Jul 2023

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Understanding Hopelink’s Engagement with Advocacy

Hopelink is dedicated to ending poverty in our community through a variety of pathways. In addition to offering support through community services, Hopelink works with local and state government agencies to support a range of bills in the legislature that would increase greater access to food, transportation, housing, and healthcare.

As Hopelink’s Advocacy and Policy Manager, Camille Walton advocates for bills at the state level to support legislation that aligns with Hopelink’s mission to eradicate poverty. Camille works closely with Hopelink’s senior leadership, as well as a contract lobbyist, to advance policy priorities in alignment with Hopelink’s strategic plan. On the day-to-day, Camille will meet with local elected officials, participate in coalitions, and analyze bills and state budget proposals during the legislative session to determine the impact on Hopelink’s mission and clients.

Pivoting From the Pandemic

During the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, the legislature convened both virtually and in-person due to the pandemic. This hybrid approach allowed for greater community participation, as people who were unable to travel to Olympia could testify on bills remotely from their homes.

Throughout the 2021-2022 biennium, addressing the then ongoing statewide impacts of the pandemic took center stage. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, brought much needed federal investment that the state was able to use to aid pandemic recovery. This investment was crucial for our neighbor’s experiencing poverty as the pandemic put so many at risk across all walks of life.

2023 Legislative Wins

With our region continuing to recover from the pandemic, during the 2023 Legislative Session Hopelink maintained its advocacy for policies that address lingering economic and social impacts, as well as systemic inequities brought to light by the COVID crisis.

House Bill 1784

House Bill 1784 was a huge win this year! The bill appropriated $28 million to support food assistance programs for low-income people, as well as anti-hunger organizations to purchase supplies to invest in storage capacity to better serve their communities.

Senate Bill 5120

Hopelink also is proud to have stood alongside our community partners in supporting the passage of Senate Bill 5120, which will establish 23-hour crisis relief centers for people experiencing behavioral health crises.

House Bill 1134

This bill will support the implementation of the 988 behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system which will fund the new crisis call center system platform. A behavioral health crisis can be destabilizing for families trying to exit poverty, so Hopelink is proud to support initiatives that can provide support to those struggling in their time of need.

House Bill 1474

Addressing the complexities of poverty goes beyond financial and mental health support and includes the interconnectedness of systemic racism and poverty. House Bill 1474 is an important bill that passed establishing the Covenant Homeownership Program. This bill seeks to address the legacy of racially restrictive housing covenants in Washington through a special credit program. This program would provide down payment and closing cost assistance to descendants of groups who were denied access to homeownership in previous generations.

Poverty continues to be a prevalent and consistent issue within our community. Hopelink is dedicated to continuing to advocate and support initiatives to implement change in the lives of our community members for the better. Through our advocacy efforts at our state and local level, Hopelink continues to work towards our vision of a community free of poverty.

Hopelink Stories

Hopelink Stories

I finally felt hopeful about starting to move forward with learning how to handle getting out of debt.

Cindy says she learned way more than just money management

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Choosing to smile no matter what, is how Violet chooses to live her life. Violet came to the US with her family seeking asylum from her native Tanzania.

How Violet found her strength

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We worried that in the future, there would be some problem with authorities. Right now, I am absolutely confident that our kids will be okay.

In Russia, our biggest concern was for our kids

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Caring for Robbie around the clock, Michelle wouldn’t have it any other way

Caring for Robbie around the clock, Michelle wouldn’t have it any other way

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