February 20, 2006
Walla Walla Sweet Onion - the official Washington state vegetable ...to be or not to be?

House Bill 1964 is a concept brought forth by Kirkland Washington Junior High School students. The measure would designate the Walla Walla Sweet Onion as the official Washington state vegetable.

This is the third year of the students' campaign to push the bill through the Legislature. Over 160 students have participated in the effort, with five students testifying before a House committee in March 2005.

"When the students brought this idea to my attention I was so impressed with their knowledge of the issue, and I learned a lot from them about the history of the Walla Walla Sweet Onion. They really did their homework and the extent of their research was apparent in their testimony before the House State Government Committee. They have truly put their hearts into this endeavor and are determined to see it through the entire process," said Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, the bill's sponsor.

"It has been a great lesson in civics for these students and their teacher, Ms. Miller, deserves a lot of credit. She and her ninth-grade students are a shining example that anyone can influence the legislative process."

But now in the final days of the bill, it's in danger of being mashed by the potato people! The vegetable showdown has now moved into the state Senate since it passed the House last week 94-1.

Kelly, Toni Miller and her students were in Olympia on February 13, 2006 when the bill was voted on in the house.

We will see how it turns out, but to us the Walla Walla Sweet Onion will always be the crown jewel of Washington state vegetables!

Photos from top down:

Representative Maureen Walsh and Kirkland Washington Junior High school teacher Toni Miller with her students in Olympia Washington at the State Capital.

The "Walla Walla Sweet Onion Sausage King" Kelly Walsh with his son, Murphy Walsh in Olympia grilling up some lunch for students and legislators.

Washington State Representatives Walsh, Roberts, and Kagi with Murphy and Kelly Walsh.

Kelly and Maureen Walsh with Toni Miller.

Additional links:

Seattle Times Editorials -
Any way you slice it, this legislation has a peel

Seattle Times Eastside -
Students taste sweet victory as onion passes first hurdle to state icon status

Another layer of onion bill peeled away

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"Toni Miller sweet onion"