By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
On Monday, I returned to work after taking a summer sabbatical, a break from the day-to-day that was refreshing in both mind and spirit. It’s good to be back, and I thank our Federation’s Board for making my sabbatical possible and my dedicated colleagues for keeping our organization humming while I was away.
As you might imagine, there were plenty of tasks awaiting my attention on my first day back. One of the first things I took care of was completing our Policy Priorities Survey. If you haven’t yet taken the survey, I encourage you to put it on your to-do list. The information we gather enables your Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to establish our community advocacy priorities for the next session of the Washington State Legislature.
By letting us know which issues matter most to you, you help ensure that our community’s voice is heard loud and clear by our elected representatives in Olympia. That matters. Last year, you told us that your top issues were fighting antisemitism and hate crimes, upholding civil liberties and human rights, and supporting immigrants and refugees.
Your input helped our Federation and JCRC advocacy team focus their work for the 2022 legislative session. As a result, all the bills and budget items that we lobbied for on Jewish Community Lobby Day passed or were included in the final state budget. Together, we made an impact! Just a few examples: A State Senate resolution condemning antisemitism. Expanding to human trafficking victims eligibility for state housing and health services. Funding for the Washington State Jewish Historical Society in the amount of $210,000 to preserve Jewish narratives in a database.
The Washington Legislature will convene its 2023 session right after the turn of the year. A legislative session is a constant flurry of activity—hundreds of bills are introduced, many hearings, meetings, and floor votes are on every day’s calendar. There are many demands on our state representatives and senators’ time. Our community priorities will get their attention only when we focus our collective voice on the issues that are most important for us. By responding to our Policy Priorities Survey, you can help make sure that the Legislature’s important work will be informed by our Jewish values.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. And if you’ve already done so, thank you! Together, we will work to make the 2023 session’s outcome every bit as successful as this year’s. Together, we are building a brighter, stronger future for our community.