Voting is a basic UU Value

April 13

...and the Senate Rules Committee is blocking a floor vote on the Washington State Voting Rights Act. UU Voices for Justice is one of 35 organizations that recently sent a letter to the legislators, urging their support for the bill. The letter is after the jump. Sen. Hasakawa recently was blocked in the Senate Rules Committee from bring the bill to the floor. Tell your senators to support it with this one-click email from the ACLU. 



State House Fails to Pass the Governor's Climate Bill

March 28

According to the Seattle Times of March 28, 2015, the house did not include Governor Inslee's cap and trade proposal in the budget negotiations, perhaps the last opportunity to pass it in this session.

Begin Quote

"Not included in the budget is the proposed carbon-polluter plan championed by Inslee, nor his recommendations for a 50 cents-per-pack cigarette tax increase and taxing of e-cigarettes. The carbon-polluter plan was part of Inslee’s proposal to fund education and a transportation package. The current transportation package separately making its way through the Legislature is funded instead by an increase in the state gas tax and other fees. [Rep. Reuven] Carlyle praised the governor’s carbon-polluter plan, but said it was too new an idea in the Legislature to be immediately acted upon."

“We feel that it needs more time … for the House and the Senate and the governor to come to a consensus to include this,” he said.

End Quote

More time is not available. The warmest global average temperature was recorded in 2014, and the past winter has been the warmest on record as well. If the legislature cannot act, the people may have to through an initiative.


Minimum wage our first bill to pass Appropriations

February 20

Appropriations_committee.jpgIf I knew how to photoshop, this photo would show a balloon drop or confetti. HB 1355, which would raise the state minimum wage to $12 over 4 years, passed the House Committee on Appropriations yesterday at about 4:30. 


Senate Energy Committee - Keystone XL resolution

February 17


Today the Senate Energy committee had public hearing re Bill 8010 - which requests that President Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  Perhaps because there are still oil train fires burning Bakken oild in Virginia today, there was no testimony Pro the bill.

Arguing Con the bill was Kelly Thompson with UU Voices for Justice, and the legislative director for Climate Solutions. Kelly's testimony raised the following:

1- please hear the voice of science on this issue (Climate Change) - if there were 100 climate scientists in the room, I expect that 97 of them would be against this bill.

2- please hear the voice of those affected by Climate Chance effects - by UN count more than 16 million voices.  The current path we are following is not sustainable.

3- Kelly invoked the first rule of holes - "If you find yourself in a  hole, the first thing to do is to Stop Digging!

The bill may next be discussed in executive session.

I suspect that this bill is more "dog whistle" politics for the Republican base with little effect on Pres Obama, but it seemed to me that it did deserve questioning.






Seattle Times Weighs In on Inslee's Plan

February 06

carbon_emissions.jpgToday, February 6, the Seattle Times reported on cap-and-trade proposals in Washington and California. After praising the California plan, the reporter wrote about Governor Inslee's plan: "But cap-and-trade is unlikely to die with the end of the legislative session. A second carbon initiative may be launched to put Inslee’s plan on the November 2016 ballot." ("A second carbon initiative" refers to the possibility that the first carbon initiative would be CarbonWA carbon tax plan.)



A Tale of Two Hearings

February 04

carbon_emissions.jpgPosted By William McPherson

Jolinda Stephens, UUVoices Coordinator, and I attended two hearings at the State House of Representatives on January 27 and February 3. Each hearing had relevance for two UUVoices priorities: Climate Change and Fossil Fuel Transport.



Come to University Unitarian Climate Action Week Jan 25-31

January 23



The real work of Christmas begins now in the Legislature

December 27

For a few years I served as the program director for the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula where, at the beginning of December, this angel travels from the library to preside over the sanctuary and all its festivities. It will probably be making its return trip this week. From the late 50's until 1970, when she and about 87 other dark haired, dark skinned angels were discarded or repainted and replaced with blond, blue-eyed angels, she decorated the streets of Monterey for Christmas.  For me, she illustrates the moving words of theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurmond who said that the real work of Christmas comes after the celebration. Among the work that he identified are finding the lost, healing the broken, feeding the hungry, releasing the prisoners, rebuilding and bringing peace. As citizen lobbyists we must truly take this call to act on our values to heart. In 2015 we must be full-throat in fighting for UU values for much that we hold dear is threatened in this Legislative session. Read on for an analysis of carbon controls and budget challenges.


Here's a great opportunity to make a difference

November 19

Just before President Obama is set to announce executive action that may affect as many as 5 million immigrants, we interviewed NWIRP's Executive Director for our Legislative Conference. We discovered that NWIRP has a huge project ahead of it to educate and assist folks with applying for the new statuses that are expected to be available through executive action.

Both individual volunteers and facilities to hold education events will be needed soon.



It's all over but the "I do's!"

October 07



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Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice - Washington
We empower Unitarian Universalists to give voice to our values in the political arena.