by Ty Brown
What we are seeing today is not just about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the horrific, continuous list of our murdered brothers and sisters — may they rest in power. This is about systemic injustice and systemic racism that has plagued this continent and our neighborhoods for 400 years.
These tragedies are constant reminders of the hate crimes, police brutality and systematic injustice the Black community faces far too frequently.
In Olympia, we’re thinking about our neighbors who have faced police brutality, negligence, and lost their lives due to an over-militarized and over-funded force: Yvonne McDonald, who died in mysterious circumstances; Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, who were shot at by Olympia police and then each sentenced to prison terms; and Jackie Salyers, a Puyallup tribal member fatally shot by police in 2016.
Continue reading OPINION: Defund Police and Defend Black Lives — Why We Rally
by Laura Van Tosh and Janine Bertram
State lawmakers in Olympia are debating House Bill 1394 (and its companion bill, Senate Bill 5431), an expensive proposal to build more hospitals with inpatient beds for people suffering from mental health or substance use challenges. This bill has gained wide appeal, and yet it takes a very awkward and giant step backward in terms of reforming what has been called, “a broken system.” We don’t believe our system is “broken” but we do believe Washington State policy makers are on the wrong path, thinking that more inpatient beds are the answer.
Continue reading OPINION: State Lawmakers Seek the Wrong Answer by Demanding More Mental Health Beds
by Geov Parrish
Okay, so granted, the concept of “American democracy” is a bit tarnished: Citizens United, voter suppression, gerrymandering, this list goes on ad nauseam. A 2014 Princeton study found that there was no statistical correlation between what, according to public polling, the American public wants Congress to do and what Congress actually does. But there is a very high correlation between what the very wealthy want (using the same metric) and what Congress actually does. That’s not a representative democracy but a plutocracy — which is, arguably, what America’s heavily worshiped “founding fathers” wanted to begin with.
Continue reading General Election 2018: The Vote to Save Democracy
by John Stafford
The 2015 Washington State Legislative Session promises to be one of the most contentious and momentous in recent state history. The following is a brief summary of ten of the most critical issues (not ranked by importance) that will be addressed in Olympia over the next several months. Continue reading Primer for the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session