Political Action

Screenshot of the 2021 PROTEC17 Political Action Committee on a Zoom training

Whether we like it or not, politics plays a huge role in our lives. And especially as public employees, lawmakers at every level make decisions that impact whether our jobs will be funded, our retirement plans will remain solvent, or whether we can take time off to care for a sick loved one.

PROTEC17 members advocate for laws and policies at the city, county and state level that support our members and their families. In addition, we have a political action committee (PAC) that makes endorsements for worker-friendly candidates. The PAC is funded through voluntary donations — NEVER DUES MONEY.

2023 WA State Legislative Update

Wed., Feb. 8, 2023

The 2023 Washington State legislative session is now in full swing, and will continue through April 23 of this year. This is the first fully in-person session since the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are excited to be in community again with labor leaders and legislators down in Olympia.

In the initial weeks, lawmakers have proposed legislation regarding safe staffing standards for hospitals, special education funding, and protections for reproductive rights, as well as a number of other proposals that would significantly impact working families.

As a part of our recent strategic planning survey, we asked PROTEC17 members to share their top policy priorities. The survey received over 1,600 responses that helped to develop our 2023 Legislative Agenda. While our advocacy is not limited to these areas, our agenda provides legislators and the broader community with a clear message of what is most important to you, the members of our union.

In addition to this, PROTEC17, in collaboration with the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) and Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA), has proposed legislation concerning the utilization of Salary Surveys by the Office of Financial Management (OFM). Senate Bill (SB) 5694 (and companion House Bill (HB) 1774) would add clarification to existing legislation that would be a critical first step in raising the wages of state workers who are 60-70% below market, most of whom are women and people of color. These bills will receive hearings in their respective committees on Feb. 14 at 1:30pm.

Sign in PRO/SUPPORT and/or submit your testimony and comments on SB5694 and HB1774 by early Feb. 14!

If you are new to legislative advocacy or just want to get more information on how to get involved, join us on Fri., Feb. 17 at 12 p.m. for a virtual training session on “3 Easy Ways to Advocate for Pro-Worker Legislation in WA State.” You can find full meeting details including how to join on the Member Portal event page here.

As the 2023 legislative session progresses, we will try our best to keep you updated. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to PROTEC17 Political Director Brandon Hersey at 

2023 WA State Legislative Priorities

Contact your legislator!

Post-General Election 2022 Update

As races across the country count their final ballots, PROTEC17 is encouraged by the strong performance of our endorsed candidates throughout the state of Washington. We are proud to support candidates who have shown a clear commitment to strengthening the labor movement and improving the lives of working families. Be on the lookout for a more detailed report on our wins and opportunities to be shared in early December.

– Brandon Hersey, PROTEC17 Political Director

Political Action Committee

Interested in our member-led Political Action Committee (PAC) and supporting worker-oriented legislation and candidates? This unique group allows PROTEC17 members to share the work we do with political candidates, as well as show our support to those who are committed to supporting working people and their families. If you are interested in participating on the Political Action Committee (PAC), please reach out to our Political Director, Brandon Hersey.

2022 Oregon Legislative Priorities

February 1 marked the beginning of the 2022 Oregon Legislative session, which is a short even-year session lasting until March 7. Broad priorities of the legislature this year include the State budget, pandemic response issues, housing services, and education funding. The session also welcomes a new Speaker of the House, Corvallis Representative Dan Rayfield. Representative Rayfield has been an ally to labor through his tenure in the legislature, and PROTEC17 members in Oregon have high hopes for his leadership.

Below are a few of the labor-related bills and issues that we were tracking this session in Oregon:

  • House Bill (HB) 4001 aimed to address essential worker pay for frontline workers during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it failed to make it out of committee on Feb. 7.
  • Senate Bill (SB) 1506 would give local jurisdictions more revenue authority to increase marijuana taxes.
  • SB 1586 stiffens penalties for employers who use non-disclosure agreements to silence workers who have experienced discrimination or harassment. PROTEC17 joined other labor unions in 2019 passing the landmark Workplace Fairness Act, and SB 1586 will strengthen the protections in that bill. 
  • HB 4002 would provide overtime protections to farmworkers in Oregon. While this bill gathered strong support in 2021 it did not ultimately receive a final vote. We hope to see Oregon joining Washington and California in providing this critical benefit to these vital workers.

While Federal infrastructure funding disbursements are currently being discussed in the Oregon Transportation Commission rather than the legislature, PROTEC17 will be monitoring legislative conversations on the subject in order to assure that appropriate funding reaches local transportation agencies including the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and that State projects within the Portland metro area adequately compensate PBOT to mitigate impacts.

If you are interested in getting more information about these or any other Oregon legislative subjects, please email PROTEC17 Research Director and Oregon Legislative Advocate Elliot Levin.

Contact Your Legislator!