus with some specific issues for the coming year. They are:
Economic Justice – Support a carbon tax, Support accountability for tax breaks, Join the Washington Revenue Coalition
Immigration Justice – Form alliances with labor and businesses, Support the Trust Act at county and state levels, State financial aid for college students, Extend the minimum wage to farmworkers, State financing of legal representation of detainees
Criminal Justice – Ending the death penalty, Continue support for I594 with an emphasis on encouraging organizational endorsements
The Environment – Carbon tax, Climate change awareness.
Actively encourage multi-age involvement in Voices’ activities
Coalition-building, particularly with groups on the margins and groups with leadership of targets of injustice
Face-to-face meetings with UU congregations to find out what their needs are and to encourage healthy social action groups and practices.
UU VOICES FOR JUSTICE
8thANNUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
November 9, 2013
9:30 AM – 3 PM
University Unitarian Church
6556 35th Ave. NE, Seattle WA 98115
UU Voices’ Mission: We inspire Unitarian Universalists to advocate
for justice and the common good in Washington State governance.
9:30 AM Registration, coffee, refreshments 10:00 AM Welcome and Opening Words Jennifer Bright, University Unitarian Church Why WA UU Voices for Justice? Susan Morrisson, WA UU Voices President 10:15 AM Effective Legislative Advocacy Senator Maralyn Chase, D-32nd District 11:15 AM Break 11:30 AM Immigration Roberta Ray, Seattle 12:00 PM Lunch – an opportunity to have a conversation with those you do not know 12:30 PM Building Advocacy Relationships Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Environmental and Social Justice Committee members 1:00 PM Issues update: I-594 – Gun sale background WA Alliance for Gun checks Responsibility Death penalty repeal Safe and Just Alternatives to the Death Penalty 1:15 PM Discussion groups focusing on legislative strategies. Facilitated by UU Voices board members or guests Group 1: Budget: Priorities and Revenue Group 2: Building Advocacy Relationships Group 3: Gun responsibility – WA Alliance for Gun Responsibility Group 4: Immigration 2:00 PM Groups report back 2:15 PM UU Voices legislative issues selection and prioritization 2:30 PM Summary; next steps Susan Morrisson 2:40 PM WA UU Voices Annual Meeting Susan Morrisson Election of new board members Bylaws revision approval Recognition of outgoing board members 3.00 PM Closing Words Rev. Carol McKinley
REVISION SUGGESTIONS, JUNE 10, 2013
Reviewed and recommended for adoption by
WA UU Voices’ Board of Directors
Bylaws of Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice
(hereinafter called WA UU Voices)
Article I- Name and Purpose
Section 1 – Name: The name of the organization shall be Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice (WA UU Voices). It shall be a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington.
Section 2 – Purpose: Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice (WA UU Voices) is organized as a liberal religious educational and legislative advocacy network to enable Unitarian Universalists in Washington State to give voice effectively to our values in the political arena. To this end, it shall maintain a regular and effective Unitarian Universalist presence in the legislative process, work with congregations to create educate to develop a politically informed network, and promote focused statewide action on legislative issues that build encourage Unitarian Universalists to reflect on and act on their religious values to promote a just and sustainable world.
Article II – Membership
Section 1 – Membership shall be open to all Washington State Unitarian Universalist congregations, or any current member or friend of a Washington Unitarian Universalist congregation or Church of the Larger Fellowship.
There are two categories of membership: Congregational Membership and Individual Membership.
A. Congregational Members are those Washington State Unitarian Universalist congregations that elect to be such and meet such other criteria as the board of directors shall set. Each congregation is entitled to cast votes based upon the number of members as set forth in Article III, Section 7.
B. Individual Members are those persons affiliated with or friend of a Washington Unitarian Universalist congregation and meeting such other criteria as the board shall set. Individual membership does not convey voting authority at the annual meeting, but shall include the right to attend meetings and to be heard on issues before the board.
Section 2 – Annual dues: The amount required for annual dues of Congregational Members and Individual Members shall be established by the board. Continued membership is contingent upon being current on membership dues.
Section 3 – Each member shall be eligible to vote in annual and special meetings.
Article III – Membership Meetings
Section 1 – The latest revision of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used, where applicable, to guide the conduct of business.
Section 1 2 – Annual meetings: An annual meeting of the membership shall take place. The date, time, and location of the membership meeting will be designated by the board of directors.
Section 2 3 – Business of annual meetings: Congregational delegates Members shall elect directors, receive reports on the activities of the board and committees, vote to prioritize legislative issues, and conduct other business as needed.
Section 3 4 – Special membership meetings: Special meetings may be called by the chair of the board of directors, by the executive committee, or by a simple majority of the board of directors. A petition signed by five percent of the voting members may also call a special meeting.
Section 5 – Notice of meetings: Through e-mail or US post, notice of the annual meeting shall be given to each voting member not less than seven days, nor more than thirty days, prior to the meeting. Special meetings require ten days’ notice with an agenda outlining the purpose of the special meeting.
Section 6 – Quorum for meetings: The members present at any properly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum.
Section 6 7– Voting on issues: Voting procedures for issues prioritization shall be established by the board of directors. All other issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple majority of members at the meeting at which the vote takes place.
Section 7 – Voting: Congregational delegates to membership meetings shall be allocated as follows: Congregations, including the Church of the Larger Fellowship, with fewer than 100 members, one delegate; congregations with 101 to 299 members, two delegates; congregations with 300 and more members, four delegates. Congregational membership numbers shall be those in the Pacific Northwest District annual report. Proxy voting procedures shall be established by the board of directors.
Article IV – Board of Directors
Section 1 – Board role: The board is responsible for overall policy and direction of WA UU Voices and may delegate responsibilities to staff and committees. The board shall have the power to:
- Review periodically the purposes and mission of WA UU Voices and bring proposed changes to the annual meeting.
- Appoint a coordinator who shall be responsible for day-to-day management of the WA UU Voices office and staff, in accordance with policies established by the board. The coordinator shall be a Unitarian Universalist and shall report to the board of directors.
- Oversee and approve the budget of WA UU Voices.
- Establish requirements for membership.
- Appoint committees to carry out the purposes of WA UU Voices.
- Establish and maintain policies for administrative and financial management of WA UU Voices.
Section 2 – Board size and composition and compensation: The board shall have no less fewer than five and no more than nine members. The board shall receive no compensation other than reimbursement for approved expenses. The coordinator shall be a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the board.
Section 3 – Terms: All board members shall serve three-year terms, but are eligible for re-election for up to two consecutive terms. The first board shall be organized with members serving staggered terms, with one-third of its members serving a one-year term, one-third of its members serving a two-year term, and one-third of its members serving a three-year term.
Section 4 – Meetings and notice: The board shall meet regularly at an agreed-upon time and manner. An official board meeting requires that each board member have written, email or telephone notice at least one week in advance.
Section 5 – Board elections: New directors and current directors shall be elected or re-elected by voting members at the annual meeting. Their terms commence on their election date. Directors shall be elected by a simple majority of members present at the annual meeting.
Section 6 – Election procedures: A three-person nominating Leadership Development committee, as set forth in Article V, Section 2.C B, shall be responsible for preparing a slate of prospective board members. Any member may put himself or herself forth as a candidate.
Section 7 – Quorum: For business to be transacted and motions to be passed a quorum of at least fifty percent of the directors must be present.
Section 8 – Officers and duties: There shall be four officers of the board, including a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. and t These officers shall constitute the executive committee. All officers are directors, and are elected by the board of directors. Their duties are as follows:
- The president shall convene regularly scheduled board meetings and shall preside or arrange for another director to preside at each meeting in the following order: vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
- The vice-president shall assume the duties of the president in the absence of the president and shall perform other duties as requested by the president.
- The secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of board actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all board meeting, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes to each director, and assuring the corporate records are maintained.
- The treasurer shall provide a report on the organization’s current financial status at each board meeting. The treasurer shall assist in the preparation of the budget and make financial information available to members and the public as needed. The treasurer shall sign all checks issued by WA UU Voices.
Section 9 – Vacancies: A vacancy may be filled by the board of directors until the next annual meeting. When a vacancy on the board exists mid-term, the secretary must receive nominations for a new director from the current directors one week in advance of a board meeting. Such nominations shall be sent out to directors with the regular board meeting announcement, to be voted upon at the next board meeting. The vacancy will be filled only to the end of the original holder’s term.
Section 10 – Resignation, termination, and absences: Written resignation from the board is requested. A director may be terminated from the board due to excessive absences, or more than two unexcused absences from board meetings in a year. A director may be removed for any other reason deemed appropriate by a unanimous vote of the remaining directors.
Section 11 – Special board meetings: Special meetings of the board shall be called at the request of the president or of one-third of the directors. Notices of special board meetings shall be sent to each director by the secretary in accordance with policies established by the board at least one week in advance of the meeting.
Article V – Committees
Section 1 – Committee formation: The board may create committees as needed, such as fundraising, communication, membership, education, bylaws, and others. The board shall determine the membership and duties of each committee. The board president shall appoint all committee chairs.
Section 2 – Standing Committees: Standing committees may include:
A. Executive Committee: The officers of the board of directors, in accordance with Article IV, Section 8, shall serve as the members of the executive committee. The executive committee shall have all the powers and authority of the board of directors between meetings of the board of directors to act on urgent issues, and is subject to the direction and control of the full board.
Advisory Committee. Washington State Unitarian Universalist ministers and laity shall serve as members of the seven-person advisory committee. The committee shall serve as advisors to the board of directors and membership, providing theological context and analysis of political activism.
B Nominating Leadership Development Committee: The nominating Leadership Development committee shall prepare the list of candidates for election of Board members and Leadership Development committee members, and shall work with the Board and others to identify people with leadership potential, and encourage and support their involvement in WA UU Voices’ affairs and development of their leadership skills. The committee shall consist of no fewer than three members, including no more than at least one current director; its other members shall be current WA UU Voices members. The committee shall be nominated annually by the nominating Leadership Development committee and elected at the annual meeting.
C. Finance Committee: The finance committee shall be responsible for all aspects of the financial management of the organization. These duties include developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, maintaining financial records, and creating the annual budget in consultation with staff and board members. The finance committee is not responsible for fundraising. The board must approve the budget and all expenditures must be within budget. Any major change in the budget must be approved by the board or by the executive committee. The fiscal year shall begin July 1stJanuary 1st. Annual reports shall be submitted to the board, showing income, expenditures, and pending income. The financial records of the organization shall be made available to the membership, board members and the public.
Article VI – Amendments
These bylaws may be amended when necessary by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates current membership attending the annual meeting or special meeting, provided that notice of such amendment shall have been given in the notice of the meeting thirty days prior to the annual meeting or special meeting.
Article VII – Dissolution
In the event of dissolution of WA UU Voices, all of its net assets shall be conveyed to a successor charitable or religious not-for-profit organization as consistent with the mission of WA UU Voices as recognized by the board. The board of directors of WA UU Voices shall perform all actions necessary to effect such conveyance.
These bylaws were approved at the first annual meeting of the WA UU Voices’ membership on June 10, 2007.
These bylaws were amended and approved at the annual meeting of the WA UU Voices’ membership on _____________.
WASHINGTON STATE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST VOICES FOR JUSTICE
8th ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
University Unitarian Church
6556 35th Ave. NE, Seattle WA 98115
and how we can be effective Unitarian Universalist advocates
for a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.
Senator Maralyn Chase
Senator Chase is from Shoreline, and represents areas of King and Snohomish counties. She is the ranking member of the Trade & Economic Development Committee and serves on the Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee.
At the National Conference of State Legislatures she serves on the Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Environment Committee, and was recently appointed to the Committee on Communications, Financial Services, and Interstate Commerce.
Other speakers and small groups will focus on immigration, initiative measures, environmental and economic issues that will come before the 2014 Washington State Legislature.
Help prioritize WA UU Voices for Justice’s 2014 legislative agenda, including critical issues of:
- HUMAN RIGHTS
- ECONOMIC JUSTICE
- ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Join us November 9! 9:30 AM – Coffee and refreshments; 10 AM – Conference opens
$15 for WA UU Voices members; $20 for non-members.
Eboo Patel: Acts of Faith
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion
Saint Martin’s University
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503-7500
Eboo Patel, Ph.D., founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core, will speak Thursday, October 3 at Saint Martin’s University, Lacey WA. Dr. Patel was the Ware lecturer at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in June.
Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Dr. Patel has been a featured speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and has served as a member of President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Dr. Patel’s two books, Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground, focus on faith as a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. In his work, he asserts that acts of service provide a common ground for all belief traditions, religions and non-religious.
Dr. Patel is the inaugural speaker for the Benedictine Institute Lecture Series, a new series at Saint Martin’s that will explore issues related to faith and community.
Eboo Patel’s lecture is free and open to the public! Doors open at 6:15pm. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Do you realize that UU Voices for Justice is the ONLY lobbying organization in the State of Washington that speaks for our Unitarian Universalist values? This essential activity is what UU Voices does best. Our retiring Coordinator, Rev. Carol McKinley knows the legislators; she knows the system that informs her who to contact and when to contact.
They know her. When she states, “I represent the voice and concerns of the UU people of faith in this State” they pay attention. The legislators want to know who they are being approached by. They also appreciate those values expressed; they can use these persuasion points with others in the legislature who differ.
Think about all the people who are currently contacting our State representatives. If they don’t represent your values, then you know you need to commit to UU Voices right now. Your membership matters a whole bunch.
Do you receive our newsletter? receiving the newsletter is NOT a sign that you are a member. We need members who contribute financially to the ongoing advocacy work of our organization.
It’s easy. Go to the website. WA UU Voices for Justice. click, “become a member.” The information you give us will help us be even more effective. Please consider checking the box “recurring annual membership.” We can then count on your financial support. We need this in order to continue our lobbying efforts.
ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
Meet at the University Unitarian church in Seattle, who are long time supporting congregational members of UU Voices.
State Senator Maralyn Chase will be our keynote speaker. She is the only Unitarian in the Senate. Plan to be with us.
WA UU Voices believes that now is the time for Washingtonians to act for greater public safety in our state, and pass comprehensive background checks on gun sales!
What is I-594?
Initiative 594 is an initiative to the state legislature that would require a criminal background check on all gun sales in our state. WA UU Voices joins the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a large coalition of Washington’s faith and community organizations, to support this initiative to the Legislature. Below is the official ballot title and summary from the WA Secretary of State’s office:
I-594 Ballot Title reads:
“This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exemptions.”
Ballot Measure Summary
“Current law requires criminal and public safety background checks before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. This measure would extend this requirement to most firearm purchases and transfers in Washington, with exceptions, including transfers within families, temporary transfers for self-defense and hunting, and antiques. Licensed dealers would conduct the background check and could charge a fee. Additional time would be allowed for pistol purchases. Violation of these requirements would be a crime.”
Putting the Fun in Fundraising
It’s time to get serious about funding WA UU Voices’ for Justice’s important mission. We are the single statewide advocacy group in the state representing Unitarian Universalist values in the legislative process, and we want you to help us fulfill our mission.
So, let’s have fun, get to know one another, and raise money for WA UU Voices!
- The fun is about offering events, vacations, and concerts others can bid on.
- Getting to know each other happens when the bidder accepts the offer to see places and connect with other UU’s across our land.
- Money raised will ensure that WA UU Voices can continue to bring your voice and our Unitarian Universalist values to the legislative process.
An On-Line Auction!
Here’s where you come in; I need YOUR HELP. I need you to set up the Internet logistics of this project — you may be exactly the one who has the know-how to do this!
Please contact me, Susan Morrisson, WA UU Voices Board President, email@example.com, 206-232-3453, and be part of this exciting, fun event.
Thanks, Cathy and Katie!
WA UU Voices is deeply grateful to two wonderful volunteers – Cathy Barich, our retiring Membership Director, and Katie Rickman, our intern from The Evergreen State College.
Cathy did a stellar job of formatting our membership roster, creating an improved system for renewals and new memberships, and keeping in touch with members. Her attention to detail and commitment to her role leave WA UU Voices with a much-improved membership system.
Cathy is a member of East Shore Unitarian Church.
Katie Rickman served as WA UU Voices’ much-appreciated intern spring quarter; she focused on environment and public policy. After interviewing policymakers and environmental activists and participating in several Northwest events, including the Dalai Lama’s environmental summit in Portland, she wrote in-depth articles for the WA UU Voices’ newsletter. Katie’s dedication, professionalism, and research greatly enhanced WA UU Voices’ focus on environmental priorities in Washington. Even though her internship has ended, she remains involved in environmental issues as a member of the Olympia UU Congregation’s Green Sanctuary Committee.
Katie begins her third year at The Evergreen State College next month.
June 26, 2013
A Day to Celebrate Love and Equality!
This morning on the steps of the United States Supreme Court, a Standing on the Side of Love sign was prominently displayed as speakers celebrated this morning’s decisions on DOMA and Prop 8. You can find the rulings and commentary at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, www.AFER.org Let’s continue to stand on the side of love, amplifying our public voice for love and equality by writing a letter to the editor, posting on Facebook, or tweeting.
All of you in Washington State have played an important role in this momentous time in United States history; many thanks for your work and support to make this state, and this country, more just and equitable. Even as we pause in gratitude and celebration, let us recommit ourselves to the continuing work for justice in this state, in the country, and in the world.
Reverend Carol McKinley, Coordinator
Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice
UUA President Issues Statement on
Historic Decisions on Marriage Equality
The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued this statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decisions on marriage equality:
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court of our country, stood on the side of love with its decision in United States v. Windsor declaring that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
This is a proud and momentous day for all who have suffered under this law and felt discrimination based on their sexual orientation. It is a victory for the principle that civil rights belong to all.
In the Proposition 8 case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, essentially paving the way for marriage equality in California.
While I am disappointed that the Supreme Court did not declare the freedom to marry as a constitutionally-protected “equal protection” right that would apply to all states, I applaud this historic step towards equality.
The Unitarian Universalist Association joined two amicus curiae briefs in these cases with other religious organizations in support of marriage equality. In both cases, the UUA argued that a broad cross-section of religious denominations recognize the dignity of lesbian and gay people and their relationships, recognize the necessary distinction between civil and religious marriage, and recognize that civil marriages of same-sex couples will not impinge upon religious beliefs or practices, but rather will prevent one set of religious beliefs from being imposed on others through civil law.
Unitarian Universalists have been vocal supporters of marriage equality for decades. I thank them for their dedicated commitment to our Unitarian Universalist principle of affirming the worth and dignity of every person.
There is still so much work to be done to ensure equal protection for all who live and love in our country. As we know, marriage equality strengthens families, protects children, and ensures the basic rights of citizenship for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples.
It remains my fervent hope that soon marriage equality is afforded to all in this country. Unitarian Universalists will continue to stand on the side of love with all families.”
Reducing Gun Violence in Washington”
begins in sadness, turns to resolve
Thanks to leadership by the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church and their collaboration with other faith communities, the move toward gun responsibility in Washington State continues to grow. A fundraising and awareness-raising event in Seattle brought out 1,200 people resolved to make Washington State safer for all. The momentum by citizens who support universal background checks on gun purchases is building as the initiative process moves forward.
- Susan Morrisson, WA State UU Voices for Justice Board President
After the Newtown shooting last December, members of our EUUC P&J Committee shared our common stories of grief and resolve at our January meeting. Once again guns and the lack of safe gun laws was at the center of the discussion. July’s Aurora theater shooting was still fresh in our minds, and the broader Seattle community had not yet healed from the May massacre at Cafe Racer. One of our congregants had been present that night, but luckily missed being targeted as she crouched under a table.
As we were just considering possible ideas of action, Pamela Van Swearingen, an attorney in Edmonds contacted EUUC asking for the possibility of pulpit time to discuss her first-hand experiences with gun violence and also our assistance in presenting a public panel on reducing gun violence in Washington. Pamela had been a guest speaker at EUUC a few years back in a service re human rights abuses/protection in Snohomish County and was familiar with our congregation.
With the encouragement of our Minister, Eric Kaminetzky, the P&J Committee and our Worship Associates moved into action. Two Sunday services on April 7 were secured, including a time for talk-back/personal sharing after the second service.
With Pamela’s guidance we also made plans for “Reducing Gun Violence in Washington” the following Tuesday, April 9, through the gracious collaboration of Edmonds United Methodist Church who had a larger, more central (and safer) location than EUUC. We publicized it widely through our website, radio spots, fliers, the NWUUJustice Network, Facebook and personal contacts. For a list of the panelists, you can visit our EUUC website/ Publications/ ComUUunicator, Page 10 , “Spotlight on Issues” by John Tucker.
The event was successful on many counts; in attendance, in content– both by panelists and audience participation maintaining respectful discussion guidelines, in fellowship and collaboration with a neighboring congregation, and with hope and a common commitment toward the pursuit of just and respectful laws, restrictions and methods toward making Washington a safer place for all its residents.
P&J Committee Member
Edmonds UU Church
Gun Background Check Initiative Filed in Olympia
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, supported by many faith groups, filed an initiative on Tuesday in Olympia. The initiative would require criminal background checks for almost all firearm sales and transfers, including private sales, online transactions, and purchases at gun shows. Background checks currently are required for sales from licensed gun dealers.
The initiative to next January’s Legislature requires about 246,000 valid signatures. If lawmakers do not accept it, it will go to the ballot in November 2014. Polls show broad support for the initiative as the signature-gathering process begins.
The Environmental Priorities Coalition urges the public to encourage the Senate to pass a Bill discontinuing a $41 Million Dollar Tax Loop hole for Big Oil and reinvest the money into Education.
Where do you want your tax dollars to be spent?
Contact your Senator here: