Dismantle Poverty’s Summer Update

The Poverty Reduction Work Group sent out its summer newsletter on June 14.

You can subscribe to receive regular updates on our contact page. Here’s what was featured in the message.

Steering Committee & 10-Year Plan Getting National Attention

10-Year Plan Gets Liftoff in 2021 Legislative Session and Beyond

This past year we saw truly heroic efforts among so many of our colleagues in the PRWG community to address the social, health, and economic consequences of COVID-19. Agency leaders and their teams worked tirelessly under extraordinary conditions to provide virtual services and invest in our children, families, workers, and communities; non-profits and philanthropy stepped up their game to meet the substantial increase in need; businesses rallied together to keep as many people working as possible; and advocates pushed for bold policies and programs to meet the moment. Dozens of PRWG members and partners — including many of our Steering Committee members — testified in legislative hearings, wrote op-eds, and participated in endless Zoom meetings in support of the 10-Year Plan.

The 2021 legislative session gave lift off to the 10-Year Plan, laying a foundation for the work and moving the state closer to a just and equitable future. Legislative highlights related to PRWG strategies and recommendations include:

Ongoing Efforts

Partnership to elevate community-led solutions in state policy, programs, and funding decisions.

During the early months of the pandemic, an interagency Technical Advisory Group (TAG) formed with a goal to define, measure, and build accountability toward a just and equitable future. The proposal is supporting the creation of the Just Washington Collaborative, a group of public-private partners with a shared interest in a just and equitable recovery from COVID-19 and long-term, inclusive economic well-being.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding Just WA Collaborative.

Funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting the capacity of communities historically excluded from social and economic well-being to co-create a vision for a just and equitable future and a design a process that elevates community-led solutions in state policy, program, and funding decisions. The TAG proposal and the work of the Just WA Collaborative will be highlighted at the upcoming Results WA Public Performance Review (see details below).

Results Washington Public Performance Review (PPR).

PRWG co-lead agencies will be presenting the TAG proposal with our partners at the June 23 PPR meeting with Governor Inslee.

Human-Centered Poverty Reduction workgroups.

The Steering Committee asked us to focus on Strategy 6 in the plan and in the last nine months, a multidisciplinary group of agencies have met on each of the six recommendations within Strategy 6. The goal of the workgroup is to create a human-centered upward mobility system that coordinates the work of our agencies, empowers people experiencing poverty, treats them as customers, centers on the impacts of racism and implicit bias, and measurably and equitably reduces poverty. The committee leads presented their efforts-to-date and their work plans to the last PRWG meeting in order to get feedback on the work. Feedback was shared and incorporated into work plans with the emphasis on the foundation of creating hope and resilience (Strategy 6f).

Economic Security for All grants.

The Employment Security Department, a PRWG co-lead, will continue to administer the EcSA grant program. EcSA develops and tests innovative approaches to serve low-income Washingtonians in their pursuit of equity, dignity, and sustained self-sufficiency. EcSA focuses on streamlining access to existing resources and developing new strategies to fill in the gaps. Read more about the future of EcSA here.

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