2023 State Legislative Preview Recap

Get ready for our 2023 Legislative Advocacy Agenda!

As we approach the end of the year, we have much to be thankful for. Your advocacy work with Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness has resulted in some amazing achievements in 2022, such as:

  • DSHS offices that are open for those who use public benefits
  • One-time stipends for homeless service providers in WA
  • Seattle and King County budgets that fund human services without losing ground to inflation

This meeting featured special guests Senator Patty Kuderer and some of our favorite labor advocates from Compass Housing Alliance and DESC!

Review our meeting recording to learn about important legislative advocacy items, such as:

  • Improving the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) and Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) programs
  • Supporting legislation that support the nonprofit housing and homelessness workforce
  • Work to ensure that homelessness is not criminalized and that we are supporting bills and budget items that further the rights and dignity of those experiencing homelessness

We were lucky enough to hear from one of our favorite housing champions and Chair of the WA state Senate Housing Committee, Senator Patty Kuderer! She knows that housing is a human right and that we can end homelessness, and she is committed to creative solutions that help us to build one million affordable housing units by 2044!

Here are a few of her 2023 legislative priorities:

  • Investing $400 million into the state Housing Trust Fund – this means more resources to prevent homelessness by preserving existing affordable housing stock
  • Applying ARCH ordinances statewide – this would require a notice of 180 day for rent increases
  • New policies to guard against gentrification and displacement that supports creative new types of housing
  • Creating a housing-specific court that allows a swifter timeline for eviction proceedings
  • Solutions to address missing-middle housing, especially near transit
  • Expansions to MFTE programs to make subsidized units apply to larger units and for more years
  • New solutions to serve our neighbors living in vehicles

These are just a few ideas – make sure to keep up with advocacy updates from our community partners Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance, Statewide Poverty Action Network, and Mockingbird Society.

How Can I Be a Housing Advocate?

We were joined by our own legislative expert, Sara Robbins, for a few tips on how we can ALL be effective advocates this session. Check out her slides below!

How Do I Know My Legislative District?

The WA state legislative session is fast-paced and approaching soon – starting January 9th.

While we may care about many communities in the Pacific Northwest, lawmakers are best persuaded by constituents advocating for the legislative districts (LDs) that they live in. To advocate for legislation and a budget that prioritizes our unhoused and at-risk neighbors, know your LD so you can get to know your legislators.

*NOTE that last week, many Coalition members were emailed with possibly incorrect information about their LDs that was based off the WA Legislature District Finder tool. After an initial oversight, we have learned that the District Finder is not accurate, as it provides districts prior to redistricting.

The Legislature estimates that the tool will be accurate again by the time new legislative members are sworn in, in early January. Until January, we recommend using the up-to-date King County ‘Find my Districts’ tool to determine your LD.