Society & Culture
Inside how the Washington state legislature works
In the final episode of the season, Communications Specialist April Dickinson talks to Denisse Guerrero, the membership and policy manager of Washington Community Alliance, a statewide coalition of organizations and tribes led by and working in communities of color.
She shares her experience of working with the legislature, some of the challenges with the current system, and she talks about some reforms that we all could support that will improve our democracy.
And April speaks with our executive director at the Budget and Policy Center, Misha Werschkul, about her reflections about her career so far advocating for state policies that support the well-being of people in our state.
But before those conversations, we share a little explainer from the Washington State Legislative Information Center about what legislative session in Olympia looks like.
Theme music by Revanth Akella
Logo by Eileen Jimenez
Introduction and closing by Development Manager Madeleine Krass
Denisse Guerrero manages policy and membership for Washington Community Alliance (WCA). She grew up in Central Washington, graduating from East Valley in Yakima. She started her organizing work during her time at Whitworth University where she would engage students in the legislature to fight for an increase and more secure funding for post-secondary education and expanding access to other post-secondary credentials. She has been organizing with WCA since 2019 and recently became a board member for the Washington Bus.
Misha Werschkul (she/her) is a leading voice shaping the debate in Washington state on budget priorities and economic policies. She's a policy wonk at heart and a relentless believer in the importance of people joining together to make change. She has more than two decades of policy and legislative experience and is eager to build on this experience with an openness to new ideas and approaches, especially about how to bring racial equity into policymaking and organizational processes.
You’re most likely to find Misha working with partners to craft policy proposals and build coalitions around statewide progressive revenue, economic, and racial justice issues. She also serves on the board of directors of Balance Our Tax Code and the SEIU Benefits Group.
In her spare time, Misha tries to be outside as much as possible. Some of her favorite activities are gardening in her taxpayer-supported neighborhood community garden, backpacking with friends in the publicly funded Olympic National Park, and paddleboarding in Lake Washington.
Washington State Legislature website: leg.wa.gov
Legislative Information Center explainer: Understanding the legislative process
*Our small but mighty team is working on editing the full transcript for accuracy, which takes time. It will be posted as soon as it is completed.
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