Countdown to Olympia
By Guest Columnist Nancy Churchill
How did things get so crazy in Washington State? How did Seattle go from a beautiful, hard-working blue-collar center of industry to being a dangerous, filthy, woke autonomous zone? Why does Governor Inslee, champion of green energy, want to tear down our amazing hydroelectric dams, which produce green energy, control flooding, and create abundant harvests all across the state? When did our schools transform from learning centers to indoctrination camps? These policy and cultural shifts are often driven by laws and policies developed in the state legislature.
It’s time to start the countdown to Olympia! Buckle your seatbelts, and get ready for the 2022 Legislative Session, which begins on Jan. 10. In even-numbered years, the session only lasts 60 days, so if you don’t pay attention a little every day, you might miss opportunities to influence decisions on the big bills that impact you the most.
In Washington State, the biggest problem normal working people have, is that our legislature is controlled by a Democratic majority. The majority leaders in the House and Senate get to set the agenda. The majority party decides which bills will go to committee, which will go to a vote, and which bills will die. The 2022 legislative session will be another tsunami of bad legislation with plans to kill jobs, warp education, increase taxes and limiting freedoms on the agenda.
Our next problem is that most of us don’t understand how bills become laws. We have always assumed that reasonable people will be elected, and that those elected people will work to solve problems in a way that will benefit the majority of the community. We have been deluding ourselves. Unreasonable people currently hold the majority of both houses! Unreasonable, radical people will enact unreasonable laws.
Fortunately, you CAN influence Olympia! You are NOT powerless.
It’s time to take action, but it’s important to discover what types of actions are effective when you decide to fight for (or against) a particular idea during the lawmaking process. Casting a vote every election is important, but that will not stop the freight train of bad legislation about to rumble down the tracks. A single email to your legislators will make almost no difference, either.
However, You CAN learn how to follow a bill through the legislative process. You can learn when and how to submit testimony “for the record”. You can work with a team of like-minded friends to have real influence on the legislation that gets passed into law in 2022.
I’m working with my friend Ruth Peterson, a fellow member of the Washington State Republican Party State Committee, to develop an online course titled “Influencing Olympia Effectively.” If you’d like to be added to our mailing list for this course just send me an email at the address below. The course will launch online soon.
In the meantime, here’s a simple action item to help you get started: Visit https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/. In the bill number box, type in “5039”. You’ll see this bill would limit the governor’s emergency powers by providing legislative review. If you think this is a good idea, click on the button that says “comment on this bill”.
On the comment page, fill in your address information, verify your district, select the “support” button, and then leave a short sentence as a comment. Keep it simple and basic. “I support this bill,” is just fine. Of course, if you like living in Governor Inslee’s dictatorship, then you would select the “oppose” button, and leave a comment like “I love communism!”
No matter what you write, remember that less is more. The legislators get thousands of emails every day. It’s really the “Oppose” and “Support” buttons that help them the most. When you’re finished with your comment, hit “Send Comment”. Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to find and comment on a bill! Bookmark the “bill info” page. You’ll want to return to this page over and over as the session progresses. If you found this first action item helpful and empowering, be sure to send me your contact information so you can participate in the “Influencing Olympia Effectively” course. I can’t wait to help you take your first steps towards becoming an effective political activist!