Greetings from Walla Walla! I’m Jim Robles, the newly elected President of the Board of Directors of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (WCADP). I am honored to have been given this important and exciting opportunity, and I thank those who recruited me and voted for me at WCADP’s Annual Meeting in October. I know this is going to be an eventful year working towards abolition!
There are so many people who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to this work, and I want to kick off the new term by expressing my admiration and gratitude for those individuals and organizations that work to support WCADP’s work and mission.
Our Board of Directors is helping WCADP grow to a new level of sophistication. They opened a new office in Seattle and chose to partner with the ACLU of Washington to form Safe & Just Alternatives (SJA). The Board opted to dedicate the majority of WCADP’s resources to SJA, building a grassroots base that will support the legislative campaign for abolition. Outgoing board members should feel proud that they started such a meaningful partnership, and new board members have already shown great passion and a the willingness to take the reigns into the next year.
Adeptly leading SJA is Campaign Manager Mishi Faruqee (her campaign update can be found here), who deserves much acknowledgement for engaging and leading a diverse group of stakeholders and for continuing to move the campaign forward. Sara Schmidt, operating from her Amnesty International offices in San Francisco, and Sarah Craft, Campaign Strategist with Equal Justice USA, both bring invaluable expertise and energy from their positions at national organizations.
Most notably, Brynn Smith joined WCADP as its first program staff in over 5 years, acting as a field organizer for SJA. In just six months, she has surpassed all expectations, doing an outstanding job of recruiting and engaging Washingtonians on the issue of the death penalty. I have every confidence that she will be a key lynchpin to abolition victory.
And last but not least, YOU! I am in awe of the passion and commitment of our constituents and donors who stand with us in this important fight. So many of you have talked to your friends, volunteered your time, and made generous gifts of support to WCADP. Without you, I would be far less optimistic about our chances. Because of you, I know we will win!