By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
In the Washington State Legislature’s 2021 session, our elected representatives passed legislation and approved funding on issues critical to our Jewish community—fighting antisemitism and hate crimes, strengthening civil liberties, protecting immigrants and refugees, supporting human services, preventing gun violence, and more.
Three-fourths of the legislation and budget requests for which your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle advocated in 2021 were passed. Now that the 2022 session has begun, the Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council advocacy team is back in action to raise our collective voice on the issues that matter most to Jewish Puget Sound.
Our advocacy is effective because community members like you amplify that collective voice by meeting with your senators and representatives, educating them about issues that affect our community, and helping them understand the Jewish values that are the foundation of our legislative agenda.
On Thursday, February 17, Federation and the JCRC are holding our annual Jewish Community Lobby Day—your opportunity to work for legislation that fits with the needs that community members identified as most important in responses to our Policy Priorities Survey. Like last year, the 2022 session is taking place virtually, so we’ll be meeting with our legislators virtually as well.
Whether you’re a veteran citizen advocate or have no experience, Lobby Day is for you! Our team will do all the preparatory work and help you learn about the issues. We’ll practice the lobbying pitches that will help you get ready for meeting your lawmakers—who want to hear from you, a constituent, about issues of concern. Meeting with them establishes a working relationship and strong relationships are the key to gaining support for our community’s legislative agenda.
As we saw in the results of the 2021-2022 Policy Priorities Survey, the issue uppermost in our minds is antisemitism. The January 15 hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, was a sobering reminder of the critical importance of safety and security for our community. Strengthening relationships with our elected representatives and securing their approval of public policies necessary for combating antisemitism and hate crimes are vital.
By joining with us on Jewish Community Lobby Day, you can make an impact on fighting antisemitism and other high-priority issues for Jewish Puget Sound. When we make our voices heard, we are taking “a leap of action,” as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, to care for our community and repair our world.
The registration deadline for Lobby Day is February 14, and if you sign up by February 7, we’ll send a complimentary Lobby Day snack box to your home. Please join us!