Bringing your voice to Olympia

by Matt Landers, GSBA Public Policy & Communications Manager
| Jan 26, 2018

GSBA staff, board, and scholars joined Equal Rights Washington for their annual LGBTQ lobby day in Olympia on Tuesday, January 23. This annual event elevates the common agenda of our whole community and reminds legislators that LGBTQ Washingtonians are an important constituency. Many of our partner organizations were present as well, including the Washington SAFE Alliance, Gay City, Ingersoll Gender Center, and UTOPIA Seattle.

GSBA was able to meet directly with Representatives Clibborn, Orwall and Van De Wege, and Senators Liias and Keiser. We also were able to share our priorities with the offices of Representatives DeBolt, Hansen, Kagi, Macri, Orcutt, Sells, Senn, and Senators Chase and Saldaña. This is one of the busiest legislative sessions in memory, with over 1,000 bills submitted in the first two weeks alone, according to Senator Jamie Pedersen. With the Democrats taking control of the Senate with a one-vote majority, there is a lot of pent-up energy for progressive priorities.

Luckily, that means that there are several LGBTQ priorities that appear to be moving swiftly and successfully through both houses of the legislature, with strong committee support and bipartisan majorities. GSBA shares ERW's priority bills - banning conversion therapy, updating the Uniform Parentage Act, preventing bullying of trans students, training long-term care workers on the LGBTQ community, and expanding healthcare to trans people and other women who previously lacked access. Additionally we could share our economic priorities such as creating a statewide tourism marketing fund, supporting the equal pay act, and establishing uniform statewide regulations. (Read more about our priority bills here.)

Lobby Day is an invaluable and easy way to get involved with your legislators. ERW provided an excellent training to volunteers on how to speak with policymakers, how to talk about the specific priority bills, and provided additional educational opportunities throughout the day. GSBA strongly encourages those who are able to join us at future events in Olympia and in Seattle. We are proud to represent your voice, but it's even stronger when you can join us and take part in the civic process!
 

Download the 2018 GSBA Legislative Agenda


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