Welcome to the 2023 Legislative Session! Learn about the policies and funding I am working on for our district!

Dear friends and neighbors,

As a member of the most diverse legislature in state history, it is a distinct honor and privilege to join my colleagues back in-person for the first time since 2020. Determined to make the most out of this 105-day long session I want to be a champion of change for our district, bringing forth the legislative action constituents like you want and deserve.

With a record number of fellow female lawmakers, I am optimistic that many of us will work together in bipartisan spirit for equity in state policies by increasing housing supply, voting rights protection, and civic engagement among our youth.

To become an active participant in the legislative process, I encourage you to track my bills on the Legislature’s website. If you would like to testify, you can do that in person or remotely by signing up online. You can also watch our debates in committees and on the House floor at TVW.org.


Returning and new policies and funding this year

  • HB 1020 – Designating the Suciasaurus rex as the official dinosaur of the state of Washington

A fourth-grade class from Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District brought this bill to me and I have introduced it to the legislature four times since. They learned about the Suciasaurus Rex in their class and wanted it to become the state dinosaur. This is a great civic engagement bill that teaches our students that their participation in government matters. I am committed to passing this bill and it was already voted out of committee and is waiting for a floor vote. Watch my testimony in the State Government & Tribal Relations Committee here.

  • HB 1603: Creating a Location-Based Promotion Program for Washington Food and Agricultural Products

The Department of Agriculture requested this bill to create an advisory committee to identify and promote local food and agricultural products in Washington. Our state is a great agriculture state and the products that are grown here should be clearly identified as Washington agriculture products. It will help with sourcing of local products and support small agriculture businesses by letting them focus on their products.

  • The Reconciliation Act

As an equity leader in the Legislature, I have heard from communities about the need to reinvest cannabis revenue. Many community leaders believe that disproportionately impacted areas wronged by the war on drugs should be invested in with those funds. In 2021, I introduced the Community Re-Investment Account bill to use $125 million to fund economic development, civil and criminal legal services, violence intervention and prevention, and reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals. This session, I am introducing an updated version of this policy, the Reconciliation Act, that will include agricultural and economic support for historically marginalized communities and programs and services that use an evidenced-based, community assessment model that will address the root causes of violence in communities.  I believe this is a necessary step in our path toward racial reconciliation, improving the lives of all Washingtonians, and to address the racial, economic, and social disparities in our state.

  • Safe Routes to Schools

As your State Representative, I make sure your voice is heard by fighting for equity in all projects and policies. One concern many of you have brought to me is lack of safe routes to schools. Traffic deaths in unincorporated Pierce County nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021. Children are at risk in our district, and some have even lost their lives because there are no sidewalks or safe routes for them to get to school. I will seek funding in the budget for a Safe Routes to School project in our district. Families should feel confident that their kids can walk and bike to school safely.


Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the House floor

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King is commemorated every year by the House for his activism and moral authority. During a time of great struggle for racial equality in the United States, Dr. King preached that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” With this, leaders of state like myself are prompted to continue Dr. King’s unfinished business through legislation that tackles disparities in our laws, public policies and institutions.

In my legislative career, I am proud to have supported countless bills that have advanced equity, racial justice, and opportunity for Black Americans. In 2020, HB 2602 prohibited discrimination based on hair style or texture and amended the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) to define “race” as inclusive of traits historically associated with race.

Today, we can honor Dr. Martin Luther King by embracing each other’s differences, showing compassion to those that need it most, and by ultimately abolishing discrimination. I was honored to join my colleagues on the floor of the House on January 16 and hear the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” performed by Alynn Harris-Cobbinah. Watch her performance below:

What I’m hearing from you: Housing

Despite having multiple rental assistance programs in place, the pandemic was devastating on housing stability across the state through staggering numbers of evictions, displacements, and people made vulnerable to long-term poverty.

With hopes of making homeownership more accessible to Washingtonians, the Legislature is taking a three-step approach to expand new housing projects and the availability of supportive shelter.

It is also important to utilize our existing resources and fund local nonprofits. Next Chapter is an organization that serves pregnant women, single mothers, and their children who need safe housing. Through expansive programming, clients of Next Chapter benefit from life skills development, financial literacy training, and free legal advice. As part of my plan to address the housing crisis in Washington State, I am allocating $2.5 million to them so they can purchase an additional location and conduct further outreach.

There are dozens of bills in the Legislature this year to expand housing construction and I will keep you updated on how this will impact the 29th district and our regional needs.