On Nov. 22nd about 75 of us representing 22 Washington congregations gathered online to discuss and vote on the priorities for the coming year. Most of the group had reviewed the video interviews to get up to speed on issues. Here are our priorities:
- The Governor's carbon proposals combined with the Carbon Tax Initiative, if the proposals fail
- Fossil fuel transport and permitting
- Increasing the state minimum wage
- The WAmend initiative that calls for an end to corporate personhood
- Budget priorities that make preserving what is left of the social service safety net combined with increasing revenues through closing loopholes in corporate tax breaks.
- A second tier of priorities include the Family Unity Act (immigration) and ending the death penalty.
The first three issues plus any bills that address increasing revenue are the ones that we will lobby hard from the beginning of the session. The final bullet point represent issues that we will work on if they survive the assigned committees. Both of them represent issues that we have worked on for several years.
We will refine our budget priorities and strategy on February 28, 2015 when we once again gather within our congregations to connect virtually and learn more about the state budget situation. We hope to have video interviews with progressive budget policy experts, marginalized communities and legislators.
At our Legislative Conference we also elected two new board members, Julia Cochrane of Quimper of Bill McPherson of University. We will have more information and photos under "about" up shortly. We are delighted to add their skills and strengths to the board.