Notes from the fundraising learning curve
I’ve been an activist and organizer since high school, and I’ve worked with some inspiring folks on a wide variety of issues. But my depth of experience with fundraising is much less, well, deep. This past year has brought a great deal of new information, practice, and some dawning understanding about what it can mean to raise the funds we need in order to organize social justice campaigns, develop new leaders, and involve people like you.
The most important thing I know for sure is that we never need to rely on foundation grants. Organizing for “peace” isn’t very “fundable” right now. But that’s ok, because community members who support PJALS at every level are our most steadfast source of support for our lean & efficient budget and always have been. Read more »
WANTED: Volunteer Coordinator, Office Manager, Bookkeeping Assistant, Bookkeeper, Treasurer, CPA
We’re seeking justice-lovers and peaceniks to join the team of dedicated volunteers that make this organization function from the inside out! Good work environment and lots of appreciation guaranteed! Call 838-7870 or email email@example.com for more information. Read more »
Over the counter
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
May Americans with some degree of accountability or any inclination for peace please agree to stop pretending that counter-terrorism is something other than terrorism?
It seems to me that the land of the free and the home of the brave used to be a little more squeamish about openly discussing our intentions to terrorize populations in other parts of the world. Today, anyone we want to call a terrorist is considered fair game for murder or torture by our counter-terrorists, and if we kill a few too many bystanders who happen to be elderly, pre-adolescent, and/or female, well, they could hardly have been less than potential terrorists. “Collateral damage” is a specious term and so last war. And if we can’t nail them as terrorists, they must be, at least, insurgents. This is all said or thought, not out of freedom or courage, but out of debilitating fear. Read more »
Police Accountability: Council rejects TA
By Dom Felix, Intern
The struggle for independent oversight of police continues. After 21 months of negotiations between the Mayor and the Police Guild, the voters are not any closer to it than they were after passing Proposition 1 way back in February 2013.
On November 1st, City Legal and The Police Guild released a Tentative Agreement (TA) that they and Mayor Condon claimed fulfilled Proposition 1. Read more »
Your Snowflakes created a Blizzard for Accountability
Our snowflakes created a facebook blizzard that could not be ignored! Thank you to the more than 40 individuals who helped spread the message: Mayor Condon failed the voters; Council: Reject the new police contract; Police Accountability for Spokane NOW! Click here for the collage all the “snowflakes”!
We helped to call out Mayor Condon on his complete failure to listen to the voters who overwhelmingly passed Prop. 1 and put pressure on the Council to unanimously reject the police contract.
There is still a lot of work ahead for us to achieve independent oversight for the Office of Police Ombudsman but for now let us bask in our victory!
Super heroes unite!
PJALS members and friends revealed their true superhero identities on Oct 25 at our SuperFriends Party! Big thanks to photographer Aaron Kathman for documenting the fun in our Hall of Justice Photo Booth!
“Move, Cathy–Get Out of the Way!”
PJALS members join OneAmerica for Immigration Reform Action Nov 13
Momentum for commonsense immigration reform is growing. But Speaker John Boehner has yet to schedule a vote. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers continues to stand behind him. And 1,100 people are deported each day. We spoke out to call on GOP leadership to vote on a pathway to citizenship this year!
Members of Washington Community Action Network and PJALS as well as college students from Whitworth, EWU, and Whitman were arrested in a civil disobedience action to convey the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform.
PJALS Members and Smart Justice Supporters Turn Out for CJC Hearing
By Dom Felix, Intern
The Spokane County Commissioners and Mayor Condon appointed a joint City-County Regional Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) in November 2012, charged with recommending reforms to our criminal justice system. The Commission’s final recommendations will provide the “to do list” for City and County elected officials to implement criminal justice reform. Their recommendations were released in a 60 page draft November 1st 2013.
On Nov. 6th the CJC held a hearing to get input from the community. There were nearly 150 community members at the hearing. Read more »
Build your communication skills for effective lobbying!
Frustrated with the political process? Feel like your voice is not heard when communicating with your legislators? Want to increase skills for effective meetings with legislators?
If so, please join us on Thursday, Dec. 5th at 5:30pm in the Community Building, 35 W. Main.
Come and learn effective methods of communicating with your state representative! We will use state revenue as the subject matter for this workshop, but the principles of communication apply to any issue. Come and learn how to let your voice be heard here and in Olympia! We will also be recruiting for a delegation to go to MLK Lobby Day in Olympia to put these skills to good use!
For more information, contact Shar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 838-7870.
Your Voice is Needed for Smart Justice: Hearing Wed., Nov. 6
We’re part of the Smart Justice Campaign because PJALS members like you told us alternatives to incarceration and criminal justice reform are worth winning. Now is the time for us to spring into action together!
Your Voice is Needed at November 6th Hearing to
Police Oversight: Out of Excuses
Police Oversight: Out of Excuses
People like you–making your voices heard–have made the difference at every step as we’ve worked with great determination to win real, meaningful independent oversight of police for Spokane.
As we know, change worth working for doesn’t come quick or easy!
It’s time now for us to mobilize again–can we count on you? Read more »
“From Spokane With Love” World Premiere to benefit PJALS
Thursday Oct 17
Magic Lantern Theater, 25 W. Main
7pm reception; 7:30 showing
Come for the reception at 7:00 with finger foods handmade by Shahrokh Nikfar!
“From Spokane With Love” is a heart-warming, entertaining and informative movie about the Friendship Delegation from Spokane who went to Iran to try and bridge the gap of stereotypes and misinformation and bring their two peoples together.
Shahrokh says it is the BEST DOCUMENTARY EVER.
Tickets are $20
or call 838-7870, or purchase at the PJALS office or at the door.
Independent Oversight of Police: “Out of Excuses”
Independent Oversight of Police: “Out of Excuses”
Councilmember Salvatori brings forward an ordinance expanding Ombudsman powers!
In February 2013, Spokane voters passed Proposition 1 with a 70% yes vote, to mandate independent investigations of Spokane police. Councilmember Salvatori’s ordinance will now implement that mandate.
From the Inlander story “Out of Excuses”
Salvatori says he’s “out of excuses” for citizens who ask why Proposition 1, a measure passed overwhelmingly in February to give the Office of Police Ombudsman expanded powers, hasn’t yet resulted in actual changes. The city says such changes — among them, independent investigative powers and a commission to choose future ombudsmen — will be included in a new contract with the Spokane Police Guild, but the two sides haven’t reached one in 20 months of negotiations.
Testify or come show your support on Monday Sept 30, 6pm at City Hall
Urge Councilmembers to vote Yes:
Ben Stuckart: email@example.com
Amber Waldref: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy McLaughlin: email@example.com
Mike Fagan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Allen: email@example.com
Jon Snyder: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Salvatori: email@example.com
Time is Now to Say No War on Syria
and Yes to Practical Peace-Building Actions
With all three of our Congressional delegation saying they are “undecided” on authorization of military intervention in Syria, THIS IS THE WINDOW for us to act! All are hearing from constituents, and all need to hear from YOU!
The full Senate will vote this week; the House vote is not yet scheduled.
When you call, or when you talk to friends, here are the best resources I’ve seen about why we MUST say no to war with Syria and the practical peace-building actions we can take instead. Read more »
Talking to Electeds: No War on Syria
On Thursday a multi-generational delegation including PJALS members, Veterans for Peace, and clergy visited Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ office where we met with her District Director Louise Fendrich and Senator Cantwell’s office where we met with her Eastern Washington Representative Bryan Raines. Both said their offices had received many calls–keep ‘em coming! Here’s our quick debrief of our first meeting:
Each person shared his or her own story and most important reasons to vote NO on any authorization of military intervention in Syria: Read more »
The Unknown Peace Pact
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
Why is it that we – humans, Americans, patriots, progressives, veterans, educators and educated, thinkers and doers – have never been able to get violence out of our system? This question screamed at me, again, as I pondered the unlikely existence of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed by most of the world’s nations in 1928. Read more »
Saying NO to Civil Liberties Violations
PJALS members at our July 3rd 2013 action against government violations of our civil liberties received positive responses from passersby.
The Intersections of Us
by Shar Lichty
At the end of July I was fortunate to attend the Activists Mobilizing for Power (AMP) Conference put on each year by Western States Center in Portland. I have been wanting to attend this conference for four years and this year all the forces were in alignment to make it happen.
I have a lot of respect for the work Western States Center does, particularly in the areas of racial and queer equity. As I found myself surrounded by 400 like-minded individuals at a conference that offered several workshops on how to advance this work, had gender neutral restrooms, and a plenary on the gender binary, I felt at home.
One of the most moving experiences I had during my three days at AMP happened at a film screening for All of Us North Carolina, a documentary about queer people of color who fought against NC’s Amendment One, which stripped domestic partners of their civil rights. Read more »
Smart Justice needs you this fall
Our community has a huge opportunity to make major reforms our criminal justice system starting this year. A three-member Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Commission that was appointed by the Mayor of Spokane and the County Commissioners is in the process of conducting a comprehensive and broad review of the criminal justice system that is in the process of conducting a comprehensive and broad review of the criminal justice system. Read more »
Engaging students for social justice! PJALS Director will be first Activist-in-Residence at EWU
PJALS is excited to announce that director Liz Moore will serve as the first Activist-in-Residence at EWU this winter. This is a wonderful opportunity to further the work we’ve begun through our Young Activist Leaders Program and our community organizing internships. Read more »
Peace & Justice Action Committee: A new model to advance our work
by Shar Lichty
After a summer off, our Peace & Justice Action Committee (PJAC) will be resuming our meeting schedule on Sept. 19th with a new approach: leadership development and campaign-specific organizing. Read more »
Say NO to US War on Syria
War is not the answer! US military intervention in Syria will lead to more bloodshed and deaths. Come join members of the PJALS, Veterans for Peace, and people from all over Spokane as we make our “NO WAR” position visible. ALL WELCOME!
Say NO to US War on Syria
Saturday August 31, 2:00 pm
Riverfront Park Fountain at Howard & Spokane Falls Blvd
Here are 5 ways you can ACT NOW:
- Spread the word on Facebook about Saturday’s rally or download & post this flier
- Join us to make signs Friday at 2pm in the Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main. Bring your own materials or use ours.
- Donate to support this rapid response at www.pjals.org/contribute –all gifts appreciated!
- Sign these three petitions–and share them!
- Educate yourself with these useful articles below.
Petitions to Sign and share:
- Prevent an Attack on Syria Now–call for alternatives – from Roots Action
- Demand that no military action be taken in Syria without prior Congressional authorization! – from Win Without War
- NO U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA! — from Credo
- NEW: Iraq Veterans Against The War’s statement Against Military Force in Syria:So long as non-military avenues exist, we demand their use before war. According to current opinion-polls, the majority of Americans share our deep opposition to military intervention. As veterans, we know all too well the limitations of military action to bring meaningful resolution, and this is why we now call upon the U.S. and international community to exhaust every available non-military option to ensure that a cease-fire is diplomatically secured in Syria. We firmly believe that the Syrian people have the right to self-determination and that international leaders should work tirelessly to secure a space within which the Syrian people can pursue a lasting reconciliation free of outside interference.
- 10 simple points to help you understand the Syria conflict
- Syria: Another Western War Crime In The Making
- Bob Dreyfuss, The Nation: No War With Syria
- IPA: An Illegal War Forced on Syria That Benefits Al-Qaeda?
- Mairead Maguire: Syria: No Armaments to Rebels
- Phyllis Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria
- More from the Institute for Policy Studies
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. … If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, … want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. …. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.
12 hours for everyday suffering
by Lucia Vazquez
To bring attention to the suffering and struggles of undocumented Americans, I participated in a 12-hour fast along with 10 other folks from Spokane and Walla Walla on July 3rd in front of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office.
At first I was very optimistic of being able to do the full 12 hours with only water to drink yet as the day progressed I doubted being able to make it– my feet were sore, my head pounding, constant thoughts of food raced in my head.
My pain was nothing compared to the number of years families wait to see their loved ones, the deaths of innocent people attempting to seek a better future, the agony undocumented students experience knowing that tuition is due, the fear children face when their parents leave for work, the cruel reality that you’re one traffic stop from deportation–these are all real scenarios and being able to symbolized the suffering undocumented people face every day was my motivation. Read more »
Patriots Say NO to US Civil Liberties Violations
This next week we’re going to hear a lot about patriotism. What does patriotism mean to you?
To me, it’s most important to be loyal to humans and our planet as a whole, not to focus too much on nationality. I feel suspicious of so-called patriotism being used to silence critical thinking and dissent. I like Barbara Ehrenreich’s quote: “No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.” In fact, dissent, rebellion, and hell-raising have a strong track record of strengthening democracy & justice in our country and all over the world.
On that note–Will you join me and other PJALS folks to speak out against US violations of civil liberties–NSA spying, call-tracking, email surveillance; unlawful detentions, force-feeding, & rights violations at Guantanamo; and the persecution of whistleblowers Eric Snowden & Bradley Manning? Join us on Wednesday July 3 at 5pm on Division at North River Dr, near the Wendy’s. Read more »
Human Rights, the US Drug War, and Grassroots Nonviolent Resistance in Colombia
Just back from a month-long research trip in Colombia, John Lindsay-Poland of the Fellowship of Reconciliation will share eyewitness experiences with communities using active nonviolence to refuse participation in the armed conflict, civil groups maintaining collective memory of the conflict, as well as with soldiers who have been part of this long war. Learn about peace communities, the current process seeking an end to war, and efforts to hold the United States accountable for its role in Colombia’s trauma.
Thursday July 18, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Salem Lutheran Church
1428 W. Broadway Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
Since 2000, the United States has spent more than $8 billion on “Plan Colombia,” most of it military aid, as part of the “drug war” and “war on terrorism.” Nearly five decades of armed conflict in Colombia have subjected Indigenous people, women, union activists, youth, journalists, and human rights workers to violence by guerrillas, paramilitaries and the U.S.-backed Colombian military. Yet, despite this adversity, Colombians refuse to give up in their courageous quest for peace and social justice.
Remembering Al Mangan
by Louise Chadez
Aloysius Anthony Mangan, Jr. died on Holy Saturday, March 30th at the age of 92. He had been living in California with son Barry and his family.
I first met Al Mangan in 1984 at a rally against the white trains at Fairchild, there with my then 2 month old daughter. Al had moved to Ford, WA, but later moved to a small house on Dean in the West Central neighborhood. His house was full of books and he was always reading. And he could recite passages from Tennyson, Burns, and Poe.
Al was both a mentor and a friend. He was active in PJALS, involved in bringing a Pax Christi group to Spokane, and always involved in the local protests. Read more »
In Memoriam… Al Mangan
by Rusty and Nancy Nelson
In the development of PJALS, the contributions of Al Mangan are unlikely to be matched. We who treasure his friendship and example are saddened by his death and inspired to be more proactive in the promotion of justice.
Remembering Al, we are first tempted to try to list the times he was arrested for disturbing the war or following the demands of the Nuremberg Principles, the times we were arrested with him, and his example of knowing and upholding the law in spite of distortions and evasions by the courts. His rap sheet, impressive as it was, shows little of his depth. His courage and convictions were bolstered by his faith and a relentless self-education. Read more »
Fretting about Fairchild …and other chronic ills
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
Long ago, in a time of relative innocence and prosperity, the people of the Spokane area hitched themselves to the star of the U.S. Air Force. It didn’t take much reflection or study, just a simple faith that our country and it’s military establishment had always been noble and right and would never betray our confidence that Fairchild Air Force Base would make us all safer, prouder, and wealthier.
As the USAF celebrates 65 years, many of us have been cynical for a long time, especially we who have done horrible things under military orders and then watched as our safety, pride and wealth are stripped from people and bestowed upon corporations. In spite of hard numbers and unresolved superfund sites, we are expected to believe that Fairchild is the best thing that ever happened to our area’s economy. Read more »
Marching for Immigration Reform
By Lucy Vazquez, PJALS intern
The streets of Downtown Spokane echoed with a powerful “Sí Se Puede” (yes we can) on May 1st as approximately 150 Mechistas, PJALS folks, students, and other community members marched on the streets in support of a just and humane Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11.2 million undocumented people currently living in the United States. Read more »
“I have done things I never thought I was capable of “
by Michelle Little
When I first chose to do my internship with PJALS, I was a bit wary of how well I could function as a community organizer. I can’t even keep my house organized, so the thought of organizing a whole community was a bit intimidating. However, looking back over the experience I have had with PJALS it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. Read more »
“I was part of a monumental victory”
by Justin Filla
These past nine months at PJALS has been a great experience. I have had the privilege of sitting on the Marriage Equality Committee as well as the Palestine and Israel Human Rights Committee (PIHRC). From sitting on these committees I had the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals who have an abundance of knowledge and passion for the issues we worked on. Read more »
“I discovered my passion”
by Lucy Vazquez
The past nine months at PJALS have been very rewarding. There were many times I doubted my abilities in community organizing and often thought that perhaps community organizing wasn’t for me. During my practicum experience I didn’t get the intern-to-client work experience that my fellow classmates did, however I do understand the importance of lobbying and the importance of being politically involved. I would like to continue working around changing policy for social justice. One of my professors mentioned to us, “social workers are the lobbyists of the poor.” At first I didn’t understand her statement but now after seeing all the work that PJALS does for our community, I get it. Read more »
“I have the values and drive to influence change”
by Joshua Neil
I started the school year off excited to be able to gain knowledge and experience from PJALS. Now I have a little over a week left of my undergraduate career and I’m wondering where the time went! My time as an intern at PJALS has been so enriching. I have learned so much about the issues I’ve worked on, and at the same time I’ve learned more about myself. The thing I will remember most about my practicum experience is the people. Read more »
Young Leaders graduate–tomorrow, the world!
Congratulations to the Young Activist Leaders Program class of 2013! Alex Golikov, Michelle Little, Michael Tooley, Lucy Vazquez, Justin Filla, Taylor Weech, Josh Neil, and Audrey Connor (not pictured).
Thank you for being part of our program! Love and best wishes to each of you!
We Walk to Keep Our Community Whole
by Josh Neil, PJALS intern
On March 23rd our community came together to urge our representatives to reject cuts to education, healthcare, and other lifeline programs. Nearly forty people from several organizations came together in the largest action the Spokane’s northside has ever seen. Read more »
Council resolution sets accountability standards for next Police Guild contract
On Monday May 20th the Spokane City Council unanimously passed a resolution that lays out their expectations for Mayor Condon’s negotiations with the Spokane Police Guild. This resolution is an important step forward to guide the future implementation of Proposition 1, which passed in February 2013 with a 70% yes vote. Read more »
Thank you to all our Volunteers, Sponsors, and Donors!
Together, we’re supporting youth as leaders, pushing to close corporate tax loopholes, organizing for peace and accountability, and winning equal rights. None of what PJALS does would be possible without people like you who power our work together with your efforts and your donations!
Every dollar donated helps advance nonviolence and the strength of everyday people. We’re happy to report that last week nearly 200 of us gathered together to for our Soiree and Benefit Auction, and we raised more than $20,000!
Our sincere and deep thanks to all the volunteer leaders, volunteers, table captains, auction item donors, sponsors, and guests who made the Soiree such a success! See below for a full list of item donors & sponsors and to see some great pictures of our fun evening.
If you couldn’t join us, it isn’t too late to make a gift! With your help, we can meet our new goal of $23,000!
You can help us reach our goal 2 ways–can we count on you?
1) Help us receive a $2000 challenge by signing up as a monthly donor! We need just seven more new or increased monthly donors to receive this challenge! You can give $5, $10, or more each month, stretch your giving across the year, and help us do less asking and more doing! It’s easy at www.pjals.org/contribute!
2) Give a gift at any level now at www.pjals.org/contribute! Whether you give $100, $10, or anywhere in between, all gifts are appreciated. With our lean and efficient budget, every gift makes a difference! Read more »
Mossadegh Legacy Institute founder to speak June 6
The non-profit Mossadegh Legacy Institute (MLI), inspired by the legacy of the late Iranian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, seeks to “create a world that nurtures the nonviolent virtues and values of “The Gandhi of Iran” [Mossadegh], not only for his beloved Iran, but for the global community on our distressed Mother Earth.”
MLI has composed a petition to the Nobel Foundation for a joint Posthumous Nobel Peace Prize for Mossadegh and Mahatma Gandhi. MLI’s Board of Endorsers includes MIT Professor Noam Chomsky (Honorary Chair); Prof. Ervand Abrahamian; Tariq Ali; Cindy Sheehan; Professor Richard Falk; Prof. Stephen Kinzer and many other effective contemporary voices for truth and justice.
MLI is conducting a Mossadegh Awareness Speaking Tour across the U.S., seeking to build a deeper understanding of Mossadegh and beget Sanity in Foreign Policy, a condition urgently needed in today’s world. MLI founder Moji Agha will speak in Spokane on June 6:
6:00 to 8:00 PM, at Salem Lutheran Church, 1428 W 1428 W Broadway Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 Read more »
Join us for our Soiree and Benefit Auction on May 30!
You are invited! Seats are filling fast, so get your tickets in advance!
New: Take a look at the exciting items you could win in our Live Auction! Cabin getaways, delicious dinners, a handmade quilt, “Glamour Camping,” river floats, and more!
Pentagon cuts could help all
PJALS member and disabled veteran Justin Ellenbecker placed this powerful Guest Editorial in the Spokesman-Review on Saturday, May 11.
The discussion over what to do with the budget has been blanketing newspapers and airwaves for quite some time now. Several plans are jockeying to see how much we can cut without amputating some large portion of the voting public. As a combat veteran, I’m aware of the difficulty in making triage decisions. This is why I now fight to make sure all veterans receive the lifelines they need. Preserving and strengthening Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and care for returning service members needs to be a top priority.
While serving in Iraq, I suffered injuries that forced me to leave the line of work I’d trained for. Since my return, I’ve worked with supportive networks to counsel returning service members who, like me, have physical and mental health issues. One of the chief concerns that veterans raise is the ability to care for themselves and their families now, and in the future.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress are pushing budgets that directly attack the programs that Americans’ lives depend on: Medicare and Medicaid. Now, the president wants to weaken Social Security. All of this is in the guise of deficit reduction.
There’s no need to slash these programs, which help drive our economy, generate jobs and deliver health care to millions, including tens of thousands of veterans. Read more »
Dan Maher and Blue Ribbon Tea Co. play to benefit PJALS
Inland Folk’s Dan Maher in a rare concert with the Northwest’s best folk voices and songwriters, Bill and Kathy Kostelec.
Friday May 17, 7:00 pm Read more »
Walk to Keep Our Community Whole!
Come Walk to Keep Our Community Whole on Saturday, March 23rd at 12Noon to reject the Senate’s proposed All-Cuts budget, and call on our state Senators in the 6th and 7th Legislative Districts to raise revenue and reject cuts that hurt real people in our community. Read more »
Our Community of Action Going Forward Together
by Liz Moore, PJALS Director
What I love most about PJALS is being part of a community of people who take action together based on the connections between human rights, economic justice, & peace.
Our Steering Committee asked you, PJALS members, to guide strategic planning for 2013-2014. We learned that you overwhelmingly support organizing to raise revenue & reject cuts as well as to counter the costs of militarism and to demand money for people, not for war. You’re also passionate about alternatives to incarceration & police accountability. You value that we create community together through our events & campaigns. You strongly support our Young Activist Leaders Program & our interns. You love our Action Conference. You want PJALS to continue to strengthen our connections with communities of color & with rural people.
Why prioritize those areas? Read more »
Yelling “Fire!” In A Crowded Bill of Rights
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
Cassandra, in ancient Greek stories, has become a more and more compelling character to me as I’ve observed the politics of institutional violence. What curse could frustrate you more than being able to see the future clearly while every other mind is completely closed to any warning or constructive comment you might offer? Watching epic, human-driven disasters unfold was much less painful before I realized two essential facts: The violence residing within me is part of the problem, and there is always an alternative to violence.
Our national conversation is full of presumptions that immutable conflicts emerge from the blue, with no way to anticipate or prevent them. What a waste of talk. Read more »
Pulling at the Threads of Violence in our Culture
By Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane
What a privilege it was to moderate during PJALS’ February 7th panel discussion on violence. We don’t hear about most the violence that occurs every day in our country or in our communities, but the recent and terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as those in places like Aurora, Colorado, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and far too many others, have reminded us all that something must be done now! Read more »
Rural Organizing Revisited
By Shar Lichty
A few years ago, Liz and I had the privilege of visiting some amazing groups of rural progressives to do voter education around seven important ballot initiatives concerning revenue. We have since been wanting to make another round of visits but haven’t quite figured out when to squeeze them into our busy schedules. Last spring a couple of our interns and myself went to Seattle to attend a conference on rural organizing and I left feeling a sense of urgency around re-launching our rural organizing efforts.
Having worked on a few “statewide” campaigns I understand the importance of progressives in Eastern WA and sometimes experience frustration with groups on the west side of the mountains who seem to lack this understanding. Eastern WA is much more than just Spokane, it is a broad region full of vibrant rural communities who are vital to moving any progressive issue forward. Read more »
Join Our Media Action Team
By Justin Filla
The Peace and Justice Action League is looking for individuals who would like to join our Media Action Team. This Media Action Team will consist of authors who would like to write letters to the editor for causes that PJALS focuses on. These letters will be submitted to The Spokesman-Review as well as other area publications. The goal of this action team is to get more progressive voices out in the Spokane community. Read more »
Our generation has all the potential
Young Activist Leader reflection
By Audrey Connor, Youth Sustainability Council, Community-Minded Enterprises
Thus far into the program, YALP has really helped me understand the context of my thinking as both a semi-organizer and a private citizen. I feel so engaged and impassioned in every discussion, and being able to share my thoughts and opinions freely among like-minded individuals (under the guidance of Shar and Liz) has been a huge gift, especially lately as I figure out what it is I want from my life and experiences.
I am also able to listen to different points of view and have my mind changed often. I really respect my fellow program members, and many of the exercises and discussions we have had have reassured me that our generation has all the potential I tell people it does. I am really, really grateful this program exists.
For more information about PJALS Young Activist Leader Program, visit www.pjals.org/yalp