By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
When the 2022 session of the Washington State Legislature comes to order in January, your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle will be ready to advocate for our community’s priorities. As is the case with every legislative session, it will be a busy time of meeting with our elected representatives and voicing our support and opposition on issues carrying great significance for Jewish life.
Legislators pay attention to our advocacy team because they know they are hearing about the issues that matter most to Jewish Puget Sound. When you complete the Federation’s Policy Priorities Survey, you ensure we have the information we need to craft a legislative agenda that reflects the policies most important to our diverse Jewish community.
An agenda that reflects the community’s concerns is one that is tailored to get results. That was the case in the 2021 legislative session, when 75 percent of the bills and all the budget items for which we advocated made it to the finish line and were enacted into law. In the fight against antisemitism and hate crimes, for example, the Legislature agreed to include $200,000 in the state budget to study restorative justice, a strategy for helping the survivors of hate crimes and preventing future such crimes. Another success story was extension of Medicaid postpartum care from 60 days after a baby is born to a full year, making it possible for women to obtain the healthcare they need and set up their families for healthy futures.
You make successful outcomes like those possible when you complete the Policy Priorities Survey and tell us which issues that we should focus on. Much is at stake. Fighting antisemitism. Helping immigrants and refugees. Helping our state’s vulnerable families facing the challenges of the pandemic and economic uncertainty. Reducing the horrifying gun violence that we have seen recently in Seattle and elsewhere in the state.
Legislators deal with many complicated issues and hear from thousands of advocates on worthy causes. Taking a few minutes to tell us what’s top of mind will ensure we focus on those issues for which a Jewish communal voice will make the most difference. The more community members who respond to the survey, the more we can amplify our collective voice and make certain that Jewish values inform the Legislature’s work.
If you’ve already filled out the survey, thank you! If you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts and thank you in advance for helping your Federation prepare for another successful legislative session. We so appreciate your time and your generous support for the work we do together to strengthen our community and secure a bright Jewish future.