United Ways of Washington Lobby Day
United Ways of Washington’s Lobby Day on February 7 was a resounding success! United Way of King County took a group of 27 people to Olympia, including 15 volunteers and 12 staff to meet with 24 state legislators representing districts throughout King County. Volunteers were board members, former board members, impact council members, people from Workplace Giving campaigns and emerging leaders.
The main points emphasized during the day were:
- support for early learning including home visiting, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), the state funded pre-K program for 3 and 4 year olds, Working Connections Child Care, the state subsidized child care program for low income families and WaKIDS the assessment process for incoming kindergarteners
- support for programs to end homelessness including the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Program for people who are temporarily disabled and at risk of homelessness, Housing Trust Fund and Extended Foster Care
- support for the State Food Assistance Program
You can view our state legislative agenda for 2013 here.
Most legislators assured us that they supported the four early learning programs we highlighted. In addition, most legislators supported extending foster care to groups of foster kids other than those in school.
Our talking points were driven home during the day by a core of people who participated in virtual Lobby Day. These folks called or emailed their legislators from the comfort of their home or office to ask for support of our policy agenda.
We were very fortunate to have two hearings scheduled on February 7 that took testimony on issues from our agenda. Our very own Mickie Newby, Public Policy intern from University of Washington School of Social Work, testified in support of HB 1302, the extended foster care bill. You can view her testimony here, starting at 17:58 minutes. The bill was voted out of committee. The companion bill, SB 5405, was heard in the Senate on February 11. Daniel Carrillo volunteered to speak to HB 1369, which allows K teachers up to 5 days at the beginning of the school year to meet with parents and families in order to successfully implement WaKIDS. Unfortunately, there were so many people signed up to testify that Daniel did not have the opportunity to speak. Thanks to both Daniel and Mickie for agreeing to represent UW! The emerging leaders will follow up action on the Extended Foster Care bill by having a petition for signature on Pub Quiz night on February 12.