Legislators Listened! House Budget Reflects Leaders' Concerns. More to Do in the Senate
Over 400 people showed up at the Community and Education Town Hall for the 30th and 31st Legislative Districts, co-sponsored by the Federal Way Education Association, Puget Sound Uniserv, and Sound Alliance (Photo credit Susan Aigner)
The last couple of weeks have been busy for Sound Alliance members as they participated in five town hall events. They asked questions on how our state legislators plan to flip our upside-down tax code and ensure our communities can thrive by fully funding public education without cutting critical health and social services.
The good news is that Representatives in the House seem to be listening.
Diane Dobrowolski, a Sound Alliance leader with Saltwater Church, told her personal story about growing up poor to three Representatives and a crowd of 400 people at the 30th and 31st legislative district Community and Education Town Hall.
“I recall seeing my mother with her head in her hands at the table with bills all around her crying. As a child, I didn’t know what to do and I felt helpless.”
She went on to become a social worker encountering many families, similar to hers growing up, with tough choices – pay the electric bill or buy a child’s medicine this month?
“Poor families need all their income and should not be paying 17% of their income on taxes. Washington has the most inequitable, regressive and backwards tax code in the nation.”
Other Sound Alliance members expressed similar sentiments in front of the 2 Senators and 8 Representatives at the 28th, 30th, 31st, and 47th district town halls. Some highlights:
- Saltwater leader Pat Montgomery asked the first question at the 47th district Town Hall about the upside-down tax code. The 3 legislators responded with few specifics which led to many questions and comments from the audience about education and state services funding.
- At the 28th district telephone town hall, leaders were briefed with talking points about the tax code and education/services funding ahead of time and dominated all questions asked.
It was because of people like Diane, and efforts like these from Sound Alliance leaders and our allies, that legislators in the House were courageous enough to propose a budget that would take steps towards flipping our upside-down tax code.
We need to continue to support these legislators' efforts as they continue through the legislative process.
The Senate budget proposal, on the other hand, dramatically cuts human services while maintaining Washington’s 50th place as the most regressive tax system out of any state. More work needs to be done!
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE to continue supporting thriving communities and flipping the upside-down tax code:
- Contact your legislators to say you support the House budget proposal
- Attend the next Sound Alliance All in for Washington meeting and training session
Thursday, March 30, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
University of Washington, 1601 NE Columbia Rd, Seattle, South Campus Center Rm. 303
Train the Trainer session! Learn how to train others to connect everyday events, like those you would read about in the newspaper, to their root causes in our state revenue system.
- Attend the Sound Alliance Delegates and Action Assembly
Wednesday, April 26,>7:00 - 8:30 PM
IBEW Local 46, 19802 62nd Ave S #105, Kent, WA.
Agenda to include:
- Planning and action around the state budget and flipping our upside-down tax code
- Local school initiatives related to job pathways and supporting second language learners
- Follow-up on our campaign to stop unnecessary immigrant deportations.
- This just in: There will be a hearing on the House budget this coming Monday, April 3 at 8 AM at the State House in Olympia. If you interested in showing your support by being there in person or providing testimony please email Ada Lin, All in For Washington Organizer, for more details.