Indivisible Tacoma Meets with Rep. Denny Heck’s Staff

Indivisible Tacoma Meets with Rep. Denny Heck’s Staff

Summary of Meeting with Rep. Denny Heck’s Staff on March 28, 2019, in Lakewood

12 members of Indivisible Tacoma gathered to meet with Rep. Denny Heck’s staff at his Lakewood office on March 28, 2019. We had different people present our agenda items to District Director Phil Gardner. Each of our speakers brought their own stories, information, or passion to their talks and made a strong impact.

Back in January, when the Democrats took back the House, we met with Gardner with a short wish list. We asked Heck to support HR 1 for electoral reform, a Green New Deal, Single Payer, and more White House investigations.

Now, we’ve added a few things to our list, including:

  • Investigations and Mueller Report
  • Disaster Relief for Puerto Rico and California
  • Now War in Yemen
  • Healthcare: Single Payer
  • Cannabis Reform

We also planned on asking for a Town Hall, but Phil Gardner says there’s one coming up on April 17th. We’ll tell you the exact time and place when we learn more.

Congrats on Your League of Conservation Voters Rating on Environmental Issues. Now, How About a Green New Deal?

IT members thanked Rep. Denny Heck’s staff for his work and his voting record on environmental issues. He received a high rating from the League of Conservation Voters on a variety of environmental issues. In 2018, he scored 94 percent and his overall score is 97 percent.

IT members told Phil we’d like him to support The Green New Deal.

We mentioned that he had not signed on to the Save the Internet, net neutrality bill, which apparently is an oversight because he supports it. Phil said he’d contact the DC office to make sure Denny gets signed on to the bill.

No War in Yemen

With regard to U.S. involvement in Yemen, we asked that Denny reject Republicans’ procedural maneuvers using MITs to keep it from passing. Phil explained what they had done and assured us it will pass the House again.

Thanks for Supporting Medicare Buy-In at 50. Now, How About Single Payer?

As usual, we brought up our support of universal healthcare and urged him to sign on to Rep. Jamila Jayapal (D-7)’s single-payer health care bill. Phil explained (again) that Denny has some concerns about that particular bill, but has co-sponsored a Medicare buy-in at 50 bill. He is also looking closely at another bill called Medicare for America. We talked about the awfulness of the possibility of the court overturning the ACA and the Republican’s “astounding lack of a plan.” Phil told us that the two Democratic caucuses all want to head in the direction of healthcare for all.

We asked if the House has any ability to do anything about the tax bill passed last year. Sadly, Phil told us that at this point there’s not much we can do. At least not until we elect a new president and put Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate.

Release the Mueller Report

We discussed the work of the House Intelligence Committee which Denny is on. Phil told us about the attack on Adam Schiff and outlined what they believe Barr and the Republican’s strategy regarding Mueller’s report is, which is to leak it out over long periods so the total impact of it is minimized. It will most likely end up in a court fight.

Thanks for Supporting Cannabis Reform

Phil Gardner told us the Cannabis Reform bill just moved out of Congress and has support from both parties. Denny supported it and also eventually getting cannabis moved to a schedule 1 drug and eliminating problems for people in states where it is legal but get into trouble due to federal law. One of our members told a story about a woman losing refugee status because of this issue.

Disaster Relief for Puerto Rico and California

We asked what recourse Congress has for money allocated for the disaster relief funds Individual #1 has refused to send for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the wildfires in California. Phil told us that during Nixon’s reign the “Impoundment Act” passed which made it illegal for the administration to not spend money allocated by Congress. However, as with many things, this administration is ignoring the law. Again, this will probably end up in the courts.

Special Education and the Special Olympics

We asked about the latest budget issues, i.e. DeVos’ cutting of special education and the Special Olympics. Phil assured us that DeVos and the administration can only put forward budget requests but it is Congress that makes the decision. He indicated that Congress is fairly bipartisan regarding education and he thinks more money will actually be allocated for Special Olympics than in the past.

Rep. Denny Heck’s Staff: Town Hall on April 17

Phil affirmed that Denny will be holding a Town Hall in the evening of April 17 in Pierce County, but an exact time and venue has not been confirmed. He will let us know as soon as it is and we will put that on the Events Calendar. We asked about having Denny speak to IT during the summer recess and he said Denny will be home for 6 weeks starting in August, so we can try to plan for that. We also asked what we can do to help and he said emailing and calling about what we agree (or disagree) with and right now personal stories about the ACA or other healthcare issues.

We left Phil with a letter signed by all present which highlighted what we discussed as well as additional topics. The letter requests a written response.

Attend the Seattle Climate March with Us!

Join fellow Indivisible Tacoma members and friends as we bus to Seattle to march for the future of our planet. Stand together to #resist policies that contribute to climate change. There is no plan(et) B.

Wear your IT shirts, bring a sign, and march with the IT banner!

Invite your friends. Carpooling or transit to Tacoma Dome Station (TDS) is encouraged. Post comments to make arrangements with fellow marchers. Bring your ORCA card or $3.75 cash for transit fare EACH WAY.

8:58 AM – ST 594 departs TDS Zone B
9:48 AM – arrive at Occidental Square
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – March 1 mile up Fourth to Westlake Park

Return to Tacoma at your convenience depending on event schedule. ST 594 leaves Westlake Center about every 30 minutes. Suggested return trip:
2:14 PM – ST 594 departs from Westlake Center (400 Pine St)
3:13 PM – arrive at TDS

People’s Climate March – Seattle
RSVP for the main event on Facebook