Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-WA) is a grassroots organization affiliated with VOCAL-NY. VOCAL-WA builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all. We accomplish this through community organizing, leadership development, public education, participatory research and direct action.
VOCAL-WA works on issue advocacy campaigns that are chosen and led by grassroots community leaders focused on making concrete improvements in their lives. VOCAL-WA also works with policy experts, research partners, and other technical advisers to monitor and report on key budget, legislative and policy issues affecting our communities.
To learn more about VOCAL-WA’s current campaigns and work, or get involved, please visit www.vocal-wa.org
Safe Consumption Spaces, Drug User Health, and Overdose Prevention
The campaign for safe consumption spaces in Seattle and King County aims to help shift the paradigm of how our city and county address the public health crisis presented by substance abuse, moving towards treating public health problems with public health solutions. Safe consumption spaces, where individuals who use drugs can use in a safer manner and without shame or fear of arrest, provide a better alternative to our current reality of open air, public drug use. We aim to bring awareness to the issue and push our city and county to take what is both a bold and profoundly reasonable step: create safe consumption spaces, co-located within existing service providers and accessible to areas and communities most deeply affected by the war on drugs, the heroin epidemic, and public drug use.
VOCAL-WA works closely with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Real Change, and other organizations dedicated to harm reduction, homeless advocacy, and housing first. VOCAL members are currently working in allyship with other organizations and advocates to bring an end to homeless encampment sweeps and the displacement of individuals who are unhoused in our city and increase funding for housing, services, and shelter that meets the needs of individuals affected by homelessness. VOCAL calls on elected officials to sweep dirt, not people!
Individual Membership: If you are a low-income individual affected by one of the issues we work on, please contact Malika Lamont, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. VOCAL members participate in membership meetings and campaign decisions, engage in direct actions, speak to policy makers and elected officials about issues that directly affect their lives, and develop advocacy and leadership skills
Organizational Membership: If you are a housing or social service provider who would like to become an institutional member of VOCAL, please contact Malika Lamont, Program Director at email@example.com.
Ally Membership: If you are not a low-income person directly affected by our issues but would like to become involved in our work, please contact Malika Lamont, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about becoming an Ally Member.