Dear neighbors,

I’m writing today to say goodbye. It has been my privilege to serve the people of the 33rd Legislative District and the people of the State of Washington for the last 29 years. I am in awe at the amazing progress we have made together over the last few decades.

And now the time has come for me to finish my legislative career — I will continue to tie up loose ends for the next few months, but I will not return to Olympia for the 2025 legislative session.

Just last week, former Rep. Peggy Maxie passed away. She was the first Black woman to be elected to the Legislature, serving from 1971 to 1982. I recently came across a photo of the women serving in 1971, and Peggy Maxie was there, one of only eight women in the entire body. How far we have come! Today more than 45% of Washington’s legislators are women, fourth in the nation and the highest our state has ever seen — so far.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together since I first joined the Legislature in 1995. From leading the country in implementing the Affordable Care Act to being one of the first states to offer paid family and medical leave insurance to all working people, we have made a difference in people’s lives.

If you’d like to read more about the work I’ve done to expand apprenticeships, require pregnancy accommodations, prevent the misuse of non-disclosure agreements to cover up sexual harassment, and cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin and epinephrine, you can find some of those details here.

I would like to conclude with an issue close to home for all of us in the 33rd Legislative District. One of the first bills I sponsored in 1996 — which didn’t pass — would have funded a study of airport noise to tackle the health risks that arise from living near Sea-Tac Airport. This year, one of the final bills I was proud to pass — along with my colleague Rep. Tina Orwall — establishes a grant program in partnership with the Port of Seattle to assist homeowners in airport communities to repair failed soundproofing. I hope you all will continue to raise awareness in the Legislature of the health challenges airport communities face.

As one of my favorite labor leaders, Elise Bryant, often says: “We did not come this far to give up now.” And you can damn well bet that I’m not giving up either.


Sen. Keiser signature

Sen. Karen Keiser
Senate President Pro Tempore
Chair, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee