We believe strongly in standing up and speaking out for what we believe in. When we aren’t doing it ourselves throughout the halls of power in both Washingtons, or in gatherings with fellow funders and advocates, we’ll be doing it right here on these pages. So please explore, engage, and share.
This week I traveled to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. I’m an avid birder, so it was a great opportunity to see the birds here at this crucial stop on their spring migration north. It was President Teddy Roosevelt who first protected Malheur back in 1908 because of its incredible importance to wildlife. I appreciate that history because I’m also a huge advocate for America’s public lands – and I was shocked a year ago to see this sanctuary occupied by an armed militia. That group was out of step with most Americans — they believed private citizens have more of a right to exploit our country’s public lands for personal gain, instead of appreciating that these lands belong to all of us – they are an American birthright and are one of the great achievements of our democracy.
…this Antiquities Act review is a public lands hit job…
PRO | Is a capital gains tax really needed?
(The following Op-Ed was authored by Ron Sher and Sonya Campion and originally published in the Seattle Times on April 21, 2017.)
State lawmakers have a big job in front of them. Once again they are crafting a budget aimed at funding programs that support families across our state. But there is simply no way they can do their job without more revenue. In short, our state budget is at its breaking point and we are all going to feel the pain in a lot of different ways if we don’t fix it.
What does this mean? It means that if we are going to educate our children and invest in health, housing and services that keep our communities and economy safe and strong, we need to find new sources of revenue.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been reflecting on a quote by one of my favorite writers, Ann Lamott. “Hope begins in the dark,” she wrote, “the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up.”
Lamott’s words seem particularly relevant for those of us engaged in the difficult but critical fight to end homelessness.
Homelessness has been a distressing problem in Washington state for a long time. But over the last few years the number of adults, families, and children sleeping outside in brutal conditions has risen to shocking levels. In large and small communities from Spokane to Seattle, the hardships faced by so many people are impossible to ignore.
(The following Op-Ed was authored by Kim Justice and Jim Theofelis and originally published in the Seattle Times February 1, 2017)
On any given night, in every county of our state, many youth and young adults have no family to eat dinner with, no safe place in which to do homework or no bed to sleep in.
“Patricia” lived with her grandmother for most of her adolescence, but due to poverty she became homeless in her late teens. In addition to facing addiction to cope with her struggles, she received a devastating cancer diagnosis. Without a place to live, “Patricia,” now in her early twenties and living in the Yakima-area, had no place to call home.
No young person should go through this alone. The good news is that we can make it better for “Patricia” and the nearly 13,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults (ages 12 to 24) who access homeless support services each year in Washington. The time to act is now.
For the past two years, the Campion Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund has been proud to partner with a broad group of stakeholders across Washington state to prevent and end youth homelessness. We have been especially proud to help launch A Way Home Washington, a movement to prevent and end youth homelessness in Washington state, led by the expertise of its Executive Director, Jim Theofelis.
The Campion Advocacy Fund works to address the upstream causes of homelessness in Washington state through advocacy. Partnering with our statewide advocacy networks, we work to advance policy solutions and government funding opportunities to ensure that homelessness becomes a rare occurrence in our communities.
We support a coordinated system at the state level to address the needs of homeless youth.
Implementation of the Office of Homeless Youth’s Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness. We support the following legislative actions to implement the plan:
- Inclusion of $4m in the budget to establish an interagency work group on youth homelessness.
- Improve and expand programs dealing with the prevention, diversion and response to youth homelessness, including extended foster care, family reconciliation services, and the Young Adult Housing Program.