King 5 News in Seattle, Washington

Move to create ‘Commission on Boys and Men’ running out of time

Feb 16, 2023

As the deadline looms to give House-Bill 1270: Establishing a Washington State Commission on Boys and Men a hearing, news coverage has been gaining momentum. Coverage of the bill was recently featured on King 5 News (an NBC affiliate) in Seattle on the 4:00 P.M., 5:00 P.M., and 10:00 P.M. news.

Ann Silvers, a resident and counselor in Washington, has noticed that “men are in despair and we have those stats….Guys are opting out, they’re dropping out, and they’re killing themselves.” Silvers has been working with others to support this bill for nearly two years and has decades of experience counseling men and women. She sees the bill as an important step forward in our understanding of challenges facing boys and men without compromising the needs of girls and women.

Representative Mary Dye (the primary sponsor of the bill who has garnered bi-partisan support) is surprised at the pushback and says it’s not fair for boys and men, as the “facts on the ground” present a different reality and a deeply concerning one than those presented by Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, who sees males as a “segment of our society most advantaged.”

Representative Dye worries that well-intentioned people are missing the crucial information necessary when it comes to policy and the outcomes of Washington’s boys and men, as mentioned by King 5 news.

Preliminary data from the Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH) for 2022 shows 74% of overdose deaths are male. The data appears in a state report completed by the Global Initiative for Boys and Men after requesting the information from the WA DOH. GIBM’s state report has identified six key areas where boys and men are struggling in the Evergreen state. From education to physical and mental health, more needs to happen on behalf of boys and men.

GIBM shared its report with a number of lawmakers and reached out to Representative Fitzgibbon’s office earlier today and is awaiting a response.

To learn more and see the latest updates regarding House Bill 1270: Establishing a Washington State Commission on Boys and Men, go to the Equality for Boys and Men website.