Lobby Day 2017

Lobby Day 2017 was a busy one for Washington CAN! We stormed the Capitol Steps in Olympia for Equity Day — a rally with hundreds of activists from two dozen coalition partners pushing for fully-funded education in an equitable and just way that doesn’t hurt those most vulnerable in Washington. It was moving, emotional and best of all LOUD!

Also on Presidents’ Day, we participated in a press conference with Governor Jay Inslee about health care. Our Board Chair, Deana Knutsen served as emcee, long-time health advocate and witness (at the White House) to the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Gina Owens reminded us how important the ACA has been. New Spokane member, Courtney Anderson was brilliant storyteller as she shared her story of beating cancer twice. She reminded us that cancer is persistent and she fears being able to fight cancer off if it resurfaces again and she is no longer covered because the ACA was repealed by Republicans and Trump.

In all, they conveyed just how much repealing the #ACA would cost Washington state — as outlined by a new report from Health Care for America Now. The report, A Cost Too High, calculated the cost to the state being $18 Billion in lost federal funding, more than $2 Billion to doctors and hospitals and the cost to each Washington recipient eliminated from support to be $3,005 per year.

Lobby Day 2016

Washington Community Action Network and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington blocked foot traffic near the Capitol Campus sundial on President’s Day to call attention to state legislators’ efforts this session to stand in the way of women’s reproductive and economic equality.

“We continue to see widening disparities in wealth and income between men and women; the gap is even more devastating among women of color,” said Mary Le Nguyen, Washington CAN Co-Executive Director. “Raising the statewide minimum wage is a necessary step towards eliminating that gap.”

This year, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Steve O’Ban and Sen. Michael Baumgartner, among others, have supported draconian legislation that would roll back women’s rights in Washington state, while standing in the way of legislation that would abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy, raise the minimum wage, support pay equity for men and women, and expand access to women’s health care.

Specifically, Republicans in the legislature have sponsored legislation to ban sex-selective abortion, a back-door attempt to place new restrictions on abortion that would force doctors to serve as law-enforcement officers rather than caregivers. Legislation has also tried to eliminate funding for abortion care for low-income women in Washington, by eliminating state Medicaid coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest.

“We need lawmakers in Olympia who stand with women by supporting legislation like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which gives pregnant workers the ability to stay on the job and have a healthy pregnancy, instead of standing in the way by supporting back-door abortion bans and age restrictions on birth control,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director Rachel Berkson. “Legislation that restricts women’s access to health care has no place in Washington state.”

These legislators have stood in the way of women’s economic and reproductive rights by blocking or refusing to support bills that would provide 12 months of birth control at a time to eliminate the need for monthly trips to the drugstore and legislation that would give pharmacists the ability to prescribe birth control directly.

Stand With Women is a national campaign calling on our elected leaders to expand access to women’s health care, abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy and caregiving, raise wages to ensure pay equity between men and women, and invest in women and families by funding affordable child care and education.

Lobby Day 2016

Lobby DayThis President’s Day, Monday, February 15, we are heading to Olympia for a Lobby Day and we would like to invite you along. We will travel to our state capital and call on lawmakers to put politics aside and put the issues you care about first. Our allies at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington will join us, in part to emphasize our Stand With Women campaign. The campaign urges lawmakers to stand with women this session by passing legislation to expand access to women’s health care, abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy and raise wages to ensure equal pay for women.

Another focus is our Health Care is a Human Right campaign. Washington CAN is part of a coalition working for a single-payer health care system that allows for all Washington residents to be covered with health insurance by the year 2020.

We will start at 10:00 am at the Washington State Labor Council, 906 Columbia Street SW #330 in Olympia. We will train, plan for the day and then hit the Capitol Campus for a full day of meeting with elected officials and staging actions to make our voices heard.

Please click this link to register for Lobby Day.