On Feb. 5, Public Health employees from across Washington state – including many PROTEC17 members – met in Olympia to help educate their representatives about the important work they do every day to keep us safe and healthy.

The Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA) — an organization connecting public, private and community groups to Public Health funding and education issues — organizes the annual event, which PROTEC17 has supported for many years.

While Public Health Legislative Education Day is not a day for public health professionals to directly ask for funding, it is an important opportunity to give legislators – who are often far removed from public health work – a sense and scope of the most important health issues that are affecting the state. From trying to track and contain the Coronavirus, to tackling the opioid crisis, to making sure our food and water is safe for consumption, the work of Public Health often goes unnoticed, yet impacts our lives on a daily basis.

PROTEC17 member Marlon Hall, an Administrative Specialist II at Seattle-King County Public Health, (pictured with WSPHA Executive Director Jeff Ketchel) was at Legislative Education Day for the first time, and really enjoyed the event.

“It was a great experience to be face-to-face with my legislators advocating for the important work of Public Health,” he said.

Thanks to our PROTEC17 members from Seattle-King County Public Health, including Marlon Hall, Jennell Hicks and José Romo, who shared their stories with their legislators, making this another successful education day.

This legislative term this year is a short 60-day session, meaning that time is of the essence to get policy bills approved by the March 12 closing date.

As part of the Public Health Roundtable – a collective of organizations advocating for public health funding and policies – PROTEC17 supported several health-focused legislative priorities for 2020, including supporting efforts to regulate vapor products that deter youth access, and to fully implement a vapor tax that funds core public health services.

You can find more photos on our Facebook page, and visit the government affairs page on our website to learn how you can find your legislator to share your story: protec17.org/government-affairs