Having not met with many elected officials (well, probably more than most people, but I’m still not used to it) I’d say today’s meeting with Rep. Sam Hunt went well.
As a sort of review, I’d been trying to schedule a meeting with him since summer, but through a series of mishaps and misadventures, I wasn’t able to make it in until the week before session. My plan was to hit him up way before session, but I’m obviously not a pro at this.
Why Rep. Hunt in particular was important to me was because he had two things going for him: he’s one of my representatives (I live in Olympia) and he’s also chair of the State Government Committee, which would be the right committee for this to go through. I guess I’m pretty luck to have my representative in charge of that one.
The meeting itself was pretty quick. I actually was the one who ended it, I thanked him for his time when I thought we’d pretty much covered everything and after he told me that he’d pass the idea by committee staff. That is all he could really say at this point, I guess, get some other minds on the idea.
In general he seemed supportive of the idea, but didn’t give up much about what the chances of an actual bill would be. My main thrust was on the idea that too much of the initiative process has been handed to too few of us because the costs are too high. We started the conversation talking about how a Republican representative had put forward this idea the last few years, but that the idea itself, and how it puts more power in the hands of the people, is actually progressive.
And, here’s something I didn’t know. Rep. Hunt, back when he was regular old Sam Hunt, collected signatures for Initiative 345, which repealed the sales tax on food. He stood outside grocery stores for hours getting people to put their signatures on the line.