The general public has little to no idea what goes on behind prison walls and the critical role correctional employees play in keeping our communities safe. People pay attention when the bad guys are prosecuted, tried, sentenced, and locked up. And then they forget.

That holds true for legislators as well.

Our representatives down in Olympia typically don’t have a clue what it means to get “thrown on” nor can they relate to the constant threat of assault.

Because legislators hold the keys to the state coffers and will ultimately decide whether to fund our contract, it is important to educate them about the uniquely dangerous and important work that correctional employees perform.

The best way to educate legislators is to talk with them one-on-one. This can happen during lobby visits in Olympia or even over the phone.

Remember that, as public servants, our State legislators work for us and are obligated to listen to our concerns.

As we get closer to next year’s legislative session, your Union’s Legislative Affairs Department will be working to create more opportunities for you to meet and talk with legislators. Local 117 will be setting up town hall meetings in targeted locations as well as organizing prison tours with key legislators.

The tours will not be the kind of sanitized dog-and-pony shows that are typically orchestrated by management, but they will provide legislators with a hard-nosed look at the work you perform behind prison walls. Local 117’s town hall meetings will give you a public forum to discuss your concerns directly with lawmakers. Stay tuned for dates, times, and locations.

For more information, contact Political Coordinator Dustin Lambro at 1-888-872-3489 or check in at your Union’s website.