2013 State Legislative Session Starts January 14 — Time to get to work!

I trust you are all rested, refreshed and recreated since the election. Personally, I did 12 months of neglected accounting in the last month. Yippee!  But now it’s done, and It’s time to shift to the Legislative Advocacy part of the continuous cycle that makes for effective political change.

Cycle of Advocacy

Rather than spend a lot of my time rewriting things, I’ll just quote the Washington Budget and Policy Center (not to be confused with the Washington Policy Center, which is a conservative think tank):

This is a crucial time in Washington state’s history. There are choices to be made by our newly elected Governor and state Legislature that will impact millions of Washingtonians.

  • How to fulfill the requirements of the McCleary school funding decision, which will touch not only education but all areas of the budget?
  • How to implement the Affordable Care Act, to provide access to health coverage?
  • What should our priorities be for investing in the building blocks of a strong economy?
  • How will we pay for all these things?  

The smart folks at the Washington Budget and Policy Center has given a lot of study and thought into these questions and have come up with a Framework for Prosperity, which I encourage you to peruse. In the coming weeks I’ll be pulling out parts of this proposal and sharing it with you, in small chunks.

We didn’t win our races in the 42nd District, so we will have to work with what we’ve got — three very conservative Republicans. Senator Ericksen has been making himself visible recently, with a mailing to constituents, op-ed pieces in local papers here and here, and even calling in to the Joe Show on Progressive 930 Radio. As I listen to Doug on the radio, he sounds so reasonable, with his “New Energy Fridays” and their “fund education first” stance. But we know that it is the values that back these nice words that make the difference.

Our challenge is to communicate our values about these fairly complicated issues to the public, as an alternative to our Republican representatives’ message. 40th District Senator Kevin Ranker has communicated with his constituency, but we don’t necessarily hear from him up in the 42nd District. Of the new Republican “majority coalition caucus” in the senate Kevin says, “at this time I am extremely concerned that this “bipartisan proposal” will act against voters’ wishes on the environment, women’s rights and education. Read Kevin’s op-ed  here.

I hope you will join me in holding our state legislators accountable during the up-coming Legislative session. Please join me Saturday, January 12th from 10 am to noon, at the 42nd District Democrats re-organization meeting (Machinists Hall, 2064 Vista Drive, in Ferndale) to learn more, make plans, and get to work!  If you live in the 40th District, they will be meeting Saturday, January 19th 1pm – 3pm, Skagit PUD, 1415 Freeway Dr, Mt Vernon, but you’re welcome at the Ferndale meeting as well.

–Natalie

2013 Washington State Legislative Calendar
Monday, January 14 — Session begins
stuff happens – TBA
Sunday, April 28 — Session ends