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
- The American Public Human Service Association highlighted PRWG and the 10-Year Plan in a case study and as a racial equity champion in their April issue of Policy & Practice Magazine.
- Steering Committee members Jennifer Bereskin, Drayton Jackson, Shereese Rhodes joined Lori Pfingst at the Social Equity Leadership Conference hosted by the National Academy of Public Administrations to share the journey of PRWG and the 10-Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty. Information from the panel will be shared with health and human service leaders in the Biden Administration.
- The 10-Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty was highlighted as a national best practice at the 2021 Aspen Institute Children & Families Forum, and in Ascend at The Aspen Institute’s hot-off-the-press State of the Field: Two-Generation Approaches to Family Well-Being report.
- Lori Pfingst participated in the 2021 Aspen Forum on Children & Families plenary panel, Economic Equation for Families: Big Policies, Hopeful Futures, discussing the bold change needed to create a just and equitable future for kids and families.
- Lori Pfingst gave the opening remarks on meeting the moment and sustaining momentum on reducing poverty and inequality at the West Coast Poverty Center’s Annual Poverty Summit, What Comes Next? Challenges and Priorities for Creating a More Equitable Future.
- Drayton Jackson and Lori Pfingst will be sharing the 10-Year Plan and the Steering Committee as best practices at APHSA’s Economic Mobility & Well-Being Summit in August 2021.
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:
- Creation of the Office of Equity (Recs 1a & 1b)
- Funding for the PRWG Steering Committee (Rec 2b)
- Digital Equity and Broadband Access (Rec 2e)
- Fair Start for Kids Act (Rec 3f)
- Working Families Tax Credit, Capital Gains Tax, and national Child Tax Credits (Recs 3d and 3h)
- Continuous Medicaid Coverage for Children Under 6 (Rec 4)
- K-12 Education and Early Learning
- Washington Became the First State in Nation to Guarantee “Right to Counsel” for Renters (Rec 5b)
- Requiring “Just Cause” in Evictions (Rec 5b)
- Preventing Homelessness (Rec 5b)
- Establishing a New Need Standard for State Programs (Rec 6b)
- TANF 15% Cash Grant Increase and Elimination of 60-month Time Limit (Recs 6d and 6e)
- Policing Reform Legislation (Rec 7a)
- Suspension of Medicaid During Incarceration (Rec 7h)
- Restoring Voter Eligibility (Strategy 1 and Rec 7h)
- Expansion of DOC Graduated Reentry Program (Rec 7i)
- Automatic Child Support Abatement upon Incarceration (Rec 7f)
- Keeping Families Together Act (Recs 7a and 7c)
- UBI Mayoral Basic Income pilots and state Feasibility Study (Recs 6d and 8d)
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.
- When: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
- Where: Zoom Webinar. Registration is required, and virtual seating is limited. If you plan on attending, please contact Alissa Julius.
- TVW plans to live-stream the meeting, starting around 1 p.m.
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.