Legislative Advocacy

Bellingham Technical College’s office of the president is responsible for bringing together campus members including, the BTC Board of Trustees, Associated Student Body, Administrators, Deans, and other constituents to advocate and influence public policy and opinions about BTC and the CTC system priorities and challenges. These participants uphold BTC’s vision and mission by sharing the college's accomplishments and highlighting BTC's long-standing dedication to the community through education, which strengthens the college's connectivity, reputation, and perception within the community and beyond.

Our dedicated legislative advocacy members work to build and maintain relationships and raise awareness of emerging issues and opportunities by:

Advocating for BTC and the community and technical college system by maintaining and building relationships with the Governor’s office, legislators, elected officials from BTC’s service district, and partner agencies and organizations.

Supporting the legislative agenda for the community and technical college system.

Engaging in legislative outreach and engagement by connecting with and hosting elected officials, staff and other key business and civic stakeholders virtually or on campus.

Our area's legislative districts are 40, and 42 -- two of forty-nine districts in Washington state for representation in the state legislature.

The 40th district's legislators are state representatives Debra Lekanoff and Alex Ramel. The state senator is Liz Lovelett.

The 42nd Legislative District's current legislators are State Senator Sharon Shewmake, and State Representatives Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons.

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Latest News

Facts about Bellingham Technical College can be viewed in the BTC 2023 Field Guide

Our Students
  • Total headcount: 3,784
  • Total full-time equivalent (FTE): 1,753
  • Full-time:46%
  • Part-time: 54%
  • Students of color: 33%
  • Workforce Education: 61%
The first week of February was CTC Advocacy Week!

BTC’s ASBTC Executives met with our local legislators and advocated for: increasing resources for mental health; food insecurity; and open educational resources (OERs). We met with Representative Sharon Shewmake’s staff; Representative Alex Ramel, and Representative Alicia Rule. It was a whole new world to participate in Advocacy work remotely, but we still made connections, supported our students, and strengthened our relationships with our local legislators. BTC Interim President Walter Hudsick also attended our meetings

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BTC Priorities

2021-23 Operating and Capital Budget Requests

Legislative Districts: 40, 42


Bellingham Technical College (BTC) has trained students for in-demand, high-paying careers for more than 60 years. We provide hands-on, industry-led instruction in programs such as advanced manufacturing, engineering, nursing, and accounting.

BTC is primed to help people of every age and background survive this economic crisis and thrive on the other side, with better jobs than they had before. New high school graduates, laid-off workers, seasoned employees, future university students — all types of students count on BTC to reinvent themselves. And as a technical college that serves Washingtonians hardest hit by this crisis, we are key to creating a stronger and more inclusive economy.



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ASB Priorities

The following issues were developed by community and technical college students over the
course of several months through a collaborative process. This agenda represents the issues that
students have identified as their highest priorities for advocacy during the upcoming legislative

Washington State Community & Technical College Student Association
2022 Legislative Session Agenda:


Legislative Issues

Expanded Mental Health Resources
The state legislature and the CTC system should provide the following to address the
insufficiency of mental health resources on campuses statewide:

1. Increase the availability of mental health counseling sessions provided on campus to
address the amount of stress and anxiety/depression that the students are facing in
returning to the classroom.

2. Allocate resources and funding to provide a safe, consistent, equitable response to
the mental health crisis. Providing mental health resources/support that are culturally
diverse, trauma-informed and accessible.

3. Provide resources and funding to provide mental health & crisis training to college
faculty/staff. Getting teachers and paraeducators involved “reduces the time for us to
wait for a mental health professional to go in,” said Jill Locke, co-director of UW’s
SMART Center.

Campus Food Insecurity
Approximately 41% of Community & Technical College students struggle with food insecurity
and would greatly benefit from access to resources like food pantries and affordable, healthy
meal options.

We support incentives for colleges to adopt food pantries and guidelines or
standards for their operation. We also need further support of ongoing successful initiatives of
existing food pantries and initiatives to expand these resources to all campuses. Finally, we
request EBT card use on campus.

Textbook Affordability and Open Education Resource (OER) Accessibility
The high price of textbooks and course materials places an inordinate strain on students’ ability
to afford school and is an obstacle to student success. The legislature should establish greater
incentives and funding for educators and professors to facilitate OER development; an effective
and proven process. CTC students are continually concerned about prohibitive costs of
educational resources for most courses offered in the CTC system. CTC students want equitable
access to affordable content to support their education; when not available, students seek other
alternatives or do not purchase books. We appreciate former legislative action to support the
development of OERs but more is needed.


  1. What We Know About Student Mental Health and the Pandemic, Edweek
  2. Washington students are facing a mental health crisis, The Seattle Times
  3. Washington State Community and Technical Colleges #RealCollege Survey, The Hope Center, 2020



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