The Blogful of Salt


PJALS meets with Senator Maria Cantwell’s staff

by pjals Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

PJALS meets with Senator Maria Cantwell’s staff

By Fitz, PJALS Steering Committee member and former YALPista

On January 13th we met with Senator Maria Cantwell’s Eastern Washington staffer *blank i forgot his name oh no* . We requested information on the following questions, the first one being why did she vote no on the recent prescription drug legislation. We were informed that this legislation was actually an amendment to the bill that would repeal the ACA and lacked provisions for FDA approval. Her staffer said that in general Senator Cantwell does in fact support lowering prescription drug costs. She receives one of the lowest dollar amounts from pharmaceutical companies and he stressed that over 90% of the Senator’s campaign donation base are not big corporate donors. Ultimately she opposes the bill as a whole that would repeal the ACA anyway. We also asked about accessibility of communication because one of our members had been told they couldn’t leave phone messages with the D.C. office. He assured us that was probably a simple mistake or misunderstanding and that leaving phone messages with him is always encouraged and that is what staffers are there to do. We also asked why she was silent on the issue of DAPL to which he said he would have to talk with the senator and get back to us. We gave him the names of the Trump cabinet appointees that PJALS most opposes particularly Sessions for Attorney General and Tillerson (former executive at Exxon) for Secretary of state with special mentions of Carson, Devoss for DOE and Mattis for DOD.


PJALS meets with Senator Patty Murray’s staff

by pjals Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

PJALS meets with Senator Patty Murray’s staff 

By Fitz, PJALS Steering Committee member and former YALPista

On January 6th PJALS Executive Director Liz Moore, Organizer Shar Lichty and Steering Committee members Cly Evans and myself met with Patty Murray’s Eastern Washington staffer John Culton to share with him our priorities and hear about the senator’s current plan in light of the impending Trump Administration. We focused our asks around opposing the expansion of torture (specifically by opposing Sessions as the appointee for Attorney General), opposing any increase to the military budget at the expense of the social safety net and also supporting the protection of vulnerable populations against deportation and it’s connections to the privatized prison system.

John informed us that Senator Murray’s current lens for priority setting is one of damage control and that she intends to do all she can to protect the social safety net. She is hoping to increase her role as a voice of her constituents and her office is hoping to gather as many stories as possible of those that could be negatively affected by impending potential policy changes (for instance the defunding of Planned Parenthood or repealing of the Affordable Care Act.)

The senator ultimately sees the voice of the constituents as the best possible weapon against the negative outcomes of this election and she has expressed wanting to be a champion for that. “We will do everything we can to be that voice, to be the safe place, and I think we will see her become a lot less bi partisan.” Culton informed us. I believe we were all at least comforted by this statement and as Shar said “At this point we know that there is no negotiating with white supremacy.”  We hope to be a part of the effort to collect stories and voices that reflect our values. John informed us we were the first people since the election to express concern about the expansion of torture. Our collective voice is clearly one that is needed to be heard by our elected officials and I hope all of our members will help us in making that voice heard.


After the election: Grassroots surge

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | One comment.

After the election: Grassroots surgeliz-head-shot

By Liz Moore, PJALS Director

Hello to new members of PJALS holding our newsletter in their hands for the first time! We need you and welcome you as activists and leaders in our intergenerational grassroots movement.

With the electoral college victory of President-Elect Trump, many of us woke up on November 9 with reactions including fear, worry, astonishment, grim realism, and outrage for ourselves and those we love and stand with. Though all the fault-lines and fractures of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, manipulation, and big money have been present since the origin of our country, I have felt the need to map the new landscape, which retains very familiar landmarks as well as new terrain formations after this earthquake.

We are seeing a grassroots surge now. Every day since the election, we are seeing new members donating and new activists signing up on our email list and  on Facebook. Over 80 people gathered for a discussion on 8 hours’ notice the day after the election. Young people moved to action have organized large community mobilizations with hundreds turning out. Our PJALS post-election discussion “Coming Together, Gathering Hope” bulged at the seams with over 200 people – 3/4 of them new to PJALS!

People Power Must Be Visible. We need to keep mobilizing, connecting, and growing! Our commitment is deep and unwavering: We will stand up against hate. We will speak up! We will challenge our own fears. We will be true to our values! We will act with courage, passion, and strategy!

We reject fear, hate, apathy, white supremacy, homophobia, patriarchy, militarism, narcissism, Christian supremacy, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, violence, apathy, and despair.

We are rooted in and moving toward love, respect, community, peace, justice, youth, intersectionality, compassion, equity, dignity, equality, safety, empathy, understanding, graceful defiance, collective action, and liberation. Read more »


Wake Up and Work: a reflection

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

Wake Up and Work: a reflectiontaylor

By Taylor Weech

Over the past couple of years, something has solidified in my mind that I’ve had the uncomfortable pleasure of working on here at PJALS this past year. It probably began when I was told by a comrade of color that undoing racism is fundamentally a white people problem, and by that logic, my job. Looking at that sentence now, it seems so obvious. Of course white people should be the ones to take apart the system of race from which we benefit. Of course men should be the ones to examine and dismantle patriarchy. The onus is clearly on heterosexual people to end homophobia. Especially heightened during the mercifully-past election season, the divisions between our narratives and understandings have made simple conclusions like these and even honest conversation in general less possible. Read more »


Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: “Making History”

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

Rusty Nelson on Peace and War: “Making History”

Rusty Nelson

Rusty Nelson

For years, I have railed against the wholesale use and abuse of certain inescapable terms in the popular lexicon of American discourse.  Along with certain obscenities that continue to nibble away at my own vocabulary, “The Economy” is one that stands out.  Pundits, politicians and pedagogues seem to agree that the term has the same meaning for me that it does for Matt Shea, Bill Gates, and Domantas Sabonis.  “The Economy,” of course, bounces off me differently than it does anyone else, including my children and their children, and I resent the implication that I’m just another naked chick in a crowded nest, open wide for whatever worm that differently-feathered parent figure dangles above me. Read more »


The “Listening Session”

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

The “Listening Session”tim

By Tim Connor

On a Wednesday in mid-November the City of Spokane did something it had never done before.

It convened a meeting to hear from the public about the City’s imminent contract negotiations with the Spokane Police Guild and the Lieutenants and Captains Association. Those familiar with the problem will recognize what a big deal this is. From coast-to-coast, the major obstacle to police reform has been a lack of transparency and the exclusion of a citizen voice in the collective bargaining process. Read more »


Where all are welcome

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

christinaWhere all are welcome

By Christina Walden

Hello PJALS Members! I am a new Intern at PJALS this years from the Eastern Washington University School of Social Work. I am so excited to be here working with you all to advance the causes of peace and justice here in Spokane, in our region, and hopefully throughout the nation. I am very passionate about equity in our society, especially for those who are marginalized by race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and disability status. I have felt so welcomed already by those of you I have met at the events over the last few months, PJALS is truly a place where all are welcome! Read more »


Fighting for justice and equity

by pjals Monday, Dec 5, 2016 | 2:14pm | Comment on this

Fighting for justice and equitybailey

By Bailey Russell

Hi, I am an intern with PJALS for the 2016-2017 academic school year. I am a senior at Gonzaga University and will be graduating with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in French in May 2017. I will head to law school in the fall of 2017. Read more »