Lobby Day 2017

Lobby Day 2017 was a busy one for Washington CAN! We stormed the Capitol Steps in Olympia for Equity Day — a rally with hundreds of activists from two dozen coalition partners pushing for fully-funded education in an equitable and just way that doesn’t hurt those most vulnerable in Washington. It was moving, emotional and best of all LOUD!

Also on Presidents’ Day, we participated in a press conference with Governor Jay Inslee about health care. Our Board Chair, Deana Knutsen served as emcee, long-time health advocate and witness (at the White House) to the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Gina Owens reminded us how important the ACA has been. New Spokane member, Courtney Anderson was brilliant storyteller as she shared her story of beating cancer twice. She reminded us that cancer is persistent and she fears being able to fight cancer off if it resurfaces again and she is no longer covered because the ACA was repealed by Republicans and Trump.

In all, they conveyed just how much repealing the #ACA would cost Washington state — as outlined by a new report from Health Care for America Now. The report, A Cost Too High, calculated the cost to the state being $18 Billion in lost federal funding, more than $2 Billion to doctors and hospitals and the cost to each Washington recipient eliminated from support to be $3,005 per year.

Three Days Left to Register …First Three of Six Workshops

Up From Debt

Registration ends in just three days for Up From Debt, a national convention in Seattle that will be a place to share your debt story, take part in discussions and hear from grassroots leaders as they work to find solutions. Click here to register for Up From Debt, Saturday, March 14 from 9am – 5pm at SEIU 775NW on 215 Columbia in Seattle.

The first three (of six) workshops to choose from this Saturday:

  1. Understanding and Solving the Medical Debt Pandemic — This workshop will explore the pandemic of medical debt including the evolution of our current healthcare system and the impacts costly healthcare has on families. Participants will explore ways to lay the groundwork for real, radical change to our healthcare system. Presenter: Xochitl Maykovich, Washington CAN!
  2. Unshackling from Prison Debt — Legal Financial Obligations create a cycle of poverty for everyone who comes in contact with the criminal justice system, with the highest impact in communities of color. Participants will learn about current campaigns to addresses these barriers created by the legal financial obligations system, including high interest, assessment, community service alternatives, etc. Presenters: Nick Allen, Columbia Legal Services, Gerald Hankerson, Seattle/King County NAACP, Ardell Shaw, Poverty Action Network, Justin Pimsanguan, Washington CAN!
  3. Small Business: How to Beat Predators on Main Street — Predatory lending has been creating havoc among mom-n-pops who are already struggling against big box chains. This failure of the banking system has opened doors to aggressive online lending and predatory loan conditions.. The participants will learn about the ways the Main Street Alliance of Washington is connecting small businesses to values-driven lending and sources of capital from places like community banks and crowdfunding coalitions. Presenter: Chris Genese, Washington CAN!

Immigration Changes are coming

On November 20 President Obama passed an Executive Order to enact Immigration Reform. It was the news millions of undocumented workers living and working in the United States were waiting for. Now, the government is paving the way to create a program that allows immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to apply to work legally. They have to have no criminal record, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and have children. The 4 to 5 million immigrants that qualify could also become eligible for Medicare and Social Security.

This system will take some time to put in place. In the meantime, those who qualify can use the following information to find out more:

Immigration Form_English

Immigration Info_Spanish

President Obama will Focus on Immigration Reform Tonight


He made a promise. Now President Barack Obama is moving to fulfill that promise. Tonight, the president will move to shield as many as five million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. The executive order will take steps to prevent deportation, offer work permits and other sanctions. The stipulations include those undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for five years and those who have children who are citizens. In others words, it keeps families together.

Who Gets Relief?

  • 1 million undocumented parents and families of U.S. citizens who have been in the country more than five years with no criminal record.
  • 300,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, so-called Dreamers, who will be newly eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Current age limits for the program may be dropped.
  • 400,000 highly-skilled workers will be eligible for visas.
  • Some other smaller categories for relief will bring the number affected above five million.

Who Gets Left Out?

  • Undocumented parents of DACA recipients will not be eligible for legal status.
  • Undocumented agricultural workers will not be addressed.


It’s a bold move, but it comes with challenges including funding for border protection. Also, it could be wiped away by the next president. A Wall Street Journal survey says the president’s impending action isn’t popular.

In our current political climate, what the response from Republicans will be is unclear. What is clear; there will be push back.

Share Your Stories

We’d love to hear your stories of this affects you, your family, or your community. Please email rosalind@washingtoncan.org.


Be sure to watch the president at 5 p.m. PST as he lays out the details of his executive order for the nation.  Then talk to your friends, family and coworkers about the executive action.

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

Kofi Annan

November 18th! Annual Social Justice Awards Breakfast

Join us for our Annual Social Justice Awards Breakfast on November 18th! We’ll celebrate victories from the past year, highlight the important role our members play in our work, and focus on the fight ahead. We are excited to have Bob Herbert as our keynote speaker this year!

Breakfast Bob HerbertCurrently Mr. Herbert is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos which combines research, policy, development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze progressive change. He is probably most well-known for his columns in The New York Times for over 18 years. He continues to write columns which are syndicated across the nation.

“Bob Herbert joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in 1990. His twice a week column comments on politics, urban affairs, and social trends. In 1990, Mr. Herbert was a founding panelist of “Sunday Edition,” a weekly discussion program on WCBS-TV in New York. Mr. Herbert has won numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award for coverage of New York City and the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for distinguished newspaper writing. He was chairman of the Pulitzer Prize jury for spot news reporting in 1990″. Courtesy of The New York Times.

What: Annual Social Justice Awards Breakfast
When: November 18th at 7:30am
Where: Seattle Machinists Hall, 9125 – 15th Place S, Seattle 98108

Individual tickets are $60, and table sponsorship is $600. Event sponsorships are still available as well! Please contact Serena@washingtoncan.org for more information.

Click to register here: https://wcan.washingtoncan.org/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=16