LETTER: Local Mother Shares Concerns If Initiatives 1107 Or 1053 Passes
You’ve probably already received your absentee ballots in the mail. When you fill it out, please consider the impact some of the measures like initiatives 1107 and 1053 are going to have on people here in Burien.
I run a small daycare out of my basement in Burien, and I’m a member of a group called Washington Community Action Network that’s involved in social justice issues in our state. I and a lot of other people are concerned about what’s going to happen if I-1107 or I-1053 passes.
I-1107 is the one that would get rid of the few extra pennies we’re paying for candy, soda and bottled water so that we don’t have to make even bigger cuts than we already have in the things we care about, like educating our kids or helping people have access to health care.
We’ve cut so much already — $4.3 billion in the last two sessions. And that was before the Governor announced another 6 percent in across the board cuts.
And, if that isn’t bad enough the state is going to have to find another way to make up another $4.5 billion gap in the next two years.
Voting for Initiative 1107 would cost the state another $272 million over the next few years. As even The Seattle Times says, it would make a bad situation even worse by forcing even deeper cuts that will hurt our communities.
I know firsthand what the health care cuts have already meant. I’ve tried to apply for the state’s Basic Health plan, but the number of people waiting to get coverage is actually greater than those who actually getting coverage. A few years ago I got a bad mosquito bite overseas. Because I couldn’t afford to see a doctor, it became infected and I had to go to the emergency room to save my leg. None of us should have to face serious medical problems just because we can’t afford to see a doctor. But we know more and more people here in Burien are losing health coverage every day, and facing that prospect every day.
The ironic thing is that the economy means more people need help these days. But at the same time, the state is having to cut the programs that growing numbers of people need to get by.
As a mother, I know that young women have a lot of decisions to make and there should be services to help them decide when they feel they’re ready to have a baby, that have access to health care, and an opportunity to know all their options. It’s not just younger women who benefit from these programs. I am over 40 years, and right now I can have a free annual check-up, including mammogram and physical. But those programs might be cut, especially if the initiatives pass.
I know many citizens who need interpretation services, my own daughter-in-law included. They’re not just Spanish-speakers, but Russian and Indian members of our community in Burien.
Programs that the disabled and seniors rely on are facing cuts too. I-1107 might mean saving a few pennies for a candy bar, but at what cost to our community?
When you’re thinking about I-1053, it’s important to remember it’s being pushed by oil companies like BP and the banks. These out-of-state companies are pouring money into the election to make it harder for the state to close their loopholes – letting them continue to rake in millions of dollars that could be going to our communities and our kids.
– Gemma Salinas de Bautista
Gemma Salinas de Bautista is a member of the Washington Community Action Network and operates a day care in Burien.