On July 17th, Olympia Indivisible met with Denny Heck's staffers to go over our priorities—family reunification, support for Maxine Waters, a return to civility, migrant issues, and support for affordable healthcare, among others—and to check in on the representative’s actions in office toward advancing these priorities. We wanted this meeting to be different from past meetings. We wanted to have more in depth dialogue with the staffers, as opposed to just talking “at” them about the issues we’re passionate about. The staffers expressed Representative Heck’s support for many of our priorities and cited his recent legislative record. They also stressed the frustration of their position—how many constituents don’t understand the ins and outs of congressional gridlock, but still expect their representatives to deliver on their demands. Because of this, they did not express any concrete commitments from Representative Heck, but they seemed very receptive to what we had to say, taking notes and jotting down new details we had to give them. Additionally, they provided feedback from our immediate past visit. They noted that the Congressman often refers to Olympia Indivisible in his meetings with other representatives, and that Olympia Indivisible is regarded as one of the most active Indivisible chapters in the nation. We are optimistic about Representative Heck’s allegiance to our priorities and his willingness to hear what his constituents have to say. His staffers were very gracious and definitely willing to engage in dialogue with us. We’ll still be watching Representative Heck’s voting record to make sure he is dedicated to advancing the cause of Progressive values, even when congressional gridlock makes things difficult.
~ McKenzie Murray, OHS Grad & UW Undergraduate
Those in attendance from Rep. Heck's office: Phil Gardner, Dallas Roberts
Representatives of OI attending: Carolyn Barclift, Jen Merrill, Joni Brill, Ruth Shearer (GRI), Gracie Anderson, McKenzie Murray