Endorsements

On November 8, our ballots are due for an important election. We will select a new President and Vice-President along with other state political bodies and we will vote on some significant initiatives. Washington CAN! has endorsed the following candidates and initiatives:

Candidates

5th Congressional District: Joe Pakootas
7th Congressional District: Pramila Jayapal

State Representative, 6th Legislative District, Pos. 1: Lynnette Vehrs
State Representative, 6th Legislative District, Pos. 2: Shar Lichty

Initiatives We Support

Yes on 124: Health and Safety Standards to Protect Seattle Hotel Workers
Yes on 735: Citizens United
Yes on 1433: Raise Up Washington
Yes on 1491: Extreme Risk Protection Orders; gun responsibility
Yes on 1501: Protect Seniors & Vulnerable

Initiatives We Oppose

No on 732: Carbon WA
No on 1518: WRA Minimum Wage

Washington CAN Gives Sole Endorsement to Pramila Jayapal for 7th Congressional District Seat

jayapal-mugSEATTLE – July 5, 2016 – Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN) has given a sole endorsement to Pramila Jayapal for the open 7th District U.S. House seat. Jayapal has been a strong voice in the fight for social justice for many decades.

“This was a very easy decision for us,” said Washington CAN Board Chair Deana Knutsen, “She has been an energetic, vocal and consistent advocate for immigration reform, living wages and reproductive justice, just to name a few.”

Jayapal, who is currently a member of the State Senate, was a leader in Seattle’s fight to raise the minimum wage and led the fight against xenophobia and racism after 9/11. She founded the group “Hate Free Zone” which is now called OneAmerica, the state’s largest immigrant rights group.

“I’m honored to receive this endorsement from my long-time supporters at Washington CAN,” said Jayapal. “I have worked alongside this organization in the movement and admire what they have accomplished. I am proud to have their sole endorsement.”

Washington CAN’s membership includes more than 28,000 members in the 7th Congressional District. The district spans northwest to Shoreline and Edmonds, southwest to Burien and Vashon Island, and through most of Seattle.

“Pramila has a great track record of getting things done,” said Washington CAN member Joelle Craft. “I’m impressed with her work in the State Senate; she would be a great asset to Washington state in DC.”

Jayapal plans to continue her fight for immigration reform. Her other priorities include living wages, tuition-free college and preventing cuts and expanding Medicare and Social Security.

Candidate Forum Moderated from Behind Bars of Clallam Bay Prison

Candidate Forum 1

Lakewood, Wash. – Friday, June 10, 2016 – Thursday, Washington Communication Action Network (CAN) held a candidate forum for candidates running in the 28th Legislative District. The forum was co-moderated by Willie Nobles, a black man serving a life sentence at Clallam Bay Corrections Center and focused on criminal justice and gender equity issues. Nobles also leads college courses in the prison. Sonja Pitts, a black, formerly homeless social worker, co-moderated at the forum.

“This district is specifically challenged with economic, mass incarceration and gender equity issues that can be difficult to navigate,” said Washington CAN Co-executive Director Mary Nguyen. “We wanted to give voters in that district a more in-depth look at their candidates to help make informed choices based on these issues that are most important to the community.”

Although all candidates running in Legislative District 28 were invited, participating candidates included Paul Wagemann, Anne Giroux and Marisa Peloquin. Legislative District 28 encompasses several Pierce County cities including University Place, Lakewood, Dupont and a portion of Tacoma.

Candidates were asked questions from the moderators and also heard from storytellers about social justice issues and were able to respond.

“What would you do to protect women’s right to choose when they have families?” Nobles asked over the phone from Clallam Bay.

“As a man, this is a very difficult subject. I believe life begins at conception. So, if that’s the case, how do I protect that life?” asked Wagemann. “I can’t make that decision. I have to allow that individual, their doctor and their family make that decision.”

“Somebody tried to rob me here in Lakewood and hit me very hard. I went to a hospital close by and I got a bill for $15,000,” said storyteller Marco Ramirez through a Spanish interpreter. “They sent me to a collections agency and take money from my paycheck. I stay in a shelter and live in a lot of fear.”

“We need to do the right thing and protect our own,” said Peloquin. “It will protect and save lives and our dignity.”

This candidate forum supports the Stand With Women campaign that aims to update the rules with the basic idea that women should be equal participants in society and have reproductive freedom, equal pay and policies that support pregnant women in the workplace.

Sponsors: Washington State Labor Council, Post-Prison Education Program, Washington Environmental Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Economic Opportunity Institute, Black Prisoner’s Caucus

Watch a video of the forum here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrK6oTO2Fk0

Discussion on Rights for Pregnant Workers Fuels Candidate Forum

IMG_4291Vancouver, Wash. – Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – Today, Washington Community Action Network (CAN) held a candidate forum for candidates running in the 17th Legislative District at the Marshall Community Center in Vancouver.

“We wanted to connect with voters in the 17th district because of the exciting candidate races we have here,” said Washington CAN Political Director Mauricio Ayon. “This is an important election cycle in which the results could have a direct effect on issues that are a concern to residents in Clark County.”

Although all candidates running in Legislative District 17 were invited, participating candidates included Don Orange, Sam Kim, Tim Probst and Robert Frisina.

The forum was moderated by Washington CAN’s co-executive director, Mary Nguyen, who asked the candidates pre-determined questions. Candidates also heard stories and answered questions from community members about health care, economic justice, social justice and immigration issues and were able to address those concerns. Audience members were given signs depicting thumbs up, thumbs down and a waffle (for waffling) to let the candidates know how they felt about responses.

“The pregnant workers fairness act was introduced in Washington state in 2016 to protect pregnant workers by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations during pregnancy such as temporary reassignment to light duty, additional bathroom breaks and flexible schedules for prenatal appointments,” Nguyen told the candidates. “How would you as a lawmaker work to ensure women aren’t forced to choose between a healthy baby and a paycheck?”

“Providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities is a common practice,” answered Probst. “Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers should already be on the books.”

“I would definitely support rights for pregnant workers as well as paid medical leave,” said Frisina. “These are our friends, family and neighbors and we need to find a way to give them the time they need.”

“Isn’t it amazing that we have to have a law to treat people with respect?” asked Kim. “Absolutely, we should accommodate people with disabilities and abilities. We should encourage every worker to be competitive and stay in the workforce as long as they can.”

“Not accommodating pregnant women is discrimination,” said Orange. “The state needs to come through with some useful guidelines, it’s critical.”

This candidate forum supports the Stand With Women campaign that aims to update the rules with the basic idea that women should be equal participants in society and have reproductive freedom, equal pay and policies that support pregnant women in the workplace.

Sponsors: Washington State Labor Council, Post-Prison Education Program, Washington Environmental Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Economic Opportunity Institute, Black Prisoner’s Caucus, OneAmerica Votes, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii

Washington CAN! Endorses Jon Grant for Seattle City Council Position 8

 

Jon GrantSEATTLE – October 14, 2015 – Washington Community Action Network endorses Jon Grant for Seattle City Council, Position 8. Throughout his career working on housing issues, he has been a strong advocate for communities of color, low-income communities, and women. This week, Jon Grant has shown Seattle that he is willing to take a stand against corporate interests intent on buying elections.

“We are proud to endorse Jon Grant for Seattle City Council Position 8,” said Washington CAN! Political Director Mauricio Ayon. “While he was the executive director of the Tenant’s Union, we worked closely with him in the fight against the Seattle Housing Authority’s Stepping Forward proposal, which aimed to raise the rents of hundreds of low-income tenants in our city by 400%.”

As the executive director for the Tenants Union, Jon Grant was instrumental in strengthening tenant’s rights, such as the “Healthy Homes” Rental Registration Inspection Ordinance. He has a demonstrated record of success in creating policies that protect the rights of low income tenants,  and domestic violence survivors. His commitment pushing a principal-reduction program for people facing foreclosure is key to preventing displacement of women and people of color. His nuanced approach to low income housing policy will result in more affordability in our city.

“I believe Jon is the candidate who will best represent people like me. I am a tenant in low-income housing raising my three grandchildren,” said Washington CAN! member Gina Owens. “I need elected officials who will work to keep Seattle affordable for everyone, especially women and people of color.”