Washington State Rally for Environment, Education, and Labor
Monday, February 15, 2010
Olympia, WA — Thousands of people, the crowd size was estimated to be 6,000, rallied on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Legislative Building.
The rally was for the Environment, for Education, and for Labor - as well as against budget cuts that would hurt people.
There were a lot of people advocating for single-payer health care, and also for substantial reform to the tax system. Washington State has the most regressive tax structure of any state in the USA. Some of the proposals in the legislature, like increases to sales taxes, would actually make the tax system even more unfair.
Many of the speeches talked about the need to protect the social safety net, the importance to maintain structures that make society a caring place, and to focus on fairness, equity and justice in the areas of labor environment and education.
None of the speeches during the hour or so long rally touched on the topic of how to raise the revenue.
After the rally I attended a Sisters Organizing for Survival (SOS) meeting. SOS is part of the Radical Women organization. This group is currently organizing an effort toward a progressive state income tax. During the meeting people talked about their experiences at the rally and lobbying for a couple bills that would establish an income tax in the state.
Washington State Presidents' Day Progressive Rally and Lobby Day is an opportunity for progressives to gather and rally for justice and fairness in government. The lobby day is two weeks from tomorrow, on Monday the 15th. If you want to rally for progressive causes like expanding basic health care to meet the needs of all 900,000 uninsured Washingtonians, as well as other matters of social and environmental justice, and if you can be available on Monday the 15th, then please consider signing up by following the links below.
The Fuse organization has more information and an opportunity to sign up in order to meet your legislators. Lobby to Protect Our Future! Feb. 15, 2010: Rebuilding Our Economic Future
The Presidents' Day Rally is also sponsored by a number of other organizations throughout the state, including the Sisters Organizing for Survival, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Washington Federation of State Employees. (If you're a union member, make sure to register for the event with your union.)
Fuse is a progressive advocacy organization focused on changing public policy. FUSE has released a legislative report card. It includes a lot of room for improvement.
Now that the Legislative Session is over, we wanted to take a step back and evaluate how the Legislature performed on bills that sought to advance progressive values this year. There may be a short special session, but the agenda is expected to be narrow.
Fuse has compiled this scorecard with input from other groups in the progressive community.
Overall Issue Grades
The Budget: D
The Environment: D
Good Government: F
Social Justice: A
Consumer Protection: C-