Each of us is the expert in our own lives, stories, and experiences.

At Poverty Action, we believe that low-income communities and communities of color inherently have the expertise and experience needed to identify and lead solutions to the problems impacting them. Our work both starts and is carried out in partnership with Washingtonians living on low incomes, and it all starts with our semi-annual Listening Sessions.

How our Listening Sessions work

Poverty Action staff and board members travel to towns and communities across the state to hear directly from low-income Washingtonians about the issues most impacting them. We structure our sessions to allow space for every participant to share their experiences and perspective. We facilitate conversations around accessing financial assistance and basic needs programs, the criminal justice system, healthcare and consumer debt, and more.

Illustration of a car, teddy bear, diapers, baby bottle, laptop, and book on top of dollar bills

The primary goal of Listening Sessions is to build relationships and trust with low-income Washingtonians across the state so that we can elevate their voices during the legislative session and beyond.

Listening Sessions guide our policy agenda

As the name suggests, Listening Sessions are an opportunity for Poverty Action staff and board to listen and learn from community members. The issues we work on are directly influenced by the conversations, feedback, and experiences that we hear from people with low incomes and communities of color throughout Washington. We develop and advocate for policy solutions in the upcoming Legislative Session based on what we hear.

Listening Sessions 2023

Listening Session Themes 2023 Map with key themes highlighted listening sessions in Skagit County, High Point, Spokane, and Ellensburg