Firmly Planted Action will focus on explaining proposed legislation, initiatives, and referendums, as well as examining political candidates
For Clark County Today
Earlier in September, author, speaker, and founder of the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center (FPHRC), Heidi St. John, announced the start of the 501(c)(4) Firmly Planted Action organization.
“We are launching this 501(c)(4) with the goal of bringing integrity back to civic engagement,” St. John said during the announcement, “and to encourage people to get involved, use their voices, and begin again to show our children what Thomas Jefferson implored us to do, and that is to train up the rising generation so that we don’t let freedom slip away.”
This Monday marked the kickoff for the organization. held at the newly opened FPHRC building in east Vancouver. In attendance were Representative and Chair of the Washington State Republican Party Jim Walsh, State Senator John Braun, Glen Morgan from We the Governed, and many others. Third Congressional District candidate Leslie Lewallen was also present, along with former Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.
“The point is,” St. John told Clark County Today prior to the event, “we don’t need to agree on everything. We need to focus on the things we have in common. That doesn’t mean we compromise. That means we work together to fight for the fundamentals of the values we share.”
Firmly Planted Action – with the slogan of Action with Integrity – will focus on explaining proposed legislation, initiatives, and referendums, as well as examining political candidates.
“We want the public to be able to make a truly informed choice on election day,” a flyer for the organization reads. On its website, it states, “Firmly Planted Action’s mission is to educate citizens on our nation’s founding principles, inform them about current issues impacting our rights, and inspire them to get involved in civics with the goal of restoring an active and informed citizenry.”
St. John said that Firmly Planted Action will put proposed legislation into simple, plain language so people can make informed decisions and understand what it is that they’re voting on.
One of the main issues we’re seeing in Clark County politics, according to St. John, is that some people are expecting every single person from the same party to agree on every single thing, which, she said, is not likely. Then, when there is something with which people disagree, they get “canceled,” or ostracized from the mainstream political group.
“No more Canceling!” St. John said. “We have got to stop doing that, that’s not how we work together to further our values. We can ask questions in a civil manner, and we can disagree without completely turning against someone.”
Although Herrera Beutler had to leave early, St. John said that she was happy to see the former congresswoman there. “I’m so glad that Jaime was here tonight. I want to stand side by side with her and show everyone that there’s no reason that two people who disagreed on maybe one thing can’t stand together and work towards their common values. Obviously, I disagreed with some things she did; I ran against her! But I honor her service to Washington state.”
The intent of the 501(c)(4), St. John said, is to “provide a platform for people who want to run for political office so they can be heard. We don’t want to silence these people; we want to hear what they have to say. That means all sides- Democrats, Republicans, everything in between. We will have forums here at Firmly Planted hosted by Firmly Planted Action. We want to have debates and discussions.”
State Sen. John Braun addressed the gathering, saying the community is blessed to have something like Firmly Planted Action in its midst. Braun said, “We have some challenges in our state right now, and to fight those, you have to win elections. You win elections by addition, not subtraction. You have to bring more people to your team if you’re going to be successful. ‘We the people’ doesn’t mean just the people you agree with. We can be very effective with different opinions, but we need to focus on what brings us together. The rest will work itself out. But we pick priorities that bring people together, like public safety, affordability of housing, gas, food, etc. It doesn’t mean you’ll agree on everything, but it gets you headed in the right direction.”
Rep. Jim Walsh spoke next and spoke about the need for the government to assure residents “high quality, uniform basic education to every child resident in the state,” according to the Washington State Constitution. “We have failed in delivering a high quality, uniform basic education to every child resident in (the) state for numerous reasons,” he said, adding that things like comprehensive sexual education and social engineering are not conducive to a successful education. “Those are distractions. The problem is reading and writing and math and basic science- real sciences. Physics, chemistry, biology. We have been blessed in the past in this state with innovative industries- timber, aeronautics, computer tech, consumer goods. We have had those here in abundance historically but that may not happen anymore because of bad policies out of Olympia. Our kids need to learn those industries and how to succeed in them and bring new ideas and methods to the state.”
Walsh continued, “I don’t like the term ‘leader’ in regard to politicians. Elected officials are servants. Servants of every child in this state who seeks that high quality, uniform basic education that they deserve. You are the board, the bosses, the directors of our enterprises. If it works, take credit for that. If it doesn’t work, take charge and change the direction of the state.”
Lastly, Glen Morgan spoke to the crowd, first about six initiatives that are in the process of signature gathering. He said he’s optimistic that they’ll make it across the finish line, with four being tax cuts, one allowing the police to once again chase criminals, and one restoring the parent’s rights to know what’s going on with their kids. Morgan explained the initiative process, saying that after enough signatures are collected, they go to the legislature at the beginning of the next session. From there, the legislature can vote to pass it, or, if they don’t, then it will go on the November ballot for voters to make the final decision.
Many activists who currently work with Morgan, he said, used to be completely opposed to him about two to four years ago. “Then, something happened, whatever that was. They heard the ‘other side,’ and now we’re working together. Morgan said that a lot of times when people disagree with each other, they simply have never heard the other side of an argument or issue. We need to find a way to reach those people. You’re probably not going to be able to do that on social media. They need to be heard, and they need to hear an opposing view.
“We need to find ways to be more civically involved. You won’t always be successful in what you’re working on, but you’ll start to make a difference. It takes a small percentage of people to make that difference. The future belongs to those who show up. For too long, too many people haven’t showed up at all.”
“This county is languishing under poor leadership, and people are tired of it,” St. John said. “People don’t want to engage politically anymore because it’s gotten too nasty. But our system of government was created for ordinary people who could come together and solve the problems that concern us all.”
The six initiatives mentioned by Morgan are:
• I-2113 – Reasonable Police Pursuit
• I-2117 – Stop the Hidden Gas Tax
• I-2124 – Opt Out of State-Run Long Term Care Coverage Act
• I-2109 – Repeal the Capital Gains Tax
• I-2111 – No State Income Tax
• I-2081 – Parental Notification.
For more information on those, visit https://letsgowashington.com/.
To be a part of Firmly Planted Action, view the different levels of membership here: https://www.firmlyplantedaction.com/membership
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