LWVWA Endorses I-1600, Universal Health Care in Washington State
On March 16 the LWVWA board endorsed I-1600, the initiative that would require the establishment of a comprehensive state program to pay for health care for all Washington residents. If approved, coverage would be effective November 2019, funded by premiums and taxes on employers, individual income, and capital gains.
As of May 15th, 42,026 signatures have been turned in. With 260,000 valid signatures needed by July 6th there will be much focus on big summer events that are on the horizon.
Gun Safety: A League Priority
On Saturday March 24 the Thurston and Mason League of Women Voters joined an estimated 4500 marchers to support the student sponsored March for Our Lives in Olympia. The LWV has a long history with the issue of gun control. They have promoted the policy to protect the health and safety of all citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns as well as semi-automatic weapons.
Besides marching with the students, the LWV also provided an opportunity to register new voters at Saturday’s event. The league will continue to work with local groups and students to contact our representatives both on the state and national level to keep the gun control and school safety issue in the forefront.
As Floridians continue to grapple with the massacres at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, our state is mourning yet another mass shooting, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. At least 17 people have died, while many others have been injured. Our thoughts are with the Parkland community and those families forever impacted by today's unspeakable tragedy.
The shooter, now in custody, was reportedly a former student who apparently chose an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle to use as his weapon. These types of weapons have been used in mass shootings again and again, including Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida; Sutherland Springs, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Right now, the Florida Legislature has before it legislation to ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines but has failed to act.
This shooting is further proof that semiautomatic weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians. They are weapons of mass destruction. The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and the League of Women Voters of Florida call upon our Legislature currently in Session to hear and pass the ban on assault weapons — HB 219 and SB 196.
Our hearts break for the young lives that were ripped away in a senseless and all-too-common act of brutality. The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is committed to fighting for smart, responsible gun legislation. The federal government will not change these laws; the state of Florida can and should protect its citizens, and most importantly its children.
HOW WE WORK
League members work on a variety of issues over each program year. A series of General Public meetings began in January 2018. You can read about the meeting that have been held so far on out Program Reports page. Interesting stuff.
Upcoming General Meetings are detailed on the Upcoming Events page. Come and join us!
On Feb 17, 2018, League members gathered for an annual “Program Planning” meeting. They reviewed both National and Local League positions, went through a structured process to come up with recommendations for changes to both. A summary table of results is available here.
For our National position there is a recommendation for adding specific language related to climate change to our positions on Natural Resources. We sent this recommendation off to National League.
Our Local position recommendations will be brought to the Annual Meeting in May for a vote of the membership. Further information about this meeting, as welll as decisions made, will be posted here as they become available.
Fianlly, one of our primary events that serves to spotlight LWVTC activities, as well as raise funds for our Education Fund, which we use to underwrite our Public meetings, is our Education Fund Benefit Luncheon. This will be held on October 20, 2018, so watch for it on our Upcoming Events page.