Issue: The Statewide Poverty Action Network, Real Change, and other anti-poverty groups are hosting the second annual Poverty Action Summit, march, and rally in Olympia on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Please join us and help tell legislators that ending poverty should be their first priority.
Background: This event is a little different. It’s one of the few advocacy days when we have the opportunity not just to ask for change, but to march in the streets and demand it loudly!
After registration and breakfast, the day will begin with a legislative briefing at 9:15. This is your chance to learn about the issues we’re working on, including stopping predatory payday lenders, increasing funding for affordable housing, and making sure everyone has access to health care.
Then, a panel of speakers who are struggling with those issues will talk about their experiences. Legislators will be there to hear their stories and gain a better understanding of the human impact of the bills and budget they’re considering.
Over lunch, participants will choose from one of three great workshops: how a bill becomes a law, with former Poverty Action lobbyist Julie Watts; how to meet with your legislators, with citizen advocate extraordinaire Nancy Amidei; and a new workshop this year, how to use your personal story to be an advocate, with Leo Artalejo, a former executive speechwriter and speaking coach for Microsoft.
After lunch, we’ll rally with music, inspiring speakers, and then march and chant our way to the capitol steps, where we’ll be joined by the Speaker of the House, Frank Chopp, and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown.
After the rally, constituents will head off to meetings with their legislators that will be arranged in advance. You’ll have the chance to join others to talk directly with your legislators and let them know that you care about ending poverty.
This is a great chance to get involved if you’re new to advocacy. And it’s a great chance for everyone to help bring Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to life.
Action: Attend the full day, or just the march and rally. For the full day, including breakfast and lunch, register at www.povertyaction.org or contact Marcy Bowers at (206)694-6794. Registration is $15 per person, and low-income scholarships are available. Workshops and the rally will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 114 - 20th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501.
If you’re only attending the rally and march, no registration is necessary. Just bring a carload of friends and show up at the church at 1 p.m. There’s no parking available at the church, but street parking is free because it’s a holiday.
If you’re coming to the rally and march only, consider writing a note to your legislators and the governor ahead of time and leaving it at their offices. A simple note that lets them know you were there because you want everyone to have access to basic necessities like affordable housing and health care, and that you want payday lenders to stop preying on low-income people, is perfect. It would be a missed opportunity to visit Olympia and not let your legislators know! Find out who represents you and get their office addresses at www.leg.wa.gov.
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/01/03/jan-3-2007-entire-issue