Public Health Legislative Education Day

ATTENDEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I work in governmental public health. Can I still participate in Public Health Legislative Education Day?

Yes! Public employees may educate lawmakers (that’s why we call it "Legislative Education Day"). Education is informing legislators of the role of public health, and how legislative proposals (policy or budget) might affect the public’s health or the ability for public health departments to be effective.

Please note that public employees are not allowed to lobby. Lobbying is defined as attempting to influence the passage or defeat of any state legislation (including budget proposals). The most common form of lobbying is face-to-face contact with a state legislator with the objective of influencing their action or inaction on state legislation (including budget proposals).

Where will the event take place?

The Heritage Room on Capitol Lake, 604 Water Street SW, Olympia, Washington 98501

Do I have to pay when I register?

No. The event is free and open to everyone.

What should I wear?

Please dress in business attire, such as a suit or nice dress/slacks and sweater. You want to make a good impression during your meetings with legislators, so dress in a manner that shows respect for the office. Dress for the weather. You will travel from the Heritage Room, where everyone convenes in the morning, to appointments with legislators at the capitol. Wear comfortable shoes, warm layers and an umbrella if necessary. 

Will there be food?

Yes. We will provide a light buffet breakfast and lunch.

Where should I park when I arrive?

Street parking is available near the Heritage Room—silver-domed meters are available for 9-hour parking (8am to 5pm). These meters are available along Water Street, in front of the Heritage Room and along Columbia Street nearby, locations are shown on this map. Please note, most parking meters require payment by quarters. Additionally, if you prefer to park on the Capitol Campus, there are numerous visitor lots, and all day parking is about $12; these lots tend to fill up fast. The visitor lots can be found on this map for Capitol Campus parking.

If you are parking on campus or at a meter, you can take the Dash Shuttle (it’s free) between the Heritage Room and the Capitol Campus (routes and stops included on the above link).

What is the schedule for the day?

We’ll send out a detailed agenda about a week before the event. You may view a summarized agenda below:

8:30–9:00am: Check-In and light breakfast (provided)

9:00–11:00am: Event program, including overview of public health funding and the legislature. We will provide information, tips, and talking points to prepare you for conversations with your legislators.

11:00–11:30pm: Lunch (provided) and finding groups

11:30–4:30pm: Afternoon meetings on the Hill (A detailed schedule will be provided at the event.)

Where can I find materials?

Materials will be posted on our website before the event. We will have hard copy materials available for you at the event.

Do I need to make appointments to meet with my legislators?

No. WSPHA will provide training and materials and will make appointments – all you have to do is show up!

What is on the legislative agenda?

The legislative agenda is available here

What should I do to prepare for this event?

Learn about efforts to secure state funding for public health. Visit PublicHealthIsEssential.org to learn more about our top legislative priority. 

Research your Legislators: Determine who your legislators are using this webpage. Click on their bios to learn more about their interests and priorities. It is also helpful to know which committees they serve on and what bills they’ve sponsored. How does public health relate to their committees and sponsored bills?

What should I expect when I meet with my legislators?

Flexibility is the theme of the day. Groups typically range from 2-8 people, but some have been as large as 35 people (from the 43rd district)! Also, we may add an additional person to your group who is able to lobby if the rest of the participants come from governmental public health. Meetings typically last 10-15 minutes. We schedule appointments with legislators or their Legislative Aides.

You are free to head home after your last appointment. Please plan to follow up your meetings with a brief email or note, thanking legislators for their time and reiterating important points of your discussion (find email addresses for Representatives and Senators). Now that you have met your legislators, stay in touch with them. They value your opinion as a constituent and your experience as a public health professional.

Will an evaluation be available?

Yes! Your feedback is extremely important to us and is used to strengthen the legislative education day each year. An evaluation will be emailed to you at the end of the day. You may also tell us about your meetings with legislators using this form.

How can I cancel my registration?

For changes regarding your registration status, please contact Jeff Ketchel as soon as possible.

I can’t make it to Olympia, but I would still like to support public health. How can I do so?

You can participate virtually by calling the legislative hotline (1-800-562-6000) to be connected to their legislator’s office. It is important that legislators hear from their constituents about the value of public health!