We are in this together
March 7, 2018 | By Washington House Democrats
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Thank you for your messages and engagement on SB 6617 regarding public records. I received hundreds of messages on this important topic and I’m here to let you know I heard your messages loud and clear.
I failed you on this issue, which is why I’m glad we’re starting over.
One email I received stated that we live in “extraordinarily challenging times” so it is more important than ever that we “actively support responsive and responsible government.” I couldn’t agree more.
Others commented on the rushed process, feeling it was designed more to obscure, rather than engage; and that it reflected a state government out of touch with the priorities of constituents.
These feelings and observations were described to me in your stories. Like the daughter who graduated and has her first job but still can’t afford rent; the mom who is afraid to send her young child to kindergarten fearing gun violence; the elderly couple needing to take out a second mortgage on their home to pay their property tax bill; or those struggling with healthcare costs.
You shared with me the worries and hopes of your lives – and lives of people in our community. These are the worries and hopes that drive me and my fellow lawmakers to work on your behalf.
But you saw what I didn’t at first – that these values we are fighting for, were not preserved with the speed of approval and a limited legislative process for SB 6617.
I am sorry I disappointed many of you with my vote for SB 6617. I spoke about the policy and expansion of legislative transparency I saw in the bill, yet I failed to give sufficient weight to the full process of passing SB 6617 with an open engagement of all stakeholders.
So last week, I urged the Governor to veto this legislation, which he did. I value transparency and will work to support it not only in our policies but equally so, if not more, in our process.
My constituents deserve this, and the people of our state deserve this. It is a true privilege to represent you. I continue my commitment to you and the residents of our great community. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me.
If you have further questions on this issue, please let me know and I’d be happy to speak with you directly.
As we wrap up this legislative session, I will be updating you on bills passed in session.
Your lawmakers have done great work to fully fund public schools, expand school nutrition programs, move us closer to equal pay for women, address the housing crisis, enact gun safety measures, and protect consumers from costly credit freeze fees.
These are just a handful of the many policies we’ve adopted that put people first. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days.
Rep. Vandana Slatter