(AP) — Making your voice heard in Olympia isn't as hard as you might think. Here's some practical advice for getting started:
GETTING THERE: From Interstate 5, take exit 105 (for southbound travelers, follow signs for exit 105A). Merge onto 14th street, which goes through a short tunnel and feeds directly onto the Capitol Campus. Take the first left and another immediate left into the visitors' center parking lot.
PARKING: At the vistors' center, limited parking is available for 50 cents an hour. More pay parking is located along North and South Diagonal streets on the Capitol Campus; in the General Administration garage (upper level) on the corner of 11th Avenue and Columbia street; in the Natural Resources parking lot off Washington Street; at the satellite visitor lot at Jefferson Street and 16th Avenue (served by a free shuttle on weekdays); and along Deschutes Parkway along Capitol Lake, served by Intercity Transit buses every half-hour. The fare is $.75 for a single ride and $1.50 for an all-day pass.
Free two-hour parking on the streets is possible but hard to find when the Legislature is in session, and the City of Olympia patrols aggressively.COMMITTEE HEARINGS: House hearings are held in the O'Brien Building and Senate hearings are in the Cherberg Building. Calendars are available online at www.leg.wa.gov.
For hot-button issues, arrive early because seating might be limited. When you sign in, indicate whether you want to testify. (Note that while it's called "testifying," speaking at a committee hearing is not the same as testifying in court — although truthfulness is certainly appreciated.)
Click on the link to get additional tips for attendees.