I had not expected on a trip to the Capital Buildings in Olympia, to find them to be so beautiful, nor that I would tip- toe into a piece of history.
The pillared entrance easily let you know you were under dressed. I straightened upright, and immeidately whispered as we walked through the high-ceiling-ed corridors.
Gentlemen on tall leather stools pointed this way and that, obediently steering us closer to the senators’ offices.
I had shied away from posters nailed against trees demanding “Rent Control Now!”. Today, I considered the impact of gentrification through no commercial rent control, on local, small, well loved businesses through SB 5286.
Charming, character-filled, historic neighborhood icons, were being displaced by loud-signed, national chain retail stores without commercial rent control in place.
In the stately office of Senator Kuderer, I listened to how political forces control bills, such that some had no chance of being changed.
I found myself considering the alternatives, of either voting for, or against a bill to effect change.
California State’s Proposition 13 , impacted local commercial rent control inadvertently, as it controlled property tax hikes instead.
I remembered how influential leverage points within systems, can make critical changes, if acting at the right point.
I left the State Capital knowing that if I could understand all the pieces of how the legislative process works, I definitely could make a difference. I just had to try, as the system was set up so that I could raise my voice. I too could do something extraordinary, I just had to try.