With headlights on, seatbelts fastened, and car games ready to go, last Thursday we drove off into the horizon at our annual fundraising event, Road Trip: Equity Ahead! A crowd of over 300 attended in support of the Economic Opportunity Institute’s work to build an economy that works for everyone Washington state.
With road maps and miniature cars topping each table, participants played road trip trivia games to learn about some of the best public policy happening across the U.S. around paid family and medical leave, equal pay, and paid sick days policies.
Keynote speaker Saru Jayaraman had the audience on their feet after a riveting speech laying the racist history of tipping in America and calling on everyone attending to continue organizing and pushing legislators for fair and equitable economic policies at the state level.
Other highlights include:
- An impromptu hall-wide “Happy Birthday” song for the youngest and oldest people attending.
- First-hand accounts of organizing successes in Washington state from Janet Chung of Legal Voice, Marco Rossi of Opportunity for Olympia, and EOI’s very own Gabriela Quintana. Gabriela shared her experience organizing for and achieving paid sick days in Seattle, all while welcoming a new member into her family!
- A moving account by Sarah Clifthorne of Washington Federation of State Employees, describing her experiences with and without paid family leave. Sarah was able to take 3 months away from work in California to care for her first two children, but had to return to work 5 days after giving birth in Washington. She urged us to keep moving and shared her encouragement around the hard work already done.
- Presentation of the Aubrey Davis Award for Progressive Leadership to Ariana Davis, for her outstanding work with Raise Up Washington advocating for paid sick days and raising the minimum wage.
Even if you were unable to hitch a ride on our Road Trip, you can still donate to support our cause here. You can also check out our Facebook page to see photos from the event!
We are so lucky to have such tireless supporters and for the amazing turnout! Special thanks to our lead sponsors: Washington Education Association (Champion Sponsor), Group Health (Visionary Sponsor), and International Association of Machinists Local 751 (Organizer Sponsor).
And from all of us at EOI to everyone who attended: thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We can’t build a better economy on our own: we need to ride together with you, and we’re proud (and humbled) to be able to buckle up – and buckle down for the challenges ahead.
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