The Blogful of Salt
Safe & Just Alternatives Advocacy Day 2016
A tiny yet mighty delegation from PJALS took storm at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 26th to advocate for Safe & Just Alternatives to the death penalty. Our delegation met with 8 of 9 legislators or their staff and delivered postcards to all nine offices representing the 3rd, 6th, and 4th legislative districts. We had the busiest schedule of the day and delivered the largest bundles of postcards. Thank you to all of you who signed a postcard this year and helped make this day such a success.
HB 1739 and SB 5639 would remove the death penalty as a sentencing option for aggravated first degree murder, leaving life without the possibility of parole as the default sentence. This year we are hoping for a vote out of House Judiciary Committee which held a hearing last year and at least a hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. There is a good chance for the House movement but Senator Mike Padden, Chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, continues to prevent a hearing in his committee. Most folks analysis is that if the bills made it to the floor we have the votes to win in both chambers.
Our delegation left Olympia physically exhausted but spiritually energized from a productive day at the Capitol. This issue has become strong in bi-partisan support and even the lawmakers who will likely never agree with us now display respect for and willingness to hear our concerns with this barbaric policy. It is only a matter of time until we win repeal.
If you did not sign a postcard but would like to lift your voice on the issue, find your legislator here and send them a personalized email.
Community Forum on Police Leadership
What do you believe our community needs in our next Police Chief? Please come make your voice heard!
Community Forum on Police Leadership
Thursday January 21, 6:30 – 8:00
Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main
Sponsored by: Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane, Spokane Police Accountability & Reform Coalition, Greater Spokane Progress, Smart Justice Spokane, Center for Justice, Spokane NAACP
Mayor Condon’s Police Leadership Advisory Committee is seeking community input to prepare for hiring the next police chief. Read more »
Fellowship Of Reconciliation (FOR) honors PJALS with their “Local Hero” Peace Award at their Centennial celebration on November 7, 2015 in New York City
by Mark Hamlin
We were so honored to receive the news that the national Fellowship of Reconciliation would recognize PJALS for our work as part of their 100 year anniversary celebration events in New York City! I was excited to have our efforts publicly acknowledged and honored in this way by this very highly respected organization, of which PJALS is one of many world-wide affiliates.
I was asked to go to New York to represent PJALS to receive the award. I was excited to be going to New York, for my first time, but hesitated when I was told that I would need to give an acceptance speech. After my initial anxiety about that, I realized how important it was to share the work that we do at PJALS.
It was more than worth it as I enjoyed every bit of my time at all of the events. It started with the Centennial exhibit on Thursday evening for the opening reception at the Union Theological Seminary James Chapel. The exhibit of the history of FOR at the chapel was an amazing presentation of the events of the past 100 years of the FOR’s involvement in peace and justice efforts. I was inspired and very impressed with the work that went into the displays that covered the walls of the chapel. Read more »
Responding to Manufactured Fear
by Whitman Neruda
This is in response to the Aug. 13 Inlander article, “Manufacturing Fear.”
First, our view as progressives is this: we don’t want big, intrusive government; we want an effective, responsive government and a human-scaled, people-first economy. We want to mid-wife a transformed America adept at non-violent communication and the skills that negotiate our differences, much in the way of a good marriage, out of love and respect.
We believe everyone has the right to talk about injustice, perceived or experienced.
The problem is too many people on both sides agitate and exaggerate, fear mongering and slandering their way through cyber space. They appear psychologically addicted to the adrenalin of hate. Read more »
Appreciating our Fall Volunteers!
Many thanks to these generous spirits who gave their time and efforts in September, October, and November 2015!
Anne Martin, Chris Nerison, Dale Raugust, Daphne Soto, Eileen Maiocco, Golie Jansen, Inga Laurant, James Robenstein, Jennifer Calvert, Lynn Sexton, Mark Hamlin, Maurina Ladich, Nancy Nelson, Obaid Abdul-Salam, Pauline Druffel, Phil Svoboda, Rowena Pineda, Rusty Nelson, Tim Connor, Valerie Waley, Ziggy Seigfried
Our priority areas for 2016-17
As determined by our member priority survey responses and our Steering Committee!
- A Just Society: Smart Justice and Police Accountability
- Peace: Truth in Recruitment, Consciousness-Raising about Militarism, and Mobilizing against War!
- Human Rights Community Organizing: Building collective power with targeted communities.
- Ending the Death Penalty in Washington as our top legislative priority.
Exposing & transforming systems of violence & oppression to create beloved community and build a just and nonviolent world.
Peace & Justice Center as Stepping Stone
by Pauline Druffel
The 40th anniversary celebration of PJALS has special significance for me because I was a part of the early staff of PJC, the Spokane Peace and Justice Center (PJALS’s predecessor). PJC, started in 1975; I came on board in 1978 and stayed until 1982. The other day, Liz Moore asked me to write a piece for the Handful of Salt Newsletter about how my time at PJC has influenced my life since then. I recently had an experience of looking back over my life and identifying stepping stones that brought me to where I am today. I’m going to use that idea in what follows because I can see in hindsight that my experiences at PJC proved to be a major influence on my subsequent worldview. Read more »
by Whitman Neruda
Inspired by the wisdom of Indigenous elders of the Southwest
Now is the time we circle for stories with just intention.
A winter spirit dance of dialogue and reflection
To remember who we are: Many voices, One Heart.
Moonlight on the water reminds us
There is no mistake so tragic it divides us,
No hardship we cannot endure.
Has happened before.
Snow falls like voices of a choir
Singing hymns of a great turning inward,
The creation of space that matters
Where we can safely gather,
Share our dreams and memories,
Talk of journeys just begun
Or nearing an end.
Our bodies glow like candles in a circle.
Pour cold mountain water over your burning stones
And dream together.
Marvel at your pain.
Laugh about the surprise of love.
Our prayers are in the telling.