Monthly Archives: January 2018

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    Dhingra introduces resolution honoring Republic Day of India

Dhingra introduces resolution honoring Republic Day of India

January 26th, 2018|

Sen. Manka Dhingra introduced a resolution in the Senate to honor and celebrate Republic Day of India on Friday, Jan. 26. She delivered the following remarks:

“Thank you, Madam President.

“I rise today to honor the 69th Republic Day of India, celebrating the day in which India implemented its Constitution, taking the final step toward full independence.

“The nation of India defeated colonization and achieved independence through a peaceful, nonviolent resistance.

“Today we honor and celebrate the journey, which led to the establishment of the world’s largest, and one of the most diverse, democracies in the world—with over 300 languages and dialects spoken throughout the country.

“America shares many values with India including the constitutional tenants, which ensure dignity and liberty for its constituents and equality in the eyes of the law.

“Washington state also shares deep cultural and economic ties with India.

“Thousands of Indian-Americans live in Washington state and enrich every facet of our society—from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the battlefield.

“Indian-Americans are small business owners, entrepreneurs, and CEOs of Washington companies, including the founding officers of many tech companies, like the businesses in the 45th Legislative District.

“Madam President, I am proud to stand before you today and honor Republic Day 2018 as a symbol of the shared values of democracy and liberty, between the nation of India, our nation and our state.

“Thank you.”

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    Senate approves capital budget, community projects for 45th District

Senate approves capital budget, community projects for 45th District

January 18th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – The long-delayed, $4 billion dollar state construction budget passed today by the Senate includes $1.8 million for local community projects in the 45h Legislative District.

Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, said the budget will fund construction of the Northshore Athletic Fields in Woodinville and the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection in Kirkland. Statewide, the budget will fund the largest-ever investment in K-12 school construction – about $1 billion.

“We did it!” Dhingra said. “Budgets are value statements. This budget shows that we are committed to fulfilling the state’s promise of fully funding public education and building new facilities for Washington’s 1.1 million school-aged children. This takes us one-step closer to ensuring that every student in Washington has access to a quality education and an individualized plan for success.”

Additionally, more than $112 million will go toward mental health services including $65 million for community mental health beds, and about $20 million to both Eastern and Western state hospitals for patient safety enhancements and renovations.

 

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    Senate votes to rename cancer research endowment in honor of the late Sen. Andy Hill

Senate votes to rename cancer research endowment in honor of the late Sen. Andy Hill

January 18th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate voted today to rename the Cancer Research Endowment Authority and Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund in honor of Sen. Andy Hill.

This legislation, SB 5375, passed with overwhelming support.  

“Sen. Hill was a dedicated legislator,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond and Hill’s successor. “He was a champion for the communities of the 45th and served our district energetically. I was proud to support this legislation.”

Hill died in 2016 after a recurrence of lung cancer. The currently named CARE Fund is a public-private partnership that supports cancer research in Washington. In January, they announced $2.5 million in awards to researchers in Washington, including a grant to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center that will focus on methods to improve diagnosis and treatment of lung metastasis.  

A full list of this year’s recipients can be found here.

 

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    Organizers hope 2nd annual Women’s March will encourage widespread activism

Organizers hope 2nd annual Women’s March will encourage widespread activism

January 15th, 2018|

Q13 Fox / Jan. 14, 2018

SEATTLE — Spurred by months of frustration over stories of sexual assault, a huge crowd is expected to march in Seattle this Saturday (January 20) in the second annual Women’s March, which they’re calling March 2.0.

This year, the march will happen exactly a year after President Donald Trump took office.

Organizers hope it will encourage widespread activism beyond the streets by those who advocate for civil rights, women’s and LGBTQ rights, as well as other causes.

On Sunday,  volunteers created posters for the march at The Riveter — a shared, workspace in Seattle that focuses on supporting women.

“We love that people are having conversations about what inspires them. And they’re thinking about what they want to do in the coming year,” organizer Jonna Bell told Q13 News.

“Everybody that I know that marched last year, kind of did something different this year, whether they wrote letters, or whether they did phone banking or they volunteered. I mean, it sort of inspired people to take real action,” Janine Brunyee with Be the Change Network said.

One of the speakers this year will be state senator Manka Dhingra.

Last November, she helped flip the state Senate to Democratic control by winning her district in Kirkland.

“This is about actually making sure that people have a voice. This is about defining a new normal. About making sure we are talking about respect, dignity and equality,” Dhingra said Sunday.

The march will begin with a rally at Cal Anderson Park beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The march to the Seattle Center will begin at 11:30 a.m. and there are events scheduled for Sunday, as well.

Participants are encouraged to use public transportation.

 

#MeToo moment reaches politics, Hollywood, and beyond

January 12th, 2018|

K5 News/ Jan. 8, 2018
By Natalie Brand

The first day of Washington state’s 2018 legislative session started with a new majority in the Senate. Senator Manka Dhingra’s win in November gave Democrats a one-seat advantage in the upper chamber and full control of state government.

“Go get ’em,” Governor Jay Inslee told Dhingra while delivering flowers to her desk on the Senate floor Monday.

Dhingra, of Redmond, says she was inspired to run in large part because of President Donald Trump’s surprise upset in 2016, and also encouraged by her teen children who led Monday’s pledge of allegiance before their mom took the oath of office.

“To me, you have to look at next generation to see where we’re at,” said Dhingra.

It’s a generation that she says values respect and equality, whether in politics or the workplace.

“I think the #MeToo movement and women coming up and speaking out about the way they have been treated was the next thing bound to happen after the women’s march,” said Dhingra. “I think it really has been awakening that we’ve seen in last few years, and I hope it will continue.”

Oprah Winfrey captured the emotion of the moment with her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes, proclaiming “a new day is on the horizon.”

Her speech elicited a standing ovation from Hollywood and caused social media to speculate whether she’ll run for president in 2020.

While Oprah’s longtime partner told the LA Times “it’s up to the people,” a source told NBC News she “has no intention of running.”

“I think there’s lots of people who might get in race—might be Oprah, might be The Rock (Dwayne Johnson),” said State Senator Dough Ericksen (R-Ferndale). Ericksen, who worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign and said he would be interested in working for his reelection campaign, downplayed the possibility of a Trump-Oprah matchup in a couple of years.

However, the larger issue of MeToo — a movement that Hollywood is now transitioning into “Time’s Up” — is one that has bipartisan support and attention, even in Olympia.

“It’s time to change the discussion from #MeToo to Not Me,” said Senator Ann Rivers, R-La Center. “We need to send the message that this is not OK and we need to empower individuals, be they male or female, of any persuasion that this is not OK.”

Both senators Rivers and Dhingra sit on a task force seeking to address the issue of sexual harassment in Olympia. Among ideas being considered are more regular anti-sexual harassment training for members as well as potential training for lobbyists.

Senate Democrats take early aim at gun legislation

January 12th, 2018|

Peninsula Daily News / Jan. 7, 2018
By Alex Visser

With a newfound majority in the Washington Senate, state Democrats have found an early target in firearm regulation as the 2018 legislative session gets set to begin.

Senate Bill 6049 would regulate the ownership and manufacturing of large capacity magazines and make them all but illegal in most cases. “Large capacity” refers to any magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.

The bill was requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who cited a motivation in mass shootings across the country, including a 2016 shooting at a house party in Mukilteo in which three were killed and one was injured.

The bill was introduced by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and is sponsored by three other democratic senators: Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond; Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma; and Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle.

Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have introduced some kind of restriction on large capacity magazines. In Colorado and New Jersey, the limit is 15 rounds, and in Hawaii the ban pertains only to handguns.

Such magazines were previously banned on a federal level under the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which also banned semi-automatic weapons before expiring in 2004.

Pedersen said he feels confident the bill will pass, and that the key is to receive support from rural Democrats and more moderate Republicans. The senator added that he has received at least some vocal support from both parties.

“We’ve obviously had a series of high-profile shootings across the country,” Pedersen said. “This is a small step to take.”

But Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag, said he doesn’t find such a ban necessary, arguing that large capacity magazines haven’t proven to be a problem. Workman said he expects a flurry of opposition from gun owners across the state, many of whom own firearms that would be affected by the ban.

Workman’s sentiments were echoed by Joe Waldron, legislative chairman of the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association, who said his organization is firmly against the potential legislation.

Waldron said the bill emphasizes the role of guns, while legislators should be taking a look at potential societal problems that lead to mass shootings.

The legislative chairman pointed out that many pistols carry large capacity magazines, but the bill doesn’t differentiate between handguns and the assault weapons Waldron believes the bill is targeting.

Waldron called the bill “meaningless” and “unenforceable,” and said it would force Washington citizens to give up private property that is arguably protected by the Second Amendment.

“The bottom line is we oppose the bill because it’s a waste of time,” Waldron said. “They focus on the inanimate object; what they need to be focusing on is the behavior.”

The senate plans to hear SB 6049 on Jan. 15.