The current COVID-19 pandemic has swept through Washington state, shocking our healthcare system and paralyzing our state and local economies. At the Statewide Poverty Action Network, we realize that this is a difficult, confusing, and scary time for all.

At the same time, we recognize that the pandemic is harming our state’s marginalized communities fastest and hardest. People with low incomes, women, Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, and people with disabilities are disproportionately facing lost wages and housing insecurity, or are doing hard, essential work without proper protective equipment.

The road ahead will be difficult, but its challenges are not insurmountable. Reviving the health and well-being of our communities and rebuilding local economies will take the dedication and cooperation of state lawmakers, advocates, and community leaders.

Throughout these coming months, Poverty Action is committing to:

Fight for what’s right: We’re using our position as one of Washington state’s forefront anti-poverty organizations to push for policies that protect low-income communities and facilitate a just recovery. The health and futures of our hardest-hit communities, as well as communities that have faced historic discriminations, must be at the forefront of policymakers’ plans. Click here to advocate alongside us.

Uphold community members’ stories: The economic harm of the pandemic will linger long after the stay-at-home orders are eased. It is critical that we elevate community experiences of hardship and resilience, sharing these stories with lawmakers and the media to demonstrate prolonged need for protective community policies. Click here to share your story.

Keep you informed: With the constant stream of news reports and policy changes, things can be pretty overwhelming. We’re committed to bringing you the facts with our simple and informative fact sheets that cover a wide range of topics from federal stimulus checks to statewide housing protections. Click here to read our fact sheets.

Build community: We’re growing our statewide network of community advocates— and you’re invited! This summer we’re offering a series of online classes about digital grassroots organizing work, all for free. Click here to register.

Maintain connection: Our advocacy and organizing work hasn’t stopped— it’s simply shifted location. Through digital advocacy tools such as social media, video calls, emails, and texts, we’re creating a sphere of online advocacy that can be easily accessed throughout the farthest reaches of Washington state. Click here to stay connected.

Our state is facing two distinct challenges: one of public health and safety, and the other of economic crisis. But through a unified, statewide commitment to inclusive policies that prioritize the health and economic well-being of all Washington’s communities, we can move forward toward recovery together.