Get ready to BRING IT!

“We should absolutely look at our progress in the legislature this year as a win.” That’s the message Concerned Lifers Organization and Monroe BPC want to convey to us. They point out that 5819 has gotten farther than we’ve ever gotten in years of trying, that we’ve had live testimony from prisoners for the first time in history, and that our bill is still alive in Ways & Means for next year. Sen. Christine Rolfes, chair of Ways & Means, told us that she believes we can pass this bill if we are prepared to put in the work.

Now we have just a few months to make our story as compelling as that of our opponents and get it out to the public, to expand the strong core coalition that we’ve built, to work with those organizations who are open to it, and to make legislators feel as much pressure from us as they do from our opponents. 

We were blindsided in Ways and Means because we expected the committee to restrict the testimony to fiscal matters (which it normally does), particularly because this bill had already gone through not one but two policy committees. Policy committees like Law & Justice are the place in the system where the chance to comment on the content of the bill is made available.

So we believe we’re owed a hearing in Ways & Means that does actually focus on the fiscal issues, an argument we know we can win hands down.
The prisoners have also asked me to express their deep gratitude for your work and support. We are organizing to fight this battle hard on a lot of fronts. We will also be asking more of you! 

Carol Estes
Prison Voice Washington

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