Federal Proposed Legislation H.R. 3317 – 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Official Title as Introduced: To amend title 18, United States Code, to increase the penalty for female genital mutilation, and for other purposes.

This bill would increase the penalty for female genital mutilation from five years imprisonment to 15 years. The bill would also express that the states put laws in place that require healthcare professional, teachers, and other school employees to report to local law enforcement any instance of suspected female genital mutilation.

Get informed https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3317/titles?r=1

And then Let Your Voice be Heard: Go to My Vote and contact your representatives.

Washington State Turn-Out for the November 7, 2017, General Election

The votes from statewide and local elections November 7th have now been counted, and the results are officially certified. The Washington Secretary of State’s website shows our voting turn-out statewide at approximately 37%. This means that elected officials at the city and county levels, as well as fire district levies and other ballot measures, were decided by roughly one out of every three Washingtonians.

In August of 2016, the Pew Research Center ranked the U.S. 31st out of 35 countries for voter turnout based on the voting age populace, among the mostly democratic nations. In a separate study, the Pew Research Center showed how voter turn-out varies significantly amongst different ethnic and rational groups in the U.S. There is still work to do to address barriers that may make it more difficult for some groups of people to vote.

Despite systemic barriers, suffrage cannot not be taken for granted. We fought hard for the right of women to vote. A right Washington women didn’t gain until 1910 (after having it briefly and seeing it taken away again in the 1880s)..

Men and women can have their voices heard by turning out to vote. Only through exercising our right to vote can we select leaders and make decisions for our communities that represent our collective consensus.

Being able to vote is a precious and basic democratic right. We must strive to boost turn-out in all elections, including local ones. Because, as the saying goes, “decisions are made by those who show up.”

Making the Legislature Work for You

Chris Vance spoke at the ICSEW November General Membership meeting about the legislative process of bills in Washington state. A lengthy process with many avenues of change, collaboration, and voting allow very few bills to make it to the final vote. Typically, a bill travels through nine steps and will move from the rules committee, to the opposing house, to floor action, and finally to concurrence and conference. Many things influence the passage of a bill including final cutoff dates, “importance”, and supporters. It is incredibly important to have a well written bill, to talk to people you want to support the bill, to have the right people testify, and to pass the rules committee. Getting a bill through the Legislature takes diligence, patience, and an ability to state the value and importance of passing the bill. So get out there, get to know your legislators, get press coverage, make a stand, run for office, be the change you want to see in the world.

How a Bill Really Becomes A Law Adobe PDF Document


2017 Action Workshops

Over 70 people participated in the Action Workshop in Olympia this last Saturday, November 25, 2017.
Up Next: Saturday, December 2, in Tacoma.  Keynote speakers will address state policy and funding for homelessness – State Policy and Funding.  The keynote speakers are: Sen. Jeannie Darneille, 27th Legislative District, her focus will be legislative prospects for policy and funding, and Tess Colby, Pierce County Human Services Department, who will describe the state’s relationship to local government on homelessness.

Participants will also hear from League of Women Voters of Washington Contract (LWVWA) Lobbyist Nancy Sapiro on expectations for the upcoming legislative session.  LWVWA Lobby Team members will share expectations in their areas during the “speed dating” section of the workshop.  A session on how to influence legislators will also be included.

Logistics:  First United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, 621 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma WA.  Registration and Networking starts at 9 a.m. and workshop starts at 9:30 a.m.  Cost of $25 includes all materials and lunch. You can register and learn more here.

The third and final workshop for the season will be on January 6 in Seattle with keynote speakers addressing revenue issues.

REGISTER for any of the workshops here

Let Your Voice Be Heard – Be Your Own Advocate

One important key to being involved and heard in the political process is to be informed.

The Countable – Contact Congress App can make staying informed quick and easy. The App also can streamline the process of contacting your lawmaker, so you can tell them how you want them to vote on bills under consideration.

You can use Countable to:

  • Read clear and succinct summaries of upcoming and active legislation.
  • Directly tell your lawmakers how to vote on those bills by clicking “Yea” or “Nay”.
  • Follow up on how your elected officials voted on bills, so you can hold them accountable in the next election cycle.

Countable is available for free online, on iOS, and Android devices.

Find out more at: https://www.countable.us/about/us



Take a Tour of the Capitol

With the 2018 legislative session starting Monday, January 8, 2018, a visit to the picturesque and historical state capitol in Olympia is a must.  Visiting the state Capitol allows you to see your state Legislature in action, either listening to testimony in committee hearings or debate in the state House and Senate chambers, or running into your representative or Governor Jay Inslee while touring the beautiful campus. The Capitol Campus is managed by Washington State’s Department of Enterprise Services (DES). DES provides specific information including campus hours, driving directions, Capitol facts and history, and event and tour scheduling on their “Visit the Capitol” web page.


The following are activities that can be enjoyed on the Capitol Campus:


General Public Tours

Guided public tours of the Washington State Legislative Building are offered seven days a week hourly — on weekdays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekends. The last tour of the day will be at 3:00 p.m. Tours are free and will last 50 minutes. Public tours begin at the tour information desk — which is located on the second floor of the Legislative Building, just inside the main entrance doors. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group size is limited to 25 people per tour time.


Group and School Tours

The Department of Enterprise Services Visitor Services Program accepts requests for tours throughout the year. Please use the online tour request form or give us a call at (360) 902-8880 or email us at tours@des.wa.gov and our staff will be happy to help you determine what works best for your group’s needs.

Please see the Teacher Information Page for additional planning assistance and helpful hints.

Other useful links for school tour:

·         History and facts of the Capitol

·         Washington State Tourism

·         Washington State Post Card

·         Kids to the Capitol

·         Washington State Legislature Civic Education



Legislative Building Tour

The Legislative Building is home to the Washington State Legislature and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer. Completed in 1928, the Legislative Building has the tallest free standing masonry dome in North America and houses the world’s largest Tiffany chandelier. The tour of the Legislative Building includes the North Foyer, Rotunda, State Reception Room, and Legislative Galleries. This tour is targeted to all groups and last approximately one hour.


Governor’s Mansion Tour

The oldest standing building on the Capitol Campus, the red-brick Georgian style Executive Mansion has been home to Washington’s Governors since 1910. Fully restored and furnished with many antiques from the American Federal period, the mansion is open for public tours on most Wednesdays by reservation. Tours are only available in the afternoon. Group size is limited to 20. This tour is available for 4th grade and up.

Please note: School groups tours of the mansion are limited to a 15 minute walk-thru if part of a Civic Education Tour.


Monument and Memorial Sites

The Washington State Capitol Campus is home to many Veterans Memorials including the Winged VictoryPOW-MIAMedal of Honor, WW II, Korean War Memorials, and Vietnam Veterans. Self-Guided memorial brochures are available at the Visitor Information Desk and at the Legislative Building Tour Information Desk.


Capitol Adventure Tour

Adventure Tour, available to groups of 15 or more (available from May through December; Monday-Friday only)

Using stories, visuals and interactive exercises, this tour introduces younger children to Washington State history and representative government through a hands-on adventure tour of the Washington State Capitol. As part of this tour, each child receives an ‘Adventure Tour’ coloring book to take home. This tour is 45 minutes and is specifically designed for K-2nd grade. A minimum of 15 students is required. Teachers can supplement this tour with a self-guided ‘I SPY’ scavenger hunt of the Capitol Campus.


Civic Education Tour

Civic Education Tour, available to groups of 15 or more (available from September-June; Monday-Friday only)

This tour is an introduction to representative democracy and the three branches of government and includes information on the Legislative Building’s function, operation, symbolism and history. Also included is a visit to the Temple of Justice, the home of the state Supreme Court, where students participate in a mock court hearing. The tour includes visits to the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, legislative galleries, and offices of elected officials. The tour is three hours (including a lunch period) and is specifically designed for students ages 3rd-12th grade.


Botanical Tour

Botanical tours of the Capitol Campus grounds are available by appointment only. Please email the Capitol Campus Horticulturist or call (360) 725-0018 to arrange a botanical tour. Botanical tours can be for individuals or groups of up to 25 people.

Most of the West Capitol Campus is a National Historic District whose landscape features were originally designed by the famous Olmsted Brothers. The west campus contains many magnificent tree and shrub plantings that all have a story waiting to be shared. View the Trees of the West Capitol Campus brochure.

Both east and west campuses contain many examples of sustainable landscape practices. Learn about these practices as the grounds staff continues to pilot projects with a goal of integrated ecological management.


— Source: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services


Golf anyone….

JoAnne Gunderson Carner

JoAnne Gunderson Carner born in Kirkland, April 4, 1939. Golfing was life for “The Great Gundy” and her 43 victories on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour earned her an induction in the World Golf Hall of Fame. A student at Arizona State University, JoAnn won the national intercollegiate individual golf championship. Between 1956 and 1968, JoAnne Carner dominated amateur golf, accumulating five U.S. Women’s Amateur titles. In 1969, Ms. Carner won the Burdine’s Invitational the last amateur to win an LPGA Tour until 2012. Ms. Carner’s golf career continued when she won two U.S. Women’s Opens in 1971 and 1976. She was a pioneer for women in professional sports, the second player in history to cross the $1 million mark in career earnings, a long career into the 1990’s, and in 2004 she competed in 10 tournaments and became the oldest player to qualify for the LPGA Tour at 65. Breaking the barriers of sports, encouraging other women to play to their passion.

Federal Tax Reform Bill

The House tax reform bill was announced last week. Have you reviewed the bill? Do you know how it can affects you?

Please follow this link for more information on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (H.R. 1).

Get informed and then get heard.

Go to My Vote and find out who is your U.S. Representative.

Let your voice be heard! Be your own advocate.

Act now!

For the love of music…

Gloria Wilson SwisherGloria Wilson Swisher a composer born in Seattle in 1935. Dedicated to music Gloria graduated summa cum laude from the University of Washington, earned a Master of Music in composition from Mills College, and finally completing a Ph.D. in 1960 from the Eastman School of Music. Ms. Swisher actively participates in the music world as a member of the International Association of Women in Music, the Darius Milhaud Society and awarded the Sigma Alpha Iota for her composition Salutations. Gloria continues to serve as Professor Emerita of Music at Shoreline Community College and inspired students at Washington State University and Pacific Lutheran University. A founding member of the non-profit Ars Nova Press, Inc. which, promotes and reprints the work of various historic composers. Ms. Swisher reminds us that music can live through the centuries to inspire future works of art.