December 17, 2020 State Legislative Preview Meeting

Agenda 9:00-9:20             Welcome and Intro to State Legislative Advocacy 9:20-10:05           Legislative Priorities from our Statewide Advocacy Partners 10:05-10:30         Lawmaker Insights with State Senator Patty Kuderer and Representative Nicole Macri 10:30-11:00         Special Musical Guest Reggie Garrett State Legislative Advocacy Basics The first step in advocating on the state level is knowing who represents your community in Olympia. Washington state is divided into 49 legislative districts, which elect one senator to the State Senate and two representatives to the State House. You can use this link to look up your legislators: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/ To look up your state legislative district and state legislators: Visit app.wa.leg.gov/districtfinder Enter your home address and click “Find My District”. If you do not have a traditional home address, enter a mailing address, or a cross street, shelter address, or park address. This determines who represents you. Make sure that under “District Type”, “Legislative” is selected. This will show you your legislative district (usually a number) and your Washington state senators and representatives. Make a note of your legislative district number. If you haven’t already, rename yourself with your legislative district in front of your name! Make a note of the names of your legislators! Bonus points if you click on your legislators’ names to learn more about them, including what committees they are part of and what bills they’ve sponsored Extra, extra bonus points if you add their contact information to your rolodex! Participating in Virtual Legislative Advocacy With the legislature meeting remotely this year, advocacy will happen remotely as well. Opportunities to connect with lawmakers will happen in the communities we live, which means your program or agency can play an important part in raising the voices of those most impacted by homelessness. We want to give some thought to the questions below. Please reach out to either …

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September 17, 2020 Membership Meeting

We are grateful to each presenter for sharing their time and passion with us at our September 17 Membership meeting, and to all who shared questions and insight. Thank you to all those listed below for providing content for our meeting: Omar Cuevas Vega, Community Organizer with Statewide Poverty Action Network Christina Wong, Government Relations Director at Northwest Harvest Emily Goodright, Case Manager at Hopelink Whitney Whittemore, Program Manager at Y Social Impact Center Erin McCann, Deputy Director at Legal Council for Youth and Children Joy Scott, Community Services Manager at City of Auburn  Cory Walster, Community Organizer at Civil Survival Rachel Koller, Resource Specialist at Recovery Cafe  Kelsey Mesher, Advocacy Director at Transportation Choices Coalition  Jessyca Murphy, Student Community Manager at Path with Art Below is a summary of some of the topics that we will discussed at our Thursday, September 17 Membership Meeting. This post will be updated as additional meeting materials are collected. Register now for our next Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 15 starting at 9am. Washington Dental Access Campaign Statewide Poverty Action Network (SPAN) has launched its Washington Dental Access Campaign to bring dental therapy to communities in need. Dental therapists are primary oral health care providers that deliver routine preventive and restorative care to those who need it most. Dental therapists are critical to expanding access to dental care where it is most out of reach, providing timely, quality care to rural, low-income communities and communities of color, and to patients who have coverage through Apple Health or are uninsured. Click here to learn more.  Dental therapists were recently authorized to work in select tribal communities. Community dental health advocates are pushing to extend this authorization statewide to bring much needed dental care to communities in need. Click here to support the campaign, and …

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August 20, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting

Defund the Navigation Team and City of Seattle Budget Advocacy  The Seattle City Council voted to defund the entire Navigation Team as part of their 2020 budget rebalancing work, but Mayor Durkan vetoed the Council’s budget, so our work is not over. Check out this Op-Ed from REACH Co-Director Chloe Gale and our Executive Director Alison Eisinger explaining why the Navigation Team is wasteful, ineffective, and does not help to end homelessness. Negotiations over the 2021 city budget begin in a few weeks. Click here to sign up for advocacy alerts. Defunding the Navigation Team is part of a border effort to re-balance the city budget towards more culturally appropriate community support services and affordable housing. This effort is being led by a coalition group called Decriminalize Seattle, which the Coalition on Homelessness is a member. You can learn more about their efforts at participatory budgeting  here.  COVID-19 Toolkit for homeless service providers  The King County Healthcare for the Homeless Network (HCHN) has updated its COVID-19 Outreach Provider Toolkit to aid homeless service staff in their work. Michael Young-Hall and Chante Stubbs with HCHN will be joining us Thursday to review the toolkit and discuss how best to utilize it at your program.  Coalition Community Updates  Census 2020: The 2020 Census is underway, and under attack. The Federal Government is threatening to intentionally not include all residents in the final reported count, and the deadline for data collection has been arbitrarily shortened from October 31 to September 30. When in Doubt, Count. It is more important than ever to help those you work with complete the Census by the end of September. For those without a traditional address, the census will be conducting Service Based Enumeration to survey people at locations such as overnight shelter programs and meal sites from September …

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July 16, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting

Statewide Eviction Moratorium The temporary statewide moratorium on evictions is set to expire August 1, which if not extended will put thousands in our community at risk of homelessness.Thank you Edmund Witter for explaining the eviction moratorium and sharing tips for service providers with clients involved in the eviction process, you can find a copy of his presentation here. And thank you Michele Thomas for sharing advocacy efforts underway to protect renters. WA’s eviction ban faces uncertain future, leaving renters in limbo, David Kroman, Crosscut Take Action: Tell Govenor Inslee to Extend the Eviction Moratorium through March 2021 JumpStart Seattle Advocacy Update Coalition Executive Director Alison Eisinger helped us celebrate the passage of JumpStart Seattle tax legislation and discussed the active conversation around the JumpStart Spending plan (which will be voted on very soon.. This legislation will “raise over $214 million per year in progressive revenue to respond to the immediate COVID crisis and focus on Seattle’s long-term economic revitalization and resiliency by investing in affordable housing and essential city services.” Take Action: Send a thank you message to the Seattle City Council for passing JumpStart Seattle, and encourage the Mayor to sign the legislation into law. Seattle Budget Advocacy Alison also talked about the City Council’s current work on the 2020 balancing budget and previewed the fall budget process (click here for a schedule of upcoming meetings). The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness has signed on to the Decriminalize Seattle priorities to defund the SPD by at least 50%, reallocate those funds to community led health and safety systems, and release protesters arrested during this uprising without charges. Defund SPD teach-in recording: Learn more about efforts to defund SPD and reinvest in community-based and led responses to build health and safety. Voter registration and voting during COVID-19 Click here for …

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May 21, 2020 Coalition Annual Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Membership Meeting! Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings. Highlights and resources shared on the call are below. Click here to view the Coalition’s PowerPoint Presentation. 9:00 – Welcome and Introduction Opening Ceremony by Chief Seattle Club Drummers – thank you Randy Tippins-Firstrider, Youth Outreach Case Manager with Chief Seattle Club ——– New Coalition Mission, Vision, and Values – Thank you to Coalition Board members for sharing our new guiding principles. And thank you to all our members who contributed to this process Kate Baber, President, Coalition on Homelessness Board Anna Strahan, Coalition on Homelessness Board Member Derrick Belgarde, Treasurer, Coalition on Homelessness Board ——– Board of Directors Election: Each dues-paying member organization has one vote to elect the slate of candidates for the Board. We are pleased that four Board members have agreed to renew their terms of service: Derrick Belgarde, Katie Escudero, Benjamin Miksch, Jenn Romo. Primary membership contacts will hear from us directly about this. If you think you are the person who should vote, or have a question, please email us Highlights from the past year with the Coalition – see photos in our PowerPoint Presentation linked above! ——– City, County and Statewide Advocacy Opportunities Regarding sweeps currently happening in the City of Seattle, Alison shared: “We don’t find it to be acceptable under any circumstances that people are left to fend for themselves. We have proudly and successfully wrangled with multiple mayoral administrations over these kinds of dehumanizing and morally wrong actions. And now this. In the context of a global health emergency, in context of interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that clearly states in the absence of individual housing options people living unsheltered should …

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April 16, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting

Thank you for joining our meeting!Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings. Agenda for Thursday, April 16 meeting 9:00 – Introduction and welcome Poetry reading by Anitra Freeman Coalition Solidarity Fund Solidarity Fund – Rapid Response to COVID-19 pandemic Coalition on Homelessness COVID-19 Homeless Service Change Tracker View tracker here: http://homelessinfo.org/resource/covid/ Email notices@homelessinfo.org with program updates Food Assistance Update Christina Wong, Government Relations Director, Northwest Harvest Seattle City Councilmember Gonzalez’s Bills Vy Nguyen, Legislative Aide to Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González CB 119761 will create another defense to eviction due to nonpayment over the next six months (such as temporary loss of income, etc.) CB 119762 will require landlords to accept payment plans for back rent Statewide Eviction Moratorium Extension Xochitl Maykovich, Political Director, Washington Community Action Network Updates to the temporary moratorium on evictions Public Benefits: COVID-19 Related Changes to State Public Assistance Programs Eric Tayag, Social Service Training Specialist, DSHS Hannah Rosenberger, Benefits Attorney, Solid Ground Grete Shultz, Benefits Attorney, Solid Ground COVID-19 Public Health Information Dr. Julie Dombrowski, Deputy Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program Coalition Staff Updates Advocacy work on hygiene stations Census 2020 Veterans Assistance Programs HOLD Thursday April 30, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (sign up for Coalition emails for notice of upcoming meetings) Next Monthly Membership Meeting: Thursday, May 21, 9:00 a.m. via Zoom (Please register for call). Resources from the meeting Coalition Select Committee on Homelessness Strategies and Investments, 4/8/2020 Public Benefits COVID-19 Related Changes Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Rule Changes on Public Benefits, presentation from Eric Tayag, DSHS One-page Washington State Public Benefits COVID-19 Updates, Solid Ground Additional Resources Northwest Harvest COVID-19 response page, with FAQ on food distribution changes Live map where you can find what food banks or meal programs are …

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2019 April 18 Membership Meeting Summary and CEA conversation materials

Thank you to sixty-three people who joined us on April 18 for our lively meeting, including a walk through the Coordinated Entry For All process and the opportunity to give feedback on what is and isn’t working about Interim Dynamic Prioritization. Coalition staff were pleased to share news that we are hiring for our new Administrative Coordinator position, and invite people to participate in Project Cool (for information about getting backpacks for students who are experiencing homelessness, email Hillary). We sent Hallie, our Member Services Coordinator, off to her new job in Olympia with hearty thanks and well wishes. And, you got LOUD for Housing by contacting your lawmakers in Olympia asking them to #BudgetForHousing! We know that about 40 people used the email action alert during the meeting, and others made calls – thank you! Materials/Handouts from meeting: April 18 Meeting Agenda Coordinated Entry Deep Dive handout from Joanna (including CEA experience flow, CEA Priority Pool workflow, definitions, and prioritization formula). Prints best on 8.5 x 14 paper. Mobility Policy Handout also available online here. Mobility Request Form also available online here. Africatown International Diversion Fund Information. More diversion information available on All Home’s website and Africatown International’s website. CEA April Newsletter Coordinated Entry for All (CEA) Deep Dive Joanna Bomba-Grebb from Coordinated Entry For All prepared a chart of how the CEA process, from assessment to housing, currently works. Thanks to staff from member agencies, including Solid Ground and DESC, for attending the meeting to share their perspectives about how each piece of the process actually works day to day on the ground. Our discussion on the process and continuous improvement was still continuing when the meeting ended at 11, so we decided that we will set aside some time at our Thursday, June 20 Membership meeting (9 …

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Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy Renewal and Expansion: Advocacy Needed!

For over a decade, the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (formerly known as the Vets and Human Services Levy) has funded critical healthcare, supports, and housing for our neighbors who need them most, along with domestic violence, public health, and other services. Executive Constantine recently transmitted a strong proposal to King County Council, expanding the levy to be 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Now we need to urge King County Council members to BUILD ON and INCREASE that proposal, and place it on the November 7, 2017 ballot. People like YOU can help make this happen! Take Liz Werley-Prieto as an example. Liz is the Project Manager of shelter programs at DESC who spoke at the conference on June 1st. Liz eloquently addressed how the importance of funding the levy is born out through the interactions between service providers and those they serve. Read Liz’s testimony then take action using this link and information below!  Read Liz’s testimony here from May 31, 2017 at King County Council: My name is Liz and I work as the Project Manager of DESC’s shelter program, located right across the street. Since January first, the shelter program registered more than 800 homeless clients seeking shelter who had not interacted with DESC’s services before. Almost without exception, the primary need expressed by these individuals was a place to live, and as service providers we have had to set the expectation again and again that getting a home will almost certainly be a long and difficult process, or that it might not happen at all. Being homeless has an impact on the mental and physical health of a population already disproportionately affected by disabling conditions. For those of us working in social services, the urgency of having funding at or above the level proposed by Dow Constantine for …

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January 2017 General Membership Meeting: Accountable WA, Legislative Advocacy

Thanks to those who joined us on Thursday, January 17 for our first General membership meeting of 2017! We had an action packed agenda complete with a call in to Olympia to start off our 2017 legislative advocacy. We were joined by community members from Catholic Community Services & Catholic Housing Services, Crisis Clinic, Friends of Youth, Housing Development Consortium, Jewish Family Services, Low Income Housing Institute, Plymouth Housing Group, REACH, Real Change, Recovery Cafe, All Home, Youth Care, and more! We heard a great presentation, called in to Olympia about legislative priorities, and signed famous Coalition Advocacy Postcards. Please read on for a summary of our meeting & important actions YOU can take before our next General Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 16th. Accountable WA, Kelli Smith, WA Budget & Policy Center As we know, Washington State had one of the most inequitable tax structures in the country, we do not have an income tax and therefore rely on sales tax and property tax to fund vital programs our communities need and to raise revenue. This structure causes people with lower incomes to pay disproportionately more of their income to taxes than people in the highest income bracket. The WA Budget and Policy Center, working with many organizations, has developed a package of legislation that would fix some of our tax problems, and make it so that people who are earning the least are not contributing the most in taxes (currently people who are in the lowest 20% income group contribute 16.8% of their income as WA state and local taxes, compared to those in the top 1% who contribute just 2.4% of their income to WA state and local taxes). There are two main goals of Accountable WA, we encourage you to learn more at the links below and click …

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