ACTION HOTLIST for the legislative special session
The clock is ticking as legislators debate the future of public workers and vital services in this special legislative session. Sisters Organize for Survival (SOS) urges you to make your voice heard on the crucial issues listed below:
1) Defend teachers. Public school teachers are facing multiple attacks: a salary freeze and health benefits takeover; a proposed statewide teacher layoff policy that would ignore local needs and links layoffs to high stakes test scores; and reduced state funding that will bring even larger class sizes. Visit the Washington Education Association website to learn easy ways that you can take action on each of these issues: http://ourvoicewashingtonea.org/action.html
2) Oppose the undermining of Workers' Compensation. On last November's statewide ballot, Washington voters voiced strong support for our state-run workers' compensation system by overwhelmingly rejecting insurance industry-backed Workers' Compensation Insurance Reform, Initiative 1082. Now a newly introduced bill, HB 1686,would allow employers to settle workers' compensation claims with "compromise-and-release" lump-sum buyouts. The measure would press injured workers to accept less than they would otherwise get by going through state Workers Compensation, which has a vested interest in making sure that care is provided to ensure optimal recovery. Please send a message to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp at firstname.lastname@example.org to encourage him to continue to hold the line to prevent this measure from reaching the House floor for a vote.
Help protect Washington workers by keeping workers' compensation strong!
3) Tell legislators to VOTE YES on HB 2078. This bill closes tax loopholes for some Wall Street banks and out-of-state shoppers. Revenue would help fund kindergarten through third grade education. This bill, introduced immediately after April week of protest, is clearly a result of demonstrators refusing to buy the line that legislators are powerless to close loopholes. Tell them this is one step in the right directionthey should go further to close all tax exemptions for large businesses. Call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
4) Demand that lawmakers oppose an "all-cuts," anti-labor budget. There is no excuse for a state budget that slashes vital services, destroys public education, and degrades living standards. Legislators should close more tax loopholes and tax corporate profits instead! Make sure legislators from your district know that voting NO is the only acceptable action. Call the Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
As you're out and about keep your eyes peeled for signature gatherers on the anti-immigrant Initiative 1122. Make a point of telling everyone in earshot to oppose this attempt to mandate local law enforcement to work with ICE, require state employers to participate in the federal E-Verify program, require proof of residency to receive social benefits or drivers' licenses and more. Immigrant rights are workers rights!
We'll keep you posted of opportunities to hit the streets to defend jobs and services. If you're in Olympia, SOS encourages you to participate in a Friday, May 13 "Zombie Walkout" of students and community members opposing the "bloodthirsty Gregoire and her corporate monsters draining every drop of money from services and higher education." Meet on campuses at noon, then gather at 1:30 in Sylvester Park to march to the Capital. Sponsored by Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget, OCFB, US Uncut Olympia, Students in Solidarity, POWER and other activists.
For information on upcoming actions of Sisters Organize for Survival, a campaign of Radical Women, visit SistersOrganizeforSurvival.org, email RWseattle@mindspring.com, or call 206-722-6057.
Donations are warmly encouraged. Mail checks payable to Radical Women/SOS to 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118. Or donate online at www.SistersOrganizeforSurvival.org