33 Days of Life: Defending Family in the Real Washington
Alternative title: Washington State – where everyone is a little bit Husky
I just got back from the great state of Washington and thought it would be a good time to do another in the series of profiles of pro-life organizations. This one, appropriately enough, is the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW.)
FPIW is part of a partnership (for lack of a better word) of Family Policy Councils (FPCs). As Family Research Council describes them:
FPCs are independent entities with no corporate or financial relationship to each other or to Family Research Council. However, they share common core beliefs in the sanctity of human life and in the institution of marriage. Beyond that, their emphasis on issues varies from state to state, depending on the unique needs of the citizens living there.
I have had the privilege of working with a number of FPCs throughout my years in Washington, D.C. and have met some pretty incredible people working at many of these organizations. With any organization you are only as good as your leader, and the President of FPIW, Joseph Backholm, is one of the best.
Despite being an avid Seattle Seahawks fan Joseph has really made the FPIW his own through his hard work and more importantly his unceasing good attitude and Christian approach to things. While many might view Washington State, with its Democratic majorities, a conservative wasteland, however FPIW has proven time and time again that even in darkness you can find light. Just in the last year they successfully had a hearing on parental notification in regards to abortion and also stopped a mandate the Governor was pushing that all insurance cover abortions as well as a number of other victories.
Their shining project though (in my view) is Olympia 101. From their website:
Olympia 101 is the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) signature citizen orientation training to inform, equip and mobilize ordinary citizens for purposeful, authentic and effective action in support of good public policy in Washington State. Olympia 101 accomplishes this by offering citizens the opportunity to learn about their state government through a unique on-site, real-time dynamic experience that uses the Capitol Campus as its “classroom”. Olympia 101 was introduced during the 2013 Legislative Session, during which FPIW had the privilege of providing approximately 40 trainings sessions, attended by over 200 Washington citizens from across the state.
All Olympia 101 trainings take place onsite at the State Capitol Campus in Olympia (map), and are facilitated FREE of charge by the Family Policy Institute of Washington. Olympia 101 is offered at least once per week while the Legislature is in Session (January–March), including twice per day on the scheduled date.
Not on their website is just how widely successful the program has been in training churches, activists and other citizens how to interact with their elected officials in a Christ-like fashion.
To learn more about the Family Policy Institute of Washington please visit their website, and if you are able, send your prayers and support to this great organization as they fight for life and family.