Dear Friends of TVW:
Well, 2020 is shaping up to be a very exciting year! The first of the year is always a busy time for the TVW team with the Legislative and Supreme Court Sessions occurring simultaneously. But this year we went straight from that busy time right into COVID-19 mode. We are proud to have partnered with Governor Inslee and his communications team to bring you the latest updates on bill signings, press conferences, and other activities related to the pandemic. Through these challenging times, we’ve also been focused on ensuring our team stays healthy and able to deliver this vital information to you. In this newsletter you’ll learn a little more about that, as well as TVW’s broad range of content delivery mechanisms to help you stay informed about the work of your state government during these unique times.
Every day, we are proud to be your lens on state government. But now, in a time of international crisis, more than ever our viewers are counting on us to deliver high-quality, informative content about next steps in navigating this pandemic. We will rise to that challenge — today, and every day. Thanks for tuning in.
2020 Legislative Session
The 2020 Legislature adjourned Thursday March 12, during the beginning stages of the coronavirus outbreak. From the opening gavel at noon on Monday January 13th , until the final gavel fell at around 8 pm on March 12th, the people of Washington were able to watch every committee hearing – over 500 of them! – every House and Senate floor debate, every Democratic and Republican leadership media availability, every media availability from Governor Jay Inslee, and more, unedited and unfiltered, on TVW and beta.tvw.org.
On one particularly contentious bill — SB5396 concerning comprehensive sexual health education — thousands of Washingtonians were glued to their TV or cell phone or Facebook pages until 2 am watching the debate. Watch the full debate online here. It’s one of those instances that reminded us, TVW is doing exactly what it was created to do in 1995: open the people’s government to the people of Washington, even when they can’t be physically present at the Capitol.
Besides our trademark unedited “gavel-to-gavel” coverage, TVW offered in-depth legislative interviews weekly on “The Impact” and “Inside Olympia.” Plus, the highlights of each day’s top legislative debates via “Legislative Review” – every day at 8pm and 11pm. And, at the end of the session, “Legislative Year in Review” recapped the headline-grabbing issues of the session.
Mark your calendars, we’ll do it all again next year! The legislative session will kick off Monday, January 11th, 2021.
TVW COVID-19 UPDATE
As TVW strives to maintain your connection to Governor Inslee and updates about COVID-19, we’re also focusing on keeping our employees healthy and productive. As a result, administrative staff are working remotely while our engineering, IT and production teams are busy covering press conferences, bill signings, and meetings that are occurring remotely — all, of course, while maintaining appropriate social distancing. While we always work to keep our shared workspace and equipment sanitized, we are taking extra care to maintain that commitment to cleanliness during this pandemic. Thanks to our friends at Sandstone Distillery, who provided us with lots of alcohol-based sanitizer, our equipment and work spaces are just about as clean as you can get!
TVW is proud to have served as your lens into Governor’s Inslee’s press conferences and other state activities around the pandemic. If you would like to catch up on all the Gubernatorial and Legislative action to date, along with a variety of useful state resources, check out our COVID-19 archive.
New: Teach With TVW Connects
Teach With TVW has begun broadcasting online video connections with state officials, discussing how they and their organizations are responding to the coronavirus crisis. These Teach With TVW Connects sessions include live participation and pre-recorded questions from Washington state students. The first connection features WA Secretary of State Kim Wyman, discussing how the crisis might impact Washington state elections:
Check the Teach With TVW’s main page soon for information about future Teach With TVW Connects sessions.
With students at home during the coronavirus outbreak, we are continually updating our Teach With TVW site with the latest news from Governor Inslee’s office regarding our state’s response to the crisis, and links to relevant resources. You can find Teach With TVW’s coronavirus update page here.
The Tenth Year of Teach With TVW’s Capitol Classroom Program
In early March, Teach With TVW concluded the tenth year of its hands-on civics education program Capitol Classroom. The program teaches students how to participate directly in the state legislative process by connecting them with professionals in Olympia, via Teach With TVW video conferences.
Hundreds of Washington state students participated in the 2020 program. They came from public middle and high schools, private schools, and two of our state’s juvenile justice facilities: Echo Glen Children’s Center and Green Hill Academic School.
Many of the bills that students advocated for in the program were signed into law, including:
If you would like to learn more about the program, and see it in action, please visit the main Capitol Classroom page. If you would like to participate in future Capitol Classroom programs, please contact us through Teach With TVW’s email address.
2020 Sunshine Week Recap
The week of March 15-21, was Sunshine Week, a national event to recognize the importance of access to public information. In Washington, we took the time to celebrate our Public Records Act, created by Citizen’s Initiative 278 in 1972, and designed to “shine a light” on state and local governments. Here at TVW, we have been your lens on state government for 25 years.
Find a great list of articles and op-eds written by our newspaper partners throughout the state that outlines the important work of TVW and helping us draw attention to Sunshine week online here. In addition you will find TVW testimonials and resources from the national event.
Mark your calendars, we will celebrate again next year, March 14-21, 2021.
I-1639: Gun Law Standoff is nominated for an Emmy award!
TVW has been nominated for an Emmy award for our documentary I-1639: Gun Law Standoff. The documentary explores the conflict over enforcement of sweeping gun restrictions approved by the November 2018 initiative.
In addition to numerous clips from state leaders and other key players in the debate, the documentary features interviews with the father of a victim who survived a mass shooting as well as one of a group of rural sheriffs who publicly announced they would not enforce the new law.
The documentary explores the urban/rural divide in Washington and how changing population dynamics are intensifying that split. It also includes clips from rallies held by gun rights supporters and marches held by gun control advocates as well as coverage of active shooter events in Washington state, one involving a 19 year old with an AR-15 and another involving a rampage stopped by an armed bystander.
Mike McClanahan – Writer/Producer/Narrator
David McGimpsey – Videographer/Editor
Michael Peters – Videographer/Graphics
Are You a TVW Geek?
Friends of TVW are active, enthusiastic supporters of the vital services that TVW provides to the people of Washington. This diverse community shares a commitment to promoting open government, through nonpartisan information and civics education.
Friends of TVW tune in during the legislative session, catch a committee hearing on the TVW app or browse the online archives for an episode of their favorite program. There’s a name for this kind of friend – TVW Geek!
As part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration we have a goal to welcome 25 new members by June 1.
Become a Friend of TVW, support this vital work and be a part of our engaged community today. #TVWGEEK