Monthly Archives: January 2020

E-news – Introducing my team!

January 27th, 2020|

Randall 2019 banner

Dear friends and neighbors,

This week we moved full speed ahead with policy work, committee hearings, stakeholder round tables, and constituent meetings. We started the week off with a beautiful celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during which I was honored to stand and speak to his legacy, as well as the legacy of hope and justice that was left by our district’s very own former-Senator Bill Smitherman and our beloved Bishop Larry Robertson. What a powerful way to begin a week of work for the people of Washington. Other highlights included: committee hearings on my bills to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage for brand new birth parents for a full year – instead of the current 60 days (SB 6128) – and my bill to pave the way for more school-based health clinics (SB 6279). Looking forward to continuing our work to expand access to health care this session. 

Introducing my team

We have an awesome team who jumped right into session – even starting at our pre-session #townhalltour, setting up meetings with constituents, getting prepared for committee hearings, tracking important legislation, and doing everything possible to serve you in Olympia. I’m going to introduce them over the next couple weeks, starting with my session aide and intern! 

ER + cameron kockritz

Cameron Kockritz, my session aide, grew up in Kalama, Washington, right along the Columbia River. She graduated recently from The Evergreen State College – one of our state’s amazing institutions of higher education! – where she studied Political Science and Literature. 

Something Cam loves about the legislature is that there’s always something to do: every day brings new and compelling challenges and opportunities. She says that “there is everything to love about working here in the legislature, but one of my absolute favorite parts is meeting and listening to everyone who visits Senator Randall and seeing how individual priorities weave together to highlight the larger intersecting issues, and how those issues then help guide the senator.” 

Ultimately, she says that she loves the way our office is based in service, and appreciates how highly we value voices and populations often shut out from policy conversations. I’m so glad Cameron has joined us for the session  strengthening our team with her own voice and incredible commitment to service! Since she’s one of the first faces you see when you visit our office, I hope you’ll swing by and get a chance to meet her. 

ashley rot 2020 intern

Ashley Rot, my wonderful intern, is originally from Naperville, IL, before she moved to Alta, WY, where her family still lives. She’s currently a junior at the University of Puget Sound – yet another amazing university I love to visit – and will graduate with the class of ’21. She’s passionate about policy and law, and I’m excited to follow her future career! 

She says her favorite thing about the legislature has been “meeting so many different people, each with their own passion for a different issue. Every day I go home thinking about an issue I hadn’t previously considered, because the people of Washington brought it to us!” And something she loves about our office in particular is that she’s treated like a valuable member of the team – because she is! – and that together we fight to ensure that every voice is valued. 

Ashley advises anyone considering working at the legislature to just apply! “Apply for any position, because people are so helpful and willing to work with you. Even if you don’t see yourself represented in the legislature, there’s someone rooting for you to apply so you can contribute your knowledge, your unique perspective, and your experiences.” Well said, Ashley! 

My week in Olympia

I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my calendar and a week-in-review video on Facebook every week. You can see last week’s calendar here, and last week’s video here.

Keep in touch

Thank you for taking the time to read my update. We are all eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what we’re up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at 360-786-7560 or Emily.Randall@leg.wa.gov. The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.

All my best,

E-news – The best start to a great week

January 20th, 2020|

Randall 2019 banner

Friends, neighbors—

First in Bremerton, then in Gig Harbor, next in Port Orchard, and finally on the Key Peninsula. With every stop on last Saturday’s town hall tour – whether we were discussing health and long term care, military and human services, education, or transportation and natural resources – I found myself surrounded by community members who share a love for our home and an excitement for joining forces to make it the best it can be.

I stood shoulder to shoulder with community leaders who work with one another and with the legislature to advocate for our region. I listened to your concerns about developmental disability supports and services, state assistance for veterans and their families, transportation projects in the wake of I-976, and the rising costs of health care. I saw familiar faces and met new neighbors. At the end of the day of town halls, I felt so uplifted and encouraged by the energy and the ideas everyone brought to the table. Thank you for joining me – in person or in spirit.

Here’s a recap:

Brem panel

Bremerton

At the Bremerton town hall on health and long term care, I had the opportunity to share my experience with health care expansion. When my sister Olivia was born with microcephaly, it was only a recent Medicaid expansion by the Washington State Legislature that provided for the equipment and assistance she needed to live a full and happy life at home with my family. Neighbors who attended the Bremerton town hall shared their own stories, similar and unique, about the importance of health care access to them and their families, and asked great questions about what else the legislature is doing – and how it’s joining hands with local leaders – to broaden equity and access in health care. One such question concerned folks struggling with drug dependency, and the availability of the treatment they need to recover. I can confidently say that the legislature is committed to expanding access to community-based care, which has had proven positive impacts on supporting and healing drug-dependent individuals.

PO town hall

Port Orchard

At the Port Orchard town hall on military and human services, community leaders with backgrounds in Department of Human Services work, veteran affairs, and Kitsap Community Resources (among others!) joined me for a conversation about regional opportunities to access care and support of all kinds. Some topics we discussed at length concerned what the legislature is doing to support folks with developmental disabilities, and how we’re helping our neighbors experiencing homelessness. This session, I’m sponsoring SB 6056 to give better access to support for the 14,000 Washingtonians in the DD community waiting on a “No Paid Services Caseload” without a case manager to assess their needs. This will connect families with the services they require. And on the topic of housing, last session saw huge progress toward safe and stable shelter for our unhoused neighbors, thanks to community organizations’ work and support from the state. We still struggle to find locations for shelters and affordable housing, but it’s an issue we’ll be actively working on. Stay tuned!

PO town hall

Gig Harbor

After Port Orchard, we had a stop in Gig Harbor to talk about education – a subject I could talk forever about, as the new chair of Higher Education and Workforce Development! Our conversation wasn’t limited to higher education exclusively – thanks to the community leaders present with backgrounds in K-12 education and special education – so we had a rich discussion about supporting Washington students through every single step of their education journey. One big topic: Washington’s abysmal FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rates. We rank 47th in the country! So we chatted about how we can make the prospect of college-going less intimidating and more attainable for young learners, and I explained how my bill – SB 6141 – aims to encourage FAFSA and WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) participation, so that students no longer leave money on the table but instead seize the resources available to them to pursue whatever college or career pathway they choose.

KP town hall

Key Peninsula

Wrapping up the day at the Key Peninsula town hall, we discussed transportation and natural resources. Our turnout was incredible – standing room only! – even though it was a dark and cold Saturday evening. There were lots of great questions about how the legislature is going to respond to I-976 this session. The real impact on the state’s budget cannot be understated. We will work hard to do the least amount of damage to transportation projects that serve Washingtonians while we grapple with this new budget deficit. As we work through solutions, I’m thinking about our neighbors with disabilities who depend on special needs transit, the climate impacts of outdated infrastructure, and isolated communities like ours that have real transportation needs.

MHK advocacy group

First week of session!

Immediately after our town hall tour on January 11, we started session 2020 on January 13! Already, I’ve testified on three of my bills in committee (SB 6058SB 6140, and SB 6141), and have visited with dozens of stakeholders and advocates from LD 26 and throughout the state. This awesome group in the photo with me are folks who want to bring up-and-coming entrepreneurs into the local food economy. The neighbor who makes incredible empanadas, lumpia, injera, ravioli – whatever it may be! – could turn those home recipes and love of sharing culturally-significant food into a small local business. We just need a small policy update. Alongside this great team of advocates, we’re going to pass SB 6434.

My week in Olympia

I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my legislative calendar each week on my Facebook page.

Keep in touch

My team and I are eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what we’re up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at 360-786-7650 or Emily.Randall@leg.wa.gov. The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.

All my best,

Signature

E-news – Town Halls TOMORROW, Saturday 1/11!

January 10th, 2020|

Randall 2019 banner

Friends, neighbors—

Tomorrow’s the day! I hope you’ll join me at one (or more!) of the four town halls I’m hosting tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 11 — in Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, and in the Key Peninsula — so that as many members of our community as possible will be able to join us. Each town hall will focus on a different theme: health and long term care, military and human services, education, and transportation and natural resources. We’ll be joined at each town hall by different community leaders with expertise in these issues to share how they have partnered with the legislature, and to facilitate a robust discussion of your concerns, answer your questions, and learn from one another. I’m so excited to share with you the legislation I’ve been working on and what the 2020 session (which starts on Monday, Jan. 13!) has in store.  

I’ve spent this interim in deep conversations with so many of you, my neighbors and constituents, and I know how brilliant and resilient our community is. We can accomplish amazing things for our friends and neighbors not just in LD 26 but across Washington state by working together. 

look forward to seeing you tomorrow! Let us know if you can make it to one of the town halls – bonus points if you bring a new friend! – by clicking on the Facebook links below or by replying to this email. (About a month ago we also put our town hall information here and here, if you’d like alternative online routes to the info!)

Bremerton Town Hall – Health & Long-term Care

  • Location: Olympic College Bremerton, Building 7 – 1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
  • Time: Jan. 11, 9:00am – 10:30am

Port Orchard Town Hall – Military & Human Services

  • Location: Port Orchard City Hall – 216 Prospect St, Port Orchard, WA 98366
  • Time: Jan. 11, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Gig Harbor Town Hall – Education

  • Tacoma Community College Gig Harbor – 3993 Hunt St, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
  • Time: Jan. 11, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Key Peninsula Town Hall – Transportation & Natural Resources

  • Location: Key Peninsula Civic Center – 17010 S Vaughn Rd NW, Vaughn, WA 98394
  • Time: Jan. 11, 4:30pm – 6:00pm

You can see more information on the town halls here.

sen randall speaking

My week in Olympia

I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my legislative calendar each week on my Facebook page.

Keep in touch

My team and I are eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what we’re up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at 360-786-7650 or Emily.Randall@leg.wa.gov. The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.

All my best,

Signature