Today, Friday the 1st, is the fiscal committee cutoff in Olympia, and both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee are hard at work moving bills on to the next step. The one bill of ours that has moved along, HB 1355, has moved on to the next step, Rules. This means that we don’t have to worry about getting it out of House Appropriations.
While HB 1355 is trucking along, we’re continuing our work with the main budget negotiators, but to be perfectly honest, things aren’t looking great. We’ve been hearing the same refrain. We support you, but we won’t do anything to fix it. Is it fear? Are they just offering platitudes? Is someone fighting against us? Who knows? It’s probably all of the above and more; what we do know is that it’s time to get loud.
We’ve tried lobbying, and even wrote up a bill. We’ve had members in Olympia every week this session (with the exception of our very own snowmageddon), we’ve shared our stories, and explained why this can’t wait. I get the feeling legislators aren’t quite grasping it.
Let’s take to the streets!
It’s time for us to force them to take notice. I’m talking about informational pickets, mini-rallies, having your students and fellow members bombard their offices with emails and phone calls, showing up in Olympia in your blue with signs and chants, breaking down how many jobs you and your coworkers need in order to get to a semblance of a living wage.
It’s time to look at a walk out.
It’s time to get loud. It’s time to be visible. It’s time to control the narrative. We need to ROC now, not in two years, not when it’s convenient for legislators, not after our system has imploded.
We need ROC now!