The new year has arrived and the 2021 legislative session starts on Monday. I am always excited to represent the Spokane community in the State Senate, but this year it feels more important than ever. We have big challenges, but also the opportunity to build back a robust recovery that works for everyone.
For an overview of priorities for this Legislative session, please click here for a recent column I wrote for the Seattle Times.
While COVID and recovery has dominated our legislative work in recent months, there is a major and infrequent process that is upon us…redistricting.
Every 10 years a bipartisan Washington State Redistricting Commission is created to redraw both legislative and congressional districts based upon new census data. The five-member commission is created by the leader of the four major legislative caucuses appointing one member to the commission and the fifth member, who serves as the non-voting chair, is agreed upon by the four appointed commissioners.
I was pleased to appoint former state representative Brady Piñero Walkinshaw to the commission. Brady is a talented and thoughtful public servant and the first Latino ever appointed to a redistricting commission in our state. I know he will do an excellent job on behalf of the people of Washington in this important process, which is fundamental to fair elections and a healthy democracy.
Washington has recently released an exposure notification app, WA Notify, to supplement the work of public health department contact tracers. The app is secure and uses anonymous codes shared via Bluetooth to other WA Notify users. Through smartphones, without sharing personal information, the app will alert users if they have been exposed to COVID-19. More than 1.6 million people are already using the app.
- Settings -> Exposure Notifications -> Turn on exposure notifications -> United States -> Washington
- Google Play store -> Download WA Notify App