Our first fundraising campaign is underway, and thanks to you, we’re making genuine progress. Hashtags are going out. Donations are coming in!
Huge thank you to our supporters. Add your face to the gallery and let’s keep it going.
The tide is turning
On Tuesday, April 30th, the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held the first ever hearing on Medicare for All. That’s right. The first ever. And we can attest, it was incredibly powerful. Whole Washington Campaign Director Georgia Davenport and Communications Director Jen Nye traveled to Washington D.C. to join other activists and hear the landmark arguments in real time. Witnesses laid out damning accounts of our broken, for-profit system, and advocates demanded real change.
From an overflow room in the Cannon building, we sat transfixed watching monitors. We chatted with members of Public Citizen who are encouraging citizens to pass local resolutions in city councils, school boards and other community entities. (Proudly, Seattle City Council was the very first to do so!) Check out their toolkit and push for passage in YOUR community–what a great opportunity to recruit signature gatherers and volunteers for our campaign! We also met members of the Be A Hero group founded by Ady Barkan that urges politicians to do the right thing. The right thing in this case? Pass Medicare for All. We exchanged contacts and swapped t-shirts for berets, courtesy of the generous Red Berets for Medicare for All.
We also met legislators, like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts and Congressman Abdul El Sayed from Michigan that wanted to thank engaged voters.
Take some time to watch the hearing or read the transcripts. There is a lot to learn and know, including age-old tactics used by the opposition. For a deep well of inspiration, be sure to watch the testimony of Ady Barkan, an activist, lawyer, husband and father, dying of ALS. Due to the disease’s progression, he had to use a computer-assisted device to speak. He shattered our hearts but strengthened our resolve. There’s much work we must do!
Check out Things You Can Do Right Now to help move the needle.
The Whole Washington Health bill (Senate Bill 5222) did not make it out of committee this session.
We want to thank Senator Bob Hasegawa for its introduction in January and thank you to Senators Karen Kaiser and Sam Hunt for co-sponsoring. 5222 is based closely on last year’s I-1600 initiative with updates based on feedback. We listened to both voters and experts, like outgoing Senator Maralyn Chase, the Department of Revenue (DOR), and the Employment Security Department (ESD) to make funding provisions easier to implement within existing state frameworks. So, for example, the 1% income tax was removed; however, the transition plan that doesn’t rely on Federal waivers was retained.
The bill will be re-introduced to the Senate in the next session. In the meantime, we need a Representative to introduce a companion bill in the House. Socializing the bill, building partnerships, and finding co-sponsors will be a strong focus this fall. Is your rep on the Health Care & Wellness committee? Are they a strong advocate for Universal Healthcare? Let us know!
Whole Washington also wants to thank all those vocal supporters who called their committee members asking for a hearing and our passionate demonstrators that went to Olympia to shout SB 5222 loud and proud! Thank you for showing up.