I would like to invite you to my campaign kickoff on April 30th at the Shoreline Children’s Center from 2-4. First Lady Trudi Inslee will be joining us, as well as Attorney General Bob Ferguson and County Council Member Rod Dembowski.
This year, I really need your help. I have at least two opponents – a Democrat and a Libertarian- and may have a Republican opponent as well. I would like to continue my work as a champion for children.
I am running on my record of leadership for children -- giving them the best possible opportunity to get a good start in life, to have a successful educational career, and to have another chance if they make a mistake. Over the past two years, I have sponsored and shepherded through the legislature:
The Early Start Act - which puts into law standards and supports for high quality early learning for our youngest children, getting them to school ready to succeed;
The YEAR Act - eliminating nearly all legal financial obligations for juvenile offenders which will allow their records to be closed, and these youth to be able to move on with their lives to get an education, a job and a place to call home;
The Youth Homeless Prevention Act - creating the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention to help the state focus on this vulnerable population; this session the legislature also, for the first time, funded homeless youth outreach and shelter beds to address the homeless youth crisis we are facing;
The Children’s Mental Health Bill – to help children and families access mental health services when problems first appear.
I continue to support improvements In foster care, chemical dependency treatment, services for developmentally disabled children and adults, TANF and other services under the jurisdiction of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee that I chair.
My focus every session has been how to remove barriers to opportunity, and to reform our delivery systems to produce better outcomes. This week, I was chosen as co-chair for the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Delivery of Services to Children and Families, and will work through the summer to develop a recommended organizational structure for a new Children and Families Department to fundamentally reform the way we serve this population.
I hope that you will be able to join us as I begin my 10th campaign. It promises to be the most challenging I have faced.
At the October 15th Livewire Forum on “The Case for Early Learning”, Drs. Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff from the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the UofW presented the scientific evidence on the remarkable development of a baby’s brain. Panelists discussed the implications for public policy, and the importance of investing in the first five years of a child’s life. Rep. Ruth Kagi highlighted the need for action in the next legislative session and the unavoidable necessity of finding new sources of revenue to adequately fund education in the next budget.
Read about the forum at : http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024790730_livewireearlylearningxml.html. To see the video, : http://bcove.me/dbgr8nql