Terrie Matsen works at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center and has served the state for 25 years. She started out as an AC Cook at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, transferred to the Olympic Corrections Center in Forks for a year, and now works in the mailroom at Stafford Creek. She talked about why she’s attending our upcoming Legislative Reception and Lobby Day event on February 13-14.

Why do you think it’s important to go to Olympia and talk with your legislators?

I think it’s important because I don’t think legislators have a total understanding of what we do in corrections. It gives us the opportunity to explain our duties and the things we go through on a day-to-day basis. We need to get them to understand that there’s risk every day when we walk in here.

How many times have you been to Olympia to speak about issues that you face?

I’ve been there numerous times. I’ve done the Day of Action and several other times – I think eight times total.

How would you describe the experience of meeting with your legislators?

Some legislators are more open and receiving to us than others. You’re going to have some who think that state workers are already overpaid, but that’s not the case. They don’t see the whole picture of what we do.

What’s the most important thing to convey when talking with them?

The risk involved. We provide a service – not just for us – but it effects the whole community and the state as a whole.

What would you say to your co-workers who have never been to Olympia and are thinking about attending Lobby Day?

I would say go. It’s eye opening. You get the opportunity to have your voice heard and it’s imperative that your voice gets heard. The more participation, the stronger we stand.