The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort
and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge andcontroversy.²
— Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Governor¹s budget hurts children and others most in need!
With all due respect to the challenges faced by Governor Gary Locke and his staff in their attempts to shape a workable budget in the context of a vast revenue shortfall, the budget they presented to the recently convened 58th regular session of the Washington State Legislature is unacceptable. The result of their budget¹s implementation would mean severe suffering, and even death, for the state¹s most vulnerable citizens, including our children.
Now is the time to tell the Governor and your Senator and Representatives that you cannot accept harming children, the mentally ill, and the needy elderly and infirm, who are our neighbors in this affluent state, for the sake of avoiding the perceived political costs of raising revenue. We hope that no one wants harm to come to those most in need of the support and services that are being threatened by this harsh budget, but our elected leaders need to hear that from their constituents. The public outcry is not being heard on the capitol campus. Lobbyists and advocacy groups do not have the same effect as messages from individual, concernedcitizens and voters.
If you do nothing else this session in response to these Alerts, I urge you to:
1. Call or write to voice whatever sentiments you have that will get your
2. Insist that a basic safety net for the most vulnerable among us be
preserved, even during difficult fiscal times for Washington State.
3. Leave a message for Governor Locke, your State Senator and both
Representatives, using some of the talking points below. For help
determining who represents you, see the resources listed below or call
Alan at 360 556-2584.
ACTION: Call the Legislative Hotline at 1 800 562-6000 M-F 8am-12noon &
1pm-4:30pm or contact the Governor and your district¹s state elected
officials directly by telephone, e-mail or letter. See below for contact
All messages to elected officials are valuable, with letters especially effective (legible, hand-written ones even more so). Letters from folks who have never contacted the official before are the most effective of all.You may have called or emailed your Representatives and Senator, if you¹ve never contacted the Governor before, write him a note on this one.
Although you should use your own words, when calling, writing, or sending e-mail, as suggested in the Alerts, please identify your self as a Friend and as a member of FCWPP. Our effectiveness is enhanced when legislators hear from people who respond to our issues.
Express willingness to pay higher state taxes until the economy rebounds. Convey your hopes that we can craft a more equitable and adequate revenue system for the future.
ASK TO RESTORE FUNDS FOR THE MOST NEEDY
A 9.6 million dollar cut to Children¹s Administration will reduce one third of the funding for ten programs that help sick infants, homeless youth, and abused children.
MESSAGE : RESTORE CHILDREN¹S ADMINISTRATION FUNDS FOR INFANTS AND
A $12 million dollar cut to Adoption Support Services will lower payments to those who adopt children with special needs. Hard-to-place foster children have been adopted at a greatly increased rate since these funds were initially made available in 1986.
MESSAGE: RESTORE ADOPTION SUPPORT.
The complete elimination of programs that serve abused and neglected children is ill advised and will come back to haunt us in costly ways. Funding was completely eliminated in the Governor¹s proposed budget for the following programs:
1. The Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (WCPCAN serves as the state¹s clearinghouse for people seeking resources about child abuse prevention and family support. WCPCAN provides grants for local child abuse prevention efforts across the state and leverages substantial local dollars for preventing harm to vulnerable children.
2. The Washington State Association of CASA/GAL Programs works with 30 local court appointed special advocate (CASA) programs across the state to recruit, train and sustain volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. The State Association also provides a statewide network for training and technical support for the local program staff and leverages private foundation dollars to assist with program support. http://www.washingtonstatecasa.org
3. The mission of the Office of the Family and Children¹s Ombudsman¹s (OFCO) is to protect children and parents from harmful agency action or inaction, and to make agency officials and state policy makers aware of system wide issues in child protection and child welfare system so they can improve services. http://www.governor.wa.gov/ofco
MESSAGE: DO NOT ELIMINATE FUNDING FOR
THE WASHINGTON COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT,
THE WASHINGTON STATE ASSOCIATION OF CASA/GAL PROGRAMS, and
THE FAMILY AND CHILDREN¹S OMBUDSMAN.
Expect more Alerts soon or call me about information specific to your concerns.
What do you know about that coincides with Friends¹ Legislative priorities?
Read our Policy Statement at http://www.quaker.org/fcwpp/Policy%20Statement.html
for many concerns that could become priorities they just need champions!
Please call or e-mail me for information, help, or to go over legislative issues that concern you. I appreciate hearing from Friends.
How to Contact Your Legislators:
Use http://dfind.leg.wa.gov/dfinder.cfm to find out who your legislators are. Go to http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/ses.htm
for extensive online information on legislators, legislation, our State Constitution and existing state law, among many other things.
Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or Write your Senator and representatives at:
PO Box 4048
Olympia, WA 98504-0482
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
On the web at: http://www.leg.wa.gov/ follow the link to the Senate or House, and click on your member¹s name to get their e-mail address.
Friends Committee on Washington State Public Policy
P.O. Box 452
Olympia, WA 98507-0452
360 556-2584 cell
360 943-2503 home