by Sharon Rodkey Smith
The PJALS committee for political action has had a very encouraging September! The Peace and Justice Action Committee (PJAC) has been very active in connecting with other groups around the state during lobby visits with the National and Local offices of our Washington State Senators. (It has been more difficult getting these visits with our Congressional Representative McMorris-Rogers.)
Our connection with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has been most productive. This organization provides monthly Zoom/virtual meetings that include various Congressional members well informed on our issues, and Lobbyists that have a thorough understanding of the needs and current activity. With the information we gain, we are asked to reach out for meetings with our representatives in the Senate and House, to offer information that we have gained, and request that our representatives co-sponsor legislation that will help end the war/conflict.
The PJAC committee was invited by other FCNL groups in our state, as they reached out to the National offices in DC. for ‘Lobby Visits’ this summer. There are around six groups from around Washington State that participate in these activities. The Spokane group was allowed to have some responsibilities in these very fruitful meetings. It was powerful to reach out to Murray’s and Cantwell’s offices, with people from around the State supporting the same issue: please Co-Sponsor the Senate legislation that would pull national funding of the Saudis in their war against Yemen.
The Yemeni people are being devastated by the blockade that the Saudis have set up around the Yemeni border. Bombing has been indiscriminate, killing women, children, old and young.
There is a ceasefire at this time, which we hope will continue. The financial support that the US has given towards the Saudi war efforts must be ended.
Good news!!! We have gotten word that Senator Patty Murray has agreed to sign on as a Co-Sponsor to the Senate bill that cuts funding to the Saudis. The Senate tries to get bi-partisan sponsorship, so the assumption may be made that a Republican has also signed on…
We have been so encouraged by the response that we have had with our quarterly meetings with the Spokane staffers for our Senators.
Although our group is few in numbers, we feel an empowerment in our involvement with FCNL, and in the sense of community that we feel in our PJAC committee.
If you are interested in joining us, please email: [email protected]pjals.org.