I hope that you and your family are holding up okay under these difficult circumstances.
Never before have we faced so many historic challenges at once, with a global pandemic threatening our health and our lives and a sharp economic downturn bringing severe hardship to so many. Phrases such as “social distancing” and “contact tracing” and “PPE” have entered our lexicon as we struggle to keep our kids engaged in remote learning and to sustain our small businesses. Crowded stadiums, restaurants, salons and retail shops are but a distant hope.
Even our glorious summer weather was disrupted by the choke of acrid smoke from unprecedented hellish wildfires, reminding us that the climate crisis is here and now and demands urgent action.
As if the public health, economic and ecological crises weren’t enough, our country is also gripped by social unrest, as a national uprising over race and policing is forcing us to reckon with our history of injustice – which has spurred me into action.
I hope we will emerge stronger from these challenges, but we still have a long way to go in such stressful and uncertain times.
What's Happening Now
Our legislative work has intensified during the current crisis and I’ve been busy helping our first responders get the PPE they need, helping retired medical professionals get credentials to work in the hospitals, and helping countless people navigate through the bureaucracy to get their unemployment benefits, among many other demands.
I’ve also been closely in touch with parents, teachers and school administrators to help ensure that our kids can get the best education possible in the “remote learning” environment. This is such a challenging time for all of us.
Bringing Justice Back to The Justice System
My current intense focus is responding to the national call for action to reform police practices and to address racial bias in the justice system. In addition, as Chair of the Washington State Criminal Sentencing Task Force, I am working hard on comprehensive reforms to enhance public safety while also making our justice system more equitable and more effective. In the upcoming legislative sessions we will see dramatic, broad-sweeping reforms in policing and criminal sentencing policies.
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 now just around the corner I hope I can count on your vote this year. Thanks very much for your support, and please stay safe and healthy!