For many, November is a month in which we are called to remember ancestors, loved ones lost, the fullness of their lives, and their beautiful—sometimes harrowing stories that often serve as beacons to the way forward as we pick up and continue the work of progressing our communities together.
I was honored to have recognized Day of the Dead, or Dia de Los Muertos earlier this month and posted the vibrant graphic below. I was honored to have been invited by the Tribal Leaders Congress on Education to continue our collective efforts to chart the path to a more equitable education system.
Scroll below for a quick update on this month’s early but impactful action.
Honoring the dead this month
Hoy es un día de remembranza. Atesoremos los recuerdos de nuestros seres queridos que hemos perdido y mantengámoslos vivos en nuestros corazones. ¡Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
Today is a day of remembrance. May we cherish the memories of our loved ones lost and keep them alive in our hearts. Have a meaningful Dia de los Muertos!
Pictured below with Representatives My-Lin Thai (right), and Tana Senn (left) at the awe-inspiring historical site: The Newcastle (Washington State) Cemetery. By the late 1890s, coal mining had made Newcastle the second largest town in King County, behind only Seattle. The Pacific Coast Coal Company put its mark on Newcastle in ways that Renton never experienced. When the company left Newcastle after a miners’ strike, many Newcastle residents moved to Renton.
The 41st delegation joined members of the Newcastle Historical Society to review how the state’s investment in this unique and beautiful spot has been realized. It was absolutely a walk to remember. The sloping hillside is dedicated to honoring the dead and was vibrant with fall colors. But our walk also provided a reminder of Washington’s segregationist past. Despite the fact that these people worked together in life, their graves were divided in death. Black miners worked right along side white miners, but their final resting places were separated from their white counterparts. The same is true of the graves of miners of Chinese descent who primarily worked above ground but were also segregated in death.
You can learn more about how different neighboring coal mining towns can be at NewcastleWAhistory.org. There you can also learn about ways to contribute historical material about Newcastle.
Tribal Leaders Congress on Education
I recently attended the Tribal Leaders Congress on Education. Joining the dedicated tribal education leaders, were a federal delegation and Washington state legislators and leaders who were there to listen and learn. I had the honor of speaking and recalling a meeting with Virginia Cross, then head of the Muckleshoot Nation and a leader in developing educational opportunities for their children. We meet again on the same path – education for all children. Education that lifts them, inspires them and provides them with what they need to be their fullest selves.
Spotlighting an amazing Organization: Community Homes
In the spirit of cultivating a stronger sense of community, I’d like to take a second and help spotlight a phenomenal organization that I had the privilege of learning from recently. An organization committed to helping provide housing solutions for community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To use their own words: “Community Homes provides, promotes, and sustains exceptional community-based housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
While chatting with a constituent who is a part of this great organization, I was informed of some of their upcoming priorities like ADA accessibility for bathrooms, entrances, decks, and sightlines for residents. They are even tackling replacement flooring, safety & emergency preparedness, energy-efficient capital upgrades such as fixed lighting, windows, and doors, front door-safety (solid doors & emergency egress), and water conservation!
You can find more on their website at www.community-homes.org. For parents living in our community that have adult children they think could benefit from the community homes program, I encourage you to reach out, speak with them and learn more about the possibilities of this program. I have relied on them as an on-the-ground and community-based learning resource. I hope you will too!
As always, I am honored to serve as your Senator.