Today, legislators from all over the state held Town Hall Meetings in their home districts. In the 27th District it was standing room only in the Salishan Community Center, where constituents wanted to know how our legislators planned to save essentials like education and health care from the budgetary axe.
Before the "Town Hall" question and answer format, representatives from various social service agencies presented resources for those in need. The overall message: "We are your safety net." Also emphasized: it isn't necessary to sign up for a whole package of services in order to benefit from individual programs like subsidized child care, or children's health insurance. While the presentation was well meaning, it seemed most of those assembled were there to ask questions of Representatives Darnielle and Flannigan, and Senator Regala.
When the question/answer session got off the ground, education was the first issue on the docket. More than a dozen people waited their turn to ask questions that all centered around a central theme: how do we save our education budget? I never got to ask my question, but if I had been called on I would have laid on them the 1 billion dollar question:
I'm so thankful for your support of basic education reforms, however, going forward, how do you propose we establish a stable funding source for education in the state of Washington? By stable, I mean one that does not rely on regressive sales taxes, or begging for property taxes at the polls every two years.
I had my 8 year old with me and I couldn't stay for the rest of the meeting, but from the looks of the crowd they were about to get an earful about health care, emergency services, and many other essentials facing cutbacks.