To all peace and social justice advocates/activists, we need to quickly create a local group to defeat House Bill 1771, which will “establish standards for the use of public unmanned aircraft systems.”
Between 1998 – 2007, the legislative work I have accomplished primarily focused on providing an educational and informative format to my listserve working on mental health bills. I personally made a bill die in committee by testifying and providing three documents that countered my opposition.
In this article, I lay out a possible action plan that will allow the tracking of this bill, and others, throughout the Washingon state legislative process. This plan follows known and well-tested steps to not allow a bill to pass out of committee with the aim to cause the bill to ‘die in committee’. This needs to be achieved as early as possible under the directions of a trained legislative organizer. We can defeat HB 1771 and celebrate a victory.
General 11-Point Strategic Plan
1. Create a facebook page in opposition to HB 1771. This will allow the group to network and provide alerts and immediate postings such as allerts regarding hearings and House or Senate Rules hearings.
2. Create a small group of six to eight local members to meet weekly to perform tasks, accomplish objectives, organize tasks, and establish deadlines.
3. Develope alliances with all organizations in Washington focusing on drone issues.
4. Research and collect documentation on the impact of drone usage and violations of international law.
5. Gather documentation & share with our WA partners/stake-holders/allies
6. All members should use same language/terms/phrases in their presentations.
7. Connect with and encourage organizations in all states with drone bills, especially border states, to work together to share documentation and data. [I have a list of all state legislative websites to study drone legislation.
8. Provide the needed documentation for each hearing, petty cash for printing (or arrange for donated printing).
9. Make available accurate published studies, reports, and other materials to all local and regional meetings on drone issues, and keep a bibliography of useful books and articles available for requests.
10. Immediately begin visiting selective legislative offices.
11. If our goal is not met and House Bill 1771 should make its way through the Washington State Legislature, then we continue the fight—and not just once or twice a year.
Carole Willey is an environmental healthcare and social justice advocate, legislative advocate, and community organizer in Olympia, WA.