Comments

1

Santos needs to go. So says Beacon Hill/Columbia City.

3

This is what happens when politicians - of either party - get too cozy in their positions of power, and don't even draw an opponent when they run for re-election: they get drunk with power and end up treating the committee they chair as their own personal fiefdom.

It's a disgrace that House Democrats - with a larger majority than they've had in years - even have to think twice about moving a bill like this.

4

So fucking disappointing. Thank you for bringing light to this bizarre roadblock!!

5

I'm just so disappointed that this legislation has stalled. Teaching kids about consent and healthy relationships seem like one of the most important things we could be doing right now.

6

Comprehensive, mandatory sex ed is so important! Thanks for making us aware of this! I’m telling everyone I know to call Rep Santos!

7

Wow this is absolutely absurd! As a mother of two I absolutely want these things to be taught as soon as possible. Of course I speak to my kids but I feel like it’s a public responsibility to shift our overall culture and the only way to do this is through EDUCATION!! Her justification that because she wasn’t notified she’s going to throw her hands up and help kill it is ridiculous! Seems like she’s the one overpoliticizing the issue here. Let it get a vote! Our kids and society deserve to be proactive in shifting the sexual culture to create a more inclusive and informed populace!

9

I'd just point out that when you have one party that utterly dominates politics in a region, the ideological coherence of that party will inevitably start to break down. Because ambitious people with all sorts of opinions are going to take the path of least resistance when they go into politics. And so people who would have been a Republican by disposition, in a context where both parties had a crack at office, will instead become nominal Democrats. I have no idea if this is the case with this particular Representative. But its real.

There's probably no remedy for it. Given the mechanics of elections in the USA (first past the post, winner take all and the rest of it) there's no room for functional new parties to form to resolve these contradictions.

10

You gotta be kidding me. "I agree with the policy but I'm grumpy about how it came to me"?!

This is so disappointing and why we need new leadership in the House. Why have Democratic majorities if we can't count on them to be bold and stand up for their constiuents?

11

Because as every 3 year old knows, females have penises too.

12

@8:

I don't know about the "regressive left" - whatever that nonsensical term is supposed to mean - but as for us in the regular, run-of-the-mill left, my guess would be: "we won't do a thing to stop them, because that's their right under the law." Besides, I would also venture to guess there would be far more Cathoics and fundamentalist Protestants withdrawing their kids because they don't want them learning about the dirty, dirty "Things Down There" - but, hey, you just keep on setting up the strawmen for someone else to knock down, m'kay?

13

This is outrageous. Who wouldn't want young people to have the info they need to make healthy choices for themselves? This is such a no-brainer, it's hurting my head trying to understand why Rep Santos thinks it's a good idea to kill this bill.

14

Elect More Women of Color...

..wait. I guess they can be pieces of shit too?

16

Put the screws on, Chopp.

19

The Muslims in Birmingham UK protested because the state curriculum required teaching of accepting homosexuality to students. The Muslim parents were successful in having those parts of the curriculum removed and i believe an opening gay teacher was also removed.

The point that David in Shoreline is trying to make is that intersectionality (aka cultural Marxism) doesn't work when you have one party in the Oppression Olympics who is disgusted by another party in the Oppression Olympics. But what that has to do with this thread escapes me

20

And to the point: I'm fine with teaching high school students basic sex education (and safe sex) but beyond that it needs to stop.

21

Don't worry, Dave. Any parents can choose to have their kids opt out and go to another class during sex ed instruction. This is what currently happens anyway. My kids just went through it. The school sends you a detailed later outlining what will be discussed, and you sign it giving permission or requesting your kid be excused. No problems.

24

This is so extremely disappointing, from a legislator who claims to be a leader. She could not be more out of touch with her constituents on sex ed. If she goes through with this, I look forward to seeing a vigorous primary challenge next year.

25

This isn't about you, Sharon. As a mom and an advocate for sex ed, this is about all the young people across Washington state who need and want access to comprehensive and inclusive information. The bill being brought to you in one way or another is beside the point. What you are doing is unacceptable.

26

I'm a constituent of the 37th, so I know Rep. Santos well. I called up and talked to her assistant and then also called up Speaker Chopp's office. Here's what I learned:

Santos' assistant told me that she wouldn't allow a vote on this bill because Speaker Chopp said he would not bring it to the floor (she said that same thing at her town hall last weekend).
I called up Speaker Chopp's office and asked them if this was true. They said it wasn't. They said that Santos is protecting some of the members in her committee from swing districts (read: conservative districts).

So take that for what it's worth. I don't believe Santos is telling people the truth. She may or may not support this bill (I think she probably does) but is not telling the truth about Speaker Chopp not being willing to bring this to the floor.

27

@15:

Or maybe it's because: A. Catholics and Fundies have ALREADY moved their kids to private/homeschools where they don't have to learn about the dirty, dirty things, or B. They know that's a ready-option regardless.

28

Here's a generous take on Santos' position:

As a committee head, she is (probably) getting pushback from members in swing districts who fear political blowback from having to vote on this bill. So she is blaming this on Speaker Chopp as political cover for these members of her committee.

29

@26 & @28

Given that virtually every Dem on the committee co-sponsored the House version of the sex-ed bill (which Santos also refused to move), my money is on Santo being a damned liar rather then her (or anyone else) looking out for vulnerable, swing-district Democrats

30

"several students" testified in support of it?
Holy Shit, what are we waiting for?!?

31

Rich's point Number Three is brilliant and insightful.
And totally applicable to the Senate vote on the Green New Deal....

32

@29 Hmmm...that's interesting. The only other possibility is that she's against this bill on its merits.

33

I agree with the commenters who say that Santos is protecting committee members & using Chopp as an excuse. I'm not sure whether or not she personally supports it--because it's almost impossible to tell what Sharon Tomiko Santos actually believes.

What's really discouraging is that I don't believe that there's any way to influence her behavior. She has a week to formally bring this bill to vote. Even if every single voter in her district contacted her in support of the bill, I think Sharon will do what Sharon's already decided to do. We need to advocate for this bill with other members of her committee and (in a perfect world) get Frank Chopp to publicly agree to bring the bill to the full House if it gets out of committee.

Silver lining: this is the ONLY time her office has ever returned a message regarding any issue--on the same day, no less.

34

@33 Very true. I call her office nearly every day and this is the only time her office has ever personally returned my call.

35

@32 - if Santos were against the bill on its merits, she shouldn't have signed on as a co-sponsor of the identical House version of the bill

36

Santos was a co-sponsor on the House version of the original bill. She isn’t covering for anyone because all D’s on the House Ed committee cosponsored the same original bill besides Rep. Paul. She’s salty about something and coming up with every excuse in the book to not pass good policy. I’m baffled. Who’s paying her off?

37

Santos' office didn't pick up. I called Chopp's. Apparently Santos' office is getting "inundated with an unreasonable number of calls". Not sure why it's unreasonable for concerned constituents to reach out on this...
Anyway, Chopp's aide says that it's her impression that the committee will vote on it. ¯(ツ)/¯

39

Since America is enormous in both population and area, it can accept fairly large populations of immigrants that do not wish to assimilate without much change of its core culture, or threats to its very liberal (relatively speaking) culture.

Small European countries are different, and the masses of people immigrating there who do not wish to assimilate are quite capable of changing long standing cultural attitudes, as we see with the Birmingham protests.

It is just a couple of schools now, but these societies are going to have to start dealing with the fact that for the most part, these immigrants are adult males who have lived their whole lives in societies that taught them that women are less than them, that gays are not even people, and anyone who disagrees can be prosecuted/killed. These attitudes do not magically change into secular liberal ones once someone crosses a border. Europe does not have magical dirt.

What to do about these incompatible values is a question that has to be answered, and the populations are not going to allow stalling much longer.

40

Heard last night from a source that she's getting a lot of pressure from charter schools who don't like this bill.

41

Citing "the politics and process" is rich considering she voted for SB 6617, the "hide legislators' records from the public" bill that was crammed through the Legislature in less than 72 hours.

42

"the school districts that would be required to implement this bill were not included in the process of developing the bill"

Honestly that does seem like a good reason not to vote for something.

I support much of what is in the bill but I don't support abandoning a process whereby people have a chance to look at, and improve, legislation before it goes to a vote.

I am no longer surprised at the binary way people are looking at this, but I'm still disappointed. How we get there matters. You can be a liberal and not fall in line with a flawed process even if you theoretically agree on the desired outcome.

43

@nospin

The first paragraph of the article states that she opposed the bill on the grounds of failure to consult stakeholders (e.g. school districts) in the formulation.

The mandate will almost exclusively affect backwards, rural schools--do you guys think we don't have sex ed in Renton, in Northshore, in Columbia City? No, this is for Ridgefield and Okanogan. It will not impact Seattle schools because we already have sex ed.

The consultative process can actually strongly influence swing districts. If the local school supports the measure and has a say in it, the teachers will be much more likely to endorse the results. And it will help in the election to keep the state house blue.

Feel free to beat on her but to me this just looks like good long-term strategic planning.

Yes, I'm sad that kids in Coleville and Goldendale will have to wait one more year to get proper sex ed. That is not good.

But I'd much rather Democrats have the power to pass, for example, universal health care in Washington State thanks to an overwhelming majority, than see this one bill go through right now.

And don't worry, Columbia City. You already have sex ed.

44

Just because Santos SAID there wasn't a collaborative process doesn't mean there wasn't one.

It's hard to imagne that virtually every Democrat on the committee - along with an overall majority of the entire House Democratic Caucus - decided to co-sponsor the bill without someone reaching out to them ahead of time.

OSPI said they engaged with stakeholders, and school districts asked for and got an amendment in the Senate to delay implimentation for grades K-5, and agreed with Republicans to strenghten the parental opt-out provisions... all while Santos sat on an identiacl bill in the House and did nothing.

To me, that's better proof of collaboration then Santos' saying otherwise.

45

"no brainer of a bill" doesn't mean what you'd think, it's a brainer of a phrase. the intellect is santosian. what we need is an education about phrases that mean their opposite, not sex exucation. maybe teachers can teach what existance is before jamming some nonsense about how whomevers exist.


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