January 11, 2011

Legislators see AFSCME GREEN from the get go

Legislators saw about 200 Federation members from around the state Monday who visited each and every one of the 147 lawmakers’ offices with greetings of good luck – and the message about saving essential services.

The opening day event was punctuated by a concluding rally on the Capitol steps where members waved “Save Our State” signs and signs to save other programs and institutions.

“How the Legislature deals with this deficit defines their values and measures the level of compassion and responsibility that exists within the state of Washington,” Federation President Carol Dotlich told the rally crowd gathered on a chilly day that started out with snow showers.

“Without a doubt we have a lot of battlegrounds,” said Ginger Richardson, a Community Corrections officer and member of Local 308 in Seattle. “There is a deficit, but they do not need to take the deficit out of public safety or public servants.”?

“You are in fact the safety net and you are being demonized by folks who don’t have a clear understanding of what state employees do…,” said Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council. “There are more ways to solve this deficit problem. Cuts are not the answer.”

“The Labor Movement is going to be behind this fight,” said Lynne Dodson, secretary-treasurer of the WSLC. “You don’t start the economy by laying off workers….You jump start the economy by insuring that we have basic services that we, public services that we need, and that the safety net is in place.”

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