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Morning Wire: Re-Wire is one week away, here’s what’s in store

In a little more than one week, we’ll host the 2021 Re-Wire Policy Conference on Dec. 15, at 9:00 a.m. sharp! If you haven’t yet, check out our Detailed Agenda where you’ll find a full list of speakers and panels. We hope you’ll register to join us. 

For this Morning Wire edition, we’re highlighting six breakout sessions featuring lawmakers and stakeholders alike. Our policy conference is the main way we pay our bills and keep the Wire online. If you value the work we do, please consider joining us. We look forward to seeing you next week. 

1. Continuing the conversation on police reform

One of the most widely discussed topics of the past year-and-a-half has been police reform. Lawmakers passed several police reform bills during the 2021 session, and reaction to them has been mixed. Both Democrats and Republicans say there are tweaks and updates that can be made, it’s just a matter of what those changes are and to what degree. 

In our panel entitled ‘Continuing the conversation on police reforms in the 2022 session,’ we will be joined by Rep. Jesse Johnson, Vice Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, Seattle City Council Member Lisa Herbold, and Steve Strachan, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. It’s sure to be an engaging conversation. 

2. Policy leadership: Democrats & Republicans

We’ve curated a lineup of some of the most well-connected and thoughtful Democratic and Republican lawmakers for two policy leadership panels. Even though the 2022 legislative session is a short one, expect to see a number of new bills introduced in the coming weeks. Join us as lawmakers talk through their priorities. 

On our Democrats panel, we have Rep. Roger Goodman, Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, Rep. Timm Ormsby, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Emily Randall, Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee joining us. On the Republican panel, we’ll hear from Rep. Chris Corry, Assistant Ranking Minority Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Greg Gilday, Assistant Ranking Minority Member of the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Ed Orcutt, Ranking Minority Member of the House Finance Committee. 

3. What tax policy will look like in 2022

From the unexpected boost to state coffers earlier this year, to restructuring Washington’s tax code, taxes remain one of the most discussed topics among policy makers. Join us for what is sure to be an enlightening conversation between some of the most insightful policy experts in Washington. 

For this panel, we’ll be talking with Rep. Noel Frame, Chair of the House Finance Committee, Dean Carlson, Senior Tax Policy Coordinator with the Washington State Department of Revenue, and Emily Makings, Senior Research Analyst with the Washington Research Council.

4. The details of redistricting Washington State

Redistricting has been one of the most-watched stories of 2021, and will impact the state for the next decade. We look forward to hearing more about this year’s process, what it means for Washingtonians, and where the process goes next. It’s a conversation you won’t hear anywhere else, and we look forward to seeing you. 

For this panel, we’ve assembled Redistricting Commissioners Paul Graves and April Sims, as well as George Cheung, Executive Director of More Equitable Democracy, and Andrew Hong, Statewide Director of Redistricting Justice for Washington.

5. An equitable approach to broadband for the digital age

Broadband inequities still exist in Washington, and both the public and private sectors are trying to figure out how to bridge the digital divide. Broadband internet is one of the most important tools for the 21st century, connecting communities and individuals with each other and the world. It impacts everything from education to the economy. 

In this panel entitled ‘An equitable approach to broadband for the digital age,’ we’ll be talking with George Caan, Executive Director of the Washington PUD Association, Rep. Drew Hansen, Chair of the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, David Keyes, Digital Equity Manager for the City of Seattle, and Vicky Yuki, Senior Programs Manager for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. 

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