We Must Do Something, Even if We Can’t Do Everything

As the legislative session begins here in Washington, I had the first opportunity to offer testimony on pending legislation. As part of my commitment to social justice, I find the opportunity to use the clergy voice to bear on legislation to be very important. Oftentimes to affect social change we need to work through our …

Continue reading We Must Do Something, Even if We Can’t Do Everything

Testimony against Payday Lending (SB 5899)

For the last time this session, I made my way to the Capitol to testify on a bill. When I go, I am there usually at the behest of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, an umbrella Jewish organization, and the Faith Action Network, a statewide interfaith organization which works on issues of social justice. …

Continue reading Testimony against Payday Lending (SB 5899)

Taking Another Step to Reducing Gun Violence: My Testimony on HB 1857

Here is the scenario: you discover a loved one who has struggled with mental illness recently purchased a gun. What do you do to prevent him from harming himself or others? As of now in Washington, there is no measure that can be taken to legally remove the gun from that person. But a bill …

Continue reading Taking Another Step to Reducing Gun Violence: My Testimony on HB 1857

Against Wage Theft: My Testimony in front of the WA House Labor Committee

Through my political action, I have the occasion to testify in front of the Washington State legislature several times over the course of a legislative session. Rarely, though, do those opportunities come so close in time. Much of what appears to be on the legislative horizon this year is about economic justice--namely, how to not …

Continue reading Against Wage Theft: My Testimony in front of the WA House Labor Committee

For Equitable Revenue: My Testimony in front of the WA Senate Ways and Means Committee

One day after MLK Day I had the opportunity to testify in front of the WA Senate Ways and Means Committee on behalf of the Jewish Federation and the Faith Action Network about the state budget and opportunities for new revenue. I believe that our state taxation is excessively regressive, and there are means to …

Continue reading For Equitable Revenue: My Testimony in front of the WA Senate Ways and Means Committee

Testimony on Gun Legislation

I had the opportunity to offer testimony in front of the Washington State Senate committee considering background checks on gun purchases. Here is what I said in my allotted 1 minute: Senator Padden and members of the committee, my name is Rabbi Seth Goldstein and I serve the Jewish community of Olympia. I come here …

Continue reading Testimony on Gun Legislation

Testimony on the Reproductive Parity Act

Yesterday I went to the Washington State Capitol for the third time this session to testify. This time it was in front of a Senate committee considering the Reproductive Parity Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that would require health plans to cover all aspects of maternal care, including voluntary termination of pregnancy.  My testimony …

Continue reading Testimony on the Reproductive Parity Act

Testimony in favor of excused absences for Jewish holidays

Today I testified in front of the WA Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in support of SB5173, a bill which would provide for excused absences at work or school for "days of faith or conscience"--i.e., in our case, Jewish holidays that conflict with work or school. I joined a panel with a representative of the …

Continue reading Testimony in favor of excused absences for Jewish holidays