⏳ Last Chance to Make a BIG IMPACT on WA State Laws ?

⏳ Last Chance to Make a BIG IMPACT on WA State Laws ?

Our Washington State Legislature Is in Session… But Not for Long

Your Washington State Legislature is still in session, but not for long. Without your help, they’ll adjourn and these important bills will die. So please take action and email or call!

Our Legislative Action team has picked the top bills that need action this week. Can we count on you? They just involve a phone call or copying and pasting email addresses and talking points.

And if you can’t do them all? Pick the ones that are most important to you from the list below.

When bills are in committee, you can have a lot of influence over whether they go to the floor for a vote or not. Lawmakers who serve on these committees want input from us whether or not we come from their district.

We’ve culled this list from the folks at Olympia Indivisible, the Washington State Indivisible Coalition (WASIC), and Pierce County Democrats. We provide a summary of each bill along with a script and email addresses or phone numbers for reps on the committees.  For the emails, you can simply copy all the email addresses into the TO: field and copy the text into the body and fill in the blanks.

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4/01/19 Monday – LGBTQ

SB 5689:  Concerning harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination in public schools

ACTIONS FOR WEEK OF APRIL 1-7: This bill will DIE unless the House Education Committee pass this bill to House Rules and House Rules Committee Frank Chopp pushes to get it to the floor for the April 3 cut-off.


  • Call House Education Committee Chair Rep.  Tomiko Santos and urge her to pass this bill out of Committee immediately: (360) 786-7944.
  • Then call House Rules Chair Frank Chopp and ask that he do the same no later than April 3: (360) 786-7920.

TALKING POINTS: Washington urgently needs to build welcoming and safe school communities for LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth.

Across the nation, transgender youth experience extremely high levels of in-school victimization, even higher than that experienced by their LGB peers. The harassment includes name calling, threats, and physical assault. The majority of victims of this kind of bullying do not report their situation to school authorities. The stress of an unsafe school environment contributes to increased absenteeism, decreased educational aspirations, and lower academic performance. Moreover, feeling unsafe for simply being who you are is a significant risk factor for suicide among transgender youth, which the American Academy of Pediatric Physicians reported in 2018 to be the most at-risk youth population in the US.

Creating a statewide school policy designed to prevent bullying of transgender students will create a safe, affirming, and nurturing environment for all Washington students.
This bill will save lives.

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ESSB 5356 – LGBTQ Commission

ACTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 1-6: CALL OR EMAIL. The House Rules Committee Chair, Frank Chopp, needs to hear from all of us

BEFORE APRIL 3, and our family and friends, over the next week, in support of this bill, asking the Committee to pass SB 5356 to the floor for a vote by April 3.
Contact information: Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov, 360-786-7920.


  • This bill establishes a vital resource for a segment of our population whose identity places them at risk of experiencing exceptional levels of violence and other treatment that can undermine self-esteem, health, and general wellbeing.
  • It will ensure a coordinated statewide oversight to ensure inclusion and access to benefits to which every other minority community in Washington is currently afforded, but to which the LGBTQ community has not had access or inclusion.
  • This bill will help eliminate barriers for LGBTQ people in all areas of state governance.

BILL DIGEST: Creates the Washington state LGBTQ commission in the office of the governor. Requires the executive director of the commission to:

  1. Monitor state legislation and advocate for legislation affecting LGBTQ people;
  2. Work with state agencies to assess programs and policies;
  3. Coordinate with the minority commissions, women’s commission, and human rights commission to address issues of mutual concern; and
  4. Work as a liaison between the public and private sector to eliminate barriers to economic and health equity.

Declares that June of each year will be known as LGBTQ pride month.

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4/02/19 Tuesday – Environment

Climate Action #1 – Sustainable Farms and Fields

SB 5947 – Sustainable Farms and Fields helps WA farmers. If you support the bill and want to see it get a floor vote in the House, send an email to the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Copy and paste these email addresses of the members of the committee into the To: line of an email:


Use this subject, or similar:

Do Pass SB 5947 – Sustainable Farms and Fields Bill

In the body of your message, use this template, or write your own:

Dear Representative, Please Do Pass SB 5947 Sustainable Farm and Fields  My name is: _________________________. My home or business address is: ______________________. My phone number is: __________________. My affiliation is:  (Optional but helpful if with an organization or business or Citizen/Farmer/Rancher). I support this bill because: __________________________.

SB 5947 – Sustainable Farms and Fields helps WA Farmers dealing with the federal trade embargo to keep fighting the good fight against CO2 emissions. Grants for 3 buckets – regenerative farming, agroforestry and reduction in fossil fuel inputs (i.e. fertilizer and diesel fuel) would be awarded to farmers, ranchers and orchardists across WA in exchange for reduction in CO2 emissions. Farmers grow our food, so their economic and environmental costs are our costs. SB 5947 would have long-term impacts in shifting the economics for these sustainable farmers, while continuing or establishing sustainable practices for years to come.  It’s a bipartisan bill that Carbon WA has been involved with from the start, and it’s almost at the finish line!

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Climate Action #2 – Zero Emissions

SB 5811 – Zero Emissions Vehicles reduces transportation emissions by expanding our clean car program standards. If you support the bill and want to see it get a floor vote in the House, please send an email to the Environment & Energy Committee.

Copy and paste these email addresses of members of the committee into the To: field of an email:


Use this subject, or similar:

Do Pass SB 5811 – Zero Emissions Vehicles Standards

In the body of your message, use this template, or write your own:

Dear Representative, Please Do Pass SB 5811 Zero Emissions Vehicles Standards

My name is: My home or business address is: _______________________ My phone number is:______________________________. My affiliation is:  (Optional – “Concerned Citizen, Parent, Climate change are ok). I support this bill because: _________________________________.

SB 5811 – Reduces vehicle emissions by expanding our clean car program standards to include more vehicles – basically closing a gap we currently have from California levels. It’s good for WA because more new electric vehicles would become available sooner – not a year later than other states! On-road gasoline transportation accounts for over 21%* of WA state’s emissions! Carbon Washington supports this bill because with ever more drivers on our roads we need to curb the tide of air and water pollution.

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Reduce plastic
ESSB 5323   Plastic Bag Bill

Would reduce pollution from plastic bags (that is, would help prevent marine mammals from ingesting and dying from plastic waste) by establishing minimum state standards for the use of bags at retail establishments.

Action: Attend the public hearing in the House Finance Committee on 4/2/19 at 8:00 a.m.  Or, voice support by contacting Representative Gael Tarlton, Chair of the Finance Committee,
(360) 786-7680 and Amy Walen, Vice-Chair, (360) 786-7848

SB 5116 – 100% Clean Electricity

Please vote yes on E2SSB 5116 in your House Finance committee.  This bill creates landmark legislation, which is very important to me.  Please preserve target dates for coal plant shutdown by 2025 and carbon-neutral electricity by 2030.  Please limit opportunities for utilities to avoid being held accountable to these dates.

Copy and paste these House Finance Committee members emails:

brandon.Vick@leg.wa.gov, ed.Orcutt@leg.wa.gov, mike.Chapman@leg.wa.gov, jesse.Young@leg.wa.gov, drew.Stokesbary@leg.wa.gov, tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov, noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov, gael.Tarleton@leg.wa.gov, jeff.Morris@leg.wa.gov

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4/03/19 Wednesday

Gun Violence Prevention
Machine printed plastic firearms are extremely dangerous and undetectable!

SHB 1739  Concerning firearms that are undetectable or untraceable.

House Substitute bill #1739 has passed the House, is in the Senate and was referred to Senate Committee Law and Justice on March 6th.

ACTION: Contact the Senate Rules Committee and ask them “Please support SHB 1739 Concerning firearms that are undetectable or untraceable and move this bill forward to a vote.

Talking Points:

  • Machine printed plastic firearms have no legitimate purpose in self-defense, sport shooting or hunting.
  • Machine printed plastic guns can be carried undetected aboard airplanes, into courtrooms and into school classrooms.
  • Machine printed plastic firearms are dangerous and without Constitutional protections.


  • Chair Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib (360) 786-7700
  • Vice Chair Senator Karen Keiser (360) 786-7664
  • Ranking Senator Mark Schoesler (360) 786-7620

Senate Rules email (just copy and paste these into the TO: field.

ltgov@ltgov.wa.gov, Karen.Keiser@leg.wa.gov, mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov, Randi.Becker@leg.wa.gov, Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov, Reuven.Carlyle@leg.wa.gov, Annette.Cleveland@leg.wa.gov, Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov, Curtis.King@leg.wa.gov, Patty.Kuderer@leg.wa.gov, Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov, John.McCoy@leg.wa.gov, Joe.Nguyen@leg.wa.gov, Jamie.Pedersen@leg.wa.gov, Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov, Tim.Sheldon@leg.wa.gov, Shelly.Short@leg.wa.gov

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4/04/19 Thursday – Immigration & Environment

E2SSB 5497 – Immigration Policies to protect all Washington residents

Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington State’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace.

Action: The bill is in the House Appropriations Committee which considers operating and capital budget impacts of bills. Call or email (hyperlink provided) the Committee Chair Rep. Timm Ormsby, the 1st Vice-Chair Rep, June Robinson 2nd and Vice-Chair Rep. Steve Bergquist and urge them to push this bill to the floor for action and to vote yes for E2SSB 5497.

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Environment – Oil Spill Prevention

SSB 1578  Oil transportation protections

Would help protect southern resident killer whales, other marine life, and people by reducing the impact of oil spills, which have been numerous in the Salish Sea over the last 50 years.

Action: Attend the public hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on 4/4//19 at 1:30 p.m. Or contact Senate Ways and Means to voice support:

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4/05/19 Friday –  Education & Gun Safety

Keep students safe

2SHB 1216 Concerning non-firearm measures to increase school safety and student well-being.

Action: The bill is in the Senate Ways & Means Committee which considers operating and capital budget impacts of bills.

  • Call or email the Committee Chair Senator Christine Rolfes and Vice-Chair Senator David Frockt to push this bill to the floor for action and to vote yes on 2SHB 1216.
  • Senator Christine Rolfes, Ways & Means Chair: PO Box 40600, Olympia, WA; (360) 786-7644
  • Senator David Frockt, Ways & Means Vice-Chair: PO Box 40600, Olympia, WA; (360) 786-7690
  • Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov,
  • David.Frockt@leg.wa.gov

Talking Points: Establishes, thru a network of regional and state safety centers, a consistent and coordinated approach to safety at our schools.

Safety programs are monitored periodically to ensure all safety program requirements are being met.

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The GOP Tax Plan Is Coming for Us…

What happens in your stomach when you think about paying your taxes? A churning? Spasms? A nice, peaceful feeling? Perhaps more importantly, what happens in your head when you think about taxes? Confusion? Anxiety? A quiet, relaxed, soothing mood? Mostly, we only think about taxes when we’re forced to.

But soon the GOP tax plan will all over the news and we’ll be forced to think about it. If we want to have anything to say about it, that is. How are we going to respond? How much effort will we be willing to put into those responses?

Of course, it’s important that we respond and that that response be relevant and clear. So, to try to help us move in that direction, we’d like to present some background information to go along with what you already have. This will mostly be based on Les Leopold’s most recent book, Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice (Labor Institute Press, 2015). This book was chosen because Leopold is clearly a knowledgeable source of information and his writing is clear and based on hard data.

We’ll talk about what he means by "runaway inequality;" how it happened; how it’s affecting our pocketbooks, our politics, and our government; and what we might be able to do about it. We’ll spread this out over three or four blog entries.

Economic inequality is not a new concept. We heard a great deal about it from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during the recent Democratic presidential campaign. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. That’s the basic bottom line. It was also the focus of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Leopold defines runaway inequality as “…the ever-increasing gap in income and wealth between the super-rich and the rest of us” (p. 1). Many of us could have come up with a near-equivalent definition on our own. But Leopold tells us we have no idea how large that gap really is. See if you agree. Based on U.S. Labor Department statistic data, as reported in the New York Times June 8, 2014, in 1970 the wage gap ratio between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. That means that if you, the average worker, owned one car, the CEO could own 45 cars. If you owned 1 house, the CEO could own 45 similar houses.

The size of that gap in 2013: 829 to 1! One can only imagine what it might be today. This isn’t common knowledge. But it should be, don’t you think?

It also ought to be common knowledge about how the gap came to be so large: who instigated it and who perpetuates it. Let’s take a quick look. Around 1980, there emerged a set of economic policies known as the Better Business Climate model. You may have heard of it. This "Better Business Climate" was well-named. It accomplished its goal to create a better climate for businesses in this country. It’s built on three pillars you’ll recognize immediately:

  1. Cutting taxes, especially on the wealthy and large corporations;
  2. Cutting government regulations, especially on high finance; and
  3. Reducing government social spending.

Sound familiar? These are the foundation of the current Republican proposed tax plan. The monetary benefits that went to corporations was expected to be reinvested in increased production and more jobs. Instead, it went to stock holders and into the pockets of CEOs. That model didn’t work in the ‘80s and it won’t work now. The destructive effects of that fiscal policy impacts all the major issues facing our country: health care, climate change, pollution, infrastructure, and foreign policy (just to name a few).

Our response will force us to consider how we think about the taxes we pay and how we think about the role of government in our lives.

More later.