By Sal Mungia.
Whenever I hear the phrase “give me _____” (insert the number of your choice in the blank) my blood pressure still notches up a good 20 points with the number of heartbeats doing the same. To those of us growing up at a certain time that phrase was usually associated with having to grunt out a number of pushup inflicted by 1) our PE teacher, 2) a coach, or, at least in my case, 3) my mom – still going to counseling about that third one. So I’m making this “ask” cautiously.
WE want everyone to Give 20 in 20. (The “WE” are Ken Blandford, André Peñalver, Tom Vertetis, and me – and hopefully others will want to join us in this endeavor.)
Not pushups – so you can relax. This is easier.
We want those of you who haven’t donated to the Campaign for Equal Justice before to give at least $20 in 2020. And we want those of you who gave last year to give what you gave last year plus an extra $20. Here are all the reasons you should.
- Each year the Legal Foundation of Washington awards the Rainier Cup to the lawyers in the county that has the highest percentage of lawyers donating to the Campaign for Equal Justice. It doesn’t matter the amount of the donations; instead, the award goes to the percentage of lawyers donating in any given county. Last year Skagit County lawyers won the honors with 31% of its lawyers donating to the Campaign. We can beat this number – in fact, we can blow the doors off that number. Last year we had 19% of our lawyers donating – we should be able to double that amount with just a little bit of work and break the 50% level – which no county has done before. We have 2,147 lawyers in Pierce County. Last year we had 402 donate to the Campaign. I say we can do 800 lawyers donating in 2020, easily that would get us to the 32% mark. We just need 400 more donors and, at $20 a donation, can you really say “no.” No, in fact, hell no you can’t say “no.”
- The Campaign raises money that is distributed to the civil legal aid programs throughout the state including Tacoma Pro Bono. (I know it is Tacomaprobono but I just can’t get past that all being one word.) Part of being a member of our profession, and I want to stress the word “profession” and not a trade, is that we have certain values as a profession and part of being a lawyer is doing our part, both collectively and individually, in expanding access to the legal system for those who otherwise will not be able to retain a lawyer. Donating $20 for this cause is something everyone can do.
I want to keep this short. WE CAN DO THIS.
You can make our lives, and your life, a little easier by going online and donating $20 (or more). You make all of our lives easier because we won’t need to email you, call you, or stop you when we see you to ask for a donation. Just go to www.legalfoundation.org/givenow/ It will only take literally two minutes and you’ll be so happy after you donate – we guarantee it.
From here on out each issue of the Pierce County Lawyer will have a short update on how we are doing as far as number of donors. If you’d like to join in this effort just email me and we’ll be happy to put you on the team.
This is the type of goal that we, as Pierce County lawyers, can do together. If we all pull together, we can show we are committed to expanding access to justice, prove that we are the best county in the state, and have a heck of a lot of fun doing it.
Salvador A. Mungia is a past-president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, is current Chair of the Access to Justice Board, and is a longtime supporter of the Campaign for Equal Justice. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org