PTA is, first and foremost, an advocacy organization. In 1897, mothers across the country marched on Washington, D.C., to advocate for children. As a result, our organization was founded as the National Congress of Mothers that year. Over the last 125 years, PTA has led the fight to improve the lives of all children. (Learn more about our history on the WSPTA website.)
It can be easy to forget our purpose. At the state level, we spend most of our time and energy supporting local PTAs. We provide training and direct support for local and council PTA leaders; develop and maintain resources as part of that support; and manage statewide student programs. Most importantly, though, is our advocacy work. We put so much effort into supporting local and council PTAs so our members can advocate for children and youth at their schools and school districts. We also devote significant time and resources to advocating in Olympia, working with our legislators and government officials.
Our statewide advocacy starts with our members. Every year we call for your input in proposing new legislative issues, resolutions and legislative principles or amending current ones. Every two years, coinciding with our state’s legislative calendar, we vote in a new list legislative issues and then we vote on our Top 5 to focus our efforts for the next two years. Our Resolutions and Advocacy Committees work with the submitters to prepare those drafts for our annual Legislative Assembly. The legislative issues, resolutions, and legislative principles approved by the members guide us in Olympia; they give us the right words to say to our representatives. (As an aside, our membership gives us both the words and our voice – the more members we have, the louder our voice.)
Staff and volunteers have been working for months to prepare for the 2022 Legislative Assembly. We have 13 new legislative issues, one new resolution, and three existing resolutions with proposed amendments to review, debate, amend, and adopt on October 15-16 at our first, fully hybrid event. Registrants can attend in person at Bellevue College or participate via the Whova app. If it goes according to plan, all delegates (in-person and remote) will be able to attend classes, discuss, debate, and vote throughout the event.
We look forward to this event and are excited to pull it together. Our annual legislative assembly is truly democracy in action. Registration is open now, and more details will be posted to the website as they are finalized. Please join us! You will be glad you did.
Andrew L. Estep
WSPTA Executive Director