Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Occupy Boise Prepares for Legislative Session

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 9:35 AM

With the 2012 legislative session officially under way, members of Occupy Boise are preparing ways to engage with politicians and the political process.

An information booth has been set up on the Occupy encampment, near the northeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets, with staffers planning to field questions and address concerns from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

“The beginning of the legislative session has been on the agenda for the Occupy camp for a while, and we desired to have something out there and have it regularly staffed,” said Occupier Dean Gunderson. “We’re staffing it during the hours we know the legislators will have more time available to them.”

The booth is run on a completely volunteer basis, so it’s existence is contingent on Occupiers' willingness to give up their lunch breaks.

“We had to wait until after the holidays to get the booth started, but we’ll at least be here through the next few weeks depending on how many volunteers we get,” said booth volunteer Anne Hausrath.

Aside from maintaining a visitor’s booth, the Occupiers plan to get directly involved in the legislative process.

“We have a policy advocacy working group that is working on legislative actions or policy modifications that are consistent with the Occupy group,” said Gunderson.

When asked how Occupy Boise plans to engage the Legislature, Gunderson replied, “By being there and commenting during public commenting period, and by working with specific legislators that work on the committees to see if they support particular actions or legislation.”

Occupiers weren't exactly sure which bills they will be targeting but nonetheless intend to uphold what they called "the general Occupy ethic."

“I think it’s a little bit early to know exactly what all the bills are,” said Hausrath. “But we’ll promote ones that we think will bring us closer to economic justice and oppose ones that bring us further away.”

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