With Tanya Kamila’s third grade class from Stevens Elementary School, 3/19/19, lobbying for legislation to protect Southern resident orcas

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for the opportunity to represent the 43rd District in the Washington legislature for the last seventeen years. I appreciate the trust you have placed in me and am proud of the work that I have done on your behalf, including work on LGBTQ civil rights, police accountability, gun responsibility, and tax reform.

Since Democrats retook control of the Senate in November 2017, the results have been remarkable. We balanced the operating, transportation, and capital budgets and adjourned on time every year! We have made multi-billion-dollar investments in public schools to resolve the education funding dispute that had the state in contempt of the Supreme Court; a dramatic new investment in public higher education that will allow thousands of low and middle-income students to attend college for free, while also investing in great teaching and research; and a $17 billion investment in transportation infrastructure – the most environmentally friendly package in our history.

We also passed major progressive bills, including legislation to:

  • Reform our tax system with the imposition of a new capital gains tax, now upheld by the Washington Supreme Court, and the establishment of a working families tax credit;
  • Reform the criminal justice system and increase police accountability, including limits on police tactics from chokeholds to tear gas, a statewide standard on the use of force, a police duty to intervene and stop misconduct, decertification of officers who abuse the public trust, and an office of independent investigations to review the use of deadly force;
  • Protect the environment and combat climate change, including the 100% clean electricity act, the Climate Commitment Act, the Clean Fuel Standard, the Clean Buildings Act, and bills to protect southern resident orcas;
  • Address our affordable housing and homelessness crises, including eviction reform, pandemic rent relief, reform of our condo liability laws, permitting reform, zoning reform for cities to increase density, and over $600 million just this year in the Housing Trust Fund and other housing investments;
  • Protect women, such as the My Health, My Data Act; the Equal Pay Act; our new shield law; and the Reproductive Parity Act (protecting women’s access to abortion under our state’s implementation of federal healthcare reform);
  • Increase access to affordable health care, including a new public option insurance plan and a prohibition on balance billing;
  • Ensure access to democracy, including same-day voter registration; automatic voter registration on application for many government benefits; pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds; and the Voting Rights Act, which would change rules for local elections to ensure a fair chance for historically underrepresented groups to win;
  • Promote gun safety, including bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, bans on possession of bump stocks and 3D printed guns; the voluntary waiver of firearm rights; seizure of firearms during domestic violence investigations; liability for gun manufacturers and retailers; and the temporary suspension of firearm possession rights for those subject to a 72-hour mental health hold; and
  • Protect LGBTQ people, including a major rewrite of our parentage act, legislation to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth, the right of trans folks to seal records of their name changes, and the creation of a new state LGBTQ commission.

With your help, we can build our majority in the Senate in 2024 and make even greater progress on education funding, tax reform, racial equity, and other progressive change. My husband Eric teaches special education at Roosevelt High School, and he and I are proud to have four sons in Seattle Public Schools, one at Garfield High School and three at Meany Middle School on Capitol Hill. They – and 50,000 other kids in Seattle Public Schools – deserve our help now. They need a stellar education to get the great jobs that will build our economy. They also need our action now to combat climate change. To accomplish those changes, we need to reform our antiquated tax system to make it fairer, more progressive, and adequate to meet our state’s need to invest in its people.

Representing this district has been a huge privilege. I appreciate the chance to continue to work for you to build a better state that we can be proud to leave to our kids and grandkids.

Best wishes,