YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish is dedicated to improving the well-being and advancing the rights of women, families, and underserved communities. Our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. Informed by our community and 130-year history of service in this region, our public policy team advocates for mission-aligned legislative solutions.
We situate our public policy work within a larger liberation strategy. We believe in power of the collective, social movements, and community organizing to enact change and consider the law a tool to support that work.
Our 2024 Legislative Agenda below includes state and federal policies aimed at addressing systemic gender inequality and racial injustice. Impacted community members, allied organizations, public officials, and legal and policy experts helped shape these priorities. We look forward to working in collaboration as we take on the challenge of building a more equitable, safe, and just society.
2024 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Strengthen Economic Security: empower women and their families in securing economic freedom. Address COVID-19's ongoing economic impact, centering Black, Latinx, and Native American women. This includes establishing the Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) Pilot. The GBI Pilot will offer unconditional basic income to low income individuals. It will foster economic security for under-resourced individuals and set the stage for a statewide initiative.
Protect Funding for Community Services: advance progressive revenue solutions. Help make our state's tax code more equitable and address clear imbalance where those with the least income bear the highest tax burden. This includes, for example, implementing a 1% wealth tax on intangible assets exceeding $1 billion, with the first $250 million of a person's intangible financial assets are exempt.
Advance Housing Justice: support housing for all. Reduce barriers to housing stability and address housing inequities, centering those experiencing current or near houselessness. We protect tenants from rent gouging and aim to improve housing stability and current housing supply.
Support Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: as part of the largest network of gender-based and sexual violence service providers in the United States, protect the safety of women and BIPOC communities. Center those that are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence in ensuring access to essential services and shelter. This includes upholding Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding to meet survivor needs including legal advocacy, mental health support, and safe housing assistance.
Lift Barriers to Health and Social Services: remove obstacles to safe housing, healthcare, and other critical supports for women and families, regardless of immigration status. As resource access is a fundamental right, advance federal immigration policies supports this effort including Passing the Health Equity and Access Under Law (HEAL) Act, the Lift the Bar Act, and the Working Immigrant Safety and Empowerment (WISE) Act.
We broadly support:
- Reducing barriers for non-profit affordable housing providers, including insurance feasibility;
- Implementing a state-wide, progressive estate tax; and
- Investing in childcare by passing the Childcare Stabilization Act, extending funding necessary to keep providers’ doors open, and the Childcare for Working Families Act to make childcare affordable for working families.
(Bill numbers, links to legislative trackers, and educational materials will be provided as they become available.)
MEET THE TEAM
At the start of this year, I was proud to take on the new role of Chief Public Policy Officer at YWCA and formalize the Public Policy Division. This strategic addition reflects the importance of advancing policy initiatives that address root causes and promote social equity.
Other team members that help continue our commitment to robust advocacy are Mariam Ahmed, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, and Tapiwa Jere, Digital Advocacy and Engagement Specialist, featured below.
Margaret • Mariam • Tapiwa
With the start of the 2024 legislative session, join us in advocating for our policy priorities. Stay tuned for updates and highlights as we continue to shape the future of Washington, together. Sign-up for our policy and advocacy Firesteel Newsletter here.
We tell the stories of those with lived experiences of racism and sexism and invite supporters to take concrete actions to correct the root causes of disparity in our communities.