Legislative Day 2018 Recap–Our Voices Were Loud & Clear
A Capital Budget, 100 WWRP champions from around the state, meetings with lawmakers, rain all morning long, and a party at the Governor’s Mansion. What a great day!
Perseverance pays off. A few days before our team gathered in Olympia for our annual Legislative Day, our state lawmakers negotiated and voted on a Capital Budget which funded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program at the $80 million level. This is the second highest funding level in the almost 30-year history of the program—and something we’ve been advocating for since 2016.
Even though we had planned for multiple messaging scenarios for the day (depending upon passage of a Capital Budget), as we addressed our advocates early that morning, our top-line message to legislators was clear: “Thank you for passing the Capital Budget and funding WWRP. Thank you for making this program one of the most sought after tools to fund outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and working lands in Washington state. Please continue to robustly fund the program in the years to come.”
If you have never been to a Legislative Day before, it can be a little intimidating at first. You have 4, 5, or 6 meetings lined up with people you have probably never met and in buildings you have probably never visited. Knowing what to say and how to say it is an art form, not a science, and it takes a little practice. Being genuine and authentic with a local WWRP project story is a strong way for our folks to communicate the importance of this program. The feedback we receive from lawmakers is that those are the stories that resonate the most from the day.
Our staff hit a home run for this event. Our partners showed up to talk with legislators and sponsor the reception. Our advocates came out to Olympia in droves to help tell the story of the WWRP and why it is so vital to the health of Washington state. The 51 members of our Board of Directors continue to serve our mission with integrity, passion, and a statewide network which is unmatched by any nonprofit organization in the Pacific Northwest. We are so very grateful for the support our team has received.
Time to stop and smell the roses of a job well done, because tomorrow is a new day with new challenges that lie ahead for this program. But in the meantime, thanks to all of the organizations who supported the Coalition during our legislative day and reception. And thanks to all of our advocates for showing up in Olympia and letting your voices be heard.