Tag: advocacy

Make Your Voice Heard November 4th

On November 4, 2014, the City of Seattle will vote on Proposition 1A and 1B. Voters are asked to decide, 1. Should either of these measures be enacted into law and 2. Regardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?

Both 1A and 1B concern early learning programs and providers of such services for children. Prop 1A would establish a $15 minimum wage for childcare workers (phased in over three years for employers with under 250 employees); seek to reduce childcare costs to 10% or less of family income; prohibit violent felons from providing professional childcare; require enhanced training and certification through a training institute; create a workforce board and establish a fund to help providers meet standards; and hire an organization to facilitate communication between the City and childcare workers.

As an alternative, the Seattle City Council and Mayor have proposed Proposition 1B (Ordinance124509), which would fund the four year initial phase of a City early learning program with the goal of developing a widely-available, affordable, licensed, and voluntary preschool option. The Ordinance requires support, training and certification for teachers. The program uses research-based strategies, includes evaluation of results, and provides tuition support. This proposition authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing additional 2015 collection of up to $14,566,630 (approximately 11¢ per $1,000 assessed value), totaling $58,266,518 over four years.

As an organization committed to empowering women and children and ensuring our children are healthy 21st century learners, the JLS encourages you to research this issue for yourselves and make your voice heard at the polls. Review your voters’ guide, League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, Seattle Times and others for more information and then have your ballots postmarked no later than November 4th to ensure your vote counts.

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Anti-Human Trafficking Bill Passes House

From our Advocacy Committee:

Bill to combat human trafficking, focusing on online child escort ads, passes House

OLYMPIA — Today, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan anti-trafficking bill to keep minors from being exploited through online ads for escort services such as Backpage.com. Having already passed the Senate, the bill now goes to the governor for her signature.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D—Seattle, prime sponsor of Senate Bill 6251, said, “I am ecstatic the anti-trafficking legislation passed with unanimous support today out of the House of Representatives. This makes the strongest possible statement that there should be no selling of minors online – or anywhere! I worked with the Attorney General’s Office, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle Councilmember Tim Burgess, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, Port of Seattle Commission President Gael Tarleton, former Rep. Velma Veloria, the ACLU, Allied Daily Newspapers and others to ensure this bill passes constitutional muster as well as the federal Communications Decency Act. If the bill is signed into law, it will be the first one of its kind in the country.”

“Human trafficking is a billion-dollar industry that often takes advantage of the most vulnerable members of our society – our children, and even those with developmental disabilities,” said Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, who sponsored another bill to make it a class B felony to force a developmentally-disabled person into prostitution. “We’ve accomplished a lot, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We must do everything in our power to raise awareness of these crimes, give our judicial system more authority to punish the perpetrators, and provide help for the victims.”

Backpage.com, whose parent company is The Village Voice, makes at least $22 million a year from online adult escort ads, but refuses to verify the ages of those who place the ads or are depicted in them, even though its print edition published in the Seattle Weekly requires in person age verification. This results in minors being sold online into prostitution and sex-trafficking. All state attorneys general called on Backpage.com to stop selling online adult escort ads.

Kohl-Welles’ bill would create a new offense, making it illegal to knowingly sell an escort ad that involves a minor. To avoid possible criminal charges, classified advertising companies would be motivated to try to verify ages of escorts in sex-related postings. The bill offers an affirmative defense in prosecution of advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor if documentation is provided of the advertisers having obtained in-person age verification.

“This is great progress in our fight to protect children from those who would sexually exploit them,” said McGinn. “It is an honor to work with those who have championed this cause. I thank the House and the Senate for their leadership in this fight, particularly Sen. Kohl-Welles. I look forward to the governor’s signature and this bill becoming law in our state.”

“Washington was the first state to criminalize human trafficking and today our Legislature took another giant step by making advertisers accountable for their role in the exploitation of children,” said Burgess. “The unanimous bipartisan support for this legislation signals that we are united in our efforts to stop the horrific violence against children through coercive prostitution.”

“This legislation recognizes that the sale of children for commercial sexual abuse either online or in print is unacceptable. The Legislature has once again moved the ball forward in the fight against human trafficking,” said Satterberg.

“This is another step forward in our fight to protect the most vulnerable citizens,” said Tarleton. “When we work together, we have the power to stop trafficking.”

“This is great news! With the first amendment rights concerns addressed, this bill will be a great tool for those of us in the anti-trafficking arena to help women and girls who are victims of human trafficking,” said Veloria, who pioneered the Legislature’s anti-trafficking efforts back in 2002.

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For more information:

Alison Dempsey-Hall, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7887

From Advocacy – Call + Response review

Call + Response poster

Snowmageddon can’t stop us!  The Advocacy Committee was thrilled that over 70 people came out on January 22, 2012 to Hillel-UW for the screening of Call+Response.  Advocacy committee members Angela Allen and Marisa Jenkins worked closely with Alex Sum, Co-Founder of Seattle Against Slavery and Founder/Chairman of Hope for Seattle, to arrange the movie screening and the panel discussion which followed.

Call+Response is a combination documentary and musical performance film that brings to light the awful fact that there are more slaves today than ever before in human history.  The movie makes the point that the business of human trafficking is just that, a business in which slave traders make an enormous amount of money off of the exploitation of women and children. The Director, Justin Dillon, used music as an instrument in the movie to demonstrate that music can be part of the movement against human slavery.

The Panelists for the discussion and Q&A were:

  • Sarah Collins – Mother of missing young woman and former victim, Kelsey Collins
  • Mar Smith – Washington Engaged
  • Marie Hoffmann – Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN)
  • Peter Qualliotine – YouthCare
  • Robert Beiser – Seattle Against Slavery and Hillel-UW

The issue of Human Trafficking can be overwhelming for those new to the subject. However, the panel did a great job of breaking down the questions thrown at them.  Below is a synopsis of what was learned.

  • It is imperative to start talking about this subject to children as early as middle school when teens are at their most vulnerable age.
  • Insist on Fair Trade products. “Fair trade” describes a system of commerce that promotes a sustainable environment, labor rights, a good wage and healthy working conditions for laborers as well as their families and communities.  The panelists are hopeful that it won’t be too far into the future when Fair Trade practices will become as commonplace as recycling and organic gardening.  Click on this link to find out more information and to download a fair trade finder app.

http://fairtradeusa.org/.

Thank you to everyone who came out to see the showing and listen to the panel.  If you were unable to attend learn more and view the trailer at. http://www.callandresponse.com/.

Call+Response: Feature Documentary and Panel Discussion

Call + Response poster

January 22, 2012
5:00 pm
Hillel UW

4745 17th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
206-527-1997

CALL+RESPONSE is a first of its kind feature documentary/musical performance film that reveals the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. CALL+RESPONSE goes deep undercover where slavery is thriving from the child brothels of Cambodia to the slave brick kilns of rural India to reveal that in 2009, Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined.

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A about ways you can respond to modern slavery and bring about change. This screening and panel is sponsored by the Junior League of Seattle. View the trailer and consider attending with your fellow League members.

Please note for Junior League of Seattle members this is an optional event that does not result in obligation fulfillment. JLS leadership has changed the status of this event. It is now worth one Training Credit.

PANEL INFO:

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

The Junior League of Seattle focuses on women and children with a passionate interest in preventing human trafficking.  As we explore what we can do to bring an end to this horrible practice, we want to make everyone aware of what exactly human trafficking is and why it matters to us.

On January 22, 2012, the JLS is sponsoring the screening and panel of CALL+RESPONSE, a first of its kind feature documentary/musical performance film that reveals the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history.

CALL+RESPONSE goes deep undercover where slavery is thriving from the child brothels of Cambodia to the slave brick kilns of rural India to reveal that in 2009, Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A about ways you can respond to modern slavery and bring about change. This screening and panel is sponsored by the Junior League of Seattle.

To view a trailer http://www.callandresponse.com/trailers.php.

Please join us as we all become more familiar with this issue; register on the Junior League of Seattle website http://www.jrleagueseattle.org/?nd=p_event_detail&key=2220.

Human trafficking: Washington Works to Stop Demand

The key to stopping forced labor and sex slavery – also known as human trafficking – is to stop demand.

The Seattle area ranks among the top in the world for sexual exploitation of minors, according to Robin Schildmeyer of Genesis Project, an organization dedicated to protecting young women victimized by human trafficking. The organization provides a 24-hour safe house, and estimates the average age of entry into prostitution is 13. Many of the victims are runaways with a history of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and poverty.

Online Anti-Trafficking Outreach Training

This information came from the Health & Human Services Dept.

Engaging Volunteers in Anti-trafficking Outreach

On September 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducted a free, online WebEx training during which Mrs. Sandie Morgan of Vanguard University presented on “Engaging Volunteers in Anti-trafficking Outreach.”

The recorded session with audio and video, available through the above link, can be viewed until December 14, 2011.