2013 Immigrants Day at the Capitol

On February 6, 2013, over 400 immigrants and advocates from all across Washington State joined forces in Olympia for OneAmerica's Immigrants Day at the Capitol. They were there to speak directly with our legislators about policies and budget items which are vital to supporting our families and communities.

And we made some serious noise as our chants echoed throughout the marble rotunda and deep into Legislators' offices.

This year's event featured our largest ever contingent of youth as nearly 200 students joined us from 16 different schools, including Federal Way, Bellingham, Chief Sealth, Thomas Jefferson, Seahome, Clover Park, Global Connections, Walla Walla, Sumner, Highline, Kent-Meridian, and Redmond High Schools. Our base groups in Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Vancouver, Ellensburg, and Yakima showed up in full force - and voice, plus we had a big turnout from the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Samoan communities thanks, in part, to our collaboration with Asian Counseling and Referral Service and Chinese Information and Service Center.

After some rousing chants lead by Organizers Maha Jahshan and Rahwa Habte, our morning training featured a look back at our accomplishments as well as what's on the agenda for 2013 from Executive Director Rich Stolz. The communications team of Otts Bolisay and Charlie McAteer highlighted different methods of staying involved throughout the 2013 Legislative Session (January-April), including joining our email list, sending petitions to and calling legislators, getting engaged with us on Facebook or Twitter, joining our text action list, or even setting up meetings with legislators when they're back home in their districts.

Join our text list to take actions at key moments to help our priority bills along:

  • English: text justice4all to 69302 
  • Spanish: text justicia4todos to 69302

After Organizing Director David Ayala shared more about our organizing strategy, Policy Manager Emily Murphy dove into our policy priorities for this session and answered burning questions from participants. Participants then broke into small groups by legislative districts and strategized how to create the most impact in their afternoon meetings with legislators in over 30 districts.  

After a delicious lunch provided by our friends at Mijas, we held a raucus rally in the rotunda that included our allies in the Legislature: Sen. Ed Murray, Sen. Sharon Nelson, and Rep. Luis Moscoso. After an afternoon of meetings, participants gathered on the Capitol steps for an address by Gov. Jay Inslee. It wasn’t by chance that Gov. Inslee joined us - the first time a Governor has participated in our lobby day. The scale of our collective work and vision, our organizing, our civic engagment work in the elections last year, and our persistence in Olympia made this possible.

Get involved with us this session and work toward a stronger Washington tomorrow!

 

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