February 13, 2024

WAWAC ENGAGES SNOHOMISH COUNTY LAW MAKERS IN OLYMPIA On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the staff of the Washington West African Center (WAWAC) joined forces with the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) and other nonprofit leaders from across the State of Washington at the Capitol State in Olympia, WA. 

The purpose of the gathering was to engage with lawmakers and advocate for immigrant rights through discussions on three bills: Health Equity for Immigrants Budget Proviso, Unemployment Insurance for Undocumented Workers HB 1095/SB 5109, and Pathways to the Future Professional Licenses for Washington’s Immigrants (HB 1889). WAISN, a powerful coalition comprising over 400 immigrant and refugee rights organizations, labor unions, grassroots groups, and faith communities in Washington state, has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts for immigrant rights. 

As a member of WAISN, WAWAC has played a crucial role in amplifying the voices of immigrant communities and advancing their interests. Over the years, WAWAC has actively participated in various advocacy programs and initiatives facilitated by WAISN, alongside partner organizations such as the Washington Community Alliance (WCA) and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Notable projects include advocating for health and unemployment insurance for farm workers, the Washington State Covid-19 Immigrants Relief Fund, aimed at providing economic relief and support to immigrant families affected by the pandemic etc. The advocacy day at the state Capitol provided an opportunity for WAWAC and its allies to engage directly with state representatives and senators, highlighting the challenges faced by the immigrant community and most importantly, the opportunity to advocate for inclusive policies. The day included a march from the Olympia Ballroom to the Capitol, where participants demanded support for immigrant justice campaigns and discussed legislative priorities for 2024. Throughout the day, the WAWAC team engaged in fruitful discussions with state representatives, emphasizing the importance of their work and voicing the concerns of the immigrant community.

As the only organization from Snohomish County who was present at the event,the Washington West African Center (WAWAC) was tasked with the responsibility of engaging lawmakers of District 32. The WAWAC team had a fruitful discussion with Representative Lauren Davis (D), the assistant of Senator Jesse Salomon (D), and Representative. Cindy Ryu (D) respectively. The event served as a platform for WAWAC to renew its dedication and commitment to fighting for the rights of immigrants, especially the West African community.

 In conclusion, the advocacy day organized by WAISN provided a vital opportunity for WAWAC and its partners to advocate for immigrant rights and make their voices heard. The collaborative efforts of WAWAC, WAISN, and other organizations demonstrate our commitment to promoting equity, dignity, and justice for all residents of Washington state.

For more information, contact: WAWAC 425-758-3269 or 253-235-2132 or visit Www.wawac.org Washington West African Center, Connecting West Africans in Washington with local resources and bridge the gap between us and the wider community, if we don’t have it, we go find it