Laurie has spent the last 25 years of her career working in public health. She has focused on reducing risk and keeping her constituents and all Washington residents safe and healthy. COVID-19 has devastated our economy and many local businesses and she knows that beating this deadly virus and our economic recovery are absolutely intertwined. Laurie understands the critical condition our people and economy are in and is working tirelessly to improve our unemployment system, get financial help flowing to small businesses, and assure that essential workers are safe and those returning to the job are protected.
A former Tacoma Community College Trustee and mother of a now-college-age son, Laurie has long recognized that the future of our community, our economy, our families and our kids is reliant on the strength of our K-12 and higher education systems. She wants every child and adult in Washington to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. A great education is the first step toward that dream.
Public health and health care, both mental and physical, have been cornerstones of Laurie’s non-legislative and legislative careers. She’ll continue to focus on expanding care, controlling costs, assuring women, LGBTQ people and others maintain the right to make decisions over their own bodies, and holding health care institutions and insurers accountable. Laurie recognizes that public health is the quietest of heroes. You know public health is working when bad things don’t happen. As Speaker, she’ll continue to push for prevention, early intervention, consumer and worker protection and evidence-based medicine.
We must expand housing options across the board. We are not constructing enough of any type of housing in Washington to ensure residents at all income levels can find a home that meets their needs. This problem requires us find innovative housing solutions including policies protecting tenants, supporting landlords who work to keep people housed, expanding supportive housing, low-income housing construction and family wage housing.
Equity and Justice
We are at the beginning of a new civil rights era. As Speaker, Laurie is making sure that the voices of our Black Members Caucus are leading the way on police accountability measures. She’s proud that the House Democratic Members of Color Caucus leading on finding ways to apply an equity lens to our policy and budget decisions. This will be especially important as we work to recover from the deep recession we’re in. Laurie has a long history, both before and after being elected to the legislature, of being a fierce justice and equality advocate for people of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ people, women, those with disabilities and other vulnerable people. This commitment will never end.
Laurie understands that climate change is an existential threat to the survival of our planet. As Speaker, she ensured that House Democrats continued to move forward on policies addressing climate. The legislature has had success some success on climate policies related to business, construction, and the government sector. We’ve also had success in improving the health of our Salish Sea and wildlife living there. There is much to do and our next challenge is to address Washington’s biggest contributor to climate change, our transportation sector.