The Washington State Legislature is made up of 49 Legislative Districts, with one Senator and two Representatives from each district. The Senate is currently lead by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC). The MCC consists of 25 Republicans and one Democrat, Senator Tim Sheldon from the 35th legislative district. The Senate Democratic Caucus is currently the minority party holding only 23 seats.
In the House of Representatives, the House Democratic Caucus holds the majority by only 2 seats, with 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans. No matter where you stand on party politics, these slim margins make the 2016 election cycle particularly important for Washingtonians who are faced with an increasing amount of “swing” districts across the state.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of any trade organization, it is important that members supplement government affairs programs with constituent engagement. Lawmakers are experts–first and foremost–on the districts that elected them into office, and industry messages are most effective when lawmakers hear consistency from both policy professionals and voters .
The first step in becoming informed on your local policy and politics is to understand who, exactly, represents you in Olympia. You might be wondering, “Who are my current lawmakers?” First, you must start by determining what district you live in (see below). With a current address, you can obtain the information you need from the state legislative website. It is important to remember, if your business is located in a different district than your personal primary residence, you may consider yourself a constituent in more than one district, even though you are only registered to vote in one.
After learning who your lawmakers are, the state provides a wealth of detailed information on personal background, local positions, committee membership, and leadership roles within a political caucus. Please take the time to click through to your individual lawmaker’s home page (see below) and subscribe to the lawmaker’s personal newsletter. This will allow you to follow positions and local issues in a more detailed manner, and better understand the mentality of your representatives. Submitting an email address to the legislator will also put you on a contact list for events, fundraisers, and listening tours that may be occurring in your area throughout the year. If you are interested in participating in you lawmaker’s events, please take the time to interface with MHCW’s government affairs team, who can reaffirm your relationship with the lawmaker through our policy pursuits in Olympia.
How to get into contact with your legislator:
Step 1: to find out what legislative district you and your parks are located in, go to http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Step 2: Type in your home address and the address of your park(s) into the fields, see example of the MHCW main office.
Step 3: Click on the lawmaker’s name which will take you to the state legislature member page. This will provide you with your legislator’s individual contact information, and a list of their committees. If you click on their picture, it will take you to the lawmaker’s individual homepage (see below).
Step 4: Click on “Homepage” under Senator Angel’s picture. Once you are on the lawmaker’s personal website, select the tab “E-Newsletter”, then type your information in the correct fields. (Note: Each party caucus has their own version of a homepage, however, the steps are all identical, on the front page of their homepage there is a button titled “E-Newsletter” or a direct field to add your email address.