Sisters Organize for Survival, a campaign of Radical Women
5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118 • 206-722-6057 • RWseattle@mindspring.com • SistersOrganizeforSurvival.org
 
"We need to occupy Olympia during the special session,
with one voice, one agenda."

-Sable Verity, Seattle reporter and commentator
   
 
October 28, 2011
 
Dear Activist,

The Sisters Organize for Survival campaign of Seattle Radical Women has been fighting alongside you for three years against a continuous onslaught of social service cuts, attacks on hardworking public employees, and regressive taxes that give breaks to big corporations and multi-millionaires while burdening youth, mothers, working and poor people, seniors and the disabled. We're putting out a call for Madison, Wisconsin-style actions to stop further blood-letting!

Governor Gregoire has called a special session of the legislature starting November 28 to take another $2 billion away from the most vulnerable through cutbacks to already decimated social services. Public workers will be hit with additional layoffs, reduced hours and chopped benefits. Proposed cuts could eliminate or reduce aid to more than 80,000 people currently eligible for Medicaid due to developmental disabilities or long-term care needs. Adult day health services, home health for the sick and elderly, and residential options for seniors and the developmentally disabled are among the survival needs on the chopping block. The governor is also proposing for the third time to completely eliminate Washington State's Basic Health. For the last two years, Sisters Organize for Survival has successfully fought to save this program. With your help and militant mass actions in the Capitol, we hope to win that battle once again.

It is cruel, immoral and unacceptable to expect the poorest and weakest members of society to make up the difference in the state budget. The reason public coffers are depleted is because of decades of tax breaks to rich corporations. Among the hundreds of business tax exemptions are bank earnings from mortgage-interest and purchases of custom business software, jet fuel, waste wood used for power generation, and precious metals. These handouts have created the current crisis.

Last year's April Days of Action in Olympia were a good start in building a coalition of labor and community groups to fight back. But this year we need more staying power and clearer demands in order to change the legislature's game plan.

We believe it's time to go to Olympia and occupy the Capitol until our needs are met. We demand that state legislators:

• Oppose all cuts to jobs, services, and education!

• Restore services, jobs and benefits by taxing Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon
  and other huge corporations and Washington's richest individuals!

• Pressure the federal government to end U.S. wars and redirect trillions in military spending to public jobs programs,
  unemployment benefits, education and social services!

Politicians use the Eyman initiative as an excuse for inaction on tax loopholes, but it's really a question of who they represent. Legislators did not hesitate to ignore initiative votes on teacher salary increases, Qwest Field and the Alaskan Way tunnel. And two-thirds majorities have been achieved between legislative conservatives and self-described progressives -- most notoriously in passing last year's all-cuts budget!

Please ask your union or community group to mobilize members to protest and occupy the Capitol on November 28 with demands such as those listed above. A sample resolution is attached. Sisters Organize for Survival would also be happy to attend one of your meetings to motivate this action. Let's talk about effective ways to show that threatened cuts will be met with public rebellion. Let's build a unified protest starting on the first day of the special session and building from there.

We'll be in good company. There is already an Occupy Olympia encampment. They are hoping that people from around the state will converge on the Capitol on November 28, and come to Occupy Olympia between now and the start of the special session. You can find out about marches and actions in Olympia at www.occupyolympia.org

Ask your organization or interested individuals to attend a coordinating meeting to help build for November 28. In Seattle, Sisters Organize for Survival will host a meeting on Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm at New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. South. In Olympia, the daylong People's Movement Assembly on October 29, organized by the Olympia Movement for Peace and Justice, has a workshop on "Radical State Budget Reform and the Occupation Movement," starting at 2:30pm at the Olympia Community Center, 222 Columbia St. NW. Other organizing efforts may also be announced soon.

The Occupy Wall Street movement and mass mobilizations in the Middle East and the U.S. Midwest show the might of strong movements that don't go away! With that kind of determination and an agenda that puts working people first, we can have a real impact on the state budget. By mass action and strikes to stop business as usual, we can turn the tide in our favor!
 
 
Sincerely,

Gina Petry
Coordinator,
Sisters Organize for Survival


 P.S. Donations are urgently needed to build the response at the legislative special session. Donate online at www.SistersOrganizeforSurvival.org , or mail checks payable to SOS/Radical Women, to 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118.

Sample Resolution

Mobilize for militant mass action at the November 28 opening
of the special legislative session in Olympia


WHEREAS Washington has the most regressive tax system in the U.S., with the poorest individuals paying the largest proportion of their income in taxes and the richest individuals paying the least;

AND WHEREAS Washington is facing a third year of severe cuts to education and human services, as well as layoffs, reduced hours and chopped benefits for public workers;

AND WHEREAS Governor Gregoire has called a special session of the legislature beginning November 28 to implement another $2 billion in cutbacks that could include throwing 450 people out of nursing homes, eliminating home care for 11,700 disabled and elderly people, and eliminating institutional care for people with developmental disabilities;

AND WHEREAS mass mobilizations in the Middle East, the U.S. Midwest, and the Occupy Wall Street movement show the power of unified action by unions, youth, working and poor people, seniors and the disabled;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Local ______ of ___________ organize its members to participate in protests and occupations with other labor and community activists beginning on November 28 in Olympia. These actions should demand that state legislators:
 
• Oppose all cuts to jobs, services, and education!

• Restore services, jobs and benefits by taxing Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon
  and other huge corporations and Washington's richest individuals!

• Pressure the federal government to end U.S. wars and redirect trillions in military

Click here for a PDF version of the resolution