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 »
Join us for our Soiree and Benefit Auction on May 30!
You are invited!
New: Take a look at the exciting items you could win in our Live Auction! Cabin getaways, delicious dinners, a handmade quilt, river float, and 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 »