With the Legislative session underway, I’d like to look back and showcase some of the work that I did over the interim, and how it translates to what I’m getting done here in Olympia. This summer, I was able to meet with many groups who provided insight for my work moving forward. Some of the highlights include:
- I visited the Nourse Tree Farm in Arlington to meet with small forest landowners and discuss how tree farming fits into the big picture of environmental sustainability. Now, I’m working with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that stewardship foresters are funded so that these farms have access to the education and resources they need to succeed.
- I traveled to Norway to learn more about their fleet of electric hybrid ferries and understand how they capitalize and run their fleet. This focus on environmental sustainability combined with technological innovation is a vital way to confront the climate crisis and has helped guide my advocacy in the Ferry Caucus to move toward a green fleet in Washington
- I took the “Salish Splash” and jumped into freezing waters to celebrate the important efforts we passed last year around orca recovery. My bill, creating a requirement for the Boating Safety Education Program to include educational materials on whale watching guidelines, was signed into law. I also boated with Soundwatch to see firsthand how enforcement of safe viewing distance of whales works.
- I visited the Social Justice Club at Mount Vernon High School and learned about the issues that our kids are most concerned with.
- I talked about affordable housing with the San Juan Community Home Trust Board and learned more about their efforts to create permanently affordable homes in Friday Harbor. I’m working on legislation for next session to address the effects of short-term rentals on local communities.
We are close to halfway through the legislative session, and I have been so grateful for the insight that these visits have provided me throughout the process. If you want to see photos of my experiences, head on over to my Facebook for more!