By Linda Wright. July has been an exciting month for Snohomish County and Working Washington.
My name is Linda Wright and I got involved with OUR Washington and Working Washington because I was sick of waiting for someone else to make the change we need. I started working with a local community group called OUR Washington and I suggested two actions: a protest against Chase bank, and a town hall meeting with our local elected officials. The group liked my suggestions, and with a lot of planning and support from members of OUR Washington and Working Washington, the two actions were a tremendous success.
Two members went into a local Chase Bank and closed their accounts. Then we presented a bill to Chase Bank for $5 million dollars, payable to the Marysville school district to cover the budget cuts that Chase and other big corporations forced on the state. We also had the bank fax a letter to Regional Director Phyllis Campbell demanding that Chase either pay their fair share of taxes or fund the Marysville Schools’ budget shortfall. We even got a confirmed transmission log proving it was faxed to the Regional Director.
Building on our success at Chase Bank, we convened a Town Hall with our local elected officials, including state Senator Nick Harper, Rep. Mike Sells, Rep. Kirk Pearson and the Mayor of Marysville, John Nehring, as well as Gayle Miller Asst. Superintendent of Marysville schools. In the true spirit of democracy, we brought our concerns and questions direct from the people to our elected leaders. By the way, the press was there too! We asked each elected official to pledge to work with us, and to prove their commitment by signing our pledge form. Two elected officials, Sen. Harper and Rep. Sells, checked the yes box and promised to work with our community by seeking input from our organizations. With two members from OUR Washington and two supporters from Working Washington, we now have an opportunity to offer recommendations on on closing unjustified tax breaks and restoring funding to education and health care.
Needless to say, I am excited to be one of the people working with our elected officials to recommend ways to make our economy better for all our neighbors. Representative Sells even invited me to speak to the Snohomish County labor council, which is a federation of 63 unions that represent 42,000 working families.
I felt like the momentum was really growing, so I asked Marysville Mayor John Nehring to let me make a presentation to the City Council with a goal of collaborating with the Mayors of every city in Washington. We want to send a unified letter to the Governor demanding she work with us to close the tax loopholes for big banks and to get Washington working again.
OUR Washington and Working Washington have been a huge inspiration for me and I am feeling really positive about our success so far and about what we can achieve when we all work together!