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Latest news

The Transformational Impact of The Calling Us All In Workshop

by pjals Thursday, Oct 20, 2016 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

by Bailey Russell

Bailey is a new intern at PJALS

I went to this event not really knowing what to expect. My aura was the same as the weather—glum, dark and rainy. I was enmeshed in a plethora of non-consequential things that I wasn’t treating as such. I was just feeling lost. I needed guidance. Most of all I needed healing. That’s exactly what I found that night at the workshop.

It started out much different than I expected—we were tasked to place ourselves at different sides of the room depending on how we identified with questions asked of us. Starting out with this activity really opened up everyone in the room. We began somewhat closed off. I could feel the tension as we started, because we were all different people from different backgrounds talking about something that makes us all, collectively, uncomfortable—race. Read more »

PJALS Voting Party and Potluck

by pjals Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 | 7:19pm | Comment on this

Between the fatigue of this election cycle and the fallout from the extreme divisions it’s brought to the surface of our social media feeds (and lives!), many of us are ready for it to be over already. But there’s one thing left to do before it can be over, and that’s vote. So let’s gather together to do our research, and make informed decisions–from the bottom of the ballot up. While PJALS can’t endorse candidates, we can share recommendations on initiatives and provide a neutral space for discussion and seeking to understand one another even as we disagree. So come on down! Bring your ballot and friends (and snacks to share if you want!) as we prepare to organize for whatever outcomes the elections bring.

Thursday October 27, 5:30 – 7:15, in the Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main

Invite your friends on Facebook here. All welcome! Kid activities available!

PJALS Voter Guide 2016

by pjals Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 | 10:10am | One comment.

Positions taken by the PJALS Steering Committee

Statewide & local initiatives

No on Initiative 732  – Poorly written carbon tax bill

If passed, I-732 would tax the carbon in fossil fuels used for aircraft, watercraft, and motor vehicles. Fuel brought in vehicle supply tanks would be exempt and money from the tax would go into the State’s general fund. This Initiative is well intentioned yet poorly written and fails to address negative impacts on vulnerable populations and jobs.

Yes on Initiative 735 – Move to Amend: Overturn Citizens United

The measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment clarifying that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations; that spending money is not free speech under the First Amendment; that governments are fully empowered to regulate political contributions and expenditures to prevent undue influence; and that political contributions and expenditures must be promptly disclosed to the public. The measure would urge the legislature to ratify such an amendment.

Yes on Initiative 1433 – Raise Up Washington: Minimum Wage Increase & Paid Sick Leave

The Raise Up Washington initiative will help Washington workers and our economy in two ways: It raises Washington’s minimum wage to $13.50, and provides up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave per year.

Yes on Initiative 1464 – Transparency & Accountability in Elections

Initiative 1464 would create “Democracy Credits” to enable eligible citizens to direct a portion of public funds to their preferred political candidate as an individual donation. It would also restrict the relationships of public employees, former public employees, and political candidates with lobbyists, limit the donations of public contractors to candidates running for offices that regulate their industry, and repeal the non-resident sales-tax exemption.

Yes on Initiative 1491 – Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Initiative 1491 would allow family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that the person poses a serious threat to themselves or others. We know that family members and law enforcement are often in the best position to see the warning signs of violence and, by creating Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Initiative 1491 will give them a tool to prevent a tragedy before it happens.

Yes on Initiative 1501 – Prevent Fraud, Protect Seniors

Initiative 1501 increases the penalties for criminal identity theft and civil consumer fraud targeted at seniors or vulnerable individuals; and exempts certain information of vulnerable individuals and in-home caregivers from public disclosure.

Yes on Spokane Transit Proposition 1—Yes on Buses: Keep Spokane Working, Moving, Thriving

Approving STA Proposition 1 will: Create new routes and more frequent service to hospitals, employers, colleges and universities, community events, and shopping.; relieve areas of growing congestion, reduce wear and tear on our roads, and provide freedom to get around; and build the foundations we need to keep our communities healthy and working, especially for our seniors and community members with disabilities.

Click here for the Spokane County Elections Office Voter Guide with statements from candidates for County Commissioners, Judges, Legislative and Statewide Positions.

Remember to get your ballots turned in or postmarked by Nov. 8th!

Download a printable pdf version here.

Share your PJALS Story

by pjals Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016 | 11:11am | Comment on this

We want to hear your PJALS story! As we near the end of our 40th year of building a just and nonviolent world, we are asking for your help to tell the story of PJALS–through your experiences.

Will you take a moment and fill out the short form here.

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Support Indigenous Peoples Day

by pjals Friday, Aug 26, 2016 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

indigenous peoples day because

Spokane’s City Council will vote Monday night, August 29, whether to begin to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. Will you come show your support? You can invite your friends here.

Or, will you email citycouncil@spokanecity.org to encourage undecided Council Members to support the resolution declaring the second Monday in October “an opportunity to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Indigenous Peoples of our region”?

You can see the Spokesman’s coverage here.

I went to my copy of Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History to find Columbus’ journals and the eyewitness account of Bartolome de Las Casas. Zinn begins the chapter: Read more »

Part 2 of Doing Democracy book discussion

by pjals Friday, Aug 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

doing democracy bookCome join us on August 10 for the 2nd part of our discussion of Doing Democracy! And join us for a snack potluck so we can munch while we chat! We will be meeting at 5:30-7:30 pm in the conference room of the Community Building, 35 W. Main St.

Doing Democracy presents the Movement Action Plan (MAP), Bill Moyer’s practical strategic model that describes how social movements work.

The book presents a general theory of how social movements work,
including sections on democracy, power, powerholder strategy and
movement strategy; describes the four roles that activists need to
play effectively (compared to ineffectively) and explains in detail
the eight stages of the road to success along which activists need to
guide their social movement.

For more info on the book or to download a pdf of the first 3 chapters:

It’s okay if you missed the first discussion; our first meeting was a lively, thoughtful, discussion between 15  or so people (not all of them had read the book) and it soon became apparent we needed to continue the discussion to glean all the wisdom out of the book. Each of the first three chapters alone is so rich with ideas and insights as to be a single group discussion in itself. The best part was the forging of new connections between people who share a passion for justice, equality and freedom. Hope to see you there.

Summer Gathering for Police Accountability in Portland

by pjals Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 | 1:13pm | One comment.

Registration is now open: Click here to register!

For two years now, PJALS has been networking and collaborating with Portland’s NAACP and Seattle’s Mothers for Police Accountability to form the Northwest Community Coalition for Police Accountability In order to strengthen our regional solidarity and develop a long-term, strategic framework, a Summer Gathering of activists will held in Portland at Portland State University on Aug. 12-13, a Friday and Saturday.

We hope a huge Spokane contingency will be there. People like you and your friends and allies. Read more »

Hundreds Stand for Peace

by pjals Friday, Jul 15, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

vigil photoAt a vigil-rally jointly sponsored by PJALS and the NAACP, hundreds of people gathered outside the county courthouse on July 9 in a show of solidarity and support in the aftermath of the killings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Dallas. Among others, Phil Tyler, president of the NAACP, Sandy Williams, publisher of The Black Lens newspaper, and our own Liz Moore, PJALS director, offered inspiring words and their perspectives on a week of horror and tragedy, ways to heal, things to consider from a black mother’s point of view, and the importance of getting involved to end racism and violence.

The gathering itself of a diversity of communities was a beautiful example of unity and love. At one point a lone protester tried to disrupt the gathering but he was met with a collective refusal to be drawn into argument and tension, with love, hugs, and acceptance. Mr. Tyler effectively defused the tension by offering him his moment to speak, to name his issue, and it turned out, he, too, in his awkward way, was asking for love, a world of love and peace.

It was a moment of collective understanding among the people that we all suffer the residual trauma of violence and injustice and we mustn’t allow bitterness to divide us. As others have noted, only recognition, understanding and insight can rob trauma of its power. And by working together, building relations, we create the path to that recognition and understanding.