Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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Mark McDermott to speak about about living wages and economic justice at TBA

On Wednesday, October 2, Mark McDermott will contribute to our forum on living wages and economic justice at TBA.

Mark is a lifelong activist working for economic, social and racial justice and peace. He has been an active member of the Machinists, Washington State Federation of State Employees, and Steelworkers Unions.  He has served as Assistant Director at the Department of Labor and Industries, Senior Labor Policy Advisor for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Policy Analyst on the State Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee, and Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner.  He retired in 2010 after serving as U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ Regional Representative.

In his private life, Mark has served in Washington State on the boards of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, One America, Washington State Living Wage Movement, Seattle Worker Center, Washington Association of Churches, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action and the Program Committee of the statewide Faith Action Network.

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Members of FAN Speak Out at 2013 IFAD

IFAD1Over 400 people from 43 of Washington state’s 49 Legislative Districts, from diverse faith traditions, came together in Olympia on February 20 to speak out with one voice for more just, compassionate state policies and laws.

Rabbi Jonathan and members of TBA at FAN’s 2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day February 20 in Olympia.

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Attending From left to right Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Linda Harris, Ronnie Shur, Dina Burstein, Diane Baer, Margo MacVicar-Whelan, Jo Merrick, Tom Buchanan, Fred Diamondstone, Gail Nicholson, Jonis Davis; front row: Jacqueline Sorgen

Legislative briefings, workshops and district caucuses were held in the morning at the Church followed by meetings with district legislators in the afternoon at the Capital Building.

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43rd Legislative District meetings Dina Burstein and Fred Diamondstone, together with upwards of 30 43rd Legislative District members met with State Senator Ed Murray as well as Representative Jamie Pedersen and House Speaker Frank Chopp. The message they carried focused on support for legislation to end Gun Violence, to support Budget and Revenue policies to protect social and health programs in the state, to support Medicaid expansion in implementation of the Affordable Care Act and to support $175 million for the Housing Trust Fund in the 2013-2015 biennium to help meet Affordable Housing needs of our state residents.

On February 20 we joined together with 400 members of diverse faith communities in support of legislation and policies to address gun violence, economic justice for struggling families and wage earners, implementation of the Affordable Care Act to ensure affordable health care for all, immigration reform to provide opportunity for undocumented young people to access university education.

Many of the bills that were discussed are still viable and it’s important to contact our legislators now either thru email (find contact information at leg.wa.gov) or by leaving a message at 1-800-562-6000.

Fiscal Bills – these need to be passed out of committee by Friday, March 1:

  • HB 1338 – early review and second chance for juveniles sentenced to life without parole
  • HB 1440 – wage theft prevention
  • HB 1651 – second chance for juveniles via prohibiting the dissemination of their court records

Following four policy bills are in the House rules committee and need to be voted on by the House by March 13:

  • HB 1413 – voting rights act
  • HB 1429 – allows state funding for higher education programming in prisons (a second chance act)
  • HB 1588 – establishes universal background checks for all firearm sales in our state
  • HB 1817 – Washington state DREAM act, allowing all college-bound students in our state to be eligible for state financial aid

Call 1-800-562-6000 or email your legislators.  Updated status on these priorities is reported regularly by FAN

 Contact Diane Baer for information about Faith Action Network legislative agenda.

 


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What’s Next for Gun Control? YOU ARE!

The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI), formed by TBA members Jessica Trupin, Shelly Cohen, Randy Simon, and many others, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, is delighted that Council member Tim Burgess, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and others will be joining us at our next meeting, which we’re co-hosting with the amazing One Million Moms for Gun Control.Nick Federici, advocate for nonprofit causes in Olympia, will be leading an advocacy training after the speakers. Other prominent leaders are also signing up to join us!We hope that each of you is in this struggle for the long haul. Come to share, learn, lobby, or just listen.

Next Sunday, 2/24, 3-4:30 at First United Methodist, 180 Denny. We’ll have you out in time for the Oscars. Childcare available.

RSVP to february24rsvp@gmail.com – but don’t let a lack of RSVP keep you away.


First Church (First United Methodist Church, Seattle)
180 Denny Way, Seattle, Washington 98109
View Map · Get Directions


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Health Care for All – L’dor v’dor

Temple Beth Am’s Health Care for All Committee will continue to advocate for health care in the important, upcoming 2013 Washington Legislative session.  The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act – and recent election results – assure that major health care changes are coming.  This makes 2013 an historic opportunity to shape implementation of the health insurance exchange, Medicaid expansion, and Basic Health Option.

The TBA Health Care for All Committee will participate with other organizations in the Healthy Washington Coalition on important efforts to make health care more widely available to families and individuals in Washington.

  • Take advantage of federal funding to expand Medicaid to cover individuals and families earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  This will be funded 100% by the federal government in 2014-2016, then 95% in 2017 and 90% in 2020.
  •  Spread the cost of implementing the Insurance Exchange among all health insurers in the state to provide more stable and predictable funding.
  •  Create a program to help low wage workers and families not eligible for Medicaid and who cannot otherwise afford insurance,
  • Support new revenue to help fund vital safety net programs. Throughout the recession, health care and safety net programs have been cut.  There is no more room for additional cuts. Health care programs must be protected and preserved by raising revenue.

On February 20, we will join with Faith Action Network’s 2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia.  We will focus on implementing health care reform.

We will provide more information about pending health care legislation at a Sunday Morning Forum on Sunday March 3, 2013 at 10 am at Beth Am.  Theresa Mosqueda,  currently the chair of  the Healthy Washington Coalition and a member of the Board of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange, will talk about the latest news from Olympia.

The March 3rd forum will also share information about a national campaign called Caring Across Generations. This coalition effort to develop and implement policies addresses the increasing demand for home health and other home based services. As the boomer generation retires and as more people of all ages with disabilities live in the community, all generations face new needs and demands on how we care for one another.  Robby Stern, a Beth Am member, President of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action – and a member of the steering committee of the Washington Caring Across Generations Campaign – will talk about this national effort.


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Interfaith leaders release statement deploring “Gun Appreciation” event

Hundreds of faith leaders from Washington State have signed a statement deploring the ‘Gun Appreciation Event’ scheduled in Olympia on MLK holiday weekend, January 19.  Rabbis Beth and Jonathan Singer together with hundreds of other faith leaders have signed the letter which can be accessed at http://fanwa.org/interfaith-leaders-deplore-gun-appreciation-day/.


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The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI)

Submitted by Jessica Trupin, Temple Beth Am Member

On Friday, December 14th, after hearing about the shootings in Newtown, I posted a notice to Facebook.  I would open my living room every other Sunday at 3pm for the foreseeable future to anyone who wanted to “do something”.  On Sunday the 16th nine people gathered.  The Come Home Alive Initiative was created from that first meeting.

Our founding mission is this:  The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI) is committed to a violence-free America so our children come home alive from school or play, soldiers come home alive from our wars, and each of us finds in our minds a place to which we may come home alive. CHAI is a group of parents, educators, and activists who came together in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings to lobby for legislation, dismantle our nation’s culture of fear and violence, and raise awareness of peaceful alternatives.

On December 30th we were fortunate to have the executive director of Washington CeaseFire come speak with us.  This Sunday, January 13th, we will be joining the march from Westlake Park to the Seattle Center: StandUp Washington : Turning Anger in to Action.  

We will be supporting the assault weapons ban this session, but beyond that, we’re committed to a broader view than the us v. them paradigm that’s kept a grip on our national dialogue.  Sensible, responsible gun owners are more than welcome and are, in fact, crucial to this conversation.

If you’re interested, we currently exist only on Facebook as the Densmore Working Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/485572574828611/?bookmark_t=groupand in my living room, so please email me either at jtrupin@comcast.net or connect with me on Facebook.  The name CHAI was a lucky accident. 

Best,

Jessica

Jessica C. Trupin
jtrupin@comcast.net ∙ 206-992-6684

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