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WA PPC September/October 23  NEWSLETTER

We organize because poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in our country, because 2.3 million Washingtonians experience poverty and low wealth, and because poor and low wealth Washingtonians have the power to shift any election and alter any policy in our state. We have immense power both in our workplaces and at the polls when we come together to challenge false narratives and demand policies that lift from the bottom so that everybody rises.


In the weeks between Labor Day and Election Day we will reflect on this power and on the conditions of living wages, labor rights, and voting rights in Washington State as we prepare to vote, to gather in Olympia in February, and as we begin our organizing for 2024.


This Newsletter Includes:

  • Power In the Workplace: Living Wages and Labor Rights

  • Power At the Polls: Voting Rights and Voting Resources

  • RSVP For Our February Assembly in Olympia

  • Pausing our Open Houses

  • An Building our Moral Action Team


2.3 million Washingtonians do not experience poverty as a result of personal mistakes or individual failings; we experience poverty because immoral policies create and maintain poverty and racism systemically. Despite having the highest statewide minimum wage in the nation ($15.74) and the third highest rate of unionization (18% of all jobs) poverty and low-wealth remain widespread because our minimum wage is far from a living wage and labor laws nationally are relatively weak.

False Narrative: All workers in WA earn at least the minimum wage.


Facts: Some workers with disabilities and minors under the age of 16 make less than minimum wage. Incarcerated people in Washington make at most $2.70 per hour in prison industries owned by the state.

False Narrative: Our minimum wage is over $15 so all workers have what they need to survive.


Facts: The living wage for a single worker without kids in WA is $19.58. The living wage for a single worker with two kids is $49.71. It takes 92 hours of work per week on minimum wage to afford a two bedroom rental home.

Washington's "high" minimum wage seems only high in comparison to the immorally low federal minimum wage of $7.25. The denial of living wages is one of the key policies that keeps poverty high in Washington despite the exceptional wealth present throughout our state. Fortunately everyday workers choose not to accept this reality by organizing within our workplaces and throughout the state.

False Narrative: Labor unions are things of the past.


Facts: Labor unions remain strong in Washington (18% of jobs in our state are union) and record numbers of workers are organizing to join unions and secure stronger contracts! Of the 67 union votes across WA in 2023 unions have won 85%.


Dr. Barber stands with pro-union workers demanding Starbucks stop union busting.

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False Narrative: Anyone can achieve wealth just by working hard. Everyone has an equal shot.


Facts: Income inequality and gaps between the pay of men and women, of white workers and workers of color have gotten worse in Washington between 1990 and 2023.

Unions have a long history in our state and have done much to secure the $15.74 minimum wage and universal sick pay policies we have. By standing together and negotiating collectively with their employers union members secure better working conditions, wages, and benefits. Across WA farmworkersstudent employees at state collegesbaristasretail cashiers, and healthcare workers are securing victories and standing up to some of the most powerful companies in the nation from Kroger, to Starbucks, to Amazon. When unions win inequality decreases and importantly democracy is strengthened. For these reasons living wages and stronger labor laws are key pillars of our campaign's Third Reconstruction Agenda.


Poor and low-wealth Washingtonians can shift any election when we are mobilized and organized around a fusion agenda that challenges systemic poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological devastation. Just like our power can be felt in workplaces across the state- we are a sleeping giant whose full power has yet to be fully felt at the polls.

False Narrative: Low-income and poor people don't vote.


Facts: 58 million poor and low income people voted in 2020 accounting for 35% of the whole electorate and the 2.1 million low income voters who were contacted by the Poor People's Campaign were more likely to vote. 

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Critical local elections all throughout the state will be decided on Tuesday, November 7th. Our votes are one of the most important forms our demands and power can take on. If you have questions about how you can register check out the links below.

Important Dates:

Ballots are Mailed - October 20th


Last Day to Register Online - October 30th


Last Day to Register In-Person -

Election Day November 7th.

Once you are registered to vote you will receive a ballot in the mail. There are several ways to cast your ballot. You can fill it out and mail it back to the state (must be post-marked before the end of the day on 11/7/23). You can also drop it off at a ballot box or at a voting center. You can also vote in person at a voting center if voting by mail is difficult for you.

Some important resources for Washington Voters:

  • Voting rights are automatically restored for people exiting prison regardless of whether they have a felony or still owe legal financial obligations. Learn more here.

  • You do not need to have a permanent residence to vote! If you are experiencing housing insecurity or are unhoused you have the right to vote in Washington. Learn more here.

  • Washington provides assistance for voters with disabilities. Learn more here.

  • Youth may register as Future Voters. Learn more here.

  • There are special resources to assist college students cast their ballots. Learn more here.


To give us time to organize a strong and broad coordinating committee that represents the breadth and depth of our state we are pausing our Open Houses.


For the last 2+ years we have hosted monthly open houses. Sometimes these events were casual spaces for conversation. Sometimes they were major rallying points in our mobilizations. Regardless- organizing them has taken considerable time and resources which we will redirect towards building up our Coordinating Committee over the next few months.

Our Coordinating Committee is the guiding body and decision making heart of our state campaign. If you have been impacted by the interlocking injustices of systemic poverty, systemic racism, militarism, ecological devastation, or the false narratives of Christian Nationalism and White Supremacy; if you are a faith leader; if you are an organizer and you are interested in joining our coordinating committee reach out to us at

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One of the main focuses of each State Campaign in the next year is to consistently push the US Congress to enact our Moral Agenda.

In Washington State, we are joining this national effort by forming a Moral Action Team. Initially, we plan to engage 3-5 people in small groups who will communicate with one of our 10 US Congressional Reps and 2 Senators. We went to their DC offices in June during the Moral Poverty Action Congress and building these teams will allow us to follow up with them in the months to come.

Joining our Moral Action Team doesn't require a huge commitment. If you have time to email or call your represetative weekly or every other week then you have exactly what is needed for this team!


Our Strategy - Developing the Message to our Legislators 

In conjunction with our Communications Team, we will have a messaging group to:

  • Configure messages regarding our agenda topics to be addressed each month

  • Develop messages based on Facts, Moral Values and 3rd Reconstruction Resolution as suggestions for our US Congressional Constituency Teams.

  • Develop messages based on issues that might arise within the regions of our State that relate to the PPC agenda

  • Start by sending email messages each week/or every other week to the US Congressional offices. 

If you want to assist us with developing our message let us know when you join the team!

Thank you for all that you do in communities across the state

and for this movement! Forward Together! Not One Step Back!


Poverty and low wealth is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. Unjust policies and narratives create and maintain poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological devastation leading to the early deaths of people living in poverty across the nation. In our campaign we call this what it is: policy murder.

That is why the Poor People’s Campaign focuses on building a moral fusion movement across difference that will change the narrative about poverty and end policy murder in this country. We are called to remember PPC is not an organization; it is a movement. It is called a moral movement because it is something we have to do. Going forward rather than endorsing every policy or engaging in a bunch of actions, the Poor People’s Campaign: A Call for Moral Revival is focused on building and growing a movement. To that end, the WA PPC will focus its efforts between now and June 2024 on the following four things:

  • We will expand the size of the WA state coordinating committee to include at least 30 people: at least 10 faith leaders who have constituencies, at least 10 people currently impacted by poverty/low-wealth, and at least 10 activists. 

  • We plan to send a delegation of at least 25-30 people to the semi-annual Moral Poverty Action Congress, to be held in Washington DC June 19-22, 2023. The Congress is a time for people who want to be part of building a movement that lasts to learn how to build the campaign, to organize for the mass state assembly in February 2024, and to strengthen our work and focus our efforts on ending policy murder in this country. The deadline for registration is May 15th. Travel assistance will be available for those who need it.

  • We will host a Mass State PPC Assembly of at least 1,000 people at the state capitol in Olympia in February 2024 to be held simultaneously with 30 other states. 

  • We will send a large delegation the June 2024 semi-annual Mass Poor and Low Wage Workers Rally and Assembly in DC.

Please join us in these focused efforts to build a movement that lasts! It is going to take all of us to end policy murder in this country. Let us know how you want to be involved or if you want to learn more:


Sharing actions from several of our partners in solidarity with their work.

LELO strives to empower low-income workers of color, recent immigrants and women workers to assert their rights, improve their working conditions and gain a voice in their workplaces, trade unions and communities in the U.S. and across the globe.

LELO will host their annual dinner and awards in honor of Silme Domingo, Gene Viernes, and Milton Jefferson on Saturday June 3rd at 5 PM. The dinner will focus on how ordinary workers can create extraordinary change. RSVP for the dinner below.


Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of who are union members, and our allies advancing worker, immigrant and civil rights. APALA's 17th Biennial Convention will be held in Seattle Thursday August 3rd to Sunday August 6th. RSVP for the convention using the yellow button to the right.


Thank you for all that you do in communities across the state and for this campaign! Forward Together! Not One Step Back!

Join the Washington State
Poor People's Campaign

Join/sign up for emails, updates about open houses and events,

and information about the 2023 Washington state legislative session.

2023 Washington State Legislative Session

WA PPC Partner Legislative agenda links


Fix Democracy First - they do not have a legislative agenda posted on their website yet however their work focuses on money in politics, voting access, fair representation, and civic engagement and education.


Washington State Labor Council - The state labor council has its leg agenda here. There may also be some discussion about pushing back against the merger between Kroger and Albertsons


Washington Community Action Network - Are focused on a bill addressing the state clemency and pardons board which will reestablish parole in Washington State.


Healthcare Is a Human Right - their legislative agenda here.


Faith Action Network - their legislative agenda here


Fuse Washington - their legislative agenda here.


350 WA - their legislative agenda here.


Washington People's Privacy – they do not have a legislative agenda posted yet but focus on protecting the privacy rights of impacted communities from the overreach of law enforcement and large coorperations.


Washington Community Alliance – their legislative agenda will be updated here. Last years information is still listed.


La Resistencia – will be announcing support for bills soon. La Resistencia is a grassroots organization led by undocumented immigrants based in Washington State working to end the detention of immigrants and stop deportations.

Past Events



The Washington Poor People's Campaign was excited to partner with the Faith Action Network for their Interfaith Advocacy Day on February 9th in Olympia. Our experiences and understanding of the interlocking injustices our communities face each day need to be heard in Olympia. By gathering together we directly addressed our lawmakers and urged them to pass moral policies that fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up.

Faith Action Network, a WA PPC mobilizing partner, has extensive experience in organizing advocacy days in Olympia. The full day included morning workshops with information about the issues and training on how to effectively advocate, a catered lunch, and the opportunity to meet with your legislators directly!

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Watch the photo album and the video created by Chardonnay Beaver, our student communications specialist of Washington State participation in the June 18, 2022 Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington DC and to the polls. In the meantime,

14 Policy Priorities to Heal the Nation:
A Moral and Economic Agenda for the First 100 Days

On behalf of the 140 million poor and low-income people in the country, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival – and our 45 state coordinating committees, thousands of religious leaders, scholars, economists, advocates and hundreds of supporting organizations – insists that state legislatures, governors and the US Congress prioritize the following policies from the Poor People’s Jubilee Platform immediately.

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