Recent Blog Posts

Image
housing action
Why You Should Attend a Mid-Session Town Hall

Share:

By: Mary Zhou, Community Organizing Fellow

Image
Top of a capital building with question marks

 

Now that we’re halfway through the Washington state legislative session (which runs from January 11 to April 26), the need for housing and homelessness advocacy is important as ever. Crucial bills are moving into the House or Senate - ensuring just cause for evictions, building a state rental assistance program, and providing legal representation for tenants facing eviction. And the state’s two year budget is being written. Our legislative priorities are not only an important offramp for when the current eviction moratorium expires, but will also help ensure safe and affordable housing for Washingtonians in the long-term. 

Where do you and town halls fit into this?

Town halls are your chance to directly ask questions of your district representatives and senators. State lawmakers hold these sessions to clarify their positions on key issues and to understand what their constituents (you all!) find important as they vote on legislation. 

This year, there’s no need to drive to your district offices - town halls are at your fingertips through Zoom or simultaneously livestreamed on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube. Your voice is influential! Your legislators were elected to represent you, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and make your perspective known. 

Town Hall Tips

  • Submit questions ahead of time! The earlier the better, because there are likely many people who have questions. If you don’t submit a question ahead of time, the lawmakers are unlikely to discuss your issue! 
  • Give context for questions and strategize for your district - see below for support!
Image
We have a strategy for your district! Click here to contact Kyle for support crafting powerful questions

 

 

 

*Sample questions:

Housing Stability 

  • Rental assistance must be coupled with additional protections for tenants during and after the coronavirus pandemic. How will you be voting on Senate Bill 5160 to keep families in their homes? (The Senate has already voted on this bill, so this is a good question for House members. You can thank your Senator if they voted yes. Roll call vote can be found here.)
  • Because people of color are more likely to work the types of jobs most impacted by COVID-19, are more likely to be renters, and were more likely to be struggling to afford housing even before the pandemic, people of color are disproportionately behind on rent. Do you support House Bill 1277 to create an ongoing rental assistance program to ensure that renters can get caught up on rent and not risk eviction? 
  • Landlords in Washington can evict a tenant with just 20-days’ notice, even if they have never violated the terms of their lease and never paid rent late. What are you doing to support and promote House Bill 1236, requiring landlords to have “just cause” for evictions? (The House has already voted on this bill. You can thank your Representative if they voted yes. Roll call vote can be found here.)

Capital Budget 

  • Even before the pandemic, there was a shortage of over 195,000 homes affordable and available to very low-income households in Washington. Will you support $240M for the Housing Trust Fund?
  • The National Preservation Database shows that over 1700 publicly funded affordable homes are at risk of being lost. Will you support $10M for preserving affordable housing?
  • Since the start of the pandemic, the state has lost emergency shelter capacity because of social distancing requirements and volunteers being unable to safely help. Meanwhile, shelter providers have innovated with non-congregant shelter models that indicate improved outcomes for guests. We should be scaling this up. Will you support $70M for rapid acquisition of property for shelter, transitional, and permanent supportive housing? Will you support $40M for enhanced shelter capacity grants?

Progressive Revenue

  • Do you support fixing our state’s inequitable tax code so that the lowest income people don’t pay more than the top 1%? How do you plan to vote on SB 5096, Capital Gains tax? (The Senate has already voted on this bill, so this is a good question for House members. You can thank your Senator if they voted yes. Roll call vote can be found here.)


*For detailed explanations of Capital Budget priorities, progressive revenue, and the listed bills please see our 2021 Policy Priorities page.

 

Upcoming district town halls (from League of Women Voters website):

District Information

Date/Time

Event Details

LD 1: Rep. Duerr, Rep. Kloba, Sen. Stanford

03/10 6:30pm

Participants: Sen. Stanford, Rep. Duerr, Rep. Kloba

On Facebook live: https://www.facebook.com/SenateDemocrats

LD 2: Rep. Barkis, Rep. Wilcox, Sen. McCune

03/15 6pm

Participants: Rep. Barkis

Details to be confirmed.

LD 5: Rep. Callan, Rep. Ramos, Sen. Mullet

03/13 11am-12pm

Participants: Reps. Lisa Callan & Bill Ramos, and Sen. Mark Mullet

Submit questions ahead of time:  www.surveymonkey.com/r/S5QPMN8

Or submit questions live during the event by leaving a question in the comment section on Facebook live:  https://www.facebook.com/events/249129866712056/

LD 8: Rep. Boehnke, Rep. Klippert, Sen. Brown

03/20 2pm

Participants: Rep. Boehnke, Rep. Klippert, Sen. Brown

gov.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YxKc2uhSR9Wsww2i1JYrRw

LD 10: Rep. Gilday, Rep. Paul, Sen. Muzzall

TBD  

Participants: Rep. Gilday, Rep. Paul, Sen. Muzzall

will likely be on a weeknight sometime in the week of March 15-19

LD 11: Rep. Bergquist, Rep. Hackney, Sen. Hasegawa

03/17 6pm

Participants: Sen. Bob Hasegawa and Reps. Steve Bergquist and David Hackney

Facebook live:  https://www.facebook.com/SenateDemocrats

LD 14: Rep. Corry, Rep. Mosbrucker, Sen. King

03/17 6pm

Participants: Rep. Corry, Rep. Mosbrucker

Get details from their websites

LD 17: Rep. Harris, Rep. Kraft, Sen. Wilson

03/15 6:30-7:30pm

Participants: Rep. Harris, Sen. Wilson

Pre-register

LD 19: Rep. McEntire, Rep. Walsh, Sen. Wilson

03/06 TBD

Participants: Rep. Hoff, Rep. Vick, Sen. Rivers

Town Hall, no details yet

LD 24: Rep. Chapman, Rep. Tharinger, Sen. Van De Wege

03/22  

Participants: Rep. Chapman

Telephone town hall - sending reminders through our newsletters, on social media, and phone calls through the district.

LD 25: Rep. Chambers, Rep. Jacobsen, Sen. Gildon

03/20 11am

Participants: Rep. Chambers, Rep. Jacobsen, Sen. Gildon

Contact legislators for details

LD 27: Rep. Fey, Rep. Jinkins, Sen. Darneille

03/10 5:30pm

Participants: Rep. Fey, Jinkins & Sen. Darneille

Submit questions ahead of the event at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/27thdistricttownhall

On Facebook live:  https://www.facebook.com/SenateDemocrats/

LD 32: Rep. Davis, Rep. Ryu, Sen. Salomon

03/15 7pm

Participants: Rep. Ryu, Rep. Davis, Sen. Salomon

Submit questions ahead of time: surveymonkey.com/r/3TDTLD9

Or submit questions live during the event by leaving a question in the comment section.

Facebook live: https://facebook.com/events/259386815759067/

LD 33: Rep. Gregerson, Rep. Orwall, Sen. Keiser

03/24 7pm-8pm

Participants: Reps. Tina Orwall & Mia Gregerson, and Sen. Karen Keiser

https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems

https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems

Submit questions ahead of time:

surveymonkey.com/r/LSTG8BR

LD 34: Rep. Cody, Rep. Fitzgibbon, Sen. Nguyen

03/18 6:30-7:30 pm

Participants: Rep. Cody, Rep. Fitzgibbon, Sen. Nguyen

LD 36: Rep. Berry, Rep. Frame, Sen. Carlyle

03/15 7pm-8pm

Participants: Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Reps. Noel Frame and Liz Berry

LD 37: Rep. Harris-Talley, Rep. Tomiko Santos, Sen. Saldana

03/31 6pm

Participants: Rep. Harris-Talley, Rep. Tomiko Santos, Sen. Saldana

Details to be confirmed.

LD 40: Rep. Lekanoff, Rep. Ramel, Sen. Lovelett

03/13  

Participants: Rep. Lekanoff, Rep. Ramel, Sen. Lovelett

Tentative AM, no details

LD 41: Rep. Senn, Rep. Thai, Sen. Wellman

03/11 5:30pm

Participants: Sen. Lisa Wellman and Reps. My-Linh ai and Tana Senn

On Facebook live: https://www.facebook.com/SenateDemocrats

LD 42: Rep. Rule, Rep. Shewmake, Sen. Ericksen

03/16 6pm-7pm

Participants: Reps. Sharon Shewmake and Alicia Rule

https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems

https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems

LD 43: Rep. Chopp, Rep. Macri, Sen. Pedersen

03/13 1pm

Participants: Rep. Macri, Rep. Chopp, Sen. Pedersen

Submit questions ahead of time: surveymonkey.com/r/MRKT88X

Or submit questions live during the event by leaving a question in the comment section.

Facebook live:  https://www.facebook.com/events/163642925404344

LD 45: Rep. Goodman, Rep. Springer, Sen. Dhingra

03/17 7pm

Participants: Rep. Goodman, Rep. Springer, Sen. Dhingra

On Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitter

LD 47: Rep. Entenman, Rep. Sullivan, Sen. Das

03/11 6pm-7pm

Participants: Sen. Das

Virtual, no zoom link yet.

Share:

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.