Monday, March 1, 2010

Things I Learned in Olympia

Guest Post from James McBride, WSA Parent Ambassador

I went to Olympia full of fire to testify in front of both the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. With my trusty boss man Joel Ryan at one side and fellow Parent Ambassador Elizabeth Grillet at the other. We started in the Senate Ways and Means and sat...and sat...and sat...It seemed like we had been overlooked, but really our group (higher ed/early learning) had run out of time. Unfortunately Elizabeth's incredible ECEAP success story was not heard as she had to leave.

Joel and I waited...and waited...and waited...but no we were not called, we did however learn a few wonderful GEMS!
#1 Sign up for more than one Group! (As we watched more than a few people Testify at least twice.)
#2 We aren't the only people get hit hard by these cuts.
#3 The Senate is proposing a cut to the TANF cash grant.
End the Senate Ways and Means hearing.

Begin House Ways and means Hearing! Joel and I are the first to testify, and of course I am freshly equipped with what I learned in the Senate hearing! After the education group was finished we headed out with Parent Ambassador Coordinator Cecily Jenkins, who had testified with us, by our side. Once we reached the hallway outside the hearing room, I was met by State Representative Steve Conway, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He asked my name and where I was from, he then informed me that my testimony touched him and he wanted me to E-Mail my testimony to his personal E-Mail address...WOW! how cool is that!!! Needless to say, I did so. Let's see what happens, shall we! See what we can learn spending the evening at hearings in Olympia!

1 comment:

ApeShua said...

Awesome James! Isn't it refreshing when one of them wants to talk to you? That happened to me with Rep Kagi, and it made it feel like I hadn't sat there for hours for nothing. It was nice to know, that even if only one of them "heard" me..that could potentially make a difference!!
Keep up the good work! We Ambassadors are AWESOME!! =)