Where Is Your Heart?

We rallied outside Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ headquarters in Spokane on Monday, February 13th, to demand that she stand up to her peers and protect health care. We asked her WHERE IS YOUR HEART and tried to speak with her and tell her our stories of people who NEED their health care.

We prepared special presents for her — stuffed animals, each with a name and a story attached of an actual person who needs their health care. But, she was not there to hear from her constituents.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers and other Republican leaders are pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave thousands in her district without the quality, affordable health care they deserve. #SaveTheACA

Save the ACA Rally at Seattle’s Westlake Park

On Sunday, January 15, Washington CAN! members were out in force at Westlake Park rallying to not just save health care, but to expand it so everyone in Washington is covered. Our leader Roi-Martin Brown addressed the crowd along with the Main Street Alliance of Washington leader Makini Howell who told their own personal stories of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a difference in their lives.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal led the rally with strong support from the crowd. She will be a fierce ally in Washington D.C. as the fight begins to #SaveTheACA.

We are facing the repeal of the ACA and potentially huge reductions in the support for Medicaid for low-income Washingtonians. We also face an attempt to privatize Medicare. Almost all of the progress made in the last decade in health care is in jeopardy. Washington CAN! is helping to lead the fight against these challenges. A bill is being drafted to protect Washington State against the possible destruction of huge portions of our health care system.

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.

Retirement Security Training

Retirement Security Training

By Lucas Asher, Washington CAN! intern

It’s an exciting time to be interning for Washington CAN! In early August, I was fortunate enough to participate in a Grassroots Ambassador training on retirement security. About 25 members from our organization, along with the Montana Organizing Project, collaborated on workshops and presentations around Social Security and Medicare expansion. It was amazing to have so many people in one room from different states working together on the same campaign.

During the training, we learned about the history of the movement around retirement security and what specific policies we want to focus on during our campaign. Members shared their personal stories of how vital Social Security and Medicare are to their lives and why they were taking action to expand the programs. We also learned how to deliver effective messages to our allies and to folks whom we need to persuade to join the campaign. The three day training ended on Saturday at a huge rally in downtown Seattle to celebrate the 80th and 50th anniversaries of Social Security and Medicare, respectively. We heard from community and political leaders on the importance of these systems and why it is crucial that we protect and strengthen them.

Overall, I learned a lot from the training and was inspired to continue to fight for these crucial programs.

Social Security, Medicare Rally and Embracing a Teaching Moment

After months of planning, August 8 arrived with the promise of a celebration to mark two great anniversaries in our nation.

Medicare has been providing coverage for the elderly and disabled for 50 years. Social Security, which turns 80 on August 14, secures the promise of retirement for Americans who are not able to put away money in their working years.

We heard from a bevy of engaging speakers who rallied in defense of these programs which face acute crisis. Talk of fiscal cliffs, trust fund shortfalls and the constant threat of cutting benefits are stressful scenarios for beneficiaries. These programs are vital to the survival and quality of life of our nation’s low-income population. Rally speakers called to protect and expand these measures which have protected millions from living in poverty for decades.

Although the rally did not end as planned, its message was delivered and received well.

We thank all of the speakers and performers.



We heard another, unexpected message at the rally, that of the Black Lives Matter movement. Washington CAN! has been and will continue to support the rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation. Although the interruption by two Black Lives Matter protesters was unexpected, we embrace the teaching moment it has created.

Thanks to Garet Munger, Clay Showalter and Randall Smith for taking pictures