UPDATED April, 2020
It does not look promising for signature gathering in 2020. Health and safety restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 require that we stay home and continue social distancing. If we’re able to collect signatures safely, we’ll be ready, but for now, we’ll need to push forward using other methods.
In Washington State, we’re fortunate to have the Initiative process. When our elected officials fail to pass needed legislation, we the people have the power to pass our own laws. Let’s take a look at how we plan to do that (while we continue to pressure our elected officials to pass Universal Healthcare in the legislature.) For more info see the Secretary of State’s FAQ.
There are two types of Initiatives: to the Legislature and to the People. Currently, our Board has decided to file the ballot measure to the legislature, but that can change if we raise enough money for paid signature gatherers.
Initiative to the Legislature
- When we will file: TBD
- Deadline for signatures: January 2021
- Months to collect signatures: TBD – will depend on when we’re able to start.
If the required number of verified signatures are met, the legislature can do one of three things. They can:
- Pass it As Is in early 2021 OR
- Edit it and Put a Competing Measure on the Ballot. (both measures must be on the ballot) for a vote in November 2021 OR
- Put the Initiative on the ballot As Is in November 2021
Where We Are Now & What We Must Do
- The numerous cancellations of public events and the need to social distance makes collecting signatures this year very difficult. At this point, it’s not likely for this year. However, we’ll still file the initiative for polling purposes. We’ll use the title and ballot summary to test support among voters.
- We have been text-banking to our base of subscribers asking for signature pledges.
Fundraising – the most important thing we can do right now!
- Do you have experience in Event Planning? We need you. Concerts, a walk-a-thon, house parties will keep us funded for the life of the campaign.
- We’re looking for large financial donors and philanthropists to back this campaign. Let us know what connections you have.
- Even though the signature gathering start is uncertain, getting commitments now is critical. Have you pledged signatures?
- We’re looking for volunteers to oversee shifts at Farmers Markets and supportive businesses.
- We’re also setting up our Field Operations. Want to oversee and support volunteers in your district?
- We are always looking for allies in this fight. If you’re aware of an organization or business that supports universal healthcare and social justice, let us know. We’ll contact them.
- Do you like public speaking? We’ll train you on presenting this plan so you can get endorsements and support from LD meetings and other organizations!
- Like/Follow/Share/Retweet. We need more eyes on this movement.
- Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers and let them know how important this issue is. Educate and encourage involvement. We all have a part to play!
- We are looking for a representative to introduce the Whole Washington Health Plan in the House. Could it be YOUR representative?
- We need more state Senators to endorse SB 5222. It will be re-introduced next session. Contact your Senator and voice your support.
- Note: We do not actively support legislation that continues to subsidize the current for-profit insurance model, for example: Cascade Care the “public option bill” that isn’t a public option and contracts with private health insurance companies.
If any of the above-mentioned involvement interests you, please fill out the