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Contribute to the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
Mark your calendar for "Climate Action for Peace," this year's International Day of Peace celebration, coming up Sept. 21. Details below. Artwork: excerpt from poster by Phoebe Wahl.
Friends,
 
Please welcome Aline Prata as the new Executive Director of the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center!

Aline has worked for 13 years as a grassroots organizer on a variety of intersectional issues, both locally and globally: from immigrant rights to political reform, gender equity and police demilitarization.

Aline earned her bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology from the Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos - Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015, and is currently working on her Master’s in Environmental Studies at Western Washington University focusing on science policies and social engagement. During her undergrad, Aline was a student movement leader and later became an organizer with the World March of Women.

After moving to the U.S., Aline worked as a writing mentor at Northwest Indian College and became one of the founding members of the Environmental Studies Equity and Diversity Committee at WWU, being committed to bringing Freirean popular education praxis to her work in and out of the classroom.
Aline’s work is grounded in transnational solidarity and she is devoted to connecting peace activism in Whatcom County to a perspective from the global South. In her spare time, you can find her reading, dancing salsa with Rumba Northwest or hanging out with the Oasis family.

Aline will start at WPJC on Monday, August 26. You can reach her at office@whatcompjc.org and 360-734-0217, or find her at WPJC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon-4 p.m.

Thank you,
WPJC

Tiny home build

Starting Oct. 5 and partnering with HomesNow, WPJC is building a tiny home for a local veteran. We are recruiting volunteers to help! The coordinating team includes high school students and veterans, and we particularly encourage anyone considering military service to work on this project with us. And we need folks with building experience!  Please sign up at https://www.whatcompjc.org/tinyhome.html and help us spread the word.

4-5 p.m., August 16
Peace Vigil
Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall

6 p.m., August 16
Veterans for Peace 111 monthly chapter meeting
Co-op Connections Building (405 E. Holly, Room 103)

5:30 p.m., August 18
Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
Garden Street United Methodist Church (1326 N. Garden St.)


7 p.m., August 27
Amnesty International Group 270 meeting
Upstairs at downtown Co-op (1220 N. Forest)

6-9 p.m., August 29
Raid Relief to Reunite Families Anniversary Fundraiser and Know Your Rights Ally Training

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth)

6-9 p.m., August 30
Birchwood International Market
Corner of Northwest and Birchwood

6-9 p.m., September 21
"Climate Action for Peace"
The Majestic (1027 N. Forest)

International Day of Peace keynote: Women of Color Speak Out


We are happy to announce that Women of Color Speak Out will be the keynote speakers at International Day of Peace. The event, themed "Climate Action for Peace," will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Majestic (1027 N. Forest), and will also feature a performance from local duo the Sweet Goodbyes, a silent auction, an info fair with 20 community groups, and the presentation of the 2019 Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award.

Women of Color Speak Out is a collective of Seattle activists working to educate and inform communities about the connections between the climate breakdown and systems of oppression. They are focused on shifting the narrative of the climate movement to one that is beyond the superficial causes (fossil fuels) to the deeper injustices of the world by decolonizing our minds. They speak from their personal truths and share unique perspectives on demanding climate justice and collectively creating a new, just future for us all.

Entry is free, and generous donations to support the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center are encouraged. Free childcare and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please contact office@whatcompjc.org with accessibility requests. 

Sponsored by:
A-1 Builders & Adaptations Design Studio; Amnesty International Group 270; Chuckanut Builders; ​Community Food Co-op; Daylight Properties; Environmental & Social Justice Committee of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship; First Congregational Church of Bellingham, UCC; ​The Majestic; Phoebe Bird; Steele Financial Services; ​United Church of Ferndale; and Veterans for Peace Chapter 111.

Planning team:
Josh Cerretti, Kendall Dodd, Billie Jones, Neah Monteiro, Aline Prata, Barbara Sardarov, and Joel Zovar

Take action to raise wages for WA workers

You have an opportunity to support wage increases for WA workers!  The WA State Department of Labor & Industries is now taking comments on proposed changes to overtime rules.  Comments must be submitted by 5 pm on September 6, 2019.  

Submit comments in one of three ways:

  • by email to EAPrules@Lni.wa.gov;
  • by fax at 360-902-5300 or 
  • by mailing comments to the Employment Standards Program, P.O. Box 44510, Olympia, WA 98504-4510.  

Some talking points you can use: 

  • This change would benefit 252,000 workers by 2026.
  • Overtime rules in WA State have not been updated since the 1970's.
  • A family of 2 adults with 2 children in Whatcom County needs about $65,000 to be self-sufficient and not rely on government assistance (3 full-time minimum wages jobs).
  • A single-parent family with one child needs $45,000 to be self-sufficient (2 full-time minimum wage jobs).
  • 22% of people in Bellingham lived in poverty in 2017.
  • There is no county in WA where a family can be self-sufficient working full-time at minimum wage.

Background:  

  • WA State is proposing to raise the wage ceiling for receiving overtime to 2.5 times the minimum wage over seven years (from 2020 to 2026).  This would increase the wage threshold for overtime to approximately $80,000 by January 2026.  
  • During the 1970's approximately 60% of workers qualified for overtime pay; currently only about 7% qualify.  
  • During the 1970's the overtime ceiling was 3 times the minimum wage, but it has been as high as 7 times the minimum wage in prior decades.  
  • The Obama administration directed the Dept. of Labor to revise overtime rules and the overtime threshold was raised to $47,476 in 2016; this ruling was overturned in court at the request of the Dept. of Labor during the Trump administration.  
  • The Dept. of Labor recently requested that the overtime threshold be changed to $35,308.  
  • The current overtime threshold is $23,660 annually.  Under current rules, employers can give workers a fancy title, work them 50, 60 or more hours per week but not pay them overtime.  
  • The change in overtime pay proposed for WA would benefit 252,000 workers by 2026. 

For more information: https://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/Overtime/OvertimeRules/default.asp

https://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/Overtime/OvertimeRules/QA.asp

https://www.wagehourblog.com/2019/03/articles/flsa-coverage/overtime-dol-proposes-to-raise-salary-level-for-overtime-exemption-to-35308/

Betsy Bell, Open Borders: A Personal Story of Love, Loss, & Anti-War Activism


Betsy Bell, mother, grandmother, business woman, is a longtime justice activist.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m., she will read from her new book, "Open Borders: A Personal Story of Love, Loss, and Anti-War Activism."

Details are available from Village Books.
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