Solid Ground supports renewing the King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy at 12 cents per $1,000 assessed value. Sara Robbins, an attorney who works to get vulnerable people the state benefits they qualify for, recently testified before the County Council’s Regional Policy Committee in support of 12 cents. Here’s her testimony:
Good afternoon, my name is Sara Robbins and I am the Program Manager for Benefits Legal Assistance at Solid Ground. I chose to work in civil legal services because I believe that everyone should have access to legal help, not just those that can afford to hire an attorney.
My program provides representation to individuals that have had state public benefits denied or terminated. These benefits often mean the difference between housing and homelessness, maintaining employment with safe access to child care, access to health care, and food benefits.
Research shows that seven in 10 low-income people in Washington experience at least one civil legal problem per year, and currently only 24% of those are able to receive help. In the context of public benefits hearings, most individuals are not represented and go to hearings on their own.
King County has the opportunity to increase justice and representation for low-income veterans, seniors and vulnerable populations.
I ask you today to increase the levy amount to 12 cents. An increase to 12 cents will increase the amount of money to help low-income people access benefits, keep jobs, and stay in their homes by almost $3 million per year. This small increase will have a large impact to help those most vulnerable in our community.
Thank you for your time today.