The Washington State Legislature will have a 60-day session in 2018, starting January 8, 2018 and ending on March 8, 2018. This will go by very quickly - in fact, bills that haven't been passed out of their house of origin by February 14 will not be considered.
This will also be an exciting year. Because of the election of Manka Dhingra to the state Senate, this is the first time since 2012 that Democrats will be in control of both houses of the legislature. A lot of legislation that had been stalled by a one-vote margin will have a chance to at least be heard. But as the last year in the other Washington has shown us, it's difficult to get things passed with such a narrow majority. Your voice will still be needed to make sure the legislature is working for you.
Here are some actions you'll want to take to make sure you're ready for the upcoming session:
- Find your legislators.
You have three people representing you in the Washington State Legislature: One Senator and two Representatives. You can find your district and your legislators here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
- Put your legislators on speed dial.
Copy the three numbers into your phone - you may be calling them quite a bit over the next few months. Additionally, add the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (TTY for Hearing Impaired 1-800-635-9993). If you're short on time, you can call these numbers to leave messages for all of your legislators.
- Are your legislators holding a town hall?
These public forums are good opportunities to meet your legislators, find our their priorities, and make your priorities known. At the moment, the legislative town halls we know of for districts in Seattle are in the 36th District, where Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Reps. Gael Tarleton and Noel Frame will be holding a town hall on Saturday, January 6 from 2-4PM at Coe Elementary School (2424 7th Ave W) and in the 46th District, where Sen. David Frockt and Reps. Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez will be holding two town halls - one on Tuesday, January 2 from 7:30-8:30PM at Lake Forest Park City Hall at 17425 Ballinger Way and one on Wednesday, January 3 from 7:30-8:30 PM at Nathan Hale High School Performing Arts Center at 10730 30th Ave NE.
Do you know of any others? Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information about town halls and we'll update this post.
If you don't see your legislators listed here, call them to find out if they're having a town hall.
- What are your priorities?
This is the most important part. Figure out what it is that you want this new legislature to accomplish, and let's get to work on making it happen. Do you want to see the long stalled Washington Voting Rights Act become law? Do you want Automatic Voter Registration? Do you want the stalled capital budget to finally be passed? Are you frustrated with our legislature's half-hearted attempts at funding education? Frustrated with our upside down tax structure? Tired of our state's failure to act on climate change, and want to see a carbon tax?
- Attend a Seattle Indivisible meeting.
Our next* meeting, on Tuesday, January 2 at 7:00 PM at the Woodland Park United Methodist Church at 302 N 78th St will be specifically focused on planning for the upcoming state legislative session. Join us to gear up in the new year and get ready to make your voice heard.
This location can be reached by the #5 and #45 buses, and is wheelchair accessible.
*Because of the holidays, there is no meeting on Tuesday, December 26.
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