Happy Friday movement for healthcare justice!
How are you all doing? It’s been a hell of a campaign. With signatures due on December 30th, we still have just about two months to go, making that May 7th campaign launch feel all the longer time ago.
Our current signature count is just a hair above 73,000 at the time of writing. The count is updated on our homepage every couple of days and for a more detailed look, our data dashboard shows how many signatures we have per county, signatures over time, and other useful visualizations.
It is increasingly being asked if it is realistic for us to hit our goal of 400,000 signatures in the time we have left in the campaign. This has been the main topic of conversation at the last several of our weekly Monday night all-hands meetings. Can we make it, what if we don’t, what if we do, what do we do with the two months we have left, and where will Whole Washington be come January?
We are at a critical moment in our campaign so if you’d like to be involved in important strategic decisions now is the time to sign up and show up to our next all-hands meeting. We’re taking Halloween off, so mark your calendar – Monday, November 7th at 7pm.
For now, we are asking volunteers to stay engaged with Whole Washington, while taking the necessary care needed not to burn themselves out. The campaign is going to continue to gather signatures and push for as many as we can get. We would like to emphasize that even if we are unable to collect the 400,000 needed to get on the 2023 ballot that there is significant value to every signature.
- Every conversation with a potential signer builds support for universal healthcare.Yes, even the ones where you don’t get a signature. For many folks this may be the first time they have ever been asked to consider universal healthcare. They might never have heard of the ballot initiative process before. They may be learning about Whole Washington for the first time. The more awareness of our issue, our organization, and our strategy, the more support there will be when we need it.
- Signatures equal volunteers, donations, and data – you might not see it, but every sheet that gets turned in gets looked over by our data team. We keep track of where we get every signature down to the zip code. When folks leave their contact information, they receive emails, texts, and calls asking them to join the campaign. And it works! Even at this late date, we are bringing in new signature gatherers and signature captains on a weekly basis.
- The best way to train is out in the field– it can take a long time to develop a volunteer from an eager and willing presence into an independent signature gatherer, or better still, campaign organizer. In many cases, it takes hours of orientation, answering questions, supply delivery, event planning, and training before a new volunteer will gather their first signature. The good news is that the second usually comes minutes after the first. As long as we have sheets and an active campaign, we have ideal conditions to recruit and train volunteers.
- Our signatures are our voice in the legislature – our elected representatives are accountable to us their constituents and we have the signatures to prove to them the importance of universal healthcare as an issue. In some Legislative Districts we have over 10,000 signatures. Local elections are often decided by thousands of votes. We can use the public support we are building to influence the legislature and the universal healthcare commission and tell them we want nothing less than universal single-payer healthcare, like The Washington Health Trust.
As the next legislative session approaches, we are preparing to reintroduce new legislation into the Senate and reach out to our endorsers in the House to push for the first-ever introduction of the Washington Health Trust into the state House. With the November election just weeks away we may seize on new opportunities as we the people vote in our new legislature.
We are holding the first-ever meeting of Whole Washington’s newly formed Board Legislative Committee on Thursday, 10/27 from 5:00-6:30 pm to come together and set some big-picture vision for our lobbying strategy.
The meeting is open to everyone and you are encouraged to come – getting involved in the legislative side of our campaign is a fantastic way to learn more about our healthcare policy and our political system.
I hope I say this often enough, but there’s always a reason to say it again – I am so deeply appreciative of the work that every single one of you has done for the campaign. Whether it’s been a single retweet, a small question in a meeting, a shout at a rally, or a single signature on a sheet, you are my constant reminder that we can get universal healthcare on the ballot, we can heal ourselves and our communities, we can win healthcare justice for all.
Whole Washington Campaign Director