Strengthening Communities Through Community Service
Commerce formed and stood up the Statewide Re-Entry Council to help men and women successfully reenter our communities and workforce following incarceration. The council has already notched legislative successes by assisting in passage of fair chance housing and income discrimination laws. In response to federal funding, we dramatically expanded the state’s crime victims advocacy work.
The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy took advantage of a 400 percent increase in federal funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to increase dramatically expand services across the state, establishing for the first time dedicated funding for civil legal aid, services to victims of child abuse and neglect and human trafficking as well as adding 13 tribes to the list of VOCA recipients. Additionally, OCVA implemented a grant program to improve service quality and stability by investing in staff retention in non-profits, local governments and tribes that provide vital services to those impacted by violence and crime.
Commerce also co-chairs the Governor’s Generational Poverty Reduction Work Group, established a statewide task force and submitted a preliminary report to Gov. Inslee this month. The task force will continue with a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan to be submitted in 2019.