I hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy in these trying times. After more than two years of social isolation and economic and political disruption during the global pandemic, it seems that we are finally returning to somewhat of a “new normal.”
Never before have we faced so many historic challenges at once. The pandemic threatened our health and our very lives, a sharp economic downturn has brought severe hardship to so many, and we have struggled to keep our kids engaged in remote schooling. Compounding the public health crisis has been the worsening climate crisis, as our glorious summers have been choked off by acrid smoke from hellish wildfires, reminding us that the environmental threat to our global life-support system is here and now and demands urgent action.
As if the public health, economic and ecological crises aren’t enough, our country has been gripped by social unrest and political dysfunction. A national uprising over race and policing forced us to reckon with our history of injustice – which spurred me into action. A sharply polarized political environment has largely paralyzed governance at the federal level, even to the point of blatant disregard for the rule of law. The post-pandemic economic uncertainty has aroused anxiety, only worsened by the adverse economic effects of our urgent response to Putin’s shockingly barbaric military invasion of Ukraine.
It’s hard to be optimistic these days! Nevertheless, I hope we are emerging stronger from these challenges, although we certainly have a long way to go in such stressful and uncertain times.
Election Year Is Upon Us
Speaking of politics, campaign season is well underway, and I am seeking re-election to another term in the State House. I hope to earn your support. I want to continue my legislative work to strengthen families and protect children, to keep our communities safe and to promote a more just society.
With the pandemic finally waning, I am going back into the neighborhoods once again to meet you and other voters. Listening to you helps ensure that I’m in tune with your values and your priorities and lets me keep my finger on the pulse of our community, so I can represent you more effectively in the Legislature. I need to hear from you. Please sign up to get on our mailing list. Let’s stay in touch, and I hope we cross paths!
Historic Legislative Achievements
In contrast to the national political scene, the Washington State Legislature functions quite well, addressing the needs of our families, schools, workers and businesses and making a positive difference in our communities. During the height of the pandemic our legislative work intensified in response to the urgent demands to protect public health, to keep people housed and businesses afloat, and to pave the way for a strong and equitable economic recovery.
Here in our area, I was busy helping our first responders get the personal protective equipment they needed, I helped health workers obtain their required credentials to work in our over-stressed hospitals, and I helped countless workers navigate through the bureaucracy to qualify for unemployment benefits, among many other demands. I also kept closely in touch with parents, teachers and school administrators to ensure that our kids could get the best education possible in the “remote learning” environment. It was such a challenging time for all of us.
Even the Legislature held its sessions entirely remotely, as I and my colleagues were sequestered at home in front of our computer screens conducting public hearings and voting on bills via Zoom teleconference.
The challenges of the pandemic did not deter us from enacting major legislation, however. In fact, the 2021-22 legislative session was the most efficient and productive in recent memory. We boosted our public health response to the pandemic and provided critical assistance and relief to small businesses, to tenants facing eviction and to our public schools. We passed a transformative package of transportation investments with a sharp focus on social equity and environmental sustainability, and we enacted landmark legislation to cap and curb carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
Bringing Justice Back to The Justice System
I have focused intensely on responding to the national call for action to reform police practices and to address racial bias in the justice system. In this most recent legislative session, we enacted the nation’s most dramatic, broad-sweeping police accountability reforms by restricting the needless use of force, holding police accountable for misconduct and ensuring the equitable treatment by law enforcement of all communities. In addition, as Chair of the Washington State Criminal Sentencing Task Force, I have been working hard on comprehensive sentencing reforms to enhance public safety through evidence-based, community-oriented measures rather than the overly punitive approach of excessive incarceration.
While serving you in the Legislature, I have continued to pass important measures to reduce deaths and injuries from domestic violence, sexual assault and drunk driving, saving literally thousands of lives. As Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, with expertise in criminal law and the justice system, I’ve worked hard to keep people safe in our homes, schools and public spaces..
Supporting Our Eastside Communities
Throughout my service in the Legislature I’ve been able to work effectively for common-sense solutions that matter to Eastside families, particularly in support of our great public schools and expanding opportunities for higher education, as well as strengthening our response to the growing problem of mental illness.
I strive to rise above partisanship to forge practical solutions with a common-sense approach. I’m not beholden to the party machine or the thundering herd of lobbyists at the Capitol. I listen to you and I speak with an independent voice, using my knowledge and experience to get things done. I remain accessible and responsive and I keep my focus on preserving and enhancing our high quality of life here.
It’s difficult to describe in words the sense of responsibility that comes with serving you in the Legislature. I truly appreciate what an honor it is to represent you! Please share your comments and concerns with me and I’ll continue to be in touch. With the election soon approaching, I hope I can count on your vote this year. Thanks very much for your support, and please stay safe and healthy!
I have focused intensely on responding to the national call for action to reform police practices and to address racial bias in the justice system. In this most recent legislative session, we enacted the nation’s most dramatic, broad-sweeping police accountability reforms by restricting the needless use of force, holding police accountable for misconduct and ensuring the equitable treatment by law enforcement of all communities. Read more>>
Speaking of politics, campaign season is well underway and I am seeking re-election to another term in the State House. I hope to earn your support. I want to continue my legislative work to strengthen families and protect children, to keep our communities safe and to promote a more just society. Read more>>
Throughout my service in the Legislature, I’ve been able to work effectively for common-sense solutions that matter to Eastside families, particularly supporting our great public schools and expanding opportunities for higher education, as well as strengthening our response to the growing problem of mental illness. Read more>>