As we were bidding farewell to 2013, Alison and I discussed what we’d like 2014 to look like for the Coalition’s Everyone Counts blog. One idea that we’re running with is to post a recap after every General Member Meeting. 2013 was a great year for our Coalition, and one we want to build off of in 2014. So, here to ring in this New Year with our new tradition is a Recap of December’s General Member meeting.
As a reminder, the General Member Meeting takes place every third Thursday of the month from 9.00 – 11.00 a.m. at the East Cherry YWCA (2820 E. Cherry Street in Seattle). For more information, check our website’s Members’ tab for a link to the ‘Committees & Meetings’ page, or simply follow this link to take you there directly. Our next General Member Meeting is Thursday, January 16, 2014.
Seattle Final Budget News & Thank You to Mayor Mike McGinn
- Our friends at the Seattle Human Services Coalition’s handout highlights our HUGE win with the City of Seattle Budget process: an additional investment of $6,891,219!
- Out-going Mayor Mike McGinn and Jerry DeGrieck, Senior Policy Advisor to Mayor McGinn, came to receive the Coalition’s sincerest Thank You for their leadership and commitment to Seattle residents over the past four years, and also for his strong support of the Coalition’s budget recommendations this past year. Mayor McGinn shared his heartfelt thanks to the Coalition and its members for all of our advocacy, and encouraged us to keep it up.
2014 Legislative Session Preview
- Robin Zukoski of Columbia Legal Services (CLS) provided background and an overview about the upcoming Legislative Session.
- Ben Miksch of Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA) shared with us WLIHA’s 2014 State Legislative Agenda.
- Carrie Dolwick of Transportation Choices Coalition shared the status of Transportation policy at the State and Local level, as well as the possibility of a low-income Metro fare.
- Join the Coalition as we press forward on issues related to:
- Funding affordable housing and homeless services,
- Homeless students and youth in foster care,
- Housing and Essential Needs,
- Fair tenant screening practices,
- A fairer tax system,
- Sustainable funding for public transit, and
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
Coalition Staff Report
- Rebecca Roy, Community Projects Manager, previewed the 2014 One Night Count: overnight Thursday-Friday, January 23-24, 2014 (i.e., very early in the morning on Friday, January 24 from 2 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
King County Winter Shelter Advocacy
- Last year, King County Executive Dow Constantine doubled the King County Winter Shelter’s capacity to provide a total of 100 beds for people who are homeless to access safe shelter and get out of the bitter cold. This year, temperatures dropped faster and much earlier than in years prior, yet the King County Winter Shelter didn’t see a correlative increase in capacity. Advocates have called, written, and petitioned, asking King County to once again double the capacity — and nothing has happened. Now, we demand that Executive Constantine respond to the need in our community just as he did last year. Please call Executive Constantine at 206.263.9600 and tell him add 50 beds to allow men who are homeless to safely sleep at the Administration Building Shelter.
Special Musical Interlude: John Shaw
- John Shaw is a musician, activist, writer, and long-time friend of the Coalition. He read from his newly released book, which will change how you think about the classic songs “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land.” Lucky for us, he brought his guitar, and we shared in some good ol’ group singing.
Notes from November’s General Member Meeting
- A full hour was devoted to Sara Robbins and Stephanie Earheart, Benefits Attorneys from Solid Ground, one-of-a-kind, in-depth presentation on the Affordable Care Act and Washington’s Health Benefits exchange. Issues covered included: transitions for current Medicaid recipients, new eligibility guidelines for Medicaid and tax subsidies and a little bit on navigating the WA Health Plan Finder. This was an incredible opportunity to get questions answered, and to better understand the sign-up process. Here’s a link to their presentation: ACA Lecture Solid Ground 11-21-13.
Save these dates on your calendar:
- 2014 One Night Count will be overnight Thursday, Jan. 23 to Friday, Jan. 24.
- Youth Count Activities will take place during the day on Thursday, Jan. 23
- The Veterans Survey will take place during the day on Friday, Jan. 24.
- Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day will be Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Register at www.wliha.org.
- Homelessness Advocacy 101: Beyond the One Night Count Workshop will be Saturday, Feb.1, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon @ Plymouth UCC in Seattle and from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. @ Kent Lutheran Church in Kent. Register at www.homelessinfo.org.
- Have a Heart for Kids Day will be Monday, Feb. 3, 2014
- Youth Advocacy Day will be Friday, Feb.14, 2014. Register with the Mockingbird Society.
- Legislative Session will be Jan.13, 2014 – Mar. 13, 2014.
We look forward to seeing you at the next General Member Meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2014! And be sure to check back here for a Recap following each meeting.