Ask tough budget questions at town halls

(March 9, 2017) — March is the month that most Washington state legislators schedule town hall meetings. After a busy week of floor action that ended with Wednesday’s cutoff deadline for policy bills, this Saturday, March 11 is the busiest day for these community forums. The focus is expected to return to the 2017 legislative session’s biggest priority: the state budget.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is urging union members and community supporters to attend their local town hall meetings (see list below). Ask your legislators:

► Will you reform our state’s upside-down tax system, where the poorest pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes and the richest pay the least?

► Will you support closing tax breaks that benefit the most wealthy among us — like the tax break on capital gains from the sale of stocks and bonds — in order to fully fund public schools as demanded by the McCleary decision?

► Will you support public services by funding the state employee contracts, which address Washington’s recruitment and retention crisis by including modest but long-overdue pay raises?

The WSLC and its affiliated unions have a tremendous stake in the outcome of this debate. The WSLC represent the interests of more than 500,000 rank-and-file union members, many of whom with children in public schools and all of whom pay for it. The WSLC also represents the teachers and other school employees whose low wages are repeatedly cited in the McCleary decision. And importantly, the WSLC represents other public service workers — the people who keep our communities safe, care for the elderly and disabled, protect our children, maintain our roads and transportation system, instruct and serve students at state universities and colleges, and provide other essential services.

This latter group are the people who will be targeted by some lawmakers to pay much more than their fair share. Legislators who say “fund schools first” but oppose reforming our upside-down tax policies in order to raise the revenue needed are essentially saying they want to fix the school funding problem by cutting other services, laying off more public employees, and freezing/cutting the pay of those who remain. That would be an extraordinary injustice to public service employees and the rest of us who rely on them to keep us safe and healthy.

Here are the legislative town hall meetings scheduled for the remainder of March: (If you aren’t sure what district you live in, click here to fund out. If no meeting is listed below for your district, contact your legislators and ask them when they will hold a public forum.)

LD 1:  Senator Palumbo (D), Rep. Stanford (D) and Rep. Kloba (D)

  • BOTHELL — Sunday, March 12 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Cascadia College, Mobius Hall, 183 Campus Way NE, Bothell

LD 3:  Senator Billig (D), Rep. Riccelli (D) and Rep. Ormsby (D)

  • SPOKANE — Saturday, March 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Washington Cracker Company Bldg, 304 W Pacific, Spokane

LD 5:  Rep. Rodne (R) and Rep. Graves (R)

  • MAPLE VALLEY — Saturday, March 11 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Maple Valley Community Center, 22010 SE 248th Street, Maple Valley
  • ISSAQUAH — Saturday, March 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. at Issaquah Police Station Eagle Room, 130 E Sunset Way, Issaquah
  • NORTH BEND — Saturday, March 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. at Mount Si Senior Center Multipurpose Room, 411 Main Avenue S, North Bend

LD 13:  Senator Warnick (R), Rep. Dent (R) and Rep. Manweller (R)

  • TELE-TownHall — Monday, March 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. at 509-941-2750. If you have questions during the call, press *

LD 16:  Rep. Jenkin (R) and Rep. Nealey (R)

  • TELE-TownHall — Tuesday, March 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at 509-795-3789. If you have questions during the call, press *

LD 19:  Rep. Walsh (R)

  • TELE-TownHall — Monday, March 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. at 360-682-3579. If you have questions during the call, press *

LD 21:  Senator Lilas (D), Rep. Peterson (D) and Rep. Ortiz-Self (D)

  • LYNNWOOD — Saturday, March 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Meadowdale High School Great Hall, 6002 168th Street SW, Lynnwood

LD 22:  Senator Hunt (D), Rep. Dolan (D) and Rep. Doglio (D)

  • LACEY — Saturday, March 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at SPSCC Lacey Campus Event Center, 42260 6th Avenue SE, Lacey

LD 23:  Senator Rolfes (D), Rep. Appleton (D) and Rep. Hansen (D)

  • BREMERTON — Saturday, March 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Kitsap Fairgrounds Eagle’s Nest, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton
  • BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m. at Bainbridge Island City Hall, Bainbridge Island

LD 24:  Reps. Tharinger (D) and Chapman (D)

  • PORT LUDLOW — Sunday, March 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Bay Club, 120 Spinnaker Pl. in Port Ludlow.

LD 25:  Senator Zeiger (R)

  • TACOMA — Saturday, March 18 from 10 to 11 a.m. at 12223 A Street S, Tacoma 98444

LD 26:  Rep. Young (R)

  • GIG HARBOR — Saturday, March 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Gig Harbor City Hall Council Chambers, 3510 Grandview Drive, Gig Harbor

LD 27:  Senator Darneille (D), Rep. Jinkins (D) and Rep. Fey (D)

  • TACOMA — Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m.to noon at TESC Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Avenue, Tacoma

LD 28:  Rep. Muri (D) and Rep. Kilduff (D)

  • STEILACOOM — Sunday, March 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Steilacoom Town Hall, 1717 Lafayette Street, Steilacoom

LD 29:  Senator Conway (D)

  • TACOMA — Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at Bates Technical College South Campus Cafeteria, 1101 S Yakima Avenue, Tacoma

LD 30:  Rep. Pellicciotti (D) and Rep. Reeves (D)

  • AUBURN — Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at Federal Way Senior Center, 4016 S 352nd Street, Auburn

LD 31:  Rep. Stokesbary (R) and Rep. Irwin (R)

  • EDGEWOOD — Saturday, March 11 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Edgewood City Hall, 2224 104th Avenue E, Edgewood
  • BONNEY LAKE — Saturday, March 11 from noon to 1 p.m. at Justice & Municipal Bldg, 9002 Main Street E, Bonney Lake
  • ENUMCLAW — Saturday, March 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Enumclaw Fire Dept, 1330 Wells Street, Enumclaw

LD 31:  Senator Fortunato (R)

  • AUBURN — Monday, March 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Auburn Performing Arts Center, 702 4th Street NE, Auburn 98002

LD 32:  Senator Chase (D)

  • MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Saturday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at Mountlake Terrace Senior Center, 23000 Lakeview Drive, Mountlake Terrace
  • LYNNWOOD — Saturday, March 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Lynnwood Fire Dept, 1880 44th Avenue W, Lynnwood 98036

LD 33:  Senator Keiser (D), Rep. Orwall (D) and Rep. Gregerson (D)

  • KENT — Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kent City Hall, Council Chambers, 220 4th Avenue S, Kent

LD 35:  Rep. MacEwen (R)

  • SEABECK — Tuesday, March 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Seabeck Conference Center Dining Room, 15395 Seabeck Hwy NW, Seabeck

LD 36:  Senator Carlyle (D), Rep. Frame (D) and Rep. Tarleton (D)

  • SEATTLE — Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Leif Erikson Lodge, 2245 NW 57th Street, Seattle

LD 37:  Rep. Tomiko Santos (D) and Rep. Pettigrew (D)

  • SEATTLE — Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at Rainier Beach Community Center Multipurpose Room, 8825 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle 98118

LD 41:  Senator Wellman (D), Rep. Senn (D) and Rep. Clibborn (D)

  • BELLEVUE — Saturday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Somerset Elementary School, 14100 Somerset Blvd, Bellevue

LD 43:  Senator Pedersen (D), Rep. Macri (D) and Rep. Chopp (D)

  • SEATTLE — Saturday, March 11 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Avenue, Seattle

LD 44:  Rep. Lovick (D)

  • LAKE STEVENS — Saturday, March 11 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Lake Stevens Fire District Conference Center, 10518 18th Street SE, Lake Stevens
  • MILL CREEK — Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Mill Creek City Hall South Council Chambers, 15728 Main Street, Mill Creek

LD 45:  Rep. Goodman (D) and Rep. Springer (D)

  • KIRKLAND — Saturday, March 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Lake Washington Institute for Technology – West Bldg Rm 404, 11605 132nd Avenue NE, Kirkland

LD 45:  Senator Rossi (R)

  • TELE-TownHall — Wednesday, March 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 360-409-2193

LD 47:  Senator Fain (R), Rep. Hargrove (R) and Rep. Sullivan (D)

  • KENT — Saturday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Golden Steer Restaurant, 23826 104 Avenue SE, Kent

LD 48:  Senator Kuderer (D), Rep. Slatter (D) and Rep. McBride (D)

  • REDMOND — Saturday, March 11 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Redmond City Hall, City Council Chambers, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond 98073

LD 49:  Rep. Wylie (D) and Rep. Stonier (D)

  • TELE-TownHall — Tuesday, March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Call-in number TBA
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