Monthly Archives: May 2016

Conway tabbed to head pension policy committee

May 23rd, 2016|

Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, has been chosen by his colleagues to chair Washington’s Select Committee on Pension Policy. Conway had been serving as the vice chair.

The Select Committee on Pension Policy studies pension issues, develops pension policies for public employees in state and local retirement systems, and makes recommendations to the Legislature.

“I’m honored to be at the helm of this committee at such an important time for pension policy,” said Conway. “Last session, there were proposals floated that would have merged the Leoff 1 and Ters 1 retirement systems as a way to balance the budget. Mergers of this size need to be fully examined and not done in haste, and this is why the select committee is so critical.”

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    State names highway after prominent port leader Philip Lelli

State names highway after prominent port leader Philip Lelli

May 19th, 2016|

A portion of State Route 509 leading into the Port of Tacoma will be named in honor of the late Philip Martin Lelli, longtime President of Tacoma Longshore Union 23 and former Port of Tacoma commissioner.

During the 2015 legislative session, Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, sponsored legislation requesting that the Washington State Transportation Commission rename the highway in honor of Lelli. On Wednesday, the WSTC did just that.

“Phil was a man who knew how to work together for the good of our community and the success of our state,” said Conway. “I am thrilled that the commission has voted to celebrate his contributions by renaming the highway in his honor.”

An advocate for innovation, Lelli was known for his unprecedented role in attracting new businesses to the Port of Tacoma and transitioning it into one of the principal ports of entry on the Pacific Coast.

Lelli was influential in his community as well, organizing Tacoma’s Hospitality Kitchen to provide lunches for the homeless.

“Phil is one of the principal reasons that Tacoma has become one of the busiest and most important shipping ports on the west coast,” added Conway. “It’s wonderful that his efforts will be recognized for generations to come.”

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    Conway visits Fern Hill Elementary to see dropout prevention program in action

Conway visits Fern Hill Elementary to see dropout prevention program in action

May 17th, 2016|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway, D- South Tacoma, recently visited Fern Hill Elementary School to see firsthand how educators are working to help children graduate on time and overcome academic and non-academic challenges.

Conway’s visit focused on Communities in Schools, a program that places coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life.

“I was very impressed by the work Communities in Schools is doing to help all children have access to the services they need to succeed,” said Conway. “These programs are essential if we are going to close the opportunity gap.”

The opportunity gap is a deficiency in educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color. This year, the Legislature passed a bill that will implement policy changes to begin the process of closing this gap.

“Eliminating the opportunity gap should be thought of as a sound investment,” added Conway. “When kids have access to a high quality education they are more likely to get a good paying job and less likely to be reliant on safety net services.”