The 2021 Washington State legislative session is here. Lawmakers are currently making decisions that will impact your jobs, families and communities.

Washington state faces an economic catastrophe of unprecedented scale. Without action, public sector workers like us — the very people who have risked their lives to get us through this pandemic — will be forced to pay the price with cuts to the vital services we provide Washingtonians, cuts to our benefits, and permanent layoffs. This campaign is about choosing a better path forward: putting working People First and asking the super wealthy to pay their fair share.

This past Saturday, you might have been cooking a late breakfast, planning a fun weekend activity or taking some quiet time with your family. But with 10 days to go until the most important election of our lifetimes, more than 200 AFSCME members were fired up and raring to go during a Pennsylvania volunteer kickoff Zoom call, one of many being held around the country as the Big Green Machine kicks into high gear.

Coming out of the Great Recession, Governor Inslee rejected the austerity agenda of his predecessor and set Washington on a course for recovery by investing in—not cutting from—working families. He proved that taking care of people isn’t just possible while you grow the economy, it’s actually how you grow the economy. In my view, this is the lesson of his tenure as governor.
It’s easy to say that the 2020 election is the most important of our lifetimes, but hearing this firsthand from AFSCME Retirees, many of whom have dedicated their lives to public service and making America a better place to live, shows the urgency to us all.

No workforce has more at stake in the decisions made by elected officials. No election in our lifetimes has been more consequential.

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The following statement was released by WFSE President Mike Yestramski and Executive Director Leanne Kunze:

Dear WFSE siblings,

Last week, Sean Smoot from 21CP Solutions facilitated a follow-up conversation between WFSE leadership and DOC members regarding unintended impacts from statements released by our executive committee. These statements called for racial justice for all of our siblings while denouncing systems of oppression.

Vancouver, WA—Tyler Close is a Public Benefits Specialist (PBS) 4 for the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in Vancouver and a shop steward. Like many public employees, Close is dedicated to service and to helping those in need. That includes his job at DCYF, anti-racism work, and volunteering.

As a PBS, Close works to bring federal reimbursements into Washington to support and bolster DCYF’s work. “The better I do my job, the more funding the department has, which overall affects the whole mission of DCYF,” Close said.