From Advertiser Re-elect Sen. Karen Keiser:
I love the job of being your state Senator in Olympia.
As Confucius observed:
Do the job you love and you will never have to work a day of your life.
What a huge gift it is to have your trust to represent you!
One of the most rewarding parts of the job is to advocate for you. When you have a problem with a state agency, whether it’s a dispute over worker’s comp. or a complaint about your local school, we can look into the problem and try and sort out a solution. If you see a person dumping waste into Puget Sound, we can contact the right people to shut it down. If you need help for an ageing parent or to find quality child care for your three-year old daughter, we can search out and refer you to licensed local resources.
Every two years, we update and distribute a community Resource Guide that lists all the public agencies in our communities that provide services to our citizens and residents. From health care to public safety, the agencies of your local and state government open their doors every day to provide help and assistance. This year’s Resource Guide will come out in November.
Too often, all we hear about are the negative stories about government. It’s a good old American habit to criticize government, but nowadays it seems there’s hardly anyone who has a good thing to say. So let me share a few stories about how we can work together to make our communities a better place for our families.
Last summer, we got a phone call reporting that someone was dumping fish waste at Redondo into Puget Sound. We reached out to the Washington Department of Ecology and the Department of Natural Resources. They investigated the complaint and found the culprit, and enforced the law. There are no more late-night pollution dumps at Redondo now.
When employers used a box on their employment applications asking everyone to check the box if they had ever been convicted or even arrested, we heard from dozens of people who were shut out of ever getting even a job interview, much less a job. We were able to pass the Fair Chance Law this year that gives every job applicant at least a first step forward in the job application process.
The #MeToo movement exposed rampant sexual harassment, and when we found out about the toxic work environment in our own Department of Fish and Wildlife, where several sex harassment cases were ignored, and one woman was even raped, we knew we had to act. This year we took action to protect employees from retribution and from “gag” orders about sexual harassment. We still have more work to do!
When the Supreme Court ruled that the state wasn’t fully funding basic education, it was a huge challenge to come up with a way to find the money without creating big new tax burdens. It took four years but we came together to find $8 billion dollars more to provide for decent teacher salaries and better schools for our kids. The Court agreed that we did our job to fully fund public education. And this year, teachers in our local school districts finally got decent raises.
Those are just some of the stories about why I love my job. Government sometimes fails to do a good job, but I hope you can understand that dedicated, hard-working state employees, teachers, police and firefighters try to make our lives safer, healthier and happier every day. And they love their jobs too.
Be sure to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018!