Association of Washington Cities honors Representative Chris Reykdal with City Champion award

 Rep. Chris Reykdal is honored with the AWC City Champion Award

Photo: AWC

Olympia, WA – The Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an Olympia-based organization advocating on behalf of Washington’s 281 cities and towns, is honoring Representative Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater) with a City Champion award.

Reykdal, one of six legislators designated as a City Champion, is recognized for his work during the recent legislative session to organize and lead a bipartisan caucus of members in the House of Representatives.

Victoria Lincoln, AWC Government Relations Advocate, said the city relationship with the state started to fray during the recession. “Revenues that the state had shared with cities since the end of prohibition were diverted to the state’s operating budget,” she said. “And funds for important infrastructure programs were diverted as well.”

Reykdal worked with another member of the House of Representatives to establish and lead a bipartisan caucus called the Local Government Champions Caucus. In recognition of the fact the legislature had diverted important city revenues in previous biennia, this caucus focused on local government issues and common-ground solutions to help cities and counties thrive.

AWC Chief Executive Officer Peter B. King noted that the 2015 legislative session was the longest in state history, yet cities saw signs of a renewed city-state partnership. “We believe our success was the result of our champions in the Legislature who stepped up to help cities,” said King.

“I am happy to present this award to Rep. Reykdal,” said Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder. “As chair of the Local Government Champions Caucus, he rallied to promote the interests and needs of cities across the state.”

“Cities and towns are the hearts of our communities,” said Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater). “They keep our neighborhoods safe, help small businesses thrive, and maintain critical infrastructure – all to ensure Washington remains an attractive place to live and work. My sincere thanks to AWC for recognizing me a City Champion. I am committed to supporting policies in the Legislature that help cities and towns be successful.”

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, non-profit, non-partisan corporation that represents Washington’s cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies.

Reykdal received his award on November 19. In addition to the six City Champions, AWC is recognizing eight legislators and the Governor as Transportation Champions for their efforts to enact a transportation package that provides tools and benefits to cities.


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Group of House Democrats sends letter to Inslee supporting acceptance of refugees

 OLYMPIA – Today a group of 18 House Democrats sent a letter to Governor Inslee commending his leadership in the potential resettlement of thousands of families and orphans from war-torn Syria.

The letter also comes as a response to a letter delivered last week by state Senate Republicans and recent bigoted diatribes, as well as last Friday’s anti-refugee rally at the capital where a handful of state legislators continued to stoke fear and misinformation.

“We wanted to make sure that amid the fear-mongering and willing misrepresentation of facts, Governor Inslee and the people of Washington know that we have a commitment to both safety and compassion,” said Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D – Seattle). “Those ideas are not mutually exclusive — a valuable lesson we learned in 1975 under the leadership of Governor Dan Evans, when we accepted thousands of Vietnamese refugees to our state.”

You can read the entire letter delivered to Governor Inslee here.

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Rep. Bergquist: Kent kids come to the Capitol

Every lawmaker I know looks forward to visits with constituents, especially young people getting a first-hand look at what representative state government is all about.  These bright faces belong to students from Excel Public Charter School in Kent, who dropped by my office during November’s Committee Assembly Days.

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Kitsap Rep. Sherry Appleton to chair House Local Government Committee

State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23rd, Poulsbo), chair of the House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs for the last two years, will take over the gavel in the House Local Government Committee when the Legislature reconvenes in January 2016.

According to the official legislative web site, the committee “considers issues relating to the operations and financing of counties, cities, and some special districts. The committee also considers issues relating to the Growth Management Act and land use issues such as local permitting and the subdivision of property.”

Appleton brings a strong background in local-government issues to her new role.  She served two terms as a member of the Poulsbo City Council, and in 2000 was elected to represent the 1st commissioner district as a freeholder to review the Kitsap County Charter.

“I was privileged to help develop a number of landmark laws benefiting our active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families as chair of my former committee,” Appleton said. “This new challenge, to do the same sort of work on behalf of local governments, is one that I’m looking forward to.”

In addition to chairing Local Government, Appleton will serve on the House Public Safety Committee and retains her seat on Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs.  Besides her legislative duties, Appleton serves on Washington State Council on Aging and sits on the board of the Office of Public Defense.  She also was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to the Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC).

The Legislature begins its 60-day 2016 session on January 11.

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Rep. Rossetti: Let’s work together to improve public schools, fix highways and create jobs

New lawmaker for the 19th District appointed to three House committees: Education, Transportation and Technology & Economic Development

OLYMPIA—The three biggest challenges facing our state are funding our public schools, fixing aging bridges and highways and creating jobs, all issues Rep. JD Rossetti (D-Longview) will tackle while serving on the House committees overseeing those issues.

“We can, and must, come together to find solutions for the kids in our public schools, for working people using our highways and for struggling small towns that need jobs,” said Rossetti, who serves on the Longview School Board. “My wife and I have three sons, so I know why moms and dads across our state are so passionate about giving every child a great education.”

Rep. Rossetti was appointed to the House of Representatives to take the position of Dean Takko, who is now in the state Senate.

“These three issues are all related,” said Rossetti, who also is a small business owner. “We need great public schools to give our local businesses a highly educated workforce, and our local businesses need highways and bridges to get goods to market. That solid infrastructure is a big part of how you create jobs in today’s economy.”

Rossetti said fully funding our public schools is a matter of fairness that’s especially important to families and businesses in the 19th District.

“Today’s system means a child lucky enough to be born to wealthy parents gets a better education than one of our kids in Aberdeen, Raymond or Longview,” Rossetti said. “That’s unfair to our kids and, as the state Supreme Court rules, it’s unconstitutional. By working together, we can give every child—rich or poor—the same great education in our public schools.”

For more information:

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