Friends and neighbors,
As the summer is winding down and the days are getting shorter again, I wanted to take some time to share some helpful resources and let you know about an important upcoming opportunity to make your voice heard.
Upcoming Tax Town Halls
The Tax Structure Work Group is holding a series of virtual Tax Town Halls over the coming month. Our 11th District is included in the town halls on Wednesday, October 27 at either 2:30 pm or 6:30 pm. You can register for whichever session best works for your schedule HERE.
Last legislative session, we passed a capital gains tax (which only affects 0.22% of the wealthiest in our district – or 53 taxpayers) to help address the upside-down tax code in our state that favors top earners while leaving lower-income residents behind, but plenty of work lies ahead. These town halls are a great opportunity to provide input about the best ways to move forward, and your input is a crucial part of this process and the future of our state.
Coronavirus resources [/vc_column_text]
While the start of our summer promised a break from the harsh reality of the pandemic as vaccinations looked to pave the way for a brighter future, the uncertainty of variants like Delta mean that we must hunker down once again to defeat this virus.
There is new statewide mask mandate in effect, and King County has announced an upcoming vaccination requirement for restaurants, gyms, and more. These steps are important measures to get the virus back in check and to protect our communities.
To find a safe and effective vaccination near you, head to vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.
Links to help Afghan Refugees entering Washington
As crises across the world unravel, we can play a crucial role in helping those most impacted. Afghan refugees have already begun to arrive in our state, and there are ways we can each step up to help them and come together as a community. Below are some links to help welcome them:
International Rescue Committee: rescue.org/united-states/seattle-wa
Jewish Family Service: jfsseattle.org
Lutheran Community Services Northwest: lcsnw.org
World Relief Seattle: worldrelief.org/seattle
For even more resources available across the state, click this link.
Redistricting is underway
Once every ten years, data from the latest Census is used to craft new Legislative and Congressional District boundary maps for Washington to make sure each district has the same number of people. Our bipartisan Redistricting Commission has four appointed members (one each appointed by House and Senate Democrats and Republicans) and a fifth member selected by the above four to act as their Chair. Each Commissioner has now released their proposed maps, and you can provide input into the shaping of our District for the next decade.
Head to Redistricting.wa.gov to view their proposed maps and send in your comments to them! The Commission is now accepting public comments on their proposed maps. Commissioners will then negotiate their maps into a single proposed map, which then goes for legislative approval in January. The Commission’s final map will need three votes to be approved by the Commission. If they are unable to agree on a final map, the Supreme Court will take over the final mapping process. Now is the time to let the Commission know what you hope to see in their final map.
Long Term Care Act Information
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from folks in our community concerning the Washington Cares Fund, and I wanted to clarify the purpose of the legislation.
Seven out of every ten Washingtonians will need long term care at some point in their lives, but many struggle to afford the services they need. In 2019, the Legislature passed a bill to address this issue and create a first-in-the-nation public program for long term care. We have a responsibility to provide resources for Washington residents who are in need of this care, and WA Cares is a step in that direction. While this program is far from perfect and has issues that need to be addressed, there is plenty of work happening behind the scenes ahead of its implementation.
In the meantime, you can find out more about the program in multiple languages at wacaresfund.wa.gov/learn-more/.
As always, if you have concerns or are passionate about something in our community, you can always reach out to my office to voice your opinion. Head to my website, or send an email to Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov to make your voice heard.