I attended a meeting with the Thurston County legislators on Jan 3rd. The three legislators are not firebrands, but as a group, representing a community, they (Reykdal, Hunt, Fraser) are probably about as liberal a group as any one community could send to Olympia to develop Washington State public policy, but there is the problem: they don't seem to see how they can really develop public policy at the legislature. The meeting was organized and facilitated by Molly Gibbs, friend and organizer in the Move to Amend organization. Molly's energy is a local treasure.
This is my second meeting with this legislative group. We (a bunch of leftist activists of various stripes) met with them (minus Reykdal for that meeting) in November 2011 to discuss the Special Session. It was clear in that meeting that Senator Karen Fraser and Representative Sam Hunt are really fine people, with all of the right intentions, but without any of the street-brawler tools or impulses that are required to enact public policy in Olympia today. I did what I could in the November meeting and again yesterday to move this group off of their "poor me, poor us" frame of reference and to motivate them to enact progressive public policy, but frankly, I don't know if these folks can imagine throwing down the gauntlet and taking the fight to the other side.