ICSEW Bill Alert SB 1145

As part of its work, the ICSEW Legislative and Policy subcommittee provides Bill Alerts during the current legislative cycle. Its purpose is to inform state employees of pending legislation that may impact them.

As state employees, we cannot use state time or resources to lobby for or against legislative proposals in accordance with RCW 42.52.160 and RCW 42.52.180, laws concerning ethics in public service and use of public resources for political campaigns.

ICSEW asks that you share opinions in an ethical way, using your own personal time, phone, computers, devices and resources.

View Full Image Here: 2020 Bill-Alert SB 1145


ICSEW Bill Alert SJ 5291

As part of its work, the ICSEW Legislative and Policy subcommittee provides Bill Alerts during the current legislative cycle. Its purpose is to inform state employees of pending legislation that may impact them.

As state employees, we cannot use state time or resources to lobby for or against legislative proposals in accordance with RCW 42.52.160 and RCW 42.52.180, laws concerning ethics in public service and use of public resources for political campaigns.

ICSEW asks that you share opinions in an ethical way, using your own personal time, phone, computers, devices and resources.

View full image here: 2020 Bill Alert SJ 5291



ICSEW Bill Alert: SB 1888

As part of its work, the ICSEW Legislative and Policy subcommittee provides Bill Alerts during the current legislative cycle. Its purpose is to inform state employees of pending legislation that may impact them.

As state employees, we cannot use state time or resources to lobby for or against legislative proposals in accordance with RCW 42.52.160 and RCW 42.52.180, laws concerning ethics in public service and use of public resources for political campaigns.

ICSEW asks that you share opinions in an ethical way, using your own personal time, phone, computers, devices and resources.

 View full image here:   2020 Bill Alert HB 1888


Eat a Bigger, Better Lunch for Better Health

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Vibrant Soulful Blog by Annie Barrett


Anahad O’Conner of the New York Times writes that “a growing body of research suggests that our bodies function optimally when we align our eating patterns with our circadian rhythms, the innate 24-hour cycles that tell our bodies when to wake up, when to eat and when to fall asleep. Studies show that chronically disrupting this rhythm — by eating late meals or nibbling on midnight snacks, for example — could be a recipe for weight gain and metabolic trouble.” Dr. Satchin Panda, a researcher on Circadian science and author of the Circadian Code argues that our bodies function best when we eat our meals daily during an 8 – 10 hour window, eating our breakfast in the morning and finishing dinner by the early evening. (Read this article here.)

TIP: Make lunch the main meal of the day. This is when your digestive capacity is at its peak

Ayurveda, the healing tradition of India and sister science of yoga, and modern science are in agreement with regards to meal timing, meal spacing and what to eat when. Ayurveda has always emphasized that meal spacing and making lunch the largest meal of the day are keys to health and longevity. Ayurveda argues that when the sun is at its highest ,at the noon hour, is when the body is most primed to take in the largest meal. Scientific evidence support this. Eating the bulk of your food in the first half of the day is better for our health because we are biologically best equipped to digest food more efficiently and burn more calories in the earlier part of the day.

Ayurveda and growing scientific evidence suggests that you should eat a nourishing breakfast, a bigger lunch and an earlier, lighter dinner. Allow at least three hours between finishing dinner and going to bed. Allow at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Evidence suggests that 14 hour or more of fasting reduces inflammation and may help promote better weight. If you finish dinner by 7 PM, your body will have ample digestion time. If you are going to skip any meal, let it be dinner rather than lunch or breakfast.

Making the shift to a bigger better lunch.
A few generations back, the midday meal that we call lunch was called dinner. Folks stopped working and gathered at midday or early afternoon to eat their largest meal together. It was a time to be nourished and to relax. After this, folks would return to their work or chores. Later in the day, they would gather again for a smaller meal called supper. Supper: think something “supplemental.”  A lighter meal, not a large, heavy meal. This healthy pattern of eating is still practiced in many parts of the world.

This all sounds reasonable, but so many of us are away from home at lunch that it’s hard to make lunch a priority. What can we do? Shifting our eating pattern to making lunch a larger meal requires planning, meal planning. If you work away from the home and gather with your family for dinner in the evening, plan to make enough dinner so that you’ll have leftovers for lunch for the next day. Before serving your dinner, put away healthy portions for lunch for the next day in lunch containers. Then, serve yourself a smaller portion for dinner. Better yet, save the dense, heavy food for lunch and eat something lighter and more digestible like soup for dinner.

When it’s lunch time at work, make it an occasion. Get away from your desk. Gather with your colleagues, your friends, or even take time by yourself, and take a real pause to eat and relax before getting back to work.
Read the entire article here

Annie Barrett is Educator, certified health coach, educator and yoga instructor.

Commentary: Black Community Business Resource Group on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Editor’s Note: Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group has submitted an article about Dr. King’s Legacy and the work the group is doing to apply diverse perspectives and experiences to the examination of the issues facing the state of Washington.

Martin Luther King, Jr
Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo from Wikemedia Commons

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day Message 2020

Submitted by the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968), was a man of great integrity, values and principles. If alive today, Reverend Dr. King would be 91 years old. Leading the effort toward social justice and equality, Reverend Dr. King’s impact went beyond his local community to inspire change in America and the world. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law, an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This day is officially observed the third Monday of January each year (sometimes referred to as MLK Day) which annually coincides with Reverend King’s birthday, January 15.

Reverend Dr. King taught us that there are far more commonalities that unite us than divide us. He often remarked in speeches delivered across the nation, that if we all took time to talk and get to know our neighbors, we would find that our values, ethics, morals and sense of justice are strikingly aligned. He was the first to acknowledge that while people may disagree on policies and procedures, we are generally in agreement on humanitarian causes centered on love, peace, and compassion. In recognition of his nonviolent works towards hope, peace, and prosperity of all Americans, this year let us refocus our attention on the elements of life that draw us together and less on the conversations the divides us.

Each year the month of February is dedicated to honoring and remembering the numerous achievements of Black Americans. The year’s Black History Month Theme, African Americans and the Vote, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and Heritage (ASALH), would have been preaching to the choir for Reverend Dr. King. He intensely understood the importance of the right to vote in the right for equality. In 1957, he delivered a speech entitled Give Us the Ballot, where he argued that if we (Black Americans) had the right to vote, we would by voting, receive our basic rights.

As the newest Washington State Business Resource Group, we (the Black Community Business Resource Group) seek opportunities to engage communities around Washington. Our commitment is to share our perspectives on the varying aspects of the social, historical, and current trends in equity, diversity, and inclusion from the Black Community viewpoint. As part of this effort and journey, we welcome and value allies from all communities to join us in this transformative venture.

In the words of musical genius Stevie Wonder (circa 1979):

“If we cannot celebrate a man who died for love, then how can we say we believe in it? It is up to me and you!”  

Happy Birthday, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!

group picture of members of the Washington State Black Community Business Resource Group
Members of the Black Community Business Resource Group

About the Black Community Business Resource Group:

 Statewide business resource groups, BRGs, bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic. . BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs such as recruitment and retention.

The Black Community BRG Goals Include:

  • Promote state government as an employer of choice supporting efforts that increase representation of individuals of the Black Community at all levels of employment.
  • Better the lives of state employees through advocacy, outreach, opportunity, and advisement to the Governor and agencies on policies that affect state-employed black people, and ultimately, communities in which they live and serve.
  • Contribute to a more diverse understanding of the unique, multi-faceted aspects of the Black Community in Washington State.
  • Integrate the history, cultural experiences, values, and knowledge of both black people and their allies into the workforce of Washington State government.
  • Provide advice and assistance to state agencies regarding strategies to hire, retain, and develop black people in Washington State government.
  • Apply diverse perspectives and experiences to the examination of the issues facing Washington State. Diverse perspectives enhance the fullness of our understanding of these issues and open opportunities for the consideration of new ideas and better solutions.

 Questions? Email BlackCommunityBRG@OFM.WA.Gov

 Black Community Business Resource Group Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/WA-State-Black-Community-Business-Resource-Group-111351510275919/


Learn strategies for a problem free work environment at ICSEW Jan. 2020 Meeting

Working with Difficult People

Most of us have a few people in our work lives that are difficult to work with.  And, if you don’t right now, you eventually will!  We’ll discuss strategies that proactively set the stage for a problem-free work environment and minimize the negative impact of difficult behaviors.  Some of the strategies include how to set expectations, encourage constructive feedback, and help resolve conflict when it arises.�

Session Presenter: Betty Lochner, SPHR, M.Ed

CEO, Cornerstone Coaching and Training, LLCa�Bb7�*

Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach and expert in workplace communications. She is the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training, dedicated to helping individuals, workgroups and organizations become better communicators and leaders.

Betty is nationally certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a Master’s in Education from Western Washington University. She is a certified trainer in Performance Coaching and has a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma process improvement. She retired after 30 years as a public servant for the state of Washington where she led programs at The Evergreen State College, Department of Commerce and the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Betty is the author of two books on communication and her recently released journal titled “Intentional Gratitude”.  She hosts a live event Confident Communication: A Women’s Summit – that will be held on March 20, 2020.  

For more information visit: http://www.cornerstone-ct.com

Session Presenter: Manny Martinez, President of Relentless Leadership LLC

Manny Martinez is the President of Relentless Leadership LLC., a Crestcom International authorized agent. Crestcom delivers interactive learning experiences in leadership and management which help people produce real business results across 60 countries and 25,000 clients.

In October 2018, Manny completed a 30-year career in the United States Air Force, reaching the summit of leardership as Chief Master Sergeant and Senior Enlisted Leader. He served military tours in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Turkey, and deployed to military operations in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.

Additionally, he’s passionate about community: he’s the Chief Enchanting Educator of Olympia’s Dawn Talkers Toastmasters, volunteers at the Thurston County Food Bank and Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia (CIELO) and sings in his church choir. Manny is married to his bride Barbara and has two children: Laura, a junior attending Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and Alessandro, who a high school freshman.

Today’s Talk: Focus on the Afters

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers,” warned the great Peter Drucker. “The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.” If Drucker is right, then these are dangerous times indeed.

With so much data and uncertainty weighing on our decisions, asking the wrong questions – to arrive at the wrong destination – are mistakes we can’t afford to make. To help put us on the right course, Manny will facilitate practical exercises focused on asking future based questions. Additionally, we will hear from Crestcom faculty expert Andy Bounds; his “Afters” technique arms leaders to drive for the right results the first time.

A communications expert, Andy Bounds has been honored as Britain’s “Sales Trainer of the Year.” His book The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick is a best-selling business classic.

For a sneak peek of what Andy has to offer, watch Andy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjmzQwDnWls

To Register please click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/icsew-meeting-january-21-2020-registration-87695221769?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Location: This meeting takes place from Tuesday, Jan. 21st, 2020 from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries building, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Rooms 117-119 in Tumwater, WA 98501-6504. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An two hour ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.

Parking: Parking is limited. We encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in. InterCity Transit also provides free bus fare for state employees with a STAR pass. To receive your star pass, please contact your agency’s commute trip reduction coordinator.

Scent/Fragrance Free Environment As we strive to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment, we have learned more about the need to become fragrance-free. A growing number of people are adversely affected by chemicals used in fragrances and the health impacts that result from contact range from mild irritation to life-threatening airway compromise. Often people who experience these effects are unable to access public spaces. The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes chemical sensitivity and supports the need for accommodations to allow everyone access to public spaces. To ensure the health of all attendees — and to support an inclusive and healthy environment for all — please refrain from using fragrance when attending the ICSEW Meetings and events. Thank you for your cooperation.

Tips to Keep the Holidays Stress Free


Editor’s Note: this article first appeared on the Washington State Department of Corrections’ intranet.

The holidays are in full swing. That means extra guests, menu planning, events and managing budgets. Here are some tips on how to manage stress during the festivities.

Tips for Dealing With Holiday Stress 

  • Make Your Well Being a Priority If you don’t take care of yourself no one else will. And if you wish to care for others remember, just like on an airplane, be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs.                                   
  • Identify Your Stressors We all have particular family members or events that press our buttons, it is important that you know what they are. Identifying the problem is the first step to solving one.                                                                                   
  • Plan Proactively Now that you’ve identified your stressors, how can you handle those situations differently? How can you change your attitude toward those people and events to make things tolerable and even meaningful to you?                                   
  • Get Adequate Rest Put down the phone and tablet 30 minutes before you go to bed. Create a schedule that allows for the sleep you need and stick to it. The Walking Dead isn’t just a TV show.                                                                                                            
  • Maintain Healthy Eating Habits Don’t eat your feelings. Fuel your body, live your life and reflect on your feelings. Practice portion control and eat and drink in moderation. Experiment with mindful eating, using the senses in each bite and slowly savoring the flavors and moment.                                                                                
  • Maintain Healthy Exercise Habits Was there ever a better time to begin practicing some healthy stress management? Exercise can help you manage a stressful situation, give you a sense of accomplishment, and give you a pleasant endorphin rush! Remember that exercise comes in many forms, going to the gym, running, walking, actively playing with your pets or kids, dancing, climbing walls, video workouts of all sorts…Anything that gets your blood pumping.                                         
  • Practice Gratitude The holidays are a great time to reflect on the blessings in your lives. Try thinking about a time in the last month when you had a genuine moment of connection with another person, an animal or in nature. Reflect on that experience. What in this experience are you grateful for?                                                   
  • Connect Meaningfully with Others Use the holidays as an opportunity to intentionally spend time with people you care about. The holidays also present several opportunities to volunteer in your community both formally and informally.                                                                                                                                      
  • Have a Sense of Humor It won’t all be perfect, but at least we can laugh about it! Laughter can help you manage the stress and put that stress into the perspective it deserves.  


The Department of Enterprise Services offers an  Employee Assistance Program for state workers at: https://des.wa.gov/services/hr-finance/washington-state-employee-assistance-program-eap (877) 313-4455

You can also get help for yourself or a loved one by calling the National Suicide Prevention hotline: (800) 273-8255



Laura Watson Named Director of Ecology

portrait of Laura Watson
Newly-appointed Dept. of Ecology Director Laura Watson

From the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee:

OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee named Laura Watson director of the Washington State Department of Ecology today. She replaces Maia Bellon, who Inslee appointed in 2013.

“Laura is a proven leader who is deeply committed to protecting our state’s air, water and land,” Inslee said. “She has a deep understanding of the crucial work Ecology does statewide and was at the center of some of the most important issues in recent years. I know she will build on the transformative work that Maia has done at Ecology and I look forward to welcoming her to my cabinet.”

Watson is currently the senior assistant attorney general in the Ecology Division of the Attorney General’s Office. As chief legal counsel to the Director of the Department of Ecology, she provided advice and representation to Ecology’s 10 environmental programs and to the agency’s administration.

Watson was also a former deputy solicitor general at the Solicitor General’s Office in the Attorney General’s Office.

She served as Washington’s lead counsel on several legal challenges to the Trump administration’s rollback of environmental protections and is representing Washington in its challenge to EPA’s proposed repeal of Washington’s fish consumption rule. She has also defended the state’s environmental laws in the Washington State Supreme Court, including a case that upheld the state’s multi-million dollar hazardous substance tax. More recently, she defended a case about the state’s landmark greenhouse gas regulation, the Clean Air Rule.

Watson has advised on a wide array of Washington’s most pressing environmental issues including: cleanup at the Hanford nuclear site, toxics reduction strategies, protection of the State’s Clean Water Act authority against federal intrusion, and options for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Watson volunteered with Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services, providing legal advice to low-income residents. She currently volunteers with Quixote Communities, a non-profit organization that builds and operates tiny homes, which offers permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless individuals.

Watson earned her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, with a women’s studies certificate, from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in West Olympia with her husband, Dan, who is a professor of mechanical engineering at St. Martin’s University. Their daughter, Violet, is in middle school and is spearheading the family’s efforts to become a zero-waste household.

Bellon is the longest serving ecology director in Washington state history. She steps down from the director position later this month.

“Maia’s leadership at Ecology and comprehensive understanding of issues that affect our state has protected Washington’s quality of life and its economy,” Inslee said. “I thank Maia for her years of service and for all she has done for Washington.”

Immigrant Network Business Resource Group Meeting Discusses Diversity Jan. 6

Washington Immigrant Network Logo

OLYMPIA–Are you interested in learning about or joining the Washington Immigrant Network (WIN), a business resource group designed to support current and former Washington state employees?

WIN will be hosting its next meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, in the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s Columbia River Room 108 and 109 (1025 Union Avenue SE, Olympia, WA 98504).

Diversity Consultant Jarrod Irvin with the Department of Corrections will be the keynote speaker. You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

WIN’s mission “is to expand opportunities for immigrants who are current and future employees within Washington state government. The group serves as a resource for all immigrants who are state employees to connect, share and educate each other and Washington state agencies on the skills, expertise and cultural value of a diverse workforce.”

WIN defines “immigrant” as someone who was or has a parent who was born in a foreign country.

According to the Office of Financial Management, “Statewide business resource groups (BRGs) bring together groups of employees and their allies who have a common interest or characteristic. All BRGs have a charter, mission, goals and bylaws and contribute to an overall statewide business strategy.  BRG members bring their unique knowledge and perspectives, making them an asset to state business needs, such as recruitment and retention.”

You can learn more about all the BRGs here.

Take a Step Back in Time During Upcoming Governor’s Mansion “1909” Tour

A chandelier hangs from the ceiling of the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. Photo by Rachel Friederich

OLYMPIA – The Governor’s Mansion Foundation will host a special “1909 Housewarming History” presentation during its Wednesday Mansion tours Jan. 8 and 15, 2020.

The tours, guided by Foundation docents will feature a first person presentation by “Zephorina Cosgrove;” wife of then Washington Governor Samuel Cosgrove. Cosgrove served as the sixth governor of the state of Washington and was a U.S. Civil War veteran and educator. Unfortunately, Governor Cosgrove became very ill after his fall election and died two months after his January inauguration — never living in the Mansion. “Mrs. Cosgrove’s” January presentation will highlight the events in January 1909 when the then new Governor’s Mansion opened its doors to dignitaries and Olympia residents for the first time.

How to Get a Spot on the Tour

Mansion tours are on a first-come, first-served basis. Each tour is open to 25 guests and times are 1:00, 1:20 and 1:40 p.m. Reservations MUST be made at least 24-hours in advance. To make a reservation go to https://apps.des.wa.gov/Mansion/Mansion.aspx . For questions or additional information, please contact the State Capitol Tour Office at (360) 902-8880.

Adult tour guests must present photo identification and all visitors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. No umbrellas, strollers, or food/drink will be allowed on the tour. The Mansion is accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. Visitors must walk a 200-yard incline up to the entrance.

Visitors to the Georgian-style mansion, situated on a bluff overlooking Capitol Lake, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, will get a 25- minute walking tour of the Mansion. The circa-1908 Mansion is the oldest building on Olympia’s Capitol Campus. Visitors will get guided tours of the Mansion’s permanent collection of antique furnishings and Northwest artwork, including the renowned wall-size murals of Washington scenes in the state dining room.

About the Foundation: 

The Governor’s Mansion Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan organization, hosts weekly tours of the Mansion on most Wednesdays (except holidays and the month of August). For more information on the GMF, visit https://wagovmansion.org/