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Report from UPASS/Parking rates public hearing

UPDATE 2/7/2002: Please review changes to UW Parking system. Page now live here:

Several PSO board members and constituents were present at the January 29th hearing on parking rate increase in the Husky Union Building.

the University Transportation Committee voted on Monday to recommend to the UW Regents a rate increase of 6% to parking and bicycling products . The UW regents have the ultimate say on what will happen here and will consider the proposal at their next meeting. The intent of the public hearing was to gather employee feedback and summarize it to the Regents so they may use it in their decision making process.

The hearing itself was lightly attended, with just a few dozen UW employees present. Almost everyone who took the time to testify mentioned appreciation of the lack of increase and support for a future fully subsidized U-PASS. This is a big win for our effort to raise awareness at the University about the topic, and it was evident in the hearing that other employee groups share PSO members’ passion for this proposal.

We were disappointed that there were not more PSO members present at this hearing. Please remember that you can’t have your voice heard unless you lend it to the conversation. We strongly encourage professional staff members to attend hearings on policy proposals that affect your important work here at the University of Washington. For those who are uncomfortable with public speaking, written comment can still be provided in regards to proposed parking rate increases by emailing .

PSO president Brett Bass has done this kind of public speaking for some time and has some tips for staff who are interested in providing testimony:

* If you’re particularly nervous, it’s perfectly acceptable to read a prepared statement.
* You can take notes and move through bullet points, but many prefer a more structured way of presenting their case.
* Always be respectful. Nobody is right all the time, most people are acting in good faith, and reasonable people can—and-do—differ in opinion.
* Remember to stay on-topic and be professional.
* Be concise. Having one or two points is more engaging than a whole list.
* If you want to expand on ideas, consider submitting written testimony as a supplement to your presentation.”