Upcoming Town Halls and Oil Spill Prevention
February 6, 2018 | By Washington House Democrats
Two chances to meet with your 21st LD lawmakers!
Please join me, along with Senator Marko Liias and Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self at two town hall meetings coming up next week!
TELEPHONE TOWN HALL
Thursday, February 15th at 6 PM
Calls will go out to thousands of homes throughout the 21st legislative district. We invite you to listen live and ask us questions. If you don’t have a landline or you don’t receive the call, you can still participate by dialing 877-229-8493 and using ID Code 116357.
You can also live-stream it at: https://vekeo.com/whdc21/
DISTRICT TOWN HALL
Saturday, February 17th at 11 AM at Meadowdale High School (6002 168th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98037)
We want to give you an update on the current legislative session, and we also want to take your questions–both over the phone on the 15th and in person on the 17th–on issues that matter to you.
I hope you’ll join us!
Protecting our communities from oil spills
Increasing amounts of crude oil are traveling through Washington state every day. This oil is being shipped not only by train, but also by ships and barges and by pipelines. Unfortunately, the state’s Department of Ecology oil spill prevention program has been underfunded and is not prepared for the increase in oil transported through the state.
In order to protect and prepare our communities and the environment for an eventual oil spill, I am advocating for House Bill 1611, which would sustainably fund cleanup programs and emergency response resources. The bill closes a tax loophole and increases the oil spill administration tax by just two cents a barrel, ensuring that oil companies will rightly bear the costs to ensure public safety and environmental protection.
Learn more about oil spill prevention and how we can better protect our communities and the environment in this week’s legislative update!
Addressing the need for proper nutrition in schools
A student has one job when she enters the classroom each morning: to learn. Yet day after day, students in every corner of the state are showing up to school hungry.
When hungry kids are distracted by thinking about where their next meal is going to come from, they aren’t focused on learning.
That’s why making sure kids are well-nourished during the school day is critically important to boosting academic achievement.
One of the first bills approved by the House of Representatives this session was House Bill 1508, which will expand programs that provide students from low-income families with meals in the morning. Programs like Breakfast After the Bell have proven to be highly successful, and I was proud to vote in support of this program.
While breakfast is needed to start the day, many students also struggle with paying for meals at lunch. That’s why I’ve introduced House Bill 2610, which requires schools to provide a meal to students who request one, regardless of their ability to pay. It also prohibits schools from publicly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay, and requires local liaisons to coordinate with schools to ensure homeless students have proper access to free school meals.
Ensuring access to food and proper nutrition will mean brighter futures for our children.
Protecting First Amendment religious freedoms from federal attacks
The freedom to practice one’s religion in their own way is an American right protected by the First Amendment and is one of our most closely cherished values. House Democrats are defending that right from a hostile federal government.
The state House of Representatives passed House Bill 2097, which restricts state agencies from sharing personal religious affiliation information with federal authorities. If passed by the Senate, and signed into law by the Governor, Washington state agencies would be forbidden from aiding in the creation of a federal religious registry.
Further, employers would not be allowed to require an employee to disclose information regarding their religious affiliation. The measure also exempts from disclosure public records that contain personally identifying information about a person’s religious affiliation.
This is particularly significant given recent information that has come to light about the Department of Licensing sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). I am concerned about the state’s policies, and I’m glad to see this legislation moving forward, as well as Governor Inslee appointing a special assistant to look into state agency compliance with ICE.
While legislators are limited in our ability to get involved in federal immigration issues, Governor Inslee has a list of resources for immigrants and refugees around the state. Additionally, you can always contact my office for more information or for assistance navigating state agencies.
It is inconceivable that a culture of intolerance is brewing in the United States. I’m proud to support legislation protecting people’s freedom to worship in the manner they choose and will continue to work to prevent our state from taking part in scapegoating whole communities.
As always, feel free to reach out if you have comments, questions, or ideas.
Rep. Strom Peterson