Happy New Year
First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to once again serve you in the Washington House of Representatives. As we usher in the New Year, I am thankful I had a chance to spend time with my family over the holiday season before the hectic pace of the 2019 Legislative Session begins. A relaxing Thanksgiving close to home with my family was a nice contrast with the big adventure to see my son and the rest of the Mercer Island High School Band march in the Rose Bowl Parade! I am so proud of those kids. I hope you too had a meaningful end to 2018.
Session is Underway
On Monday, we officially kicked off the 2019 Legislative Session. I am honored to be taking on a new role: Chair of the Human Services and Early Learning Committee. As many of you already know, my top priority has been to make life easier for busy families. Helping support families in need and ensuring every child gets a great start in life is critical to family success. I will also be continuing my role on the Appropriations Committee and will be new to the Local Government Committee, although not new to its work having been a Mercer Island City Councilmember before serving in the legislature.
Key People for the 41st
With the November election results, the face of the House Democratic caucus has changed! We welcome twelve new members, nine women and three men, who bring a lot of knowledge and diversity to the legislature and I look forward to the fresh ideas and energy that they will bring to our caucus. I am especially excited to welcome my new seatmate, Representative My-Linh Thai. Representative Thai is a pharmacist, former Bellevue School Board President and the first Vietnamese refugee to serve in our legislature. In the years I have known her, Representative Thai has shown herself to be a staunch advocate for kids, public education and creating more opportunities for all. She is also a lot of fun! Along with Senator Lisa Wellman, we are a strong and united team for our community.
I also want to welcome back my legislative assistant, Emma Palumbo. Raised in Chelan, Emma attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, and moved to Seattle soon after. Before joining the legislature she served a year in AmeriCorps doing a Health Access internship where she affirmed her interest in policy and the legislative process. I’m thrilled to have her on the team!
Page Applications due soon
Do you know a 14-, 15- or 16-year old student who might wish to apply to be a Legislative Page? Pages spend a week in Olympia participating in the legislative process. It is a great opportunity to get a behind the scenes view of how government works and I’d love to welcome and sponsor young people from the district. For more information or to apply, check out the Page Program website.
Stay in Touch
While there are many changes this year, one thing remains the same – my commitment to being your responsive and accessible representative. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns you have about things happening in our district and state. (Please note that I have a new Olympia office: John L. O’Brien Building #368.)
New Facebook Page: I’m participating in a new pilot program to expand how lawmakers communicate with constituents through a new Facebook page. You can follow or like my page located here. I hope to share information about session, bill updates, as well as some behind the scenes and candid moments as a state legislator.