Washington State PTA held its 41st Annual Legislative Assembly October 26-27th at Bellevue College. The theme was “Superheroes of Advocacy”, and Northshore advocacy heroes made up more than 10% of the total attendees statewide!
A Focus on Mental Health
Additional workshops, panels and classes to help legislative assembly attendees become better superhero advocates included:
New this year was a student track of classes and workshops:
Updates to the WSPTA Legislative Platform
The “work” of legislative assembly is to adopt new public policy positions for WSPTA and its local PTAs, councils and members to advocate on. These include both short-term legislative issues, which are actionable in Olympia, and long-term positions which can be used at any level of decision-making: school, school district, city, county, state and nationally.
Since the WSPTA Legislative Platform runs on a two-year cycle, this year delegates only had one new issue to adopt for the 2020 platform: Equitable Identification of Highly Capable Students. Delegates also amended the top 5 issue Prevent Gun Violence. The new and revised issues can be found on the 2020 WSPTA Legislative Platform (be on the lookout for new and updated one-pagers for each of the issues coming soon).
Delegates also adopted a new permanent legislative principle on Family and Community Engagement, and four new permanent resolutions. Three of the new resolutions are fundamental to how PTAs should address their mission, outlook on membership, and fundraising. The titles of the new resolutions are:
In addition, delegates also amended fifteen existing resolutions with updates to ensure their continued relevance for ongoing advocacy work.
The list of all WSPTA resolutions can be found on the WSPTA Resolutions webpage (updated text for all of the new and updated resolutions will be available soon!).
Stay engaged in PTA advocacy!
Northshore Council PTSA held its first general meeting of the 2019-2020 on Monday, September 16, 2019 at the NSD Administration Building. Co-Presidents Grace Jurado and Stacey Meyer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and took a few moments to introduce this year's Council board members before diving into the agenda.
Council business included a review of the minutes from the May meeting, updating Council's Standing Rules for 2019-2020 (link available soon!) and a review of the end-of-year financial report for 2018-2019 as well as financial reports from July and August. Vice-President Jane Chiodo encouraged local PTAs to apply for an Educational Speaker and Event Grant (the first application deadline is coming up on October 11th!). Cindy Jensen, our Council Reflections Chair, then spoke briefly about the Reflections program and the value of sharing this opportunity in our local PTAs that encourages students to express themselves creatively through this national arts recognition program. Co-VP of Advocacy, Nancy Chamberlain, took some time to promote the upcoming WSPTA Legislative Assembly, taking place October 26-27 at Bellevue College. Then the floor was opened for nominations for the Council Treasurer position, but there were no takers. We are grateful to Tricia Woods for continuing to serve in the role as we work to find a new Treasurer (contact Grace Jurado and Stacey Meyer if you are interested in learning more).
We also heard from district leaders, including School Board Director Jackie McGourty and NSD Partnerships Coordinator Natalie Campbell, each of whom shared information, updates and answered questions about recent projects and current initiatives.
The last part of the meeting was focused on outreach and advocacy.
Kelly Hennessey is the Coordinator of Threads & Treads, a clothing resource for Northshore families that is operated by Canyon Park Middle School PTSA. She came forward to share information about the work they are doing to serve the community and asked for the support of Northshore PTAs as they work to expand their outreach to include Saturday hours. An exciting moment came as Northshore Schools Foundation (NSDF) Executive Director Carmin Dalziel committed the foundation's financial support to help ensure those Saturday hours through the end of the school year! Thank you NSDF!!!
Finally, the membership of Northshore Council PTSA voted to adopt a Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution. The idea to make this a PTA resolution came from Moorlands PTA member (and librarian) Crystal Ellis. Crystal lost her two-year old son to a tragic accident involving an unsafe dresser. She has turned her grief into action, founding Parents Against Tip-Overs and advocating with members of Congress for legislation that would lead to safer furniture. Northshore Council PTSA will now submit the Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution for adoption at the National PTA Convention in 2020.
The meeting closed with some fun door prize drawings followed by Fall Training classes on a variety of topics, including Treasurer Basics, How to Be a Membership Chair, Volunteers: Find Them and Keep Them, as well as Secretary: More than Just Minutes.
Council meetings are a great way to network with other PTA leaders and learn about what is happening in the district and PTA. We hope you'll join us at our next general membership meeting on Monday, November 18th!
The membership of Northshore Council PTSA adopted a Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution at its membership meeting on September 16, 2019. The full resolution is available for download below:
The idea to make this a PTA resolution comes from Moorlands PTA member (and librarian) Crystal Ellis. Crystal lost her two-year old son to a tragic accident involving an unsafe dresser. She has turned her grief into action, founding Parents Against Tip-Overs and advocating with members of Congress for legislation that would lead to safer furniture. She has even testified before Congress for passage of a law to improve and make mandatory regulations to prevent furniture tip-overs.
The bill, the STURDY act, has now passed the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support:
Northshore Council PTSA will now submit the Furniture Tip-Over Resolution for adoption at the National PTA Convention in 2020.