After the Statewide Summit for Homes, we held a day-long meeting with RAP Steering Committee members to decide which policies to focus on, given the response from people at the Summit. Ultimately, we decided to focus on 1) building more low-income and affordable housing, and 2) banning statewide source of income discrimination.
We wanted to get every RAP member in Washington involved before and during the first few weeks of the legislative session to put early pressure on lawmakers and to give RAP members the resources to be effective advocates.
Every Monday, starting Dec. 5, RAP members received an email with all of the actions they could take, resources they could learn from, and different ways to get involved. The first week, we started with a Strategy Call to walk people through the 8 Weeks of Action, and the following weeks, we had a variety of different actions like: Letters to the Editor campaigns to push for more affordable housing, calling lawmakers asking them to pass bills that would help our policy priorities, door belling in districts to take photos of residents who live in affordable housing to post on their lawmakers’ social media pages, and so on.
The 8 weeks culminated in a in-person lobby day in Olympia, where we wore hard-hats and distributed small shovels to every single lawmaker there, to show them how many shovel-ready projects were on the line if lawmakers did not pass the Capital Budget with a strong investment in the Housing Trust Fund.
It was an intense eight-week period, but we were able to have our voices heard and to create the change we wanted to see. A week after our in-person lobby day, lawmakers passed the Capital Budget! We also reached 4000 people through our social media actions, made 75 phone calls, and reached 148 lawmakers (including the governor)!
The eight weeks have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped work. Instead, we are gearing up for even more events and actions in this fight for housing justice.