Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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Caring Across Generations Lobby Day March 28 in Olympia

Members of Temple Beth Am will join with others in Olympia on March 28 for Caring Across Generations Lobby Day, 10-3:30 in the Columbia Room in the Capital Building.

Caring Across Generations is a national movement to respond to the growing need for quality home care for aging baby boomers as well as increasing numbers of disabled persons opting to live at home.  It supports programs and policies to better meet the financial needs of seniors and others through a long-term care benefit and other strategies and promotes quality home care through career training, immigration reform and fair pay and health benefits for home care workers.

Contact Tom Buchanan clrtom@earthlink.net or Dina Burstein dinaburstein@gmail.com for more information about registering for CAG Lobby Day.


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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.

IFAD2
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.

IFAD3
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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Voices: Reflections on Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day

Reposted from the Faith and Family Homelessness Project

Voices: Reflections on Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day

Posted on 02/21/2013 by 

Published in the Mukilteo Beacon | By Glen Pickus | Feb 20, 2013

It’s our obligation to advocate an end to homelessness

As the world’s first ethical monotheistic religion, Judaism is more than a means for individuals to fulfill their spiritual needs.

Many of us believe it is incumbent on Jews to introduce our ethical values outside of our community. Photo Courtesy of: Glen Pickus More than 650 housing and homeless advocates were given a red scarf to wear at a rally on the steps of the capitol on Feb. 11. The advocates represented 43 out of the 49 legislative districts, which made this Advocacy Day the largest ever.
Because our core ethics are similar, if not identical to those of other faiths, it was logical that Temple Beth Or would partner with the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry’s Faith & Family Homelessness Project.

Which is why last week, on Feb. 11, 11 Temple Beth Or members were on a bus with 25 other people of faith from Everett First Presbyterian, Arlington United Church and Temple Beth Am on our way to Olympia to take part in Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day, organized by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.

In Olympia we joined more than 650 other advocates whose goal was the same as ours – to call for an end to homelessness. We learned about the connection between housing and education needs and the importance to advocate for revenue dedicated to housing programs. We also attended a workshop on how to be effective advocates.

At noon we rallied on the north steps of the Capitol Building with the hope our state legislators would take notice of our numbers.

After lunch it was time to do some face-to-face advocacy. We grouped together by legislative district and met in three separate meetings with our state representatives and senator. As a Mukilteo resident I live in the 21st District, so I joined about 15 others to meet with Rep. Marko Liias, Rep. Mary Helen Roberts and Sen. Paull Shin. Nearly half of us were Temple Beth Or members.

We are fortunate in the 21st District in that all three of our elected representatives are very supportive of the call to end homelessness.

In our meetings we urged them to fund the Housing Trust Fund at $175 million, vote in favor of the “Fair Tenant Screening Act” to eliminate unfair barriers to housing and to fully fund the “Housing and Essential Needs” and the “Aged, Blind and Disabled” programs which ensure people with disabilities can meet their basic needs.

We pointed out it was not about choosing between education or housing programs because children who don’t have safe and secure housing are not going to be good learners. So we asked them to pursue new, smart and innovative revenues to allow both housing and education programs to be properly funded. (See this HTF Education Factsheet 2013 to learn more.)

As I mentioned in this space last September, for Jews, helping those in need is not simply a matter of charity, but of responsibility, righteousness and justice. We are not to just give to the poor, but we are instructed to advocate on their behalf – to “speak up, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).

On Feb. 11 that’s exactly what my fellow Temple Beth Or members and I were doing.


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Gun Violence Legislative Update

(2/19/13)

Legislative Hotline:  1-800-562-6000

Last week the House heard legislation requiring a background check for every sale of a gun in Washington. Rabbi Danny Weiner testified as well as Cheryl Stumbo (one of the survivors from the Jewish Federation). House members are focusing much of their attention on the background check legislation. Another important piece of legislation is getting less attention, however. HB 1676 sponsored by Ruth Kagi would require a dealer to offer to sell or give a locked box or gun lock when a gun is sold. It also adds to the crime of reckless endangerment when a gun is left unlocked and the child gains access to the unlocked gun. Finally, it requires gun dealers and shops to post warnings about gun storage.

This bill is an important step in preventing child deaths and injuries when a gun is stored incorrectly. Without an immediate effort of people emailing Rep. Pedersen and Rep Frank Chopp and calling Representatives on the Legislative Hotline this bill will likely die this week when the first policy committee cut-off strikes on Friday. Don’t wait. Get the word out on this important piece of legislation.

Update:  2/20/13

We received word from the lobbyist for the Jewish Federation  that in addition to sending our support to Jamie Pederson and Frank Chopp,  it is very important to put pressure on the legislators that do not want these bills to be heard or to come up for a vote. 

Emails:
frank.chopp@leg.wa.gov
jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov

Legislative Hotline:
1-800-562-6000

Pressure these legislators:
We Want a Vote!
CALL CALL CALL.
Legislative Hotline:  1-800-562-6000

Rep. Steve Kirby (D) 29th L.D.
(360) 786-7996
steve.kirby@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Jay Rodne (R)
5th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT
(360) 786-7852
jay.rodne@leg.wa.gov

Brad Klippert (R)
brad.klippert@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7882
Toll-free: (800) 562-6000

Terry Nealy (R)
terry.nealey@leg.wa.gov
Phone: (360) 786-7828
Toll-free: (800) 562-6000

Matt Shea (R)


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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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Petition to Encourage Elected Officials to Act on Gun Control

We  encourage you to sign this petition against gun violence.

Jewish Petition to End Gun Violence

December 14, 2012’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has reminded us that the issue of gun violence in our nation must be dealt with immediately.

Please sign this petition to encourage our elected officials in Washington State to support comprehensive action, including legislation requiring background checks (closing the gun show loophole), mandating guns be stored safely around children and robust efforts to ensure that every person in need has access to quality mental health care.

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5165/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12385