Fall wrap-up and 2024 priorities

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you enjoyed your summer and fall. As we head into the final months of the year, I wanted to share with you a few highlights from the interim and let you know what I’ll be working on during the 2024 Legislative Session in Olympia. 


Totem Lake Connector Bridge Opens 

Pictured (L to R): Taldi Harrison (Board President of Eastrail Partners), King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, Kirkland City Councilmember Kelli Curtis, U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Kirkland City Councilmember Jon Pascal, State Rep. Larry Springer, Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet, Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Kirkland City Councilmember Amy Falcone, Kirkland City Councilmember Neal Black, State Rep. Roger Goodman, and Kirkland Councilmember Toby Nixon. 

Earlier this summer I joined hundreds of Kirkland community members to mark the official opening of the Totem Lake Connector bicycle and pedestrian overpass that connects the two ends of the 5.75 mile Cross Kirkland Corridor. The July 8 event featured a ribbon cutting ceremony and other festivities including food trucks and a petting zoo. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the improved safety and access the bridge will provide for pedestrians and cyclists who use the Cross Kirkland Corridor. In a twist of irony I tore my Achilles tendon a week before the event (a result of bad decision making!), but I’m looking forward to how cool it will be when I am able to actually use the bridge! 

The 2023 Wildfire Season 

The 2023 wildfire season saw the second-highest number of wildfires in our State’s recorded history, but thanks to HB 1168 that I sponsored in 2021 to grow forest health and combat wildfire devastation, 95% of those fires were put out before they reached 10 acres. Approximately 165,000 acres burned this season, well below the 10-year average of roughly 470,000 acres.  

While this is encouraging, there is still work to be done. That is why I sponsored HB 1578 last session to help us better plan, prevent, and fight wildfires and mitigate other effects, including smoke reduction and slope stabilization after a wildfire. The danger of mud flows can last up to 8-10 years in an area damaged by wildfire. We cannot pause our efforts to fight the wildfire endemic or stop investing to secure resources needed to fully equip our firefighters, and I will continue to make that a priority as I serve you in Olympia.   

2023-24 Priority: Using Healthy Forests to Capture Carbon 

This year I will pursue a bill introduced last session that seeks to use healthy forests to sequester carbon. It’s a complicated equation, but one that has real possibilities in our fight to reduce carbon pollution. Stay tuned! 

Applications for the 2024 Page Program Open November 1 

Olympia Page Program for the 2024 legislative session now open

Teaching our students how government works ensures our democracy stays relevant to everyone. The Washington State Legislature Page program is a great opportunity to do just that. Students between age 14-16 are welcome to apply for this weeklong program in Olympia. You can read more about the program or submit an application here. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions for me. I look forward to hearing from you!