News

E-news – Lights, camera, floor action

Friends, neighbors— 

Having completed week number five of session, we’re officially more than halfway to the finish line of our 60-day short session! This week, the House and Senate were both on the floor full-time, debating bills and sending them to the other chamber to start working their way through the process over there. It’s been a full, wonderful week of work, so here are five highlights from every day of the week to show you what we’ve been up to: 

skhs flag

On Monday…

I was visited by some #wolves from South Kitsap High School, my very own alma mater! School board directors from the Peninsula, Bremerton, and South Kitsap School Districts dropped by my office to talk about how the legislature can work with high schools in the state to make sure every student has the support and access to resources that they need to finish high school strong. Extra credit goes to SKSD Director Eric Gattenby for bringing along the famous SKHS flag, which has traveled the globe with him to places like South Africa, China, and Washington, D.C.! This flag has now added the Washington State Capitol to its ranks, and if you’d like to see the most well-traveled flag in the state, drop by my office – I have it on our wall! 

united way pierce

On Tuesday…

An awesome group of advocates from the United Way of Pierce County stopped in. I have so much admiration for these folks – they dedicate their time and energy to tackling our community’s toughest challenges, and they came to talk to me about how the state can support struggling families in Pierce County with more readily available resources, including South Sound 211, a free community hotline that connects folks to critical services related to everything from rent assistance to tax preparation services. I love getting to meet up with constituents doing such good work. It’s an honor to stand alongside them in partnership against poverty, working toward a shared value: helping people thrive. 

wilson randall hug

On Wednesday…

Full-time floor action started! I am absolutely thrilled to share that my bill to establish an LGBTQ veteran coordinator passed with incredible bipartisan support. This piece of legislation has been over a year in the making. It’s something I have been committed to since I joined the Senate. This bill is a product of dozens of conversations with military friends, family, and neighbors who’ve been asking for a veteran coordinator that is dedicated to connecting LGBTQ vets to the resources they deserve, and so often go without. Read more about it here! 

darneille lovelett randall suffrage flag

On Thursday…

We celebrated the powerful, lasting legacy of women who fought for suffrage. Because of those who made their voices loud and clear to advocate for the right to vote, women now have a seat at the policymaking table. Though it took decades for women – all women – to receive this precious right, we honor the movement of inclusion and equity that paved the way for us. It was my privilege to hold the symbol of the women’s suffrage flag alongside my friends Sen. Darneille and Sen. Lovelett as we celebrated the steps toward a more robust democracy that we’ve made – and continue to make – as a state and as a nation. 

Sen Randall in wings

On Friday…

We were debating bills on the floor nearly all day, which meant we got to send some amazing legislation over to the House. One of the highlights included a data privacy bill (SB 6281) that bolsters consumers’ access to and control over their personal data held by companies. It gives Washingtonians the tools to determine how their personal data is used and shared. That includes the right to know who is using their data and why,  the right to delete certain personal data, and the right to opt out of the processing of data. The act also requires companies – like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook – to disclose data management policies in order to increase transparency and establishes limits on the commercial use of facial recognition technology. I was proud to support a bill that puts Washingtonians and their right to their own data first!

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 here each week on Facebook, and have launched an Instagram account (@senatoremilyrandall) to give you more in-the-moment updates.

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,

Signature

February 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|

E-news – Shout out to our youngest community members!

Randall 2019 banner

Friends, neighbors— 

As of today, we have hit our first important deadline: policy cutoff. That means that we’ve introduced the last new bills of the 2020 session, and now we’ll begin to move the best of these bills along in the process. I’m excited that we’re going to be able to keep discussing and moving so many important pieces of legislation to remove barriers to higher education, cut costs in health care, make life easier for our military members and their families, and promote the well-being of our K-12 kiddos. 

Speaking of kiddos—I had so many fun visits from our young activists and advocates this week, and I want to highlight them and their priorities today. After all, these young people are tomorrow’s leaders, teachers, healers, peace-keepers. I love seeing them at the legislature using their voices, plugging their communities, and building a movement. This one’s for them! 

kiddo asking q

Kiddos tackle the capitol

A handful of school groups from schools in my district – like East Port Orchard Elementary, Hidden Creek Elementary, and a Puget Sound-wide group of homeschoolers – have visited Olympia on field trips, and I always try to duck off the floor or out of committee to swing by and chat with them. Our students are so eager to learn – and brimming with excellent questions! The educators and parents chaperoning my young constituents watch with pride and encouragement as students share their policy concerns and ask questions about the legislative process. It’s clear that these caring adults are doing an amazing job stoking their curiosity and empowering them to love learning. No matter where I am or what I’m doing during session, I will always do my very best to come visit these kiddos during their field trips! 

PP teen council

Teens tellin’ it like it is

A couple impressive students from South Kitsap High School and Central Kitsap High School – two fantastic schools in Kitsap County – visited me as advocates with Planned Parenthood Teen Council. These brave students shared why they support comprehensive sexual health education to help young people make the best decisions possible about their bodies, their relationships, and their futures. I’m happy to say the Senate passed the bill these students were advocating for (SB 5395) to empower and equip students with the information they need. Next step: action in the House! 

tooth fairy constituent

Tooth fairies speaking the truth

This smart cookie came to my office to voice her support for SB 5392, allowing dental therapists to train and practice across Washington. This legislation is so important because it makes things easier for highly qualified professionals in the dental profession to provide dental care, especially in areas – like ours! – where adequate dental care may be far out of reach, or too expensive. I was so proud of this tooth fairy activist for using her time and her voice to speak out for her community on this issue! 

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 here and a week-in-review video here each week on Facebook. 

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,

Signature

February 10th, 2020|E-News|

E-news – Introducing my team, part 2!

Randall 2019 banner

Friends, neighbors – 

We’re now three weeks into session, and I’m proud of what we’ve already accomplished. On the Senate floor we strengthened last year’s investment in higher education access for Washington students; we moved my post-partum Medicaid expansion bill out of the Health and Long Term Care committee and on to Ways & Means (the next step in the process to passage!); I introduced a common sense bike-signal bill in the Transportation committee; and I got to visit with two 4th grade classes visiting the Capitol on field trips! 

It’s been a busy and successful week, and I have the support of my neighbors, my colleagues, and my staff to thank for helping me get such great work done. In last week’s newsletter, I introduced my session aide (Cameron) and my intern (Ashley), two awesome young women who are a crucial part of my team. Today, I want to introduce the other half of my team – Sarah, my legislative aide, and Hannah, my communications specialist! 

Introducing my team

Communicating with my district – letting you know what we’re working on, being transparent about my schedule, giving you exciting new updates – is so incredibly important to me. It’s how I keep in touch with you and how you keep in touch with me! That’s why I’m excited to work with Hannah Sabio-Howell, my new communications specialist! She helps me prep my outgoing communications, like my Facebook posts, newsletters, speeches, and press releases. Plus, she’s often my photographer and videographer at different events, so we can always show you what we’re up to.

H. Sabio-Howell w ER

Hannah has lived in St. Louis, MO, Baguio City in the Philippines, and Chicago, IL – but ended up in our wonderful Washington state to be near her extended family in Walla Walla and Ritzville. She attended Whitworth University in Spokane (shout out to our independent colleges and universities!), where she studied Political Science, Spanish, and Law and Justice, then headed even further west to work for the office of Representative Springer in Kirkland. We’re glad that her journey to public service has ultimately landed her on our team, managing communications for our office! 

Hannah says that “supporting the community-driven and justice-oriented work of Senator Randall is rewarding, exciting, and fun. The senator and her staff embody the saying that ’empowered women empower women’ and I am honored to be one of the people who gets to work closely with them and for them, for the people of LD 26 and all of Washington State.” You may see Hannah running around with a camera in hand at our events or meetings throughout the year, and when you do, I hope you’ll get a chance to say hey!

Sarah Myers

Sarah Myers, my fabulous legislative assistant (aka Chief of Staff, aka The Boss) is someone you likely already know! She’s been my amazing #TeamRandall lead for a year now, helping me track policy, bring together stakeholders, organize coffee hours and town halls, and keep our office humming. She helps me out when I need to be in five places at once – and works incredibly hard to make sure we serve you to the very best of our ability.

Sarah grew up in Shelton, so the shores of the Puget Sound are close to her heart. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, then jumped straight into the legislature – the 2020 session is her fourth! She says that what drew her in was “a fantastic internship program and wonderful coordinators” who showed her what it means to be a part of a representative government.

Her favorite part of working at the legislature is building long-term relationships with constituents  relationships that continue outside the bustle of legislative session to longer, in-district meetings over interim. Sarah and I had the chance to visit organizations, businesses, and passionate advocates in the summer and fall, and she loves connecting with the familiar faces that pop through our office door in Olympia. If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet her yet, you really should! 

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 360-786-7650 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

February 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

E-news – Introducing my team!

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,

January 27th, 2020|Uncategorized|

E-news – The best start to a great week

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

January 20th, 2020|Uncategorized|

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

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

January 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|

E-news – 12 Highlights of Christmas

Friends, neighbors—

We’re rounding out the year of 2019 and what an incredible year it has been. You and I have worked so hard together – through conversations, coffee hours, letters, emails, phone calls, rallies – to make the 26th legislative district and the state of Washington a better place for all of us. We expanded access and pathways to health care, we better supported our seniors and veterans and lower-income neighbors, we made it easier for students of every age and in every stage of life to fulfill their dreams through higher education, and we ensured our community got the state investments we deserve. 

As we enter the holiday season of thankfulness and reflection on the year behind us and look forward to the year ahead  it’s important to celebrate our victories. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from 2019 and hopes for 2020: 

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#1: I gave my first speech on the floor of the Senate to advocate for military families! The policy is about ensuring that we serve the families that serve us – it allows the children of service members to enroll in school using their new base as their address (before they find their new home). This will make the transition to a new school for the kids, for their families, and for their school districts just a little easier. (A little inside baseball: the version that the Governor signed is a little different than my version SB 5603, so it doesn’t show up as a “companion bill,” but I worked closely with Rep. Christine Kilduff in the House to get this important policy to home plate.) 

#2: We passed my Reproductive Health Access for All Act! This bill prohibits health care discrimination based on gender identity.  Our neighbors have faced continued discrimination and barriers to care. This bill protects Washingtonians who are often ignored, and provides access to the essential health care they need and deserve. Along the way to the Governor’s desk we also added other important protections: ensuring hospitals are clear about what sort of reproductive health care they offer, and ensuring college student health plans cover the health care needs of survivors of sexual assault. This bill was one of my priorities last session, and we got it done! 

#3: We got the state to invest $29 million of capital budget funds in our community! This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are some highlights: 

  • $10.1 million for Olympic College’s Innovation & Technology Learning Center and the renovation of the Shop Building 
  • $4 million for construction work atRetsilVeterans Home 
  • $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 

12.23 3

#4:My caucus chose me to be the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee chair! I have been so honored and humbled to be trusted by my colleagues to lead this important committee. This is a rare opportunity for first-year legislators, and I do not take it for granted. I’m eager to lead this team forward as we make higher education more accessible and affordable for all students, engage adult learners, give first-generation students the support they need to navigate these systems, and continue building a strong workforce through education. 

#5:We made our roads safer for folks on bikes, on foot, and in wheelchairs! We did this through my bill, SB 5723, which creates clearer right-of-way rules to better protect vulnerable road-users. As a member of the Transportation Committee, I care not only about alleviating congestion and making sure our region gets the transportation investments we deserve, but also about making road travel safer for all of us. Transportation will continue to be a priority this year as we determine Washington’s best path forward in the wake of I-976, so stay tuned as we work on this.

#6:We took bold action to mitigate the damaging impacts of climate change! More than 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from our transportation sector alone. As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I care about how we cut commutes and make our roads safer, while working hand-in-hand with efforts to develop a more sustainable transportation sector. I’m proud that last session we passed HB 1512, providing municipal electric utilities with greater authority to make investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Not only that, but we set groundbreaking new clean energy standards to cut greenhouse gas emissions in buildings as well as appliances and cars. We owe this to future generations. 

#7:We’ll be supporting Fire Stations who want to provide on-site health care! Just a few weeks ago, I dropped a bill that will expand the authority of fire protection districts to establish and provide health clinic services. This amazing idea was brought to the table by the Key Peninsula Fire District. It’s going to be another critical step in making sure health care is accessible to everyone who needs it. I am so excited to partner with our amazing fire fighters to see this through. Read more about this on my Facebook page

RHAA

#8: We’ll fix our Caseload Forecasting system! Currently, the Caseload Forecast Council provides the state of Washington with a projection of the number of people who need services from different entitlement programs, but right now, DD services aren’t included in caseload forecasting. This makes things hard for families that qualify for services based on disability but end up on what’s called the “No Paid Services Caseload” (which is a massive 14,000+ person wait list). I want to fix this. We need to fix this. My bill will give people on the No Paid Services Caseload a case manager to assess their needs and help them find supports. 

#9: We’ll take important steps to protect the health of new parents!  The United States – including Washington – reports shocking numbers of high-risk pregnancies, post-partum complications, and maternal mortality, despite our wealth and medical advancement. The numbers are especially stark for women of color. All Washingtonians deserve safety and comfort after they welcome a new little family member into the world – it should be one of the happiest moments of their lives, not one of the most stressful. That’s why I’ll be sponsoring a bill to improve maternal health outcomes by extending Medicaid coverage to one year post-partum. 

#10: We will encourage more entrepreneurs into the food economy! I plan to propose legislation that will bring more entrepreneurs – especially women, people of color, and immigrants – into the formal system and provide them with better education and training about public and environmental health. You may hear about it as a “Microenterprise Home Kitchens bill.” It will encourage more entrepreneurs with very small food businesses (think: the neighbor who makes amazing lumpia or tamales!) to expand into a more traditional food business model with micro-scale enterprises. 

#11: We will promote access to earned benefits and services for our LGBTQ+ military veterans! Last session, I sponsored a bill (SB 5900) that would create the position of LGBTQ Coordinator within the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. That bill didn’t make it out of committee last year, but the path to the Governor’s desk looks good for 2020. LGBTQ veterans experience higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation, loneliness, and isolation. This new position will connect with our brave veterans and ensure we’re serving them in their time of need. 

#12: We’ll work to expand access to school based health care – supporting student success and long term health outcomes! Too many children struggle in school and in life because they aren’t getting the health care they need – for colds and flus, and for depression and substance abuse. Maybe it’s because parents are working multiple jobs and can’t take time off work for a doctor’s appointment, maybe it’s because the students aren’t comfortable opening up about their needs, maybe it’s because the nearest clinic is an hour or more away on public transit. Washington State has a number of School Based Health Centers – partnerships between school districts and health clinics – that are meeting students where they are, and helping them get healthy and stay healthy. In 2020, I’m going to work to expand School Based Health Centers into more districts! 

Lovelett and Randall

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

December 23rd, 2019|E-News|
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    E-news – Town Halls on Sat., 1/11 + Getting ready for session

E-news – Town Halls on Sat., 1/11 + Getting ready for session

Friends, neighbors—

Mark your calendars for several town halls happening on Saturday, January 11, 2020! We’ll be having four separate town halls at four different locations throughout the district—all on Jan. 11—so that I can hear from you about your priorities as we approach the 2020 legislative session. Plus, we’re trying something new! To best share with you what kind of policy I’ve been working on with members of our community on issues like health care, human services, education, and transportation, we will be joined by local community leaders at each of these town halls. I’m excited to talk about how we’ve all been working hard together to make the kind of change you want to see.

Let us know if you can make it to one (or two, or all) of the town halls by clicking on the Facebook links below or by replying to this email:

Bremerton Town Hall – Health & Long-term Care

  • Location: Olympic College Bremerton – 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.

randall in committee

Counting down the days until session…

With just a handful of weeks left until the start of the 2020 legislative session, I have been hard at work with constituents and stakeholders—visiting different parts of our community, having conversations about priorities, drafting legislation. Democracy takes all of us, and I have been humbled time and again by your willingness to give me feedback, get involved, and help me determine the policy changes that will make life better for you, our neighbors, and all Washingtonians as we gear up for session.

A highlight of the past two weeks was my first Higher Education and Workforce Development committee meeting as chair! We had a great work session, which you can watch by clicking here. Also during committee assembly week, we got back into the swing of things in my other two committees: Transportation and Health and Long-term Care. Check out what we talked about in Transportation here, and watch Health and Long-term Care here.

11.4 PO coffee hour

Last week was the last of our 20 interim coffee hours. I had the joy of hearing directly from you about your concerns and ideas and keeping you up to date about my policy plans for next session. Whether or not you were able to join a coffee hour, I hope you can make it to a town hall on January 11. You’ll have the opportunity to ask me anything about what next session will hold, and bring your ideas and input—just in time for session to start on January 13!

randall

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

December 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|

E-news – Protecting our environment

Friends, neighbors —

More and more frequently we are hearing news reports of record-breaking droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, rising ocean levels, and animal extinctions. These side effects of climate change demand our attention as we ask ourselves: will we be able to pass on a healthy, livable planet to our children and grandchildren? In fact, it is our children and grandchildren whose collective voices are the loudest, calling us to address climate change as the leading policy, business, and moral issue of our time.

I’m so proud of these young leaders. They give me so much hope.  But they shouldn’t be alone in the fight for their right to clean air and clean water. That’s why I use my voice in the Legislature to advocate for policies designed to protect our environment. We owe it to present and future generations to take decisive action that protects our climate, cleans our air, and creates clean-energy jobs. 

Today, I want to give you an overview of the sustainable, earth-conscious legislation signed into law this past session, along with an update about what’s to come.

Randall plus students - enviro walk out

Renewable fuels

The transportation sector is responsible for more than 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, a greater proportion than in most states, largely because the electricity sector produces less carbon here. As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, at the forefront of my mind is not only how we cut commutes and make our roads safer but also how we make the transportation sector more sustainable. That’s why we passed HB 1512, providing municipal electric utilities with greater authority to make investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 

prius

Reducing Plastics Waste and Recycling Contamination

One of my favorite things about our beautiful 26th District is our access to clear salt water. Not only do our harbors and beaches advance our local economies by providing jobs and encouraging tourism, they’re also simply beautiful. And it’s on us to make sure they stay that way. In Olympia, we want to do everything we can to keep harmful plastics and other garbage out of our waterways and marine systems. Last session, we passed many waste reduction bills, including: 

  • SB 5397 (HB 1204) directs the state Department of Ecology to study the management and disposal of plastic packaging and provide recommendations to the 2021 Legislature for reducing plastic waste as well as requiring greater product “stewardship” by manufacturers of plastic packaging. 
  • HB 1543 (SB 5545) creates the Recycling Development Center within Ecology to further the development of markets and processing for recycled commodities by reducing the contamination of separated recyclables that reduces the value of the material collected. 
  • HB 1569 requires compostable packaging to meet specified industry technical standards and to be labeled in ways that do not mislead consumers. 

kids sand shells

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change threatens our economy, public health, safety and quality of life — and it will worsen if we don’t address greenhouse gas emissions and work hard to lower them. The longer we wait, the higher the cost will be. That’s why we passed several important bills aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions in buildings and appliances and by promoting clean energy.

  • HB 1257 (SB 5293) requires the state Department of Commerce to establish an energy performance standard for existing large commercial buildings, beginning with the largest buildings in 2026.  
    • HB 1257 is a first-in-the-nation model for reducing significant emissions from our buildings sector. It presents a chance to have cleaner buildings, a better environment, and a higher quality of life. 
  • HB 1444 (SB 5115) adopts efficiency standards for certain appliance types, continues the Community Energy Efficiency Program, and provides $12.5 million for energy efficiency upgrades and solar power installation in public buildings. 
    • HB 1444 requires “what’s on the shelf” to be the most-efficient product available. That will particularly benefit renters and tenants by ensuring that apartments, homes and commercial spaces run on equipment that meets at least minimum requirements. 

green dress

This past session saw some huge progress in the direction of sustainability and leaves me excited about our greener, healthier future. We still have a lot of work to do, but with your help and your input, I know that our district and our state can continue to sustain the most beautiful coastlines, the healthiest marine life, the most majestic forests, the coolest volcanoes — and overall be the best state ever.

Around the 26th 

I hope you can join me at my last coffee hour of the year at the downtown Bremerton Kitsap Regional Library on Nov. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. You can see more details here. I’m so sad this is our last one of 2019, as I have had a wonderful time meeting so many of you and hearing your feedback and new ideas for making our communities the best they can be. I’m already looking forward to starting these coffee hours back up again next year!

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,

Signature

November 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|
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    E-News – Applications, financial aid, and all things higher ed

E-News – Applications, financial aid, and all things higher ed

Friends, neighbors—

ICYMI (in case you missed it!): Having served as Acting Chair of Higher Education and Workforce Development for most of this interim, I received the unanimous support of my caucus to officially chair the (best!) committee next session. It will be official official when the full Senate votes on January 13th, but I haven’t wasted a minute getting to work.

Over the spring, summer, and fall I have visited 19 campuses in our incredible higher education system — from community and technical colleges to big state universities and independent colleges. Each visit has been a blast! I’ve focused on meeting passionate students doing ground-breaking work, and talking with faculty and staff about the cutting-edge educational opportunities they offer. Our higher education system is preparing tomorrow’s engineers, teachers and health care providers, electricians and welders, sculptors and builders, activists and legislators, ministers and CEOs — as well as the thought leaders who will work in careers we haven’t yet considered.

On every campus visit, and in so many other conversations this interim, one thing has been on my mind: higher education doesn’t do someone much good if they don’t know how to pay for it. Because I was the first in my family to graduate from college, I know how daunting and inaccessible the system of higher education may seem. That’s why I’m devoting this newsletter to the resources that may help you or the young student in your life considering postsecondary education.

In the time that has passed since I was a high school student seeking scholarships, the Washington State Legislature has made significant investments in creating more pathways to prepare and access higher education opportunities — including the 2019 session’s landmark Workforce Education Investment Act which created the Washington College Grant (more on that below!).

These opportunities can be hard to navigate —  especially if you’re a #firstgen student, a single mom looking to re-enter the workforce, or someone looking to make a big, bold mid-career shift like my favorite mechanic-turned-doctor. In Washington, very few high school students — much less adults on the fence about enrolling in college — even complete the FAFSA or WAFSA to know if they qualify for financial aid.

I hope this newsletter is helpful for you, or for the folks in your life contemplating college. Please feel free to share it with a neighbor, and reach out to my office with questions!

 

randall - higher ed 2

 

#1: In middle school, enroll in the College Bound Scholarship Program (if eligible).

Seventh and eighth grade students in low-income households or in foster care can apply for the College Bound Scholarship. They must apply by the end of their eighth grade year, commit to graduate from high school with a GPA of at least 2.0, and have no felony convictions. This four-year scholarship covers tuition at public college rates, books, and certain fees at more than 60 eligible institutions in Washington State. For more information, visit: https://readysetgrad.wa.gov/college/college-bound-scholarship-program.

#2: In high school, enroll in dual-credit courses.

Dual-credit courses allow you to take college-level courses while you are in high school, with free or low-cost tuition for college credit. Dual-credit opportunities offered by Bremerton School DistrictPeninsula School District, and South Kitsap School District include:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • College in the High School
  • Tech Prep/Career & Technical Education (CTE)
  • Running Start

For more information, visit: https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/support-programs/dual-credit-programs.

#3: Apply for need-based state scholarships/grants.

Applying for most state-funded scholarships and grants is usually as easy as completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) if you aren’t eligible for federal aid due to your immigration status. Always follow up with the financial aid office at the school you’re planning to attend.

  • Washington College Grant: This year the Legislature replaced the State Need Grant with the Washington College Grant, making more families eligible for assistance in paying for education and training beyond high school while also including more higher education programs across the state. This grant provides financial aid to income-eligible students to study at eligible institutions, which include all public and some private colleges, universities, and career training schools statewide. The amount of funds a student will receive will depend on income, family size, and the school or program attended. For more information, visit: https://readysetgrad.wa.gov/college/washington-college-grant.
  • Opportunity Grant: The Opportunity Grant helps low-income adults at community colleges or technical schools earn 45 credits, receive a credential, and increase job skills and knowledge. Eligible students on approved career pathways may receive funds to cover tuition and fees up to 45 credits, as well as an allowance for books and supplies, and individual support services that can include tutoring, career advising, college success education, emergency child care and more. For more information, visit the website of the community college or technical school you plan to attend.
  • Washington State Opportunity Scholarship: The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is offered to eligible low- and middle-income students in Washington pursuing either: a bachelor’s degree in a STEM or health care field, or a certificate or degree in a high-demand trade, STEM or health care field. These funds can be used to cover tuition and fees, or other costs like transportation, housing, food, and more. For eligibility requirements and more information, visit: https://www.waopportunityscholarship.org/students/applicants/.

#4: Look into other scholarship opportunities.

#5: Obtain a State Work Study position.

Qualifying students from low- and middle- income households can get approved for on-campus or off-campus jobs to support higher education. Work study can build your skills, increase your earnings and reduce your reliance on student loans.

#6: Financial Aid for DREAMers and Other Undocumented Residents

State law allows undocumented, noncitizen residents who cannot complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due to their immigration status to instead apply for state financial aid through the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). Some benefits you could be eligible for include in-state tuition rates, the Washington College Grant, and the College Bound Scholarship. Students who have DACA status (expired or unexpired) may be eligible for other state financial aid as well.

 

randall - higher ed

 

Community Coffee Hours

There are only a couple of our 1st Monday coffee hours left in 2019! Please join me at Whiskey Gulch in Port Orchard next Monday 11/4Kimball Coffee in Gig Harbor on Monday 11/11, and the Kitsap Regional Library in Bremerton on 11/25. We will not have one in Key Peninsula on 11/18 due to Senate Committee Assembly that week.

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.

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,

Signature

November 1st, 2019|E-News|