In the wake of the DREAM Act passing the Washington State House, I had a pretty cynical response assuming that it would die in Rodney Tom’s Senate. Well, I still think that’s probably the bill’s ultimate fate, but unlike me, Andrew at NPI took the opportunity to write his Senator (Senator Tom, as it happens).

The DREAM Act has to do with education. So it’s within the purview you outlined to the Seattle Times’ Olympia correspondent, Andrew Garber.

Do you have a fallback excuse to explain why this legislation won’t be coming up for a vote this session, even though the House of Representatives has just voted, giving the Senate ample time for consideration?

If you’re truly the majority leader, as opposed to majority leader in name only, you should be able to bring this bill up for a vote in the Senate.

I mean, besides you, just one other vote from your caucus would be needed, and then together, with the Democrats, there’d be twenty-five votes for this bill.

The instinct to push forward, to write, over the instinct to just throw your hands up is one I wish I had shared with Andrew. So here’s my letter to a Seattle Democrat who would almost certainly support it anyway if it comes up.

I’m writing you today to ask that you do whatever you can to support the Washington State DREAM Act recently passed by the State House. I understand that as a member of the minority party there is only so much you can do, but common decency demands that you do as much as you can. People who are in this country, who came here through no fault of their own, deserve the chance to make it in this country, and in this state.

It’s good for the state’s long term economic prospects to have a highly educated workforce, and this will help provide that. It’s in our interest to be the kind of state that attracts the best people no matter their background. But mostly, it’s the right thing to to.

Thank you

Carl Ballard

If you want to write your Senator, or one or both of your Reps — on this or anything else — you can find them here. My recommendation is be polite but tell them exactly what you want.


  1. 1

    Pete spews:

    Gee. Andrew writes as though Sen. Tom isn’t himself a Democrat. He certainly says he’s a Democrat.


    If Tom is unwise enough to run for re-election this year – and he is up for re-election this year – I hope the Democratic Party throws a strong candidate and everything they have into retiring his sorry ass. Not just as retribution for the numerous ways he’s made the lives of all Washingtonians worse – though that’s reason enough – but as a strong warning to any other legislator who might be tempted into thinking a nice job title is more important than actually representing the will of his or her constituents.

  2. 2

    Charlie McAteer spews:

    Great post. Agree, it’s in Sen. Tom’s hands and, if he wants to show he supports a bill he says he supports, he simply needs to help bring it up for a vote. The DREAM Act will pass. Here’s a simple way you can ask your Senator and Education Chair Sen. Bailey to support DREAM: statevoices.salsalabs.com/o/66/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=747&