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Faith Action Network announces priorities and events

Advocates gather on steps in Olympia

The Faith Action Network (FAN) of Washington is planning its Interfaith Advocacy Day in-person on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Olympia, as an opportunity for advocates from faith communities to bring their voices to the state legislature.

The day includes opportunities to attend plenaries and workshops to explore the issues on FAN's 2024 Legislative Agenda.

The 2024 Legislative Session that starts on Monday, Jan. 8, is the short, 60-day session.

"Our network has broad interests, and we know there are intersections for justice everywhere among our categories of work to make our state a more just and equitable place to live," said Elise DeGooyer, executive director.

FAN shapes its legislative priorities with more than 25 coalition partners, its statewide network, its Policy Committee and the FAN Governing Board.

"We seek to advocate for and implement policies that advance our values grounded in faith and spirituality: belonging and human dignity, justice and equity, interconnectedness, collaboration and pluralism," according to the FAN agenda.

The FAN legislative agenda is at

FAN has eight priority areas for legislation.

1) Promoting economic justice includes such proposals as the working families tax credit, a guaranteed basic income and an extreme wealth tax.

2) Protecting and expanding the social safety net includes funding for food banks, free school meals and senior nutrition.

3) Addressing climate change and environmental justice involves recycling, packaging, clean school busses and holding oil companies accountable.

4) Increasing safe affordable housing and preventing homelessness are part of proposals to increase the real estate excise tax, limit rent increases and protect tenants.

5) Advancing immigrant and refugee rights includes proposals for unemployment benefits, health equity, and legal and emergency services.

6) Reforming the incarceration system will address solitary confinement, sentencing emerging adults, jail-based voting and legal financial obligations.

Two other priorities are 7) fostering public safety and civil rights and 8) expanding access to health care.

In response to requests for more orientation before Interfaith Advocacy Day, FAN will offer an online Legislative Briefing/Preview from 3 to 4:15 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7, to give an overview of issues on the legislative agenda.

At 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 10 and at noon, Thursday, Jan. 11, FAN will provide Advocacy 101 online to train people in advocacy skills.

FAN is also collaborating on planning the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church and online.

FAN urges early registration for the Interfaith Advocacy Day 2024, because the capacity is limited to 200 people at United Churches of Olympia. Registration closes Monday, Jan. 29.

Three regional organizers are assisting FAN in Central and Eastern Washington.

• Brianna Dilts, FAN's Eastern Washington regional organizer, brings experience in organizing related to economic justice, housing justice and equitable decision-making. She grew up in Spokane and graduated in social work from Eastern Washington University.

• Eric Don Anderson, the South Central Washington regional organizer in Yakima, served as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor until 2014 and has worked in community organizing and as a hospice chaplain.

• Jess Ingman, North Central Washington regional organizer, has a background in pastoral ministry and faith-based organizing. A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with Jesuit formation, she is also coordinator for Wenatchee for Immigrant Justice.

For information, call 206-625-9790 or visit

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, January 2024