Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is day 16 of the legislative session. Yesterday, I joined my fellow state representatives in voting on a bill that attempts to address the shortfall in our state budget that runs through June 30. I voted against this measure because it makes deep cuts to education and retroactively asks for money back from schools that was already promised. This is a bad message for our children and a bad approach for our schools. Additionally, this plan is fiscally unsustainable and does not address the underlying structural problems in our budget. You can find my statement on this issue here.
I want to thank those of you who were able to attend the community forum I co-hosted Saturday with Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Around 75 local residents and community leaders came and shared their views and concerns on recent threats in our community. We had an honest, open discussion on public safety, and I hope everyone felt it was constructive. I appreciate the participation and Washington State University's willingness to open its doors to us. As we move forward as a community, it is imperative we remain committed to this statement: “See Something, Say Something.”
Here is a sampling of some of the views shared at the event:
- “I am a student. One of the gaps that I see is in between fear and security. We've seen red flags in certain lives. There are some feelings of fear and threat in schools, but nothing can be done because no crime has been committed yet. What can we do to bridge that gap? That, I think, is where the fear comes from. We see that law enforcement's hands are tied. What can we do when we see these red flags?”
- “I think this is an amazing community. One reason I'm here is that I don't want people to forget Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was my hero growing up. I don't want people to forget that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on a consistent basis. He received death threats all the time. You have to be vigilant. How far are you willing to go? He did this for everyone. Not just black America – he did this for all of America. He lived this. He wasn't afraid to stand up.”
You can read a Spokesman-Review article about the event here.
Please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of assistance. My information is noted below. We will talk again soon.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000