Welcome Activists to the first posting for It’s Time for Action! - the Washington edition. As Chair of Washington's Activism Committee and a member of Washington's Government Relations Committee of the National MS Society, I am hoping that this blog will be your go-to spot for information and the Call to Action for legislative activity in Washington state and beyond.
In Washington, three chapters of the National MS Society have a presence: the Greater Northwest Chapter, covering western and central Washington, the Inland Northwest Chapter covering eastern Washington, and the Oregon Chapter which includes Clark County in southwest Washington. We join forces in our advocacy efforts so while you may see some references to the Greater Northwest Chapter in our advocacy work, we actually represent all three chapters.
In addition, the Greater Northwest Chapter covers Alaska and Montana - two states with their own Government Relations Committees made up of locals who understand the issues facing people in their states. You'll hear more about these states on this blog as we move ahead.
For now, back to Washington state - With the toll our damaged economy is taking on the state budget, it is more important than ever that our legislators hear from this community. Washingtonians living with MS and other disabilities have been particularly hard hit over the last several years and Olympia needs to hear us and protect us!
There is an opportunity coming up for you to get your voice heard. Add this to your calendar, wear your orange scarf, and show Olympia that our community is vast, strong, and WE VOTE!
January 30th – Day of Activism in Olympia at the Capitol Building
If you have never attended the Day of Activism – you are in for a treat! This event includes an intensive educational session, speeches from legislators/staff members, and a lot of camaraderie among fellow activists before we head out to meet with our Senators and Representatives. Our legislators know that when the orange scarves arrive on campus, it’s time for business! Please bring along a few others – strength in numbers!
Maybe you want to carpool? Put it out there and see if someone else in your area needs a ride or wants some company for the drive to Olympia.
The special session is already underway and legislators are already considering how to balance the budget in light of the expected $2 billion shortfall. This is the place to find updates on the status of issues crucial to the MS community. Please take action when you see the Action Alerts. The Action Alert system is an easy and effective way to tell our state government that we are here and we are paying attention!
Again – welcome! Check back soon for more information about upcoming Activism events and remember…It’s Time for Action!
Cheers! - Holly Hawker