This year we wanted to pull back the political curtain and give our community a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in Olympia. While it may sometimes seem like there’s not a lot of activity on our bills, there’s actually lots (and lots) of activity happening in district and at the state Capitol. Read on to get an insiders look at how we worked together this month to KEEP FILM IN WA!
The Bills Are on the Move
The bills to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP) continue to make their way through the political process in Olympia. On February 9th, SB 5502 had a hearing in the Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture, Trade and Economic Development. Thanks to the more than 30 people that attended the hearing – with a special shout out to our Spokane area film professionals who braved a snow storm to participate remotely on the campus of WSU Spokane!
Shortly after the hearing, the bill was voted out of this policy committee and referred to Ways and Means (where we are waiting for a hearing date).
HB 1527 continues to be held in the House Finance Committee. If you live in the district of a Representative who sits on this committee, please write and call them to ask for their help in moving the bill. You can find a list of the committee members here.
Washington Arts and Heritage Day
Amy Lillard and Krys Karns from Washington Filmworks (above) attended Arts and Heritage Day in Olympia on February 8th. Organized by the Washington State Arts Alliance, the renewal of the MPCP was one of four legislative agenda items that the hundreds in creative professionals spoke to elected officials about throughout the day.
“We love the Northwest & we don’t want to leave:” actors, stuntmen, crew lobby #WAleg to help keep movie productions in #WA state. #KOMOnews pic.twitter.com/QZ2jR70bnn
— Lindsay Cohen (@lindsaycohen) January 27, 2017
#KeepFilmInWa in the News
As our campaign builds in energy, the press is taking note. In his interview for a KOMO news story, Washington stuntman Jeff McKracken (above) voiced a common sentiment among members of our state’s film community: We like it here and don’t want to leave. The Seattle Times recently featured Washington Filmworks in an excellent story on the very real potential for a local production of a The Boys in the Boat, which could be made possible by a State Legislature decision to renew the MPCP, KUOW also recently covered our mission, and The Stranger featured a guest editorial by local film hero Megan Griffiths on the importance of maintaining the film incentive. Oh! And we also had stories on KIRO and KOMO radio too.
Elected officials pay attention to the news. If you’re interested in writing a letter to the editor for your hometown paper, let us know! The clock is ticking so send us a note today—[email protected].
Ten to the Town Hall
On February 25th, ten Spokane film industry professionals attended a town hall event (donning some very attractive t-shirts) to thank Sen. Baumgartner (R, 6) and to ask his advice about how to move the bills through the political process.
If you have any tips about upcoming town hall forums in your legislative district, please let us know so we can help spread the word. Send all pertinent information (date, time, location, district, legislator) to [email protected].
The month kicked off with Washington State Labor Council Lobby Day on February 3rd, a day when organized labor from across the state convened on Olympia to advocate for working people, united by a common cause of keeping good paying jobs in Washington State. The MPCP is one of the only incentive programs in the state that the WSLC supports and a delegation of cast and crew representing SAG-AFTRA, IATSE 488 and Teamsters 174 were their to remind elected officials why the support the renewal of MPCP. Thanks LABOR!
On February 21, Amy Lillard met with leadership from SAG-AFTRA (above) to brief them on the bills and to work with them on recruiting members to attend Film Day. Hey, speaking of Film Day…
Film Day is LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AWAY!
Film Day 2017 is happening on March 13, and it has never been more important! If you only make one civics-oriented field trip to Olympia this year, Film Day 2017 has got to be it. This is the moment when a concerted, coordinated effort from film professionals and supporters has the best opportunity bring our campaign to the forefront of The Legislature’s attention, and a large turnout is critically important to that end. Let’s show lawmakers how many working people in this state depend on the MPCP. And as if all that weren’t enough, there will also be Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality demonstrations throughout the day. Oh, and zombies. There will be zombies too. Just come, okay?
We’re shooting for a goal of attracting 275 constituents from legislative districts across the state to The Capitol for this full day of lobbying. If you haven’t already, PLEASE RSVP NOW, and tell your friends to too! For a full schedule of the day’s events, click here. And don’t forget to order your t-shirt!