Our Work Continues
We’re One Month In to 2018, and I am excited to report that we are on track to get some good things done this year. January is where we begin preparing our workplans for the year, and my team has been listening to the community, identifying priorities for the Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Committee this year.
In the Community
We have also been out in the community, meeting you where you are – from the Ft. Lawton discussion around housing in Magnolia, to meeting with workers in the north end at Seattle City Light; speaking on Capitol Hill at the Seattle Womxn’s March, to the Central District marching in solidarity as we honor the activism and radical change that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for within the #PoorPeoplesCampaign. We keep Dr. King’s legacy alive not by celebrating him one day, but by acting daily to create greater shared power and economic prosperity.
Know Your Rights!
The first few weeks of this year were filled with news about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on workplaces as the Trump administration ramps up on its arrests and deportations of our immigrant communities. Workers from New York to California, from those who work at 7-11 to those who work as activists, are being targeted. Here in our own city, Seattle ICE served nationally known immigrant rights activists Maru Mora Villalpando (click here to join the campaign to defend Maru). This is an issue that affects employers and employees. We ask you to share this information around with your employees, neighbors, and friends – both employers and employees have rights! Share this information below today!
A Regional Healthcare Approach
I also recently joined my first Board of Health meeting as a new Board member, and was proud to cast my vote for a resolution in support of full access to health care, particularly reproductive health care, to all residents in our county. Health care is a fundamental human right and we need to make a commitment to ensuring everyone can access these services regardless of immigration status, gender identity, ability to pay, sexual orientation, race, and age. I will continue to advance this cause as Chair of the Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee, as well as by working closely with partners from across the region. The health of each individual is intertwined with the health our whole community. This is why closing gaps in access to health care for immigrants and refugees can help us to build a healthier Seattle and region for all our residents. Tune into our HHEWR Committee on Thursday next week for more on this concept.
We are gearing up for a busy year. In the coming months, watch my office for introduction of legislation to expand efforts to make easier to access the Seattle City Light discount rate program for low- and moderate-income families throughout Seattle. We will be advancing legislation to codify the elimination of sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities (a rule in place but changing it into law). We will be working in coordination with the Office of Housing and community partners to look at ways ease community-initiated development of affordable housing throughout our city to address the affordable housing crisis. In the upcoming month, look for future conversations around the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, to create stronger protections for workers – who are more likely to be women and people of color – to have greater workplace protections!
Want to keep up to date with what we are working on? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and keep an eye on our blog, where we’ll be diving into greater detail on topics in our committee and before your City Council.