Punxsutawney Phil had a much smaller spotlight on February 2nd this year because hundreds of advocates were out in Olympia for Housing and Homeless Advocacy Day, learning about the need for affordable housing, how family homelessness can be ended, and meeting with legislators to compel them to take action on local needs. Four members of the Associated Ministries’ team were honored to be among that crowd of activists.
“My experience at Advocacy Day was both empowering and enlightening,” said Andrea McKinney, who works in Centralized Intake as a Screening and Diversion Specialist. “I had heard of Advocacy Day for unions but had never attended one myself. What really stuck out to me was the opportunity to increase my knowledge and sit with those advocating that housing should be a right, not a privilege. Even the elderly and disabled have barriers to affordable rental housing in front of them. Family size, race, and sexual orientation—against fair housing laws–are still finding their way into rental decisions. Your source of income can determine whether a landlord rents to you–it shouldn’t be like that but right now that’s within the law.”
Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.
Thursday, March 2nd, marked the halfway point of this year’s 105-day legislative session. But our work as a community continues. Your voice is important. Your legislators need to know what you think about the crisis of homelessness and the ideas you support to be enacted into policies and laws. Your action makes a difference. Your advocacy changes lives.
A great place to learn more and get the most current updates is www.wliha.org.