E-News

E-News – So that all may play – or work!

August 16th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

Those of you who know me know that I’m passionate about expanding access to ALL in our communities, especially folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

I’m proud of the progress we made this year. We barred state agencies from paying less than minimum wage, increased the rate of pay for community respite providers, expanded social and emotional learning, and increased the special education funding multiplier.

But there’s more to do. Right now, Washington is 41st in the nation in investment in our developmentally disabled community. There are 14,000 Washingtonians who qualify for DD services who can’t access them because of lack of funding. We have a complex system that’s hard for families to navigate, and we need to fix that. To that end we brought together a group of parents, self-advocates, organizations, and agencies to talk through challenges and work on potential solutions.

More to come soon on that path forward! In the meantime, I wanted to share two great success stories from our community.

The playground at Evergreen Rotary Park in Bremerton was the dream of a group of moms who called themselves Beyond Accessible. They knew that the bare minimum of ADA accessibility for playgrounds still excluded many kids who had greater needs. And they worked for years to garner support from the community, the city, and the state.

Now on a beautiful summer day, you can see kids of all abilities running or wheeling across the turf, learning at the Braille clock, or playing in any of a million creative ways in this rich, stimulating environment. It’s truly a place where ALL may play.

Second, supported employment programs are making great job matches, and recently, I got to see the tremendous work that Trillium Employment Services is doing in Kitsap County — with employer partners like Silverdale Beach Hotel, Hops n Drops, and Whiskey Gulch CoffeePub.

So many individuals with I/DD have heard over and over what they can’t do, when the reality is that there is a world of possibilities out there just waiting to be discovered.

Around the 26th

I hope you can join me at one of my coffee hours around the district: 1st Mondays in Port Orchard, 2nd Mondays in Gig Harbor, 3rd Mondays on the Key Peninsula, and 4th Mondays in Bremerton. You can see the details about the upcoming schedule on my website or Facebook.

My week in service

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 Facebook. You can see this week’s here.

Keep in touch

I’m eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what my team and I are up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at (360) 627-7610 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 – An exciting new position

August 2nd, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

What’s my favorite part of my job as a Senator? It’s now, during the interim. Not because I don’t like working for you in Olympia (I do!), but because being in our community full time, staying in close touch with you and all our neighbors in the 26th District reaffirms why I do this work.

Since the end of session I’ve held coffee hours in all four corners of our district, reported on the session to community groups, attended neighborhood events, visited classes from Purdy Elementary to Marcus Whitman Middle School to Olympic College—and so many in between. I’ve served salmon at the Manchester Salmon Bake alongside Congressman Kilmer, marched in several parades, and co-hosted a low tide beach walk at Kopachuck State Park. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the summer!

I’m also honored be serving as Acting Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. This opportunity was certainly unexpected for a first term legislator, but I’m ready. As the first in my family to graduate from college, I know how crucial higher education—whether a certificate or a degree—can be in shaping our future. Now as Acting Chair, I’ve visited our local dynamos, Olympic College and Tacoma Community College, and seen the innovative work they’re doing on workforce preparation and integrating students facing extraordinary barriers, such as homelessness. (Their work is one of the inspirations for my bill SB 5800)

I’ve also led a legislative tour of colleges across our state, including Columbia Basin College, WSU Tri-Cities, and Walla Walla Community College, where I got to meet students learning to install, operate, and maintain wind turbines, our wine-scientists in training, and others who are enrolled in the John Deere Training Program, keeping Washington’s agricultural economy humming.

Soon, these colleges will be getting additional support from the landmark Workforce Education Investment Act that we passed this year, which dramatically increased foundational support for community and technical colleges and created the Washington College Grant Program, a statewide program making college affordable—in some cases free—for low income students. Quite simply, it’s the most generous need-based aid program in the nation.

I’m committed to continuing to learn on the ground about the next generation of cutting-edge educational opportunities and how we can support them!

Around the 26th

I loved the chance to dive into my first legislative session with Kitsap Daily News reporter Bob Smith! We talked about bipartisan cooperation, learning-by-doing alongside other new members, how a fast-paced campaign prepares you for the sprint of legislative session, and getting work done for our neighbors. You can read the full interview here.

This moon snail was a big hit with the kids at a Low Tide Beach Walk at Kopachuck State Park!  Thanks to the staff, biologists, and volunteer naturalists of Harbor WildWatch for introducing us to the fascinating critters in our beautiful natural world. This year, the legislature allocated $1.2 million to Kopachuck to build facilities that will improve access to the beach. I’m proud to support our State Parks!

I also had the chance to tour the Port of Tacoma with the Legislative Rail Caucus! Thanks to Tacoma Rail and The Northwest Seaport Alliance, along with ILWU and SMART-TD, for the tour. We heard about the rail line’s long history, the safety protocol, environmental regulations, and the present and future for trade in our region. Every train that pulls out of their on-dock rail yard takes 300 trucks off the road. More than $75 billion in trade goes through Puget Sound ports each year. That’s good for our economy, for our environment, and for family-wage jobs.

Community Coffee Hours

I hope you can join me at one of my coffee hours around the district: 1st Mondays in Port Orchard, 2nd Mondays in Gig Harbor, 3rd Mondays on the Key Peninsula, and 4th Mondays in Bremerton. You can see the details about the upcoming month’s schedule here.

My week in service

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. During session I made a practice of posting my legislative calendar each week on my Facebook page–after a little vacation, we’re picking the habit back up!

Keep in touch

I’m eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what my team and I are up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at (360) 627-7610 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 – Session report card

April 29th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

After 105 days, we’ve made it to the finish line! Today we adjourned the legislative session until next year. Since I came to Olympia this January, I have made it my mission to fight every day to make the 26th District and our whole state a better place—to expand access to health care, to make it easier for kids to fulfill their dreams through higher education, and to ensure that our community is getting the investment we deserve from the state.

The Legislature has made great progress on some of the most crucial issues facing our state this year. We’ve made it easier to build affordable housing, protected tenants from eviction, funded expanded wildfire prevention and response, protected our orcas, and improved sentencing guidelines. And we’ve guaranteed the most important protections for health care in the Affordable Care Act, expanded affordable and high-quality health insurance options, provided a way for families to prepare for long-term care, ensured transparency in drug pricing, and given school districts the flexibility to fund enrichment programs.

Closer to home, I’m proud to say that our budgets are funding significant infrastructure investments in our community.

The transportation budget includes $41 million of funding in and around our district over the next two years, including $7.9 million for upkeep of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and $2.5 million for the Bremerton and Southworth ferry terminals.

The capital budget will invest $29 million in projects in our communities, including:

  • $10.1 million for Olympic College’s Innovation & Technology Learning Center and the renovation of the Shop Building
  • $4 million for construction work at the Retsil Washington Veterans Home
  • $3.5 million for West Sound Technical Skill Center Modernization
  • $2.3 million for Minter Hatchery Intakes
  • $2 million for Peninsula Community Health Services Behavioral Expansion and Mobile Dental Clinic
  • $1.2 million for Kopachuck Beach Area Improvements
  • $1 million for the Mustard Seed Project, which promotes independent living for seniors on Key Peninsula
  • $800,000 for McCormick Woods Sewer Lift #2 Improvements
  • $556,000 for Warren Avenue Playfield
  • $500,000 for renovations at Warren Ave. Neighborhood Park
  • $497,800 for Gateway Park
  • $385,000 for Sound View Camp conservation
  • $350,000 for Gig Harbor Sports Complex
  • $250,000 for the YMCA of Greater Seattle Camp Colman
  • $206,000 for Quincy Square on 4th
  • $204,500 for Taylor Bay Acquisition Phase 2
  • $200,000 for environmental cleanup at the Bremerton Naval Complex
  • $173,000 for PenMet Community Rec Center
  • $150,000 for Kaukiki Farmland Preservation
  • $134,000 for Sehmel Homestead Park Turf Lights
  • $100,000 for Harbor History Museum’s fishing vessel Shenandoah
  • $90,000 for fish barrier removal on Minter Creek
  • $83,000 for Tidal Embayment restoration design
  • $52,000 for Howe Farm Water Service
  • $52,000 for PenMet Cushman Trail Enhancements
  • $51,000 for the Roxy Bremerton Foundation

Bills I passed this year

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. This is the final calendar of this year’s legislative session!

Keep in touch

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 360-786-7650 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,

E-News – Leading the nation

April 13th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

As the cherry trees bloom in Olympia, we are in the thick of floor action: all bills must have passed both houses by next Wednesday at 5 p.m. That means we’re on the floor of the Senate all day every day taking votes on bills that have come over to us from the House. We’ve passed bills that will make a difference—bills that will strengthen Washington’s hate crimes statues, enhance the safety of domestic violence victims and police officers, end the backlog on the testing of sexual assault kits, and protect patients from surprise bills for out-of-network services.

Opening doors to higher education

As a state, we’ve taken important steps to support young students experiencing homelessness while in our K-12 system, but once they get to college, they lose that network.

That’s why I’m sponsoring SB 5800, which passed the House of Representatives last night. It creates pilot programs at six public colleges across the state, one four-year and two community and technical colleges (CTCs) on each side of the Cascades. Each institution will provide assistance to students experiencing homelessness and students who were in foster care.

As the national publication CityLab recently wrote, this bill makes Washington a leader nationwide—California is the only other state considering similar legislation this year.

The assistance colleges provide will include access to short-term housing or housing assistance; laundry facilities, storage, and showers; reduced-price meal plans; technology; and case management services. And, crucially, these schools will collect data on their students experiencing homelessness and food insecurity so that we can get a full picture of the scale of this problem and keep improving our services.

I’m a strong believer that those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution. The architect of this bill is Charles Adkins, a student at Evergreen State College who had himself been homeless in high school.  And one of the leaders in our state who has helped push for this legislation and has long been making college a welcoming and stable place for students experiencing homelessness is Marty Cavalluzzi, the President of Olympic College (pictured above).

Behind the scenes at our legislature

One of the great privileges of serving in the Legislature is interacting with all the bright and enthusiastic young people who spend time here learning about our democracy.

It was a blast to speak to the pages during page school last week. I told them my public-service origin story—how my sister and the 1993 legislature inspired me to spend my career advocating for health care access for every single one of us, and eventually to take the plunge and run for office.  They shared the projects they’re doing to learn about how our representative government works. I’m confident that some of them will be my colleagues here someday!

I’ve particularly prized the opportunity to hear the stories of the kids from across our district who have served as pages. You can read more about the terrific pages from the last month at the links below!

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

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 360-786-7650 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,

E-News – What’s in your budget

April 8th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

Thanks again to everyone who participated in one of our town hall meetings in Bremerton, Gig Harbor, and Vaughn, or in our telephone town hall meeting this past Wednesday. We had a great discussions about critical issues like the budget, health care, transportation and education, as well as the work I’ve been doing in Olympia for our community.

For anyone who couldn’t make it, you can check out the questions that I’ve answered on my Facebook page, or listen to the highlights of the telephone town hall meeting here.

Thank you all for being so invested in our community and government!

Fighting for your health care and infrastructure in our budget

This week, we passed the operating budget and transportation budget off the Senate floor, and we moved the capital budget through the Senate Ways & Means Committee. During the floor debate on the operating budget, I spoke about what it does to expand access to health care for those who are being left behind in our state. You can see my floor speech here.

I also wanted to share with you some of the infrastructure highlights for our district. You can also see full lists of projects in our district, as well as around the state, at http://fiscal.wa.gov/.

These budgets are not yet final—they still have to go through negotiations with the House. That means there is still work to do to make sure that the final versions includes our priority projects, and I’ll be following the negotiations carefully and fighting on our behalf.

The transportation budget includes $43 million of funding in and around our district over the next two years, including $7.9 million for upkeep of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and $2.5 million for the Bremerton and Southworth ferry terminals. The projects funded in the capital budget include:

  • $1 million for the Mustard Seed Project, which promotes independent living for seniors on the Key Peninsula
  • $800,000 for McCormick Woods Sewer Lift #2 Improvements in Port Orchard
  • $1.7 million for Peninsula Community Health Services Behavioral Expansion
  • $340,000 for Peninsula Community Health Services’ Mobile Dental Clinic 
  • $51,000 from the Building for the Arts Grant Program for the Roxy Bremerton Foundation
  • $250,000 for the YMCA of Greater Seattle Camp Colman
  • $100,000 from the Washington State Historical Society Heritage Grants Program for the Harbor History Museum
  • $4 million for construction work at the Washington Veterans Home
  • $3.5 million for West Sound Technical Skill Center Modernization
  • $200,000 for environmental cleanup at the Bremerton Naval Complex
  • $2.3 million Minter Hatchery Intakes
  • From the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program –
    • $150,000 for Kaukiki Farmland Preservation
    • $500,000 for renovations at Warren Ave. Neighborhood Park
    • $497,800  for Gateway Park
    • $1,236,000  for Kopachuck Beach Area Improvements      
    • $204,500 for Taylor Bay Acquisition Phase 2             

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

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 360-786-7650 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,

  • Permalink Gallery

    E-News – Telephone Town Hall Wed. 4/3 + infrastructure investments

E-News – Telephone Town Hall Wed. 4/3 + infrastructure investments

March 29th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

Next Wednesday, April 3, please join me for a telephone town hall! I’m eager to share the work I’ve been doing as your State Senator to expand health care access and reduce costs, as well as to make living and learning more affordable for everyone, including veterans and gold star families.

My top priority is opening the door to the Legislature to every member of our community—hearing your issues and concerns and reporting back to you on what we’ve done so far. You are essential to our democratic process.

If you would like to make sure you receive a phone call at 6 pm on April 3 for the telephone town hall, you can opt in here: www.vekeo.com/WSDC26.

Once you get the call on April 3, all you need to do is stay on the line to participate. Press *3 at any time to ask a question. The town hall will last until 7 pm. You can see more information on my Facebook page here.

Thank you for participating, and I hope to hear your voice!

Investing in our infrastructure

It’s budget week! I’ve been working hard to make sure that the 26th District gets our fair share of the transportation and capital investments that the state is going to make over the next two years. And I’ve been working closely with neighbors and community groups in our district to identify the most pressing places where we need investment in our physical infrastructure—from roads and ferries to affordable housing and health centers.

That means money for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Fund, senior living at the Mustard Seed project on the Key Peninsula, mental health services and a mobile dental clinic through Peninsula Community Health Services, as well as more ferry funding.

I’m excited that the Senate’s draft transportation and capital budgets include these and several other projects I’ve been fighting for. Over the next two years, the Senate’s proposed capital budget would invest $31.9 million in our community, and the transportation budget $43 million in and around our district. Whether all these projects are in the budget that is ultimately passed by the legislature will depend on the negotiations of the coming weeks.

There’s more work to do to ensure these projects make their way through the legislative process and into the final budget, so take a look at my video about the budget, and check the comments for links to the full details of both budgets so you can learn about the projects you want to support!

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

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 360-786-7650 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,

  • Permalink Gallery

    E-News – Town Halls Sat 3/23 + Behind the scenes at the Legislature

E-News – Town Halls Sat 3/23 + Behind the scenes at the Legislature

March 21st, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

This weekend, on Saturday, March 23, please join me for town halls in Bremerton, Gig Harbor and Vaughn!

Let us know if you can make it to one of the events by clicking on the links below:

You can see more information on the town halls here.

Strong women at the Legislature

One of the friendliest faces at the Legislature belongs to Airy’l Simon. If you go through the line in the Senate dining room, you’ll see her behind the counter, greeting every senator by first name. “My favorite part of being here is customer service, interacting with everyone who comes through,” Airy’l says. “I like to make things a little more personable and make the senators feel like regular people.”

Airy’l is just as much at home in the Senate as anyone coming through the line. She’s been the sous chef in the Senate dining room for seven years. She works alongside an all-female staff, as does her mom, Kerri, who’s been with the Senate for 24 years as executive chef—longer than any currently serving senator.

Born and raised in Olympia, Airy’l started helping at her parents’ restaurant when she was five. “I would stand on a milk crate and could just reach the sink,” she said. She knew that restaurant front and back. These days, her parents have a new restaurant in Tumwater, named after her father, Jean-Pierre. Airy’l works there five nights a week as executive sous chef in addition to her time here. 

In between those jobs, she’s pursuing her passion: welding. Airy’l is an experienced welder whose eyes light up when she describes a few of the projects she’s produced: the wolf from Jack London’s classic novel White Fang, a metal rose made from the tin that welding rods come in, or a sign she made with her family’s name on it.

Three times a week, Airy’l heads off to South Puget Sound Community College, where she has just three more quarters until she receives her Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology. During interims, she works making furniture for schools, and she has a vision for her career once she finishes her education. She’s going to learn about structural engineering, and build even bigger things—buildings, cars, bridges. What she loves about working in metal, she says, is: “the stuff that I make now will last practically forever.”

Airy’l remembers that when he was lieutenant governor, Brad Owen used to come to the Senate dining room and sit down with her. He’d tell her, “Your time is worth much more than you think it is; you’re smarter than you think you are—always think about what you want to accomplish.” Airy’l is thinking about that as she works toward her degree and the life that she wants to give her 18-month-old daughter, Ashyr. “She’s the reason I’m going to school and working,” says Airy’l. “I’m lucky to have my family there to support me, especially my sister Sky. It’s hard sometimes when I’m not there to put Ashyr into bed, but she’s why I get up in the mornings.” That devotion is just one of the reasons we’re lucky to have Airy’l here!

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

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 360-786-7650 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,

E-News – Passing landmark legislation

March 15th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

We’ve hit the halfway point, and we’re done with the part of the session called house of origin cutoff, when we had to get all the Senate bills off the floor. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together—we passed legislation that would provide comprehensive sex education, protect trans kids and their classmates from bullying in schools, make great strides for our environment, ensure that the college students with the highest need are guaranteed the financial aid they need to succeed, regulate the inhumane conditions of migrant workers in our farms and fields, and so much more.

I’m also proud of the bills that I sponsored that we passed out of the Senate. For the next few weeks, I’ll be working to make sure that they get through the House and to the Governor’s desk.

Spotlight: Bills I have passed

When I came to Olympia, I brought with me the stories that I heard from neighbors and friends all around the 26th District, the stories of finding a way to go to college while taking care of kids and family members, of hiding the fact that your family is homeless from fellow students, of getting along while family members are serving overseas, of struggling to pay for health care coverage—or doing without. Those are the stories that keep me going, and they’re the stories that led to the bills I’ve sponsored this year. Nine of those bills passed through the Senate and are still alive:

SB 5822 is the Pathway to Universal Health Care in Washington. With the chaos and the hostility to expanding health care in the current administration, we know that we are not going to get the waivers we need from the federal government right now for a universal health care system. This bill would convene a group of stakeholders to make a plan that would set us up to get that support when there’s a change of administration. We can’t afford to wait around—we need to start preparing now.

SB 5602, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act, prohibits health care discrimination on the basis of immigration status or gender identity.  Our transgender and undocumented neighbors have faced continued discrimination and barriers to care. This bill protects the most vulnerable communities and provides access to the essential health care they need and deserve.

SB 5800 creates pilot programs at six colleges across the state, three on each side of the Cascades, to provide assistance to homeless students and students who have been in foster care. It includes both four-year institutions and community and technical colleges. Once young people experiencing homelessness get to college, they lose the network of support available when they’re younger.

SB 5603 would help the children of service members who are relocating to enroll in school before they have an address in district. This will improve the transition to a new school for the kids, for their families, and for their school districts. As we welcome the families connected to the USS Carl Vinson to our community this year, we want to make sure that no matter what the makeup of your family or how soon you know that you’re coming to our community, we clear the ground for you.

SB 5755 increases the higher education tuition and fee waiver for gold star families, from 200 credits to 250, and expands access to tuition waivers to include veterans and National Guard members who received a general discharge under honorable conditions.

SB 5723, which passed unanimously, protects folks on bikes, on foot, in wheelchairs, and others using our roads, and encourages Washingtonians to get out and use alternative methods of transportation that will help keep themselves and our planet healthy and safe.

SB 5930 creates the first license plate in our state’s history to honor a women’s sports team, our WNBA champion Seattle Storm! This is a victory for gender parity, and the funds raised will go toward investing in the promise of young women and girls.

SB 5622 allows municipal and district court commissioners to officiate at a marriages. This would mean that LGBTQ, immigrant, or non-English speaking couples, or couples of other marginalized communities could approach someone a little more like themselves to perform their wedding.

SB 5764 changes the name of the Medical Quality Assurance Commission (“MQAC”) to the Washington Medical Commission, to make the name less confusing—and to take the “quack” out of “M-quack.”

Town Halls

On Saturday, March 23, I’ll be hosting town halls in Bremerton, Gig Harbor and Vaughn. I’m eager to share the work we’ve been doing to expand health care access and reduce costs, as well as to make living and learning more affordable for everyone, including veterans and gold star families.

My top priority is opening the door to Legislature to every member of our community—hearing your issues and concerns, and reporting back to you on what we’ve done so far. You are essential to our democratic process. Thank you for participating, and I hope to see you there!

Let us know if you can make it to one of the events by clicking on the links below:

You can see them all at the link here.

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 each week on Facebook. You can always see the last week’s calendar on my Facebook page.

Keep in touch

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 360-786-7650 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,

E-News – Save the date for my town halls!

March 10th, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

We’ve been working around the clock this week passing bills on the floor of the Senate. There have been eloquent speeches, heated debates, tears, and—in the end—lots of legislation that’s going to make a difference in all of our lives.

We’ve passed bills to create an LGBTQ Commission, help human trafficking victims, expand broadband in underserved areas, address the opioid epidemic, and remove barriers to voting — and that’s just for starters. I also helped move a big transportation package, with millions of dollars of investments in our district, out of committee.  

Town Halls

On Saturday, March 23, I’ll be hosting town halls in Bremerton, Gig Harbor and Vaughn. I’m eager to share the work we’ve been doing to expand health care access and reduce costs, as well as to make living and learning more affordable for everyone, including veterans and gold star families.

My top priority is opening the door to Legislature to every member of our community—hearing your issues and concerns, and reporting back to you on what we’ve done so far. You are essential to our democratic process. Thank you for participating, and I hope to see you there!

Let us know if you can make it to one of the events by clicking on the links below:

You can see them all at the link here.

Behind the scenes at our Legislature

One of the great privileges of serving in the Legislature is interacting with all the bright and enthusiastic young people who spend time here learning about our democracy. I’ve gotten to talk to kids from schools around the district, and last week I sponsored my first page.

The page program gives young people a hands-on opportunity to learn how our state government works from the inside. The pages spend a week on the floor of the Senate, in the corridors of the Senate offices, and with guest speakers and classes on topics like budget writing and how a bill becomes a law. And it culminates in pages creating their own bills in a mock committee setting.

My page last week was Elena Weymiller. She’s in 9th grade at Gig Harbor High School, where she is on the speech and debate team. Elena enjoys playing a variety of different instruments including the guitar, ukulele, and piano. And when she has free time, Elena writes short modern fiction stories and hangs out with her dog Willy.

“I enjoyed being a page because the people here really treat us with responsibility and respect,” Elena said. “We are treated a lot more like adults here, and are trusted with important tasks.”

If you want to learn more about the page program or find the application, check here on the Legislature’s website.

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 each week on Facebook. You can always see the last week’s calendar on my Facebook page.

Keep in touch

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 360-786-7650 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,

E-News – Breaking through the gridlock

March 3rd, 2019|

Friends, neighbors—

This has been a big week in the Senate! As the session goes on, we’re bringing more and more important bills up for votes on the floor and passing legislation that is making a better Washington for all of us. In the past few days, we have passed bills to lead us to a 100-percent clean energy future; to address the bullying of transgender students; to increase the supply of affordable housing; and to provide comprehensive, fact-based sex education – that includes important conversations about consent – to students across the state. Next up: bills we’ve been working on to expand access to college and health care, and to pave the way to a better, more efficient transportation system.  

Spotlight: investing in infrastructure

From Gig Harbor to Gorst, our transportation needs in and around the 26th District have been neglected for too long. That’s why I’m excited that so many of the projects I have been fighting for were included in the Forward Washington transportation infrastructure package that Senator Hobbs has put forward. In total, the land-based projects would represent a $361 million investment in improved mobility for our district, and the ferry improvements another $1.67 billion. The projects include:

  • $35 million for improving the intersection of SR3 and SR 16
  • $300 million for widening SR3 in Gorst (read about these two projects here)
  • $1.9 million for improving congestion on SR 16 in the Gig Harbor area
  • $6 million for roundabouts near Port Orchard at the intersection of SR 16 and SR 160
  • $18 million for widening Wollochet Drive NW
  • $1.5 billion for ferry vessels and terminal construction and preservation
  • $170 million for ferry vessel electrification

In addition, I’m the prime sponsor of a bill that would freeze tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and provide more state funding for the bridge payments. This state support would make up for lost time. When the bridge was built, we didn’t get a good deal on the financing. The original plan called for a much higher percentage of the cost of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to be paid from tolls than for many other similar projects in other areas of the state, including the SR 520 bridge between Seattle and Bellevue. My bill would start to make up for that neglect. You can read more about it here.

Introducing our staff

Though you may not interact with them when you call the office, come to a town hall, or visit us in Olympia, there’s a dedicated staff behind the scenes making the Legislature hum along. The policy team brings an unmatched depth of knowledge in order to distill the perspectives of constituents, experts, stakeholders, and advocates into the bills that are the core of our work here. One of the policy staff who always has a smile and an encouraging word to go along with her keen intellect (and her A+ color-coordination!) is Noha Mahgoub.

Noha, who staffs the Local Government Committee, the Capital Budget, and the Members of Color Caucus, has led a life full of adventures. From spending several formative childhood years living in Egypt, to briefly guest-playing for the Egyptian women’s national soccer team, to becoming the first in her family to go to college, Noha hasn’t let anything hold her back.

Noha is an intellectual adventurer as well. She has a Masters of Social Work in Administration and Policy from UW. That background and her extensive experience as a social worker for the YMCA’s Young Adult Services, working with youth in foster care, as well as stints at the Washington Department of Social and Human Services and Child Protective Services, informs her work helping craft policy on a wide variety of issues.

The issues that the Local Government Committee deals with, for example, can be extremely technical, but things like zoning, emergency preparedness, and contracting rules make a big difference in people’s everyday lives. Noha is also fascinated by the capital budget, which funds construction and repair of buildings and infrastructure. “It touches every facet of what we work on here,” she says. “K-12 schools, college construction, flood preparations, you name it.” Before joining the policy staff, she spent two years working as an LA, and one of her most memorable experiences was seeing Big Bertha when touring the Seattle tunnel.

But, Noha says, “the Members of Color Caucus is where my heart and soul is—working on bills to reduce disparities and create the world we want to live in.” This is where Noha and I have worked together, on legislation like the Reproductive Health Access for All Act, and my first-year bill, which will ease school enrollment for the children of relocating military families. We’re making exciting progress, but there is still a lot of work to do—and I’m glad to be doing it with Noha’s help.

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 each week on Facebook. You can always see the last week’s calendar on my Facebook page.

Keep in touch

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,