By James Robles, WCADP President

Greetings again from Walla Walla! I am over halfway through my year as President of the Board of Directors, and I am elated to report that the promises of an eventful year, that I made last fall, are coming true.

2013 WCADP Board Retreat

June 1st WCADP board retreat

We held a very successful strategic planning retreat Saturday, June 1st. I offer my heartfelt thanks to those of who have supported us in the past and especially to those who responded to our survey and shared their insights and suggestions. Without you, there simply would not be a WCADP.

WCADP Board member Claudia Roberts and Honorary WCADP Board Member Sarah Craft of Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) prepared a concise summary of your survey responses, and those from other organizations, to allow us to focus on the issue areas where we need to and can be more effective. Colleen Cunningham (also of EJUSA) was a splendidly effective facilitator of our retreat, keeping a passionate and opinionated group focused on developed effective and consensual approaches.

We continue to become a more strategic, lean, mean death penalty-fighting machine, ensuring that our limited resources are focused on education and outreach in the areas of the state that will lead us to a legislative victory.

Brynn Smith continues to be an outstanding Outreach Coordinator and WCADP’s dedicated staff person to Safe and Just Alternatives (SJA). Unfortunately, SJA bid goodbye to its Campaign Manager, Mishi Faruquee, at the end of April, but WCADP and the ACLU of Washington continue to work together to build a campaign that brings together the strengths of both organizations and the resources of those who support repeal across the state.

ACLU has brought on Alison Holcomb, who led the successful I-502 campaign, to lead a methodical and disciplined campaign strategy. Her legislative and political experience will bring great depth and expertise to the campaign’s work, and WCADP looks forward to working with her and the rest of the ACLU team.

Many of you have asked how you can help with our efforts. Brynn continues to look for volunteers for summer festival and fall outreach events, and she will be reaching out constituents in key communities over the next few months to form local “teams” that will help generate ideas for activity in those areas. If you would like to be a “team member” in your community, please contact Brynn at brynn@abolishdeathpenalty.org.

We are also excited to bring on board two summer interns from Whitman College to assist in developing and implementing a better social media strategy. Fernando Median Corey and Marlee Raible bring impressive intelligence and energy to our endeavor, so be sure you’ve “liked” us on Facebook and “Follow” us to Twitter to see what we have in store.

In the 1850s (slavery) abolitionist Theodore Parker observed that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Abolition of the death penalty in Washington State has been a long effort, but we are bending the arc towards justice. I am counting on your continued support.

-Jim

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