03. August 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus -Better Practices – August 2023 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

ARC August Better Practices

August Schedule

6:30 pm Thursday 3 August
 Better Practices 

Advocacy: How to be effective in Olympia
Dean Takko
Brian Blake


Better Practices

Advocacy: How to be effective in Olympia
Dean Takko
Brian Blake


Advocacy: Fit into Legislator Calculus?

Legislating is hard work. Emoting and passionate rhetoric may help set the agenda. Getting something actually done, though, not so much. We tend to underestimate the skills politicians bring to the legislature. Legislators need subject knowledge, sure, but they also need social skills and comfort using them.

Rural Democrats, especially, do not go into their caucus with a ready-made majority. They need first to persuade their urban colleagues. Often their urban colleagues will have no life knowledge of rural concerns. Rural Democrats need to win at least twice: In their own caucus first and then in committee and on the floor.

Why is this important to those of us aspiring to be effective advocates? Because we need to fit into the legislators’ world, their calculus. We need to do our own homework. Most of us don’t bother. And we are not particularly effective.

This is all me speculating. Join Brian and Dean Thursday to get the blood behind these dry words.

31 July 2023

Effective Advocacy, or just feel good?

When was the last time you received an email from your go-to 501C(3) asking you to push a button and send an urgent message to your legislator? About 15 minutes ago?

You felt good if you did push that button and signed the form letter. Your voice was heard. But how loud? Will it have anything to do with the solicitation letter that you will receive tomorrow?

On Thursday 3 August we are going to talk to Dean Takko and Brian Blake about what works to get legislation passed. And about what just makes us feel good.

Senator Takko and Representative Blake served LD 19 until the 2020 election when LD 19 shifted red. They know the inside game.

COVID had the good effect of pushing public testimony to legislative committees out to us. We could compose 60 seconds of persuasive text, Zoom in to the legislature and wait for our turn. If the committee ran out of time, we could always email copy of our text to the committee.

 I have done this. I have testified remotely on behalf of ARC…the Lorraine Loomis Act, EFSEC authority, Rural Commission, Cap-and-Invest, Clean Fuels, DOT-owned rail in Whitman County, Capital Gains tax, and so forth.

Was my testimony taken seriously? I mean did anyone recognize my arguments and their nuance? Or did a staffer put me in the Pro, Con, or Other box and report a count?

The count probably was not so important anyway up against the conversations I might have had with my local legislator. But usually did not.

Dean and Brian can help us understand what mechanisms we can use to counter the personal, day-to-day contact our legislators have with full-time paid lobbyists or local elected county commissioners or city council people, or simply their friends.

Personal networking, consistent messaging, setting the agenda early, neutralizing opposition, and solid homework…these work in our daily lives. Is it any different in the Legislature?

Join us. Share your experiences. Ask Dean and Brian for insight.

25 July 2023

Three notes from our LD 7 conversation:

  1. Kathie Schutte reported that levies pass in Pend Oreille County’s three school districts. Schools are a point of local convergence.
  2. Anne Udaloy said that all candidates are running against Seattle. And Brian Blake talked about folks in Seattle demonizing rural values. Tribal identities are points of state-wide divergence.
  3. Brian Blake rhetorically posed “What would Democrats elected in LD 7 do differently than the current Republicans?” What’s our answer?

Policy Briefing

Have  you read about the flood of passport applications? I think most of Washington State is on the move next month. We will resume our Policy Briefings in September with opioids in rural Washington, and October we will take up community newspapers.

25 July 2023

Our Better Practices roundtable is on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.. Use the link above for 2023.

Our Policy Series is on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Use the link above for 2023. 

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Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
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Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
Waitsburg, WA 99361