What Happens on Senior Lobby Day in Olympia?
February 26, 2019 is Senior Lobby Day in Olympia. I’ve participated in countless lobby days over the years—as a senior advocate, as a former elected official from Issaquah, as a citizen of the great state of Washington. I’m in at least one of the photos above, which show senior advocates really enjoying Senior Lobby Day over the years. If you haven’t visited Olympia during the legislative season, consider doing so this year. Lend your voice!
I highly recommend that you make appointments with your elected officials before you visit Olympia. To find their contact information, visit Find My District. When you input your address, the names of the Senate and House members elected to represent you pop up on a map. Click on each name to get contact information. While you’re there, see what committees each legislator serves on, and click on “”Details” to see links to legislation they sponsored and to their webpage. Alternatively, visit the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County website and view their They Represent You online or request a copy.
Call each office as soon as possible to request an in-person meeting on Senior Lobby Day—Tuesday, February 26, 2019—between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Then, be sure to register online for Senior Lobby Day with the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby. The “Senior Lobby,” as we call the organization, arranges for speakers and provides a continental breakfast and box lunch (at cost—register by Tuesday, February 19, to receive the earlybird registration rate of $20 per person, and receive a registration packet, legislative toolkit, and both meals).
When you register online, you can check out and pay using PayPal. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card on the Senior Lobby website using the Pay link. Another alternative is registering by phone (360-754-0207) and mailing a check in advance to the Senior Citizens’ Foundation (1501 S Capitol Way Ste., #103, Olympia, WA 98501-2200).
What happens on Senior Lobby Day?
At 8 a.m. on Senior Lobby Day, senior advocates from across Washington state meet in Olympia at The United Churches of Olympia (110 11th Ave SE, Olympia), located kitty-corner from the Washington State Capitol Campus at 11th & Capitol Way. I highly recommend that you carpool with other senior advocates, since traffic can be rough and parking can be difficult. See State Capitol Campus Parking Information here, including shuttle service.
Throughout the morning, you will hear well-known speakers and panel discussions on health care; budget and revenue; long-term services and supports; retirement; pensions; and other issues. Members of the Washington State Legislature have been invited to drop by and be introduced. Breakfast and lunch for pre-registered participants is served at the United Churches.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., senior advocates meet with their elected representatives in their offices (assuming you made your appointments in advance). For most, it’s a quarter-mile walk to the Legislative Building along the North Diagonal road. If walking is not an option, a carpool from the church to the capitol can be arranged. For accessibility information at the State Capitol, visit the Legislature’s ADA Information page.
What’s the message?
I invite you to review my article in the January 2019 issue of AgeWise, “Advocacy: You Can Help Protect and Strengthen Communities for the Future.” Follow the links provided throughout the article and at the bottom. Also, read the article in this issue about HB 1078 and SB 5210, which would require hearing aid sellers, including audiologists, to notify people who buy hearing aids and other devices about the benefits of telecoil and Bluetooth technology (which are not the same).
I hope you’ll join us!
Contributor Ava Frisinger chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. She welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.
This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of AgeWise King County.