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Those who grew up in the Pacific Northwest know how beloved and significant J.P. Patches and Gertrude were to our culture. Played by Chris Wedes and Bob Newman, they created one of the longest running children’s television shows in American history (1958 – 1981) and were an important part of the fabric of our community for decades after. In order to commemorate and pay tribute to their legacy, we’re working to galvanize the community to support the creation of a Patches Pals Washington State special license plate.
We have met our goal of 3,500 signatures from Washington state residents in order to be considered by the Department of Licensing.
Proceeds from the plates will benefit Seattle Children’s cancer immunotherapy research with worldwide implications for potentially curing childhood cancers using a patient’s own immune system.
Seattle Children’s and J.P. Patches have a long history together going back to the early 1960’s. J.P. & Gertrude often visited the hospital, entertaining patients, families, and staff. During the 1970’s, J.P. and friends made a significant donation to the hospital, funding the J.P. Patches Playroom. The J.P. and Gertrude statue, located in Fremont, also generated a significant gift for Seattle Children’s at the behest of Chris Wedes and his wife, Joanie.
Over time, it is expected that the special J.P. Patches license plate could raise as much as $250,000 or more for cancer immunotherapy research at Seattle Children’s. Immunotherapy is a groundbreaking new treatment that harnesses the power of a patient’s immune system in order to seek and destroy cancer cells, limiting the need for toxic treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
The license plate billed won’t pass this year, but we still need your help.
As we posted on March 4th, it’s very unlikely that the JP Patches license plate bill (House Bill 1374) will be considered for passage by the legislature this year, and we’re assuming that it’s stalled for this session. The session calendar indicates that the bill would have to move out of the House Transportation Committee in the next 2 days, and the Democratic Leadership has been clear that they won’t be passing any license plate bills this year, due to more pressing issues (including the pandemic).
We greatly appreciate Rep. Jim Walsh for his willingness to sponsor the bill – please take a moment to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and thank him for his support.
We may attempt to pass the bill again next session (2022), but our efforts need to begin much earlier. We need vocal, public support from the House and Senate Democratic Leadership, possibly also from Governor Inslee, before we would consider resubmitting it. Our efforts will begin immediately after the current session ends on April 25th and you can help: if you have a personal relationship with senior members of the House and Senate Democratic Leadership including Rep. Jinkins, Rep. Sullivan, Lt. Gov. Heck, Sen. Keiser, or Sen. Billig, or with the Governor, please contact Chris Rimple. We plan to reach out to all of them directly in the coming months to secure their support.
Thanks to all the Patches Pals, Gertrude’s Gang, and Boris Buddies that have supported the license plate effort since it began in 2015. It’s taken far longer than we expected, but we haven’t given up yet.
Patches Pals, Gertrude’s Gang, and Boris Buddies: Immediate action is needed!
It’s unfortunately looking like the JP Patches license plate bill (House Bill 1374) will not be considered for passage by the legislature this year. We understand the reasoning – they have more important issues to address (like the pandemic) and have decided not to consider any license plate bills this session. We’re very disappointed, and see only one means by which the bill might still be passed this year: if Governor Inslee tells the Democratic Leadership that he wants it done.
Please contact Governor Inslee and ask him to encourage the House and Senate Democratic Leadership to advance House Bill 1374. Remind him that the bill has strong bipartisan support and raises money for children’s cancer research, a very worthy cause. We only have a few days left in the legislative schedule before it will be too late, so it’s critical that he act on this immediately.
Local historian and KIRO Radio personality Feliks Banel has published a great article and radio spot on our efforts to pass the JP Patches license plate bill. In preparing the story, he spoke with Representative Jake Fey and Governor Inslee’s representative, learning that the Governor supports the bill. This news provides additional incentive and pressure on the legislature to pass the bill, and we need your help to keep their attention on it.
Please contact House Transportation Committee Chair Jake Fey (206-653-9974 / Jake.email@example.com) and Senate Transportation Committee Chair Steve Hobbs (360-786-7686 / Steve.Hobbs@leg.wa.gov) to ask that House Bill 1374 receives a hearing as soon as possible and to voice your support for it. Remind them that the bill has strong bipartisan support and that the Governor is looking forward to having it reach his desk for signature.
Thanks to all Patches Pals, members of Gertrude’s Gang, and Boris Buddies for your support, and for helping to keep the pressure on.
HB 1374 sits in the House Transportation Committee waiting for a hearing. We are way behind in this process this year compared to last year. Since this is a 6 phase process, we need to see it move soon or the whole bill essentially becomes DOA.
Please reach out to Committee Speaker Jake Fey (206-653-9974 / Jake.firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask that this gets a hearing.
Remind them that this doesn't need any debate, it has bi-partisan support, and that it simply needs to be put to a vote and moved forward.
If you have any contacts in the media, please reach out and contact them.
Thanks to everyone for their support thus far, but if you want to see the Patches Pal Plate become a reality this year, we need to keep the heat on, and fast.
Please give a huge thanks to Rep. Jim Walsh who has sponsored the J.P. Patches Special Plate for 2021-2022 with HB 1374.
While we have the bill introduced, there is “skepticism” whether or not we may actually get a hearing this year for the bill.
Its up to YOU to shift the tide!!!
We now need EVERYONE to lobby VERY HARD for this bill if you want to see this plate become a reality.
Can we get even 10% of Patches Pals to participate? Spread the word. It would be amazing to see over 1,000 calls and emails get through THIS COMING WEEK.
If you have friends, family or colleagues in the media - PRINT, RADIO and TELEVISION please contact them. Spread the word to your email groups, to your social media networks, tell everyone. Ask them to get the word out. Show the WA State Legislature that you support this initiative!!
Please CALL and EMAIL the House Transportation committee - and PARTICULARLY Speaker Jake Fey who will make the decision on whether or not we get a hearing.
A list of all emails and phone numbers are here:
Prewritten email templates are available below.
All proceeds of the J.P. Patches Special Plates will benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital and their work with cancer immunotherapy (one of Joanie Wede’s final wishes for the plate proceeds).
For more information on Seattle Children’s immunotherapy cancer research, please see the attached links:
Assuming we are able to get a hearing - this is the FIRST of SIX phases of which we’ll need your support - so lets buckle down and get busy!!!
Please help further the legacy of Chris Wedes (J.P. Patches) and Bob Newman (Gertrude)!
Your Pals at the J.P. Patches License Plate Committee
The legislative session begins on January 11, 2021. You should communicate with members of the House Transportation Committee immediately to voice your support for the JP Patches license plate bill.
What is the process for license plate approval?
Like any state bill, the JP Patches license plate bill must:
At each phase, fans of the license plate will need to express their support to the appropriate legislators.
How can I stay informed about bill progress?
Updates are posted weekly here on this page and the JP Patches Pals Facebook group.
How can I help?
We need you to raise your voice in support of the license plate bill, by communicating with the legislature.
Share this information via social media using this link.
Use your contacts, particularly if they’re in local media, and encourage them to post, share, and report about the bill.
How can I communicate with legislators?
Telephone calls and emails are the most effective way to voice your support for the license plate bill, particularly if you’re a constituent.
Phone numbers can be found by clicking these links:
Pre-written emails can be sent by clicking the links below. All you have to do is add your name, address, phone number and email.
IMPORTANT! PLEASE ADD THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO THE BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL:
It's a shame to cover up your smile, but now you can wear the famous smile of J.P. or Gertrude! Sure to bring a spark of joy and nostalgia to all who recognize it! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Seattle Children's.
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