State & Federal Advocacy - Jewish Federation

Advocating for Community Priorities

STATE

Legislative Session Update – January 24, 2019

Join us for Jewish Community Lobby Day on March 26, 2019!

Read our 2019 Jewish Community Legislative Priorities 


The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s advocacy paid off in big wins for the Puget Sound Jewish community at the Washington State Legislature’s 2018 session.

Read a report detailing our community’s 2018 budget and policy victories in the Washington State Legislature and Congress.

Read an article in the June/July 2018 issue of Jewish In Seattle magazine about our successes in the 2018 legislative session.

Here are just a few examples:

Budget

  • The Federation secured $200,000 for Camp Solomon Schechter in the 2017-2019 Washington State Capital Budget to upgrade its infrastructure and facilities. In addition to being a great day and overnight camp for Jewish children and their families, Schechter runs a high-quality outdoor education program called OSPREY Camp. The majority of schools served by OSPREY Camp are high-poverty, and OSPREY Camp provides students an opportunity to learn and work in the outdoors that would not be otherwise available.
  • The Federation secured $200,000 in the state’s 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget for two programs critical for fighting anti-Semitism and hate: 1) the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s creation of a comprehensive online encyclopedia of Holocaust education resources, and 2) expanding by over 50 percent the number of Washington schools served by the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate anti-bias education program.

Lobby Days
There is a special power in citizens speaking directly with their elected representatives about important issues through the lens of Jewish values. At Jewish Community Lobby Day, 55 members of our community visited nearly 50 legislative offices. A clear success was ensuring the House included funding for the No Place for Hate program in its version of the 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget.

The Federation also helped organize a separate Lobby Day for Jewish Family Service, drawing two dozen JFS staff members and lay leaders to advocate for policy changes to alleviate homelessness.

Israel – Celebrating 70 Years
The Federation played a key role in organizing a Capitol event celebrating the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. We were grateful to host Israeli Consul General Shlomi Kofman as our special guest. Festivities included unanimous passage of a commemorative resolution by the state Senate and House Republican Caucus, and a noontime gathering with dozens of legislators, community leaders, and faith leaders.

FEDERAL

Read a report detailing our community’s 2018 budget and policy victories in the Washington State Legislature and Congress.

Protecting Religiously-Affiliated Institutions
Federation-supported legislation to strengthen protections for Jewish community centers and other religiously affiliated institutions was signed into law by President Donald Trump on September 28, 2018. The legislation passed unanimously in both the Senate and House.

The bill criminalizes threats against non-profit, religiously affiliated organizations. The legislation was introduced after a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. in early 2017.

The Federation thanks Washington State co-sponsors of the legislation—Reps. Derek Kilmer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Suzan DelBene, and Pramila Jayapal —for their leadership in advancing this important legislation.

Non-Profit Security Grants
Adequate funding needed for Non-Profit Security Grants Program in Fiscal Year 2019. Click here to read Federation letters to all members of Washington State’s congressional delegation.

Funding for Nonprofit Security Grants and Holocaust survivor assistance programs was increased significantly in the 2018 appropriations legislation signed into law on March 23, 2018. The Federation engaged with the Washington State congressional delegation to support higher support for these beneficial programs.

Nonprofit Security Grants
2018 Appropriation – $60 million, up $35 million from 2017
The Federation’s SAFE Washington program assists Jewish organizations in applying for these grants

Holocaust Survivor Assistance
2018 Appropriation – $5 million, double 2017 funding

To learn more, contact:

Max Patashnik
Email:  maxp@jewishinseattle.org
Phone: 206.774.2248

 

Our Impact

55

Attended Jewish Community Lobby Day in February 2018 to meet personally with their elected representatives in Olympia. Community members visited nearly 50 legislative offices, and their visits were instrumental in ensuring the House budgeted funds for expanding ADL’s No Place for Hate program to more Washington State schools.