A Letter From Merril: Fall is the Time for Action
I hope this day of ghosts, goblins, and pumpkins galore finds you delighting in the bounty of fall.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year – I love the colors, the crispness in the air, the deep blue of the sky on the days that we see the sun, and even the return of the rain (though I know my tune will likely change come February!). I feel invigorated, can look to the work ahead with new enthusiasm.
One of the Coalition’s key roles is to advocate on behalf of all of our member programs, large and small. We know how hard our member programs work (very hard) and how little time there is at the end of the day to engage deeply in policy and advocacy work (very little). That’s why we try and make it easier for everyone, by facilitating conversations that guide our advocacy work, by communicating our collective priorities to policy makers, and by mobilizing our members and supporters to take action. When we come together, we are louder. We are more effective. We get more done. To that end, I want to highlight a few opportunities for you to action this season:
For King County residents: You have the chance to vote YES on King County Proposition 1: the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy. This levy is a renewal and expansion of a levy that will fund critical services our community desperately needs. The expansion will cost the average homeowner less than $2.50/month, and in return, some of our community’s most vulnerable members, including survivors of domestic and sexual violence, will receive life-saving services. For survivors, this could mean the difference between a housing placement and no housing, a qualified therapist or no therapist at all. I urge you to vote YES on Prop 1, and be sure to mail your ballot on or before November 7th (don’t forget a stamp!). Learn more below.
For Seattle residents, there are exciting possibilities being discussed as the Council deliberates about the 2018 budget. “Exciting” and “budget” used in the same sentence, you say? Yes! It’s true! Daily, it seems, we continue to uncover the multitude of ways that gender-based violence has infiltrated our region and culture. We need to ensure that this increased awareness creates more support for those who have been harmed. A number of Seattle’s councilmembers are stepping up to the plate. Currently, there are several proposed additions to the budget which would be hugely beneficial to survivors of gender-based violence. Please—call your councilmembers NOW and tell them to support increased funding for services for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Encourage your neighbors and family to call. They need to hear from you! Key decisions are being made in the next several days, so call with this simple message NOW. A list of councilmembers and contact info can be found here.
The final few months of the year always feel a bit frenzied—with budgets, voting, planning for the coming year, not to mention a number of wintery festivities… but it’s also a time I delight in—with the increasing cold and darkness encouraging me to turn inward, snuggle with my cats, and to try to clear space to do the slow, thoughtful, ground work that feels impossible at any other time of year. I wish for you a calm and cheerful next few months. May you crunch through giant piles of leaves, and may the rain roll off your waterproof accoutrements!
All the best,